Our sincere apologies for falling behind on these updates. Today we’re bringing you the summary of our discussion from a few weeks back on chapters 3 and 4. During them, we talked over The Fruit of Discipleship and Grace and The Great Quest.
Here’s a look into what we discussed:
– We talked at length about how our high school teens see the disconnect between what the faith calls us to be and the lived experience of faith by many people in their lives, both around their parishes and among their peers. They are not pleased to experience this disconnect, which often leads them to invest just enough to say that they do not value the faith or do not see the value in being part of this community.
– One place where everyone agreed time would be well spent, helping solve this problem, is in catechist formation. We know they are a willing group of adults who may be open to the possibility of furthering their journey as intentional disciples. Visions for this development included monthly meetings, ongoing learning about the faith and developing more intentional relationships with them.
– One of the main themes was on helping people build on the gifts and charisms they have been given from the Lord. In order to do so, and then help them find where the Lord is directing them as a disciple, we need to focus on personal relationships. We talked about positive experiences and examples of parishes who do a good job at starting this process by welcoming folks personally into Mass and connecting with them afterwards. (S/O to St. Thomas Aquinas for doing this very well! They engage many of their staff members in this capacity.)
– We recognized that comfort and evangelization do not mesh well together. We need to be willing to step outside our comfort zones, meet new people and train ourselves and others to share the great story we in the midst of living — especially how Jesus is present in our lives.
And, here are some of our favorite quotes from this session:
– “The Church fulfills her mission when she guides every member of the faithful to discover and live his or her own vocation in freedom and to bring it to fulfillment in charity.” – Pope John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis
– Our parishes need to become places where it is normal for adult Catholics to ask, “What is God calling me to do?”
What thoughts or reflections did you have while reading through chapters 3 and 4? We would love to hear about your insights!
If you’re reading along and interested in joining us for discussion, we will be meeting next Monday, October 21st, to discuss chapters 7 and 8. Book Club meets at the BOCC from 1:15 – 3:00pm.