This past Saturday our diocesan Department for Catechetical Services completed a one-year pilot project. Entitled “Journey of Discipleship,” we partnered with Ss. James and Patrick parish in Decatur, Illinois, and offered monthly adult formation sessions on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
The project began in the summer of 2012 when, in the course of a discussion at one of our department meetings, one of my colleagues wondered aloud what it would be like if the members of our various offices took over a parish for one year, bringing to bear our knowledge, skills, and expertise in a concerted way across our various responsibilities.
That eventually lead us to the determination to partner with a parish for one year and help them to better understand how to grow in holiness and as disciples. Following a “Come and See” event last December, each month we offered a five-hour session on a different aspect of holiness:
- The Four Pillars of the Christian Life
- Regular Appointments with God
- Full, Conscious and Active Participation in the Liturgy
- Active Participation in Ongoing Faith Formation
- A Missionary Mindset
- A Simple and Sacrificial Lifestyle
- Building Common Ground
- Chaste Living
- Commitment to Life, Charity and Justice
- Following the Precepts of the Church
- Discerning the Movement of the Holy Spirit
It has been a wonderful, Spirit-inspired journey with the people of Ss. James and Patrick. It is rare for diocesan staff to have the opportunity to forge such relationships with a parish and we are already looking for ways in which to replicate the success of this program with other parishes in our diocese.
The handouts, slides, and select videos of the sessions are available online at journeyofdiscipleship.tumblr.com.