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Formation Priority Objectives and Key Action Steps

Objective 1: Create prayer opportunities to encounter God at all levels of spiritual growth and experience

In our parishes and schools, the People of God can expect:

  • Greater opportunities to explore, learn, and practice different forms of Catholic prayer.

The diocese will support parishes, schools, and spiritual growth leaders by

  • Forming a diocesan Prayer and Spiritual Growth Committee consisting of people with deep experience and expertise in accompanying others on their faith journey.
  • Researching, identifying, and sharing different approaches to meet people at their respective levels of spiritual growth.
  • Developing a diocesan plan for teaching prayer, supported by a toolkit to be implemented at the diocesan, parish, and school levels.
  • Collaborating with and training appointed spiritual growth leaders to teach various forms of prayer at each parish and school.

Timing – Phase 1

Objective 2: Provide comprehensive and consistent Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) ministry to guide newcomers in joining the Church

In our parishes and schools, the People of God can expect

  • A robust and engaging process for welcoming new people into the Catholic faith.
  • Increased opportunities for training on how to invite, welcome, and guide newcomers through the RCIA process.

The diocese will support parishes and schools by:

  • Developing a diocesan handbook for the RCIA process to guide and inspire people who desire to join our Church family.
  • Identifying well-trained RCIA coordinators and leaders at every parish and empowering them to lead this vital journey of faith.
  • Creating and maintaining a diocesan online resource containing best practices, teaching resources, and RCIA processes curriculum.
  • Providing regular training to clergy, staff, and leaders on the content relevant to the diocesan life-long faith formation plan, collected from within and outside the diocese.

Timing – Phase 2

Objective 3: Significantly expand retreats and small faith groups

In our parishes and schools, the People of God can expect:

  • The availability of more retreats at parishes and at the diocesan level
  • Opportunities to participate in small faith-sharing groups and other growth opportunities in their parish and school.

The diocese will support parishes and schools by

  • Forming a diocesan Retreat and Small Faith Groups Committee of people experienced in running retreats and small faith groups.
  • Researching and sharing leading programs and practices for hosting retreats, small faith groups, and other spiritual growth opportunities that aim to reach our diverse age and ethnic groups where they are.
  • Creating a plan to form and grow small faith-sharing groups to extend and sustain their retreat, conference, or faith group experiences.

Timing – Phase 2

Objective 4: Establish shared criteria and enriching faith formation programs (including sacramental preparation) for all schools and parishes

In our parishes and schools, the People of God can expect:

  • Greater clarity and consistency regarding sacramental preparation requirements.
  • A greater collaboration on faith formation between parish and school.
  • Expanded training for parish and school catechists on the USCCB formation norms, current research, and best practices.

The diocese will support parishes and schools by:

  • Creating a diocesan faith formation advisory committee to develop a diocesan lifelong faith formation plan based on USCCB norms, current research, and gathered best practices.
  • Encouraging a faith formation committee at each parish and school to collaborate on implementing the diocesan faith formation plan based on local cultural and community needs.
  • Providing training for catechists and resources to implement the diocesan faith formation standards across the diocese. 

Timing – Phase 3