Faith Formation...Real encounters with Christ!
"Faith Formation,” has been described as the process by which a person consciously seeks to grow in their knowledge and imitation of Jesus Christ through experience, reflection, prayer, and study. It is a life-long process and journey, one in which we truly encounter Christ and grow, not only as individuals, but as brothers and sisters in Him. In addition, as we journey, we are also constantly being called and challenged by God to grow as His disciples and to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” [Mt 28:19].
As Catholic Christians, knowing our faith is central to developing a personal relationship with Christ and living a life close to Him and the Church. It is essential for us to be able to share our faith with others and to answer questions from family, friends, co-workers or our children. Unfortunately, too many of us do not know our faith very well, but it is never too late if we are open to learn.
At Stella Maris, we seek to provide opportunities for that growth for all who are willing to come and join us. Whether it is through our Sunday School, RCIA or other Faith Formation opportunities - as a parishioner you can ‘wade deeper’ into your faith in Jesus Christ.
So we invite you to read below and call the office to explore these opportunities to grow in your faith, hope and love for God.
A Pilgrims' Way
A Pilgrims' Way is a group, guided study course for fostering a deeper understanding of life in the family of God. Participants in the six-month course explore life and relationships in their community, and how they can impact the world around them.
The course combines small group discussion, teaching, and individual study where participants:
· Get to know and listen to the Holy Spirit
· Form bonds of friendship
· Pray and Worship together
· Share and study the Word together
Life in the Spirit
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows Him. But you know Him, because He remains with you, and He will be in you.” [Jn. 14:16-17]
Jesus made this promise to His disciples. He knew that He would not be with them forever. In order to empower them to continue HIs work, Jesus then imparted the gift og His Spirit to them and to all future believers.
Catholics today, despite receiving the Spirit at our baptism, and being sealed with the Spirit at our confirmation, often get too busy and distracted from His presence. The Life in the Spirit Seminar, born out of the Catholic Charismatic Movement, was conceptualized to rekindle our awareness of the power of the Holy Spirit, to help us learn how to yield to His promptings and bear fruit for the kingdom.
The Life in the Spirit Seminar consists of a series of talks and discussions, spanning a period of seven weeks. Customarily the first four weeks are dedicated to discussions on Jesus’ message of salvation and what it means to be baptized in the Spirit. In the fifth week participants are afforded the opportunity to have a “praying over” to be baptized in the Spirit. The final two weeks’ teachings are focused on how one can grow deeper in the life of the spirit as these seminars are really a foundation for our journey of life in the Spirit.
Women's & Men's Cursillo
Cursillo (“short course”) is a global movement of the Church, which aims to provide the Laity with the principles and tools required to become effective Christian leaders in today’s world. It takes place over the course of a three-day weekend that starts on a Thursday evening and ends on Sunday afternoon. Cursillo is designed to offer participants a working knowledge in Christianity by which they can grow as individuals and as a community through continued sharing, prayer and study in small fellowship groups. These groups provide the encouragement, strength and support we often need to: i) encounter self and enrich our lives with holiness; ii) encounter God by growing in our understanding of faith through study; and iii) encounter others by taking action with love to bring them to Christ.
The ultimate goal of the Cursillo weekend is to get participants to take what they have learned back into the world, and put it into action beginning on what is known as the "fourth day." Cursillo seeks to enrich and deepen our relationship with Christ and gives us confidence to live out our vocation in life by following His will and drawing others closer to Him. Occasional gatherings called Ultreya are convened to assist and encourage all Cursillistas in their ongoing journey of faith and action.
St. Michael's Theological College
St. Michael's Theological College (formerly St. Michael's Seminary) is an institution of higher education dedicated to excellence in theological, scriptural and philosophical studies leading to personal, ethical and spiritual formation.
Since 1996, it’s main focus has been the theological education and pastoral training of the Laity. The significance of this present direction is certainly borne out in the Second Vatican Council’s emphasis on the vital importance of the laity’s role in the life and building up of the Church.
St. Michael’s remains steadfast in its commitment to facilitate the spread of the Gospel of Christ.