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home : news : our diocese May 31, 2020

Three-part training session for adult faith formation begins Sept. 25

By Mary Stadnyk | Associate Editor

With an eye toward equipping more women and men with the tools to establish adult faith formation offerings in their parishes, a three-part ministry training series will be held Sept. 25, Oct. 30 and Nov. 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold.

Open to all parish leaders, catechetical leaders and volunteers, the training sessions provide resources as well as practical strategies for embedding adult faith formation within the fabric of parish life, according to Laura Rivas, diocesan associate director of adult faith formation.

“Adult faith formation is not a program, but a process,” Rivas said. ”The purpose of this training program is to work toward creating a community where adult faith formation is central and lifelong faith formation is encouraged.”

The training sessions began in spring 2018 and Rivas noted that to date, 76 women and men representing 38 parishes have completed the program. While the previous rounds were held on Saturdays, the fall workshops will be offered on weekdays for those who work on weekends, she said.

Rivas said all participants are encouraged to attend the three training sessions in order to receive a letter of completion, and each session gives participants a general overview of adult faith formation by hosting workshops with trained presenters.

“Jumpstarting Adult Faith Formation in Your Parish” on Sept. 25 will be presented Gary Maccaroni, pastoral associate in St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, and will lead participants through the process of establishing a vision for adult faith formation in their own parishes and explore how they can jumpstart and/or strengthen the work of adult faith formation within their communities.

“Nuts and Bolts of Developing a Parish Adult Faith Formation Ministry” on Oct. 30 will be led by Nanci Bachman, pastoral associate in St. David the King Parish, Princeton Junction, and will focus on adult learning styles, essential fundamentals, methods and strategies that adult faith formation leaders can use to help encourage others.

“Creating and Facilitating Small Faith Communities” on Nov. 20 will be facilitated by Barbara Rookey, director of religious education in St. Isidore the Farmer Parish, New Egypt, and will establish the theological framework for small faith communities and will present practical skills to establish and facilitate effective small and large group gatherings.

“Many of our participants have learned something new as a way to provide faith formation to every adult in their parish,” Rivas said. “It’s not necessarily about developing a new program, it’s about growing in faith and offering a variety of opportunities in order to meet the needs of today’s adults.”

The fee to attend the three sessions is $40, and registration forms are available by visiting To register, send payment and completed form to Diocese of Trenton, Department of Evangelization and Family Life, Attn: Lucia Barrita, 701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, N.J. 08648. Make checks payable to Diocese of Trenton.

For more information, contact Rivas at 609-403-7132 or or Lucia Barrita at 609-403-7154.

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