Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Bishop Cupich discusses faith formation with parish ministers

the Inland Register

(From the Jan. 13, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)

Bishop Cupich discussed aspects of faith formation and other topics with the Association of Parish Ministers on Dec. 6. (IR photo courtesy of the Association of Parish Ministers)

On Dec. 6, the Association of Parish Ministers (APM) hosted a gathering with Bishop Cupich at St. Augustine Parish. Approximately 50 ministers from 24 parishes came to meet the new bishop and to hear his 45-minute presentation, “Getting to Know Jesus: The Goal of Faith Formation,” followed by lunch and a Q&A session.

This was the first time many had the opportunity to meet the new bishop. Bishop Cupich was warmly welcomed.

In his opening remarks, Bishop Cupich thanked the APM for sponsoring the gathering. He expressed his commitment to a post-mediation reorganization of the diocese and looks forward to seeing what this might look like, especially for religious education and youth ministry, with a common focus for faith formation in the diocese.

Bishop Cupich gave a comprehensive, inspiring presentation on faith formation, sprinkled with personal stories that put flesh on his ideas presented. Following are a few highlights of his presentation:

• The goal of faith formation is to connect the yearning spirit of the learner for God with encounters with the person of Jesus Christ as lived out in our Catholic tradition.
• Challenged by a culture of choice, consumerism and religious illiteracy, today’s generations of Catholics are served by offering our faith as a way of life that is communal in nature and bound together in the relationship with Jesus Christ. “To be Catholic is to be communal, institutional and tradition-centered.”
• “Conversion is about an encounter, a personal dedication to Jesus Christ, who shared our lot completely and triumphed over the worst evils.” It is a surrender to the will of God so that the question becomes not, “Where is God in my life?” but rather, “Where am I in God’s life?” Conversion is gradual, ongoing and multifaceted. It involves the intellectual, emotional, moral and religious processes of growth. “Conversion is personal, but it is not purely private. It brings insights which can be communicated and commitments which demand common action.”
• The Church offers a partnership with parents in the process of faith formation of children and youth. Parents are the primary educators of the faith for their children and this cannot be delegated to the Church. Parental commitment to this partnership can be a pastoral challenge but is essential.

Bishop Cupich concluded his presentation with this quote from Pope Benedict XVI in his 2006 encyclical Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love”): “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” This is the invitation, the good news of Jesus Christ and this is our mission.

The next APM meeting will be Jan. 31 at St. Thomas More Parish from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. “Finding a Healthy Balance in our Lives as Parish Ministers” will be the topic of guest speaker Joe Albert from Gonzaga’s Organizational Leadership Program.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Theresa McCann at St. Joseph Parish: 389-5965.

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