Sacred Heart Carving

Why Catholic?

A Journey Through The Faith

In November of 1999, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a pastoral plan entitled, “Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us,” which called for a renewed commitment to adult faith formation. The bishops recognized that many of us inherited our faith unquestioningly from our parents or grandpar- ents and as a result we sometimes feel we lack the knowledge and experience to confidently share our faith with others. The bishops wanted us to understand that Catholic spirituality is meant to be the lifelong journey of a living faith and, like all living things, this faith needs to be nourished. “Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us” encouraged all adult members of our faith communities to continually seek out opportunities for personal prayer, study and reflection. The plan particularly encouraged the formation of small faith communities as powerful vehicles for adult faith formation and community building.

Last spring, Sacred Heart Parish completed a three-year process of spiritual renewal entitled “ARISE: Together in Christ.” Over five seasons, more than one hundred of our parishioners joined together in small faith communities of 6-10 members to pray together and share their faith around topics such as reconciliation, transformation and discipleship. Beginning next Lenten season, February of 2012, our parish will have an opportunity to continue to build on the experience of faith enrichment and faith sharing begun with the ARISE program. This new process will again utilize the small faith community structure and meet once a week for six weeks for 90 minutes per session but the content of the program will be different. “Why Catholic?: A Journey Through the Faith” will offer our adult parishioners the opportunity to explore four essential aspects of our faith: Prayer, the Creed, the Sacraments, and Christian Morality. Within the time frame of the program there will be additional optional enrichment offerings, social gatherings, and prayer/retreat experiences. This Lent the program will begin by exploring the way we nurture our relationship with God through prayer. The focus will be on learning about our rich tradition of prayer and providing experiences of the different types and forms of prayer. Signup to participate in the first session of Why Catholic? will take place in January, 2012. We hope that each of you will consider taking part in this process as a wonderful opportunity to increase your understanding of what it really means to profess to be a Catholic Christian and as an opportunity to strengthen your faith by deepening your relationship to God and your faith community. 



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Why Catholic helps you answer life's important questions by offering a faith-filled point of view

- Reflection and sharing on Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church - Themes on prayer, the Creed, sacraments, and Christian living - Resources that connect the with themes and daily life - Companions on the journey as part of a small Christian community of 8-12 parishioners.

Why Catholic? welcomes everyone

- parish-wide retreats and faith enrichment events - bulletin inserts and handouts for family sharing

Why Catholic? is for you

- young or old, married or single - catechist or parent teaching faith to children - lifelong Catholic - RCIA candidate or recent entrant to the Church - someone seeking answers or new parish friendships

Why people appreciate Why Catholic?

- Understanding why the Church believes what it believes makes it easier for me to embrace my Catholic faith more fully. (Mary G., New York) - Why Catholic? has allowed me to more easily answer questions my non-Catholic friends and relatives have about my faith (Gordon D., Texas) - My wife and I attended together, and Why Catholic? reaffirmed how our faith is the central bedrock of our relationship (Michael R., North Carolina)



Loving God and Father,
help us to be people of prayer,
committed to the person and
message of Jesus your Son.

Help us to grasp
the integrity and beauty
of the truths of our faith
and the transforming power
of your grace.

Nourish and strengthen us
as people of faith,
disciples of Jesus, committed to
the mission of the Church
and eager to share
the gospel without restraint.

Let our hearts burn within us
as we catch glimpses
of your heart in Jesus,
for through him,
we know your loving plan for us.

We ask this through Jesus the Christ
who lives with you
and the Holy Spirit
in one loving Trinity.  Amen.


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