Ministries: Christian Formation
- Adult Education Group: St. Francis has a strong program of education for adults meeting at 10 a.m. most Sundays during the academic year. It’s a great way to meet other parishioners and enrich your faith. Topics are in the liturgical, theological, and spiritual fields and in recent years have included such subjects as:
- The Communion of Saints
- St. Ignatius of Antioch: Father of the Church
- Pope Benedict and the Future of Anglicanism
- The Papacy and Christian Authority
- The Messiah in the Old Testament
- Mary, Mother of the Church
- Archangels and Angels
- Sin and Grace
- An Introduction to Pope John Paul II’s Evangelium Vitae
- Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA): This program, required of adults seeking to be baptized in the Catholic Church, is an intense study of the basic tenets of the Church, including its theology and sacraments, as well as the components of the Christian devotional life and the social outreach of Christians to those most in need of Christ’s love. Ongoing meetings of the catechumens (those preparing for baptism) familiarize them with what it is to be a Catholic Christian in today’s world. The RCIA preparation intensifies during the season of Lent, when those seeking baptism officially become catechumens (occurring usually on the First Sunday of Lent), continuing with the scrutinies during Sunday Mass when the catechumens are urged onward in their journey, and culminating at the Easter Vigil, when they are baptized and confirmed and receive the Eucharist for the first time. Serving as a sponsor of an RCIA candidate is one important way to serve others and also to deepen your own faith. Ministry Coordinator: Carol Long.
A former Respect Life chair, Karen Adams, spoke on Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium Vitae before a large group in an adult education class.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program prepares catechumens for becoming members of the Church, culminating in their baptism at the Easter Vigil.
- Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) Catechists: pass on the faith to the younger members of our parish on Sundays during the school year. Become a participant in one of the essential responsibilities of our church community. Training is provided. The diocese also requires VIRTUS training and background screening for all who participate.
A CCD catechist leads her first-grade class in prayer before they begin their studies for the day; their prayer intentions include their ailing pets as well as their family members and the person who became ill during the preceding Mass.
For questions about volunteering as a catechist or about any aspects of the Christian formation program for young people at St. Francis, contact the Ministry Coordinator: Carol Long.
A CCD instructor asks her pre-kindergarten CCD class to identify the event in the picture, and an eager student quickly replies that the scene depicts the archangel Gabriel and Mary at the time of the Annunciation.
- First Holy Communion: Preparation begins in second grade with the Sacrament of Reconciliation in December. The focus of Reconciliation is the story of the Prodigal Son in relation to sin, sorrow for sin, and seeking and receiving forgiveness. The Sacrament of the Eucharist is received in May.
- Confirmation: The current practice is for confirmation instruction to be included in the CCD curriculum for high school students. Normally young people in the tenth or eleventh grades prepare for this sacrament, which is administered in May by the bishop of the diocese or his representative.
- Vacation Church School: This summer program is a week of faith and fun for younger parishioners with a professionally prepared program. Volunteers can help organize, teach, or assist with classes, which run Monday-Friday mornings. Ministry Coordinator: Monica Wirth.
With Father Wamala looking on, Greg Ridenour leads a high school CCD class meeting outside on a warm spring Sunday.
The late Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and young people from St. Francis he confirmed