Adult Faith Formation

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Welcome to the Office of Adult Faith Formation

Opportunities to explore various topics can be found here, including creative prayer ideas, music and video presentations to accompany your prayer and faith journey.

The Church identifies faith formation, including adult formation, as one of Her high priorities.The Office of Adult Faith Formation supports those on their ongoing journeys to becoming more faith-filled disciples and stronger participants in the life of the Church. 

Through the office of Adult Faith Formation, the Diocese of Saint John offers resources and support for individual and parish needs. Contact the office with specific requests.


Lay Pastoral Ministry Program Graduates
A dedicated Facebook page is available for this group.                                       
Please contact our office directly if you wish to join.   
                                                  


ORDINARY TIME - SUMMER EDITION


We so often speak of these liturgical seasons as related to the
weather.  Even though I write this in early June, and technically
we are still in the Spring Season, these last few days have been 
sunny and warm, such a sharp contrast to the cold, rainy 
days that have marked most of April and May and beginning of 
June.  It feels like Summer doesn't it?

It puts us in the mood to contemplate our summer activities that
we look forward to and enjoy so much ..... sitting outside and
sipping on cold beverages, visiting with friends and family from afar,
being active walking, swimming, hiking, baseball .... life is
great isn't it?

We can say that the rhythm of our lives changes through these months.
Hopefully we have more 'down' time, less planned commitments for 
work, community involvement, organizations to which we belong. 
Even our church involvement slows down.  Meetings, formation 
opportunities, ministry involvement (other than liturgical ministries 
of course - we always need to commit to these), take a little hiatus
to allow folks to regroup, refresh, and enjoy our very short summer.

However, our life in Christ does not take a hiatus.  It may look a little
different though.  Perhaps our gardening provides us with a
different prayer practice.  Perhaps our times at the beach provide us
with different images of God to incorporate in our prayer.  Perhaps our
walking or swimming or other activities remind us to incorporate our
bodies into our prayer.  And hopefully, many opportunities to
reconnect with friends and family offer us reminders of so much to be
thankful for and to pray for in our daily prayers of intercession.

We all know that  Summer is hard for some people for a variety of reasons. 
Maybe it's hard for you.  Perhaps you can make a special effort to reach out
to these people.  Just check in and let them know that they are noticed.

At the very least we are seeing more of our neighbours as we come out of 
our winter and spring hybernation!  Perhaps you can reach out and live the
gospel through your neighbourliness, with a kind word or offerings from your
garden. 

So, this might be 'ordinary time' but there is nothing ordinary about it.  The 
word 'ordinary' comes from two Latin words meaning 'number in a series'
and 'order'.  It's just a way to count the Sundays.  And this is the longest
stretch of one season in the Liturgical Calendar.  We are here now until Advent.

Perhaps these 26 weeks (which began the Monday after Pentecost Sunday)
could be a time to take advantage of not having over scheduled lives.  Perhaps
this could be a time to give even more attention to our faith, to our relationship
with God.  Perhaps this could be a time to reconsider what our church family
means to us and discern how you are doing with your stewardship of time,
talent, and treasure.

And please remember, our parish communities need you during the Summer.
We miss you when you are not with us when our parish family gathers for liturgy. 
If you usually take a break in the summer, maybe consider taking less of a break. 
If you are usually there, make an effort to be hospitable and welcoming to the
many vacationers and visitors.  After all, hospitality is not left to a few hospitality
ministers on our behalf.  It is the primary ministry each and every one of us are
called to as members of the assembly.

Enjoy these luscious weeks.  May you be safe and find many opportunities
to be refreshed and renewed.
 
Summer Prayer
Creator of all, thank You for summer!
Thank You for the warmth of the sun
and the increased daylight.
Thank You for the beauty I see all
around me and for the opportunity to
be outside and enjoy Your creation.
Thank You for the increased time I
have to be with my friends and family,
and for the more casual pace of the summer season.

Draw me closer to You this summer.
Teach me how I can pray no matter
where I am or what I am doing.
Warm my soul with the awareness of
Your presence, and light my path with
Your Word and Counsel.
As I enjoy Your creation, create in me
a pure heart and a hunger and a thirst for You.
Amen.
© Source unknown
 

Opportunity for Prayer and Formation

Looking to the Fall .....

           
Grandparents
provide a great ministry to their grandchildren and ultimately to the church and world.  Something that comes so natural to us and yet is so profound and important.

September 2nd is National Grandparents Day in Canada.  We will use the month of September to celebrate the gift that grandparenting is.  Look for an article or two in the New Freeman, some ideas to support you in occasional bulletin inserts and an opportunity to gather with other grandparents for an opportunity for mutual support, prayer and many chances to brag ..... about your grandchildren and the love you have for them.  The gatherings will take place on Friday, September 6th from 6:30 to 9:00 at Villa Madonna and Saturday, September 7th from 9:30 to noon at St. Theresa's church in Fredericton.  More info to come.

Christianity in Pop Culture
Dr. Andrew Wilson, professor at Mount Allison University, spends much of his time connecting to young
adults about such things.  Having his 'finger on the pulse' of these young folks and the connections they make is a gift he offers to the rest of us who often scratch our head wondering how to invite these folks into community with us.  Dr. Andrew will offera session in each of the three regions of the diocese.  
He will be at St. Mary's church site in Miramichi on Saturday, September 21st from 9:30 to noon at St. Theresa's in Fredericton.  Other dates and places to follow.

The Liturgical Year
December 2nd begins the new Liturgical Year, Year A, the Year of Matthew.
What do we know about the liturgical Year, the liturgical calendar.  What do we celebrate,
when?  What is the focus/purpose of a particular liturgical feast day or season?  What
are the specific colours?  What are appropriate songs and acclamations for each of 
these seasons?  What else do you wonder? ....
An opportunity will be offered in November, in each of the regions, to learn about these things
as we prepare to begin another liturgical year.
A great event for folks in liturgical committees, anyone involved in any liturgical ministry, and
anyone wanting to learn more.  Dates to come.
                                                   

Church
Season of Creation

Pope Francis recently declared that climate change is an emergency. 
Christian communities have already been stepping forward to answer that question by celebrating the Season of Creation, the annual festival of prayer and action for our common home.  For the first
time ever the Vatican is directly inviting Church leaders to participate in the Season of Creation.

Please read this very important invitation that brings awareness to the care of our earth
home as invited by the Pope.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HRq_paLbnaMk33aPgUMxyqE1XZIFM1ph/view

Here is a link to a site to help you in your planning and brainstorming....
http://seasonofcreation.org/

As you begin to brainstorm and plan, share your ideas with me and I'll share them on our page.
Email me at cderdaele@dioceseofsaintjohn.org


2019 Pentecost Message to Canadian Catholic Movements and AssociationsWednesday, May 29 2019

Pentecost this year has a special emphasis with Pope Francis inviting all of us to live October 2019 as an Extraordinary Missionary Month. Throughout it we are invited to pray for a truly missionary conversion of the whole Church.
 
"We are not selling a product. We have a life to communicate: God, his divine life, his merciful love, his holiness! It is the Holy Spirit who sends us, accompanies us and inspires us. He is the source of our mission. It is he who guides the Church forward." (Pope Francis, address to the national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, 1 June 2018).
 
As members of movements and associations of faithful, we readily hear the call to be marked by personal holiness and new creativity so as to draw our world to the One who makes all things new by his Paschal Mystery. When we reflect on our own personal experience of faith, we call to mind those who guided us on the journey, so that we take our vocation seriously as people who are baptized and sent. Throughout the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October, we will be offered a number of brief biographies of missionary witnesses as well as daily commentaries on the Word of God, so as to awaken our communities to missionary responsibility. Let us be reminded that our Christian identity is strengthened as we give Christ to others: "the Christian faith remains ever young when it is open to the mission" (Pope Francis, 20 May 2018)1 .
 
Saint Paul reminds us that "we have this treasure in jars of clay" (2 Cor 4 :7). The various scandals denounced within the Church these past months are a hindrance to trust; consequently, we are called more than ever before to boldly go out to the peripheries2, enthusiastically offering "the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). In celebrating the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum illud of Pope Benedict XV which sought to give a new impetus to missionary responsibility in favour of all nations (ad gentes), the Holy Father wished to reengage us in a permanent state of mission.
 
The first proclamation of salvation motivates us to urgent collaboration with others, which includes fostering unity, charity, and a dialogue of salvation. We truly desire that the younger generations with all their desires will discover a yearning for God, to seek him, to love him, and to serve him. They will draw from this living water to the extent that they remain open to forgiveness, gathering together in community and walking with the poor. We are aware that on many levels, our people are getting older and it can be difficult to build bridges between generations. This is why we hope that, together, we might joyfully prepare for this extraordinary missionary month, when possible with the young people of our communities, overcoming intergenerational distance, and recognizing the missionary wealth as God's gift to all. Younger generations are open to encountering of cultures, and can teach us about this natural and necessary horizon of the Church's missionary activity in the world. "Significant and creative Christian presences in places that are predominantly indifferent or hostile to the faith, where Christian witness lives daily with the tragedy of the martyrdom of blood, ecclesial movements, lay associations, missionary institutes and new ecclesial forms of community life, are all ecclesial experiences to keep in mind in order to understand the missio ad gentes in a paradigmatic reconfiguration of the entire mission of the Church sent into the world for the salvation and transformation of the world."3
 
May the breath of the Holy Spirit take hold of us and through our witness bring forth the fruits of the Good News!
 
Standing Committee for Relations with Movements and Associations
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
Pentecost 2019
 

 

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops: Document on 'Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse'
www.cccb.ca/site/images/stories/pdf/Protecting_Minors_2018.pdf


The Atlantic Episcopal Assembly offers some helpful words to us concerning Assited Dying.  Just 'cut and paste' the following link and consider what this means for you and your loved ones as you contemplate end of life for you and those you love.
https://www.catholicregister.org/digital/2016/121116/Atlantic-euthanasia/Atlantic-assisted-dying

Apostolic Letter by Pope Francis
Vos Estis Lux Mundi (You Are the Light of the World)
w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/motu_proprio/documents/papa-francesco-motu-proprio-20190507_vos-estis-lux-mundi.html



Contact Information
Claudette Derdaele
1 Bayard Drive
Saint John, NB E2L 3L5
cderdaele@dioceseofsaintjohn.org
506-386-7012