Pope Francis made this statement on May 22, 2013, “Evangelizing is the Church’s mission. It is not the mission of only a few, but it is mine, yours and ours… We must all be evangelizers, especially with our life!” Thus, the role of adults in the evangelizing mission of the church is critical. As Catholics we are called to respond to this mission. However, to fulfill it, most of us need to renew and deepen our understanding or our faith. Through formation, we acquire the knowledge and the confidence to fulfill the Church’s mission. As someone that has been involved in catechist and adult faith formation for the last 25 years, the emphasis of Pope Francis on evangelization as the mission of all believers is music to my ears.
The Church needs to offer formation that is uniquely desirable, provides spiritual enrichment and a way of life not obtainable elsewhere. Most catechetical and formation teams are aware that formation only happen by stirring the religious imagination, mentoring people into an authentic and fulfilling Catholic way of life. According to Neil A. Parent author of a concise guide to Adult Faith Formation published in 2009, every parish adult formation process must include the following three major goals:
1) “ An invited seek conversion to Christ” this necessitates to include a spirituality that is based in the sacrament of baptism, nurturing and deepening an understanding of faith as a process that leads to gradual transformation through the imitation of Christ, openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and acceptance of the unconditional love of God for us.
2)” Lead people to be intentional in their faith as members in the Christian faith community,” small faith groups and the domestic church. Assist people in understanding their role in the mission of the Church as evangelizers and witnesses of Christ.
3) “Aid believers to become willing disciples,” accepting their calling in the mission of the church as Jesus show us in the Gospels.
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