Revitalizing Faith Formation in a Discouraged Parish

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Nicholas, Steven
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
The Coordinator of Religious Education who worked at Saint Ann's for about ten years prior to my arrival worked on a part-time basis. Thus, largely due to her part-time status, the religious education curriculum available to the children and adults was sparse and annually repetitive. A Faith Formation Commission was active at the time of my arrival, but the committee members were experiencing "burn out" due to a history of failed attempts to bring religious education to the relatively unenthused parish audience. After three meetings with the Faith Formation Commission members, our pastor and I decided to temporarily terminate the commission for the following reasons: 1. The obvious lack of zeal and commitment on the part of the committee members. 2. The lack of active faith formation programs currently in operation. 3. A perceived sense of resistance on the part of the committee to work with an unfamiliar administrator. A letter was sent on December 4, 2001 to inform the commission members of the temporary dissolution of the Faith Formation Commission. The focus of this project, then, is to develop ministries in the parish that will revitalize the parish community and build a new Faith Formation Commission as ministry growth warrants a need for a volunteer support group to assist in further development.