Develop a spiritual formation strategy that fosters encounter by awakening faith, engaging the heart and transforming believers.
Objective 1: Using adult learning principles, create engaging and inspiring formation processes and methods.
- Adult Formation Ideas for Lent!
Lent is a great season to offer adult formation opportunities. People are open to and interested in learning more about their faith.
St. Albert the Great Church, Austin is offering an adult formation series for Lent. Do you want this Lent to be different? Do you long for a closer relationship with Jesus, but feel as though He is far away? Are you looking for answers to questions you or your non-Catholic friends have about your faith? Do you want your faith to come alive? Join Tammy-Beth Montgomery, Thursdays after 9 am Mass this Lent to breathe new life into your faith. Tammy-Beth has a Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling and has taught both scripture and this beautiful relationship we have with Christ for over 30 years. Don’t be content just going through the motions, ignite your heart to truly live and celebrate your faith.
Another wonderful example comes from St. John Neumann Church, Austin that is offering a study program based on Bishop Robert Barron’s Catholicism Series. The Word on Fire web site has additional resources for series or individual topics.
- Lenten Resources for 2017 - 23rd Publications brings you a wonderful selection of booklets for everyone in the parish for Lent. Booklets contain great thoughts - a little bit at a time! They are affordable, short enough to be read from front to back, loaded with inspiring content, and, (did we mention?) AFFORDABLE. Several titles are available in Spanish.
- Our Catholic Life is an engaging summary of the main themes of the Catechism helps adults understand their faith.
- Knights of Columbus parish-based councils today are not only places that provide invaluable support to parish life in terms of charitable and social activities, they also provide through their website, support for Catholics to learn more about their faith through online videos, courses, and booklets.
- The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family Life provides opportunities to adults to encounter the beauty and richness of our faith throughout the year.
- Bishop Robert Barron's Word on Fire DVD's, CD's and Liturgical Season booklets. Visit their website for ordering information.Discover the latest release Catholicism the Pivotal Players, the figures who shaped the church and changed the world. Two episodes of Volume 1 of Catholicism: Pivotal Players will be available on public television stations nationwide beginning November 19, 2016 (check local listings).
- The Basic Teachings of the Catholic Faith offered by The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family Life offer adults a strong foundation on various aspects of faith.
- The Journey/ El Camino is a new resource to help parishioners and their friends refresh and renew their intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Available in English and Spanish with a special component for youth.
- Alive in the Word invites you to explore Scripture in a way that is engaging and transformative. Each volume offers brief but powerful lessons that help you reflect on your own life and experience in relationship with the words, events and characters of the Bible.
- Adult learning principles, faith sharing groups and family prayer are implemented at the diocesan and parish level.
- Throughout the diocese there is an increase in the participation of formation programs.
- Increase in the number of parishioners involved in parish ministries.
- Parishioners demonstrate their appreciation for their Catholic faith through an increase in offertory collections.
Objective 2: Provide formation, resources and support for priests and deacons in developing specific awareness, knowledge and skills on the role of preaching as a key aspect of encounter.
- Priests and deacons participate in on-going formation sessions on preaching.
- Priests and deacons self-assess how participation in formation sessions has positively affected the style and content of preaching.
Objective 3: Attract, engage and inspire people to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer by teaching people how to pray.
- Beginning the first Sunday of Advent (November 27) and continuing every day until December 26, you’ll receive short inspirational videos, practical tips, or free Christmas music that will help you slow down during the busy Christmas season to focus on what’s really important in life. Free Sign Up
- The Office of Evangelization, Catechesis & Family Life published the Family Prayer Book that can be ordered for your family or formation program.
- Living with Christ Prayer Journal 2017. Filled with powerful reflections on the Sunday readings, the Living with Christ 2017 Prayer Journal offers ideas for you to reflect upon each week and remember those you are to pray for. Deepen your Eucharistic spirituality with this journal and discover how God is working in your life.
- The Schoenstatt Movement of Austin's Rosary Campaign exists to bring prayer into the home through Mary and the Rosary.
- Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR and 4PM Media have teamed up to offer The Wild Goose is Loose. A 14-part film series focusing on different characteristics of the Holy Spirit and His affect on our lives.
- Quarterly Women's Retreats - Mary's Encounter: Open to women across the Diocese, Mary's Encounter is a morning of prayer and reflection led by one of the Schoenstatt Fathers that includes formation through spiritual talks, Q&A, fellowship and Holy Mass.
- Good Friday Pilgrimage: On Good Friday, the Schoenstatt University Men lead a 9 mile pilgrimage through the streets of Austin, honor Good Friday and inspire people to deepen their participation in the prayer life of the Church. The Pilgrimage begins at St Mary's Cathedral and ends with Good Friday Liturgy at the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Schoenstatt.
- Candlelight Rosaries: On the 18th of every month, at 7:30pm, you’re invited to the Candlelight Rosary, to pray, listen to meditations, process and join in song. The Candlelight Rosary brings people from different cultures to pray and worship in a family atmosphere and in multiple languages. The meditations focus on the mysteries of Christ that lead to encounter with Him.
- Rosary Campaign: The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign is an outreach or apostolate within the Schoenstatt Movement. It initiates prayer, evangelization, and formation through the visitation of the Pilgrim Mother of Schoenstatt. Each year, new missionaries are entrusted with a pilgrim image and form groups of 7 to 10 families and/or individuals who will welcome the pilgrim MTA shrine into their homes.
- Schoenstatt Movement of Austin www.schoenstatt.us
- There is an increase in parishioners and families participating in prayer activities.
- Annual parishioner survey results – I pray on a daily basis. I feel comfortable sharing faith and praying as a family or with friends.
Objective 4: Strengthen present retreat experiences on the diocesan and parish level for all age groups, so that retreats are a key ministry that help facilitate encounter with Jesus Christ.
- Cedarbrake Retreat Center located just north of Austin in beautiful Belton, TX offers an number of retreats throughout the year.
- Eagle's Wings Retreat Center in Burnet is a wonderful facility for your next retreat. The staff at Eagle's Wings also offers retreats throughout the year.
- Together Encounter Christ (TEC) is a multigenerational movement to encounter Christ through retreats and community.
- NET Ministries hosts retreat for young people in a variety of settings: school day, weekends, and evenings.
- There is an annual increase in the number of people participating in retreats for all age groups.
- Annual parishioner survey results – Did you attend a retreat?
Objective 5: Attract, engage and inspire young people to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and knowledge of the teachings of the Church, resulting in stronger participation in parish life and external Christian witness.
- The Emerging Leaders Program provides opportunities for young adults to network and learn from emerging and established leaders in business and government and to be empowered to exercise their faith in positions of leadership, both in the diocese and in their communities.
- During World Youth Day 2016, Pope Francis introduced DOCAT, an app that presents the social doctrine of the church in a way young people can put it into action.
- Young Adult Adoration: Schoenstatt Movement of Austin’s Young Adult Adoration is open to all young adults for prayer, benediction and worship, followed by dinner and discussions on current events and other topics from a Catholic worldview. Occurring every third Tuesday of each month, it “attracts, engages and inspires young people to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church.” Schoenstatt Movement of Austin www.schoenstatt.us
- There is an increase in the number of youth and young adults in parish ministries and diocesan programs.