Lifelong Learning and Faith Formation
Why Lifelong Faith Formation?
One of the priorities of the early church in Jerusalem was commitment to the “apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). Those
early Christians were continuously learning how to live the Gospel and to apply the teachings of Jesus to everyday life.
Think about the many conversion stories in the Gospel of John. Nathaniel, moments after meeting Jesus, declares, ” Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You re the King of Israel.” What an act of faith! Think of St Thomas, who most famous for doubting when his friends said they saw the Risen Lord, later overcomes his fear and proclaims “My Lord and my God!” He later wants to follow Jesus to see Lazarus, even though the other disciples do not, and he says, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” He is ready to give his life for his faith in Jesus.
St. John shows us that conversion is a process, more akin to the prolonged experience of Thomas than the premature event with Nathaniel. The evangelist hints at faith as a process when he writes that after witnessing the miraculous transformation of water into wine at Cana “his disciples began to believe in him.” Authentic faith is a life-long process, guided by traditional beliefs, strengthened by prayerful encounters, tested by human failings.
Beliefs direct faith, but faith is more than beliefs. Faith is the orientation of one’s entire life around Jesus Christ. Faith goes beyond beliefs and risks acceptance of the divine person who is Jesus Christ as the decisive and ultimate meaning of life.
“Do not presuppose the faith but propose it…Faith is not maintained automatically. It is not “finished business” that we can simply take for granted. The life of faith has to be constantly renewed. And since faith is an act that comprehends all the dimensions of our existence, it also requires constantly renewed reflection and witness.”
Pope Benedict XVI in “Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism”
Church of the Presentation parish shares in this vision of lifelong faith formation and leaning. in all that we do, we hope to form Catholic Identity and faith practice across the generations. Our vision is one of “lifelong faith formation,” providing an environment and varied opportunities for everyone to grow in their own personal faith and relationship with Jesus as well as the faith community.
The word that summarizes what we do is an ancient one: catechesis. It means to “echo” –– to pass on from generation to generation the faith we each received from Jesus.
This website has resources to help you grow in Christian practice and faith-filled daily living and to help you learn the basics of our faith. Our parish website can also give you more information about our offerings and programs.
Here are some resources to help you grow in your faith no matter where you are at in your faith journey.
- Lifelong Catechesis: This wonderful resource offers a place to read the Sunday Readings, and share Reflections, Questions, and Saint of the Week for families. (By Our Sunday Visitor)
- An Overview of the Mass (Loyola Press)