Opportunities for Adult Faith Formation highlight pastoral needs

The diocesan Office of Lifelong Catechesis and Family Ministries is offering several opportunities for adult faith formation.  Over the past few years, parishioners and clergy have identified their greatest priorities, including ministry with youth and young adults, marriage preparation and the need for learning opportunities that nurture spiritual growth.  These priorities are reflected in this year’s Catechetical Enrichment Days, Pre-Cana Retreats and the upcoming installment in the Emmaus Retreat series on The Church.  Additional programs are available as well.

Catechetical Enrichment Days are one-day conferences, offered in both Grand Junction and Pueblo.  The theme for 2014 is “Cultivating Discipleship: Evangelizing and Integrating Youth into Parish Life.”  This topic will inspire participants to view youth ministry as central to the life of the Church, rather than as a separate out of sight, out of mind “program.”  What are the critical issues that will nurture a lifelong relationship with Christ and a sense of belonging in the Church? 

The Catechetical Enrichment Day in Grand Junction will be on Saturday, September 13, at Holy Family School.  The keynote presenter is Jim Beckman of YDisciple and the Augustine Institute in Denver.  The Pueblo conference on the same theme will be held on Saturday, October 18, at Christ the King parish with Frank Mercadante of Cultivation Ministries. 

Break-out sessions will be offered on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic moral teaching, Church history, engaging youth through the liturgy, and religious education that focuses on the needs of the learner.  Both keynote presenters will also offer break-out sessions on their work to evangelize youth in parish life.

Registration is currently open for the September conference in Grand Junction, and registration will open soon for Pueblo in October.  Participants can register online by clicking on this link, or by downloading this brochure.  The cost for the day is free, includes lunch, and all adults are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Participants can also track the sessions they attend for diocesan catechetical certification credit.

Pre-Cana Retreats are one-day sessions for engaged couples to pray, reflect with each other and to discuss with other couples what it means to get married in the Catholic Church.  The meaning of sacramental marriage and the learned skills that nurture a healthy lifelong commitment will be explored.  The retreat provides prospective brides and grooms the opportunity to step back from the hectic busyness of wedding planning and prayerfully reflect on the sacred promises they are preparing to exchange.

Married couples who would like to help facilitate and present at a Pre-Cana Retreat by a few of their experiences and wisdom with couples are encouraged to contact the Office of Lifelong Catechesis and Family Ministries for discernment and training opportunities.

Emmaus Retreat on “Church” is the next edition in the Emmaus Retreat catechetical series that was started several years ago with God the Father, continuing to Jesus, then the Holy Spirit and marriage.  The retreat “Living Marriage Every Day” was developed out of pastoral expediency to serve as a seed for renewing the Diocese of Pueblo’s commitment to marriage ministry and lives on in the Pre-Cana Retreats.  The Emmaus series was conceived as a sequential encounter with the treasures of the Catholic faith, starting with the Trinity and Jesus.  The next logical installment will address the meaning and richness of Holy Mother Church.

Rooted in faith, hope and love, the Church of Christ’s faithful disciples gathers to worship, proclaims the Word of God, offers its gifts and is transformed by God’s grace in the sacraments, as we are then sent out to make new disciples through baptism.  The history of how the Church took shape through the ages to the present will be explored prayerfully and personally, as Bishop’s Pastoral Associate, Dan Sarell, will travel to parishes in every deanery and invite parishioners to reflect on their own experiences and questions about what it means to be Church together.  Retreats will be offered throughout the diocese, starting in the fall.

For more information about these and other upcoming faith formation offerings, contact Dan Sarell in the Office of Lifelong Catechesis and Family Ministries, (719) 544-9861 or by email.

Click here to read more about new and continuing developments in diocesan catechetical ministry.