Over the course of the last two weeks that I have been writing about a new beginning for Generations of Faith, a few people have asked not what it is, but why are we doing this? Among the many things a pastor is responsible for is this: ensuring the transmission of the faith.
This is an important responsibility. I believe we accomplish this well for our young people, both in our parochial school as well as in our Monday classes for our public school students. But, let’s be honest — we often end our faith formation when we receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The reception of this sacrament is often treated as though it is a graduation from faith formation—and we stop there—for life!
Our Catholic faith incorporates and balances Sacred Scripture and Tradition — spelled with a capital T, because it is the official teaching of the Church passed down for centuries.
By “finishing” faith formation after Confirmation we end up with a very limited understanding of Scripture and Tradition. We would not conclude any other education or formation after tenth or eleventh grade, yet for many Catholics this is what we do with our faith. This is precisely where Generations of Faith comes to the fore.
Generations of Faith is designed to help young people be formed in our faith, but more importantly, it is an opportunity for adults to come to a deeper understanding of our Catholic faith. It recognizes that at every step in our journey through life, we can find a deeper understanding of who Jesus is and how an evolving knowledge of Scripture and Tradition can allow us to continue to grow into the person God has called us to be. And that, in a short column, is why Saint Benedict Parish will have a strong focus on Generations of Faith.
Please see our previous blog post for details. We begin September 22nd and we hope to see you there! http://stbenedictsamherstnyblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/faith-formation-for-all.html