What is Adult Faith Formation?
Adult Faith Formation is simply the continual commitment by adult Catholics to strengthen their discipleship in Jesus Christ through ongoing catechesis, prayer, sacrament, and service.
According to the United States Bishops' Document, Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us (OHWB):
Adult faith formation, by which people consciously grow in the life of Christ through experience, reflection, prayer, and study, must be the "the central task in [this] catechetical enterprise," becoming "the axis around which revolves the catechesis of childhood and adolescence as well as that of old age." (OHWB #5)
The Bishops outline three key goals of Adult Faith Formation
Inviting and enabling ongoing conversion to Jesus in holiness of life:
At St. Benilde Parish, we welcome all our adult members of the parish to join our R.C.I.A. sessions this September as an introduction to Adult Faith Formation. Even though R.C.I.A. is designed for those seeking full initiation in the Catholic Church, adult Catholics can very much benefit from the catechetical and liturgical process.
Basics of Adult Faith Formation
The basics of Adult Faith Formation for any adult Catholic is and always will be fulfilling, prayerfully and intentionally, the precepts of Catholic discipleship. These include:
1) to attend Holy Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation
2) the sacramental confession of sins at least once per year
3) to receive Holy Communion once in the Easter Season (in the U.S. this has been expanded to mean from the first Sunday of Lent to Holy Trinity Sunday)
4) to observe all days of fasting and abstinence
5) to help provide for the needs of the Church (CCC 2041-2043).
Without this basic practice of the faith, especially in seeking Christ in his Eucharistic Body and Blood, which is the source and summit of the Christian life, any other faith formation effort would be in vain. Christ teaches us that he will be with us always, even until the end of the age (Mat. 28: 20). His remaining with us means precisely the sacraments and prayer of the Church. His grace enters our hearts and souls, sanctifying us and cleansing us of sins, through the sacraments. Therefore, it is recommended that in seeking further faith formation one is always mindful to persevere in prayer and in the sacramental life of the Church.