When Bishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul was a child, the way the Church helped families prepare young people with proper catechesis was called CCD, “brotherhood of Christian doctrine.”
“He was very focused on the intellectual encounter with the teachings of the Church,” the Archbishop said. Today’s term, faith formation, is much broader as it not only focuses on the intellect, but also ensures that young people encounter Christ, learn to pray and are immersed in the sacramental life of the Church, he said.
“It is really about forming the young person to be a disciple of Jesus,” the Archbishop said. Faith formation describes “how we teach our young people the truths of our faith, which we can find in the scriptures, tradition and the magisterium, but it is… broader than that too”, a- he said.
Maria Wiering, editor of The Catholic Spirit, interviewed Bishop Hebda on faith formation for the program “Practicing Catholic” which begins at 9 p.m. August 19 on Relevant Radio 1330 AM. The show is also repeated at 1 p.m. on August 20 and 2 p.m. on August 21.
The Archbishop said that, like in Catholic schools, parochial faith formation programs help parents, who are the primary educators. “We need to be able to really make sure that our parents are able to engage in this formation work, even though it is also important work of the Church, he said. .
Nearly 27,000 young people and nearly 2,700 catechists are involved in faith formation in the archdiocese, with about 108 parishes offering programs, some in collaboration, Bishop Hebda said. Some parishes use more traditional programs and others use a family training model, with parents and children learning together, he said.
The idea of approaching faith formation more broadly, as an ongoing undertaking for all Catholics, is also of crucial importance, and it is a perspective and a “hunger” that was heard during the recent archdiocesan synod, Bishop Hebda said.
“It’s a golden age for ongoing faith formation because now we have resources at our disposal,” he said, as close as a smartphone, a podcast, a relevant radio show or the Catechetical Institute of Archbishop Harry Flynn in Saint-Paul. “One of the things that impresses me the most is that it puts in the hearts of our followers a desire to know more,” he said. “They are thirsty to know more about what Christ teaches us about his Church.”
Catechists, parish grassroots teams, small group leaders and parents are invited to learn more about faith formation during a special day of discipleship formation from St. Paul on September 17 at the site of NET Ministries in West St. Paul. To learn more, visit archspm.org/events.
Produced by Relevant Radio and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the latest “Practicing Catholic” program also includes an interview with Meggie Langlois, Good Shepherd Catechesis teacher and trainer and St. Agnes faculty member in St. Paul . Langlois describes how the catechism program draws children into the faith. And there’s a rerun of the September 2021 interview with Emily Abe, which describes his conversion to the Catholic faith and how digital media and graphic design can serve the new evangelization.
Listen to their interviews after they air on:
Category: Practicing Catholic