News & Events
Ignite the Fire of Faith/Enciendo el Fuego de Fe
The 77th Annual NCCL Conference
Donna L. Ciangio, OP, NAFSCC Chairperson, was a presenter at the NCCL Conference (National Conference of Catechetical Leaders) in Cleveland, Ohio, May 2013. Her presentations were entitled “The Parish as a School of Discipleship” and “Getting Small Communities Started in Your Parish.” Also attending were Diane Kledzik, NAFSCC Board Member, NAFSCC Members: Sr. Nancy Fischer and Kathy Higgins (Erie) and Cheryl Fournier (Des Moines).
There seems to be a trend toward reinvigorating small communities in parishes across the country in traditional and non-traditional ways. This is an exciting and hopeful trend and one that can help younger adult generations connect with their faith and parish communities.
We encourage parishes to join NAFSCC to learn more about creating vibrant communities!
Prayer and Faith Sharing at Parish Meetings
Br. Bob Moriarty, Director of SCCs, Archdiocese of Hartford, CT
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 3:00 PM EDT
Participants in this webinar found Br. Bob's presentations and suggestions to be very helpful. His experience and presentation style is a great resource! We hope to offer this again at a later date.
Claimed for Christ!
Sr. Sandy De Masi, SSJ and Sr. Donna L. Ciangio, OP presented workshops for parish Baptism Teams of the Diocese of Trenton (June 24 & 25.) The workshops Claimed for Christ: The Formation of Adults Who Bring Their Children for Baptism were sponsored by four diocesan departments: Marriage and Family Life, Evangelization, Worship and Lay Ministry Formation. Sr. Sandy designed the baptism program with the focus on life-long faith formation – the ongoing faith formation of the parents, their role in passing on the faith to their children, and the role of the community as the catechizer and support for parents and children.
The program gathers parents in small groups for several sessions: Gathering to Rejoice, Gathering to Understand, Gathering to Prepare, Gathering to Celebrate, and Gathering to Remember. Each of these gatherings has a particular focus but engages the parents in dialogue about their faith and bringing up their children in the faith. The basis for the structure of the Baptism program is the catechumenal process, the RCIA.
Participants in both venues asked questions regarding small faith communities and ways to develop life-long formation processes in parishes utilizing the SCC model. That was very exciting to know that a good number of parishes have ongoing SCCs of varying styles. Many parish staff members expressed an interest in joining NAFSCC for networking, ideas, resources, webinars, and training. We look forward to welcoming them!
News from the Diocese of Trenton
From Bob Bursley of the Department for Small Christian Communities
The Office of Catechesis and Evangelization of the Diocese of Trenton, which houses the Small Christian Communities department, has focused their recent bi-annual Gatherings for adult faith formation leaders on the scriptures with particular emphasis on lectio divina. This includes meditation, faith sharing and liturgy.
Keynote Sessions: Welcome the Word: God Would Like a Word with YOU!, The Letters of St. Paul and Connecting Catholic Families with the Bible (Center for Ministry Development). Other Gatherings focused on the Third Edition of the Roman Missal and Verbum Domini by Benedict XVI.
Breakouts on the scriptural/liturgical themes and presenters: Meeting Christ in Prayer (Loyola Press), Longing for the Holy (RENEW International), Verbum Domini and Its Pastoral Implications for the Parish, Lift Up Your Hearts (RENEW International), Living the Liturgy (Paulist Evangelization Ministries) and Pray with the Bible – Meditate with the Word: The Exciting World of Lectio Divina – A Manual for the Prayerful Reading of the Bible (American Bible Society).
Lift Up Our Hearts is a six week faith-sharing experience introducing participants to the Roman Missal in a style that is familiar to all have used RENEW International resources previously. Additional material is available for download on their website.
Living the Liturgy is a comprehensive approach to deepening discipleship through a greater appreciation for and participation in the Sunday liturgy. The structure is built around three Lenten seasons and while emphasis is on the existing congregation, it also reaches out to inactive Catholics and unbelievers. A lead up time and follow-up is integral to the process.
Sharing Faith, Sharing Christ
Workshop at Fashion Me A People in Orlando, January 2011
Diocese of St.Petersburg, Florida
Do you know that sharing your faith is not an option? When we were baptized, we were commissioned to share our faith as we were anointed Priest, Prophet and King!
In this workshop we specifically talked about how to share our faith with those we know – those we come into contact with on a regular basis and/or with those we have known for some time.
Those who have been in a Small Christian Community for some time may find it puzzling that not all Catholics know that they must share faith and that they wouldn’t know where to begin. Then again, some in SCCs may not know how to do it outside the comfort zone of the SCC with the right resources and the right leader! Using great resources from Rev. Frank DeSiano, CSP of Paulist Evangelization Ministries and John and Therese Boucher of the Diocese of Trenton, we talked about ways to “Listen, Share and Invite” with those we know. When we truly listen to people share, we know that every response we may ever share will vary greatly and if we are around to invite people to grow deeper in their faith, that too will be dependent on knowing the person and listening to what is being shared.
We talked about obstacles to sharing faith – like ourselves – and learned ways to overcome some of the fears we may have. One of the best ways to be open to sharing with others about moments that we have experienced God’s presence is to constantly reflect on small and big experiences in light of faith.
A great resource for this is Discovering My Experience of God, by Frank DeSiano, CSP and Kenneth Boyack, CSP.
Speaker Topics by Diane Kledzik
Diocese of St.Petersburg, Florida
Building Foundations Sharing a Solid Faith
SCC Workshop in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Tanya Stager, Assistant Director of Evangelization and Catechesis
On a beautiful Saturday in March the Small Christian Community Formation Team of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati welcomed persons from our Archdiocese and the surrounding area to a seminar all about SCC’s. Father Anthony Krisak from the Paulist Evangelization Ministry provided a keynote that focused on the elements of SCC’s and how to bring them to the larger parish community. Providing incites on prayer and faith sharing that is done in the small gathering, is used by the members throughout parish and life activities. The wealth of faith is shared and the value of small communities is spread.
An opportunity to take part in workshops filled the day. Some topics that were presented included Conversations about Faith, Starting Viable SCC’s in Your Parish, SCC’s in Youth Ministry, Hungering for the Gospel and Prayer as Relationship. No one could attend everything but our evaluations showed that the day was very good and well received. The desire to provide more opportunities to hear speakers and to gain the insights and understanding as well as practical and useful ideas are desired and wanted.
We have found that so many materials that we obtain comes with questions for discussion and reflection as well as opening and closing prayer that it seems the avenue for SCC’s to become a part of church life in the United States is being paved. From our reactions from persons involved in small groups the importance of developing relationships is paramount to growth in faith and living a life of faith. Our Formation Team will certainly be looking at how we can continue to be of service to parishes that have or who wish to start small Christian communities.