Every parishioner desires a deeper faith. This pastoral objective helps Identify and provide resources and opportunities for adult formation responding to the various life stages and cultural needs of the parish adult community. Let’s look at examples from parishes that have already developed action plans for this objective.
Mary Queen in Friendswood hosted the Formation Toward Christian Ministry program to help educate its parishioners as well as those from surrounding parishes in theological training. With so many participating, the parish plans to continue a series of training classes on Basic Formation for Catechetical Leadership. The action plan offered an opportunity to “Provide theological training for adults.”
Parishioners at Queen of Peace in La Marque offer a spiritual bouquet of prayers with different intentions monthly. A Eucharistic Adoration is also held every Friday at the parish.
Adult bible classes are held every Sunday and Monday. The classes are filled and parish leaders are delighted more parishioners are involved and being nourished with the Word of God. The intention of this parish action plan was to “Provide more spiritual development opportunities to parishioners and the community-at-large.”
The parish of St. Laurence in Sugar Land developed Small Faith Communities that meet in parishioner’s homes during Lent. More than 500 parishioners participated. The action plan is designed to “Engage parishioners in spiritual growth and holiness through Small Faith Communities.”
St. Martha in Kingwood developed several action plans to help parishioners toward spiritual growth. First, the Priests and deacons at St. Martha use PowerPoint slides/pictures to further the homily message. Not only has this improved the retention of the homily, it is allowing the parish to reach across the cultures and ages and bring people closer to Christ. This action plan addresses ways to “Improve retention of the Word using PowerPoint slides during homilies.”
In a Parish Action Plan writing session, seven parishioners at St. Martha in Kingwood acknowledged their churchgoers’ hunger for developing better prayer lives. Based on this need, the group created a series of workshops on prayer, using methods of prayer that the average person could begin to practice immediately.
These workshops were held on consecutive Tuesday evenings that focused on the following four methods of prayer:
- The Jesus Prayer
- Praying with Icons
- Ignatian Spirituality (Praying with Imagination)
- Eucharistic Adoration
The goal of this second action plan is to “Assist in the development of personal prayer by offering spiritual development opportunities.”
Fr. Alfonso Tran and Deacon Ed Kleinguetl at St. Martha, Kingwood, developed and delivered a series of homilies on Spirituality of Communion at all the English Masses. Each homily included a PowerPoint presentation, with the initial homily presented on the Fifth Sunday in Easter 2014 ("I am the way and the truth and the life"). Additional bulletin inserts were included to expand upon the concept. Parishioners appreciated the working definition and have a better understanding of the concept. St. Martha’s action plan declares: “Educate & form the faithful on Spirituality of Communion.”
St. Phillip the Apostle in Huffman offers several programs and ministries that are assisting parishioners with knowledge and love of their Faith:
- Adult Education and Youth Evangelization programs
- Programs to create a culture of service
The action plan offers ways to “Assist parishioners in reaffirming their Catholic Faith as well as explain and defend their faith.”
The parish pastoral council at St. Raphael the Archangel in Woodlake/Briar Meadow created new programs around faith formation. They are:
- Conduct pre-baptism classes at the parish rather than sending parishioners to St. Dominic Center
- Formed a new prayer group for families with Virtus trained facilitators
- Started a Charismatic group
- Hold a night adoration group
- Incorporate Legion of Mary activities.
These undertakings are attracting many new volunteers. The parish action plan simply states: “Create programs around faith formation.”
St. Raphael also started evening Bible study in Spanish reading scriptures from the Holy Bible. Participation in the classes continues to grow prompting the addition of more classes. This parish action plan addresses the need for multi-lingual bible study classes and declares: “Form multi-lingual bible study classes.”
St. Clare of Assisi offers several programs and ministries that are assisting parishioners, including:
- 33 Days to Morning Glory: Preparation for Marian Consecration
- Walking Toward Eternity
- Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A do-it-yourself retreat based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola
Parishioners can also participate in bible study classes as well as a weekly rosary in the church. The parish action plan emphasizes ways to “Provide parishioners with avenues to deepen their faith and understanding of Catholic traditions through small study and prayer groups.”