|For Release :
January 9, 2006
Why Catholic? Program Leads Adults on a Journey Through the Catechism
This Lent, parishioners in 46 parishes across the Archdiocese of Newark will take advantage of the time the Church reserves for self-reflection by asking themselves a very important question: Why Catholic? To help find answers, the Archdiocese, along with RENEW International, is extending an invitation for adults to join their parishes in both discussing and learning more about their faith.
Seeing the overwhelming need for Catholic adults to understand the complexities of their faith, RENEW International, a Roman Catholic organization that focuses on parish renewal programs as well as catechesis for dioceses all around the country, formed Why Catholic? as a faith formation program that offers a journey through the Catechism in the comfortable environment of small groups.
The program begins with months of preparation and a series of workshops that gather members of interested parishes into a planning (Core) team. The Archdiocese of Newark turned up a pleasantly large response from its parishes during the first "launch" workshop held in October, in which parishes were introduced to the idea of Why Catholic?
The second workshop, hosted in mid-November and entitled "Evangelization: Nuts and Bolts," consists of planning team members from allparticipating parishes, and focused on various ways in which to invite parishioners into the program. The third workshop, to be held in January and February, will include the planning teams as well as the small group leaders who have chosen to open their homes to host the participants. Events will also be offered in Spanish as ¿Por qué ser Católico?"
In these small, prayerful groups, parishioners will have many opportunities to share their faith. This Lent, participants will explore the theme of "The Profession of Faith: What We Believe," where they will discover the basic truths of the Catholic faith and how they are relevant to daily life. The six-week long series of community learning and sharing will culminate in a faith formation workshop in which all the participants, from the program leaders to the small group instructors to the participants themselves, as well as parishioners not involved in the small groups, will gather together to celebrate their renewed vision of their Catholic faith. Each parish will celebrate their six-week journey with refreshments for all participants. The program will continue in the Fall of 2006 with six weeks of small group sharing and another retreat.
Why Catholic? is only one of RENEW International's programs that the Archdiocese will be offering to its parishes. Theology on Tap, an initiative to educate young Catholics by hosting discussions in local bars, restaurants, and parish halls, has already shown popularity among young adults in the Archdiocese; and this winter, a series of Theology on Tap sessions will be held in each of its four counties: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union. Theology on Tap will run each week from January 19-February 1st and will be sponsored by the Archdiocesan Young Adult Ministry Office.
With the integration of the Why Catholic? program in parishes across the Archdiocese, the remaining hope is to utilize the catechesis learned as a continued means of evangelization. According to the General Directory of Catechesis, "Both proclamation and catechesis are essential and completely complementary: go and welcome, proclaim and educate, call and incorporate."
The Archdiocese of Newark is extremely delighted to be offering these evangelization programs, and looks forward to the spiritual growth it will bring. Interested adults are strongly encouraged to sign up this January for the program, to begin a memorable journey that will remove the question marks from many aspects of their faith lives and replace them, hopefully, with exclamation points.
Interested parishes that have not yet signed up can contact Sr. Terry Rickard, Assistant Director of Ministry Expansion at RENEW International at 908-769-5400 ext. 160. For more information, please visit www.whycatholic.org.