St. Mark's Review of "We Walk by Faith"
1. How does the parish or campus ministry impart knowledge of the Catholic faith and challenge and support adults to develop a mature Catholic faith?
• Primarily through the weekend homilies.
• Religious Formation Ministry through the Adult Formation Team which reviews and develops appropriate Adult Formation opportunities for our parish community.
- Sponsors Full Community Gatherings that bring together all ages of our community.
- Invites guest speakers to facilitate an annual Parish Retreat and other presentations.
- Scripture Study – Sharing is offered throughout the year.
- Adult Faith Formation conducted in neighboring parishes is advertised.
- Sacramental preparation for Baptism of infants, Reconciliation and Eucharist for children, Confirmation of youth, Marriage preparation for engaged couples is conducted.
- Religious Formation options include a Family Model for up to 30 families to grow in faith on a monthly intergenerational method using the Family Intergenerational Religious Education (F.I.R.E.) program.
- Year-round Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process for those unbaptized, or coming from a different faith experience and those unformed in their faith is ongoing.
- Annual retreats for women and men opportunities are available at Holy Family Retreat Center.
- Liturgy committee sponsors and conducts initial and ongoing formation for all adults involved in liturgical ministry.
- Adults in the parish’s various ministries (Formation, Liturgy, and Justice and Peace) attend various conferences throughout the year regionally as well as diocesan sponsored.
2. How does the parish provide age-appropriate and diverse faith formation opportunities to children, youth and adults?
• In addition to those listed in #1 above, Religious Formation program offers 3 different options for children and youth ages 4 to 18
(1) regular religious formation sessions (1.5 hours) on 3 Sundays a month
(2) Home Study
(3) Family Model - F.I.R.E. (3 hours) once a month
• Sacramental Preparation program provides formation as indicated in #1 above, plus a two year Confirmation formation process that includes parent and adult sponsor participation.
• Children’s Church provides liturgy of the word for children at all weekend liturgies.
• Summer weeklong Vacation Bible School.
3. How does the parish challenge its members to be active disciples in family, work and civic society? Incorporating service is an integral component to all aspects of Religious Formation.
• Included in weekend homilies.
• Justice and Peace Committee works with the formation process to assist in promoting a community that “serves those in need and to build the Kingdom of God by imaging Jesus Christ”. Examples; Food Pantry, advocacy, Haiti twinning (mission trips for parishioners including youth), youth in summer Service Workcamp, winter shelter program, feeding the homeless at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, Thanksgiving and Christmas bags of food and presents; Service opportunities are available throughout the year for community-wide involvement. Talks related to 7 points of Catholic Social Justice to all ages of parishioners in the community.
4. How does the parish use technology to communicate and to promote and to expand its ministry of the Word?
• Parish webpage, weekly bulletin and weekend liturgy announcements.
• Email communication
• Computer presentations, DVD/VHS players for scripture study and other formation sessions.
• Parish Catechists working on the computer-based Diocesan Pathways formation program.
• Adults working with youth involved in VIRTUS program and monthly and now quarterly bulletins.
5. Does the parish or campus ministry provide references or library resources, or make known where such resources are available, to help community members in their progress toward a deeper understanding of the Word and teachings of the church?
• Yes, the parish has an extensive Library of assorted formation materials available to our parish community (from books and magazines to videos / DVDs and CDs), that are continuously updated.
• There is also a reading rack and table of related formation materials available in our social hall.
6. Describe the catechetical vision and practices that the pastor or campus minister and catechetical leader exhibit in guiding the parish’s ministry of the Word
• The Religious Formation mission statement – located on the Parish website.
• Catechetical leadership of the parish leads by example, and provides individual discussions as needed or sought after as well as providing formation and retreat opportunities.
7. Describe the relationship between the parish and the school and how each might better learn from and support the other.
• Not applicable
8. How does the parish respond to the need for a trained catechetical leader to direct its ministry of the Word and for trained catechists?
• Catechetical Leader is one of the two assigned permanent deacons, possesses a Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology, and participates in continuing education and formation annually.
• Ongoing Catechist formation and certification using the new PATHWAYS Parish Catechist process developed by the diocese.
9. How does the parish truly “proclaim itself to be the place of authentic ecumenical witness” (Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism, 67) and inter-religious witness?
• Parish participates in an ongoing ecumenical dialogue, meetings and conducts/invites parishioners to participate in ecumenical prayer services with 3 local Christian churches in the area – Heritage United Methodist Church, Mt Zion Baptist Church and Providence Friends Evangelical Church.
10. How does the parish integrate and build upon the dynamic interrelationship of Word and Worship?
• Religious Formation program integrates related Sunday’s readings as a critical component of weekly formation.
• Various weekly Scripture Study program are offered.
• Always challenged by the weekly homilies.
• Children’s Church program offers weekly readings and reflections at children’s level.
11. How might the staff of the diocesan offices assist your parish to develop programs and processes important for full implementation of the WORD dimension for We Walk by Faith?
• Providing proven methods to enable parish adult formation to be the centerpiece of our formation program and ideas to promote lifelong formation in the parish community.
Worship Community Service