What is Faith Formation?

What is “Faith Formation” at Pax Christi?


Religious Education? Catechesis? Faith Formation? What is the distinction? Does it really make a difference what we call it?

Catechesis is the process of transmitting the Gospel, as the Christian community has received it, understands it, celebrates it, lives it and communicates it in many ways."  (General Directory for Catechesis #105) This ministry of teaching and forming has traditionally been referred to as catechesis. The name catechesis was given to the whole of the efforts within the Church to make disciples...and to educate and instruct them in this life and thus build up the Body of Christ. (Catechesi Tradendae #1)

The word catechesis comes from the Greek meaning "to echo the teaching" meaning that catechesis or the teaching of the faith is an interactive process in which the Word of God re-sounds between and among the proclaimer, the one receiving the message, and the Holy Spirit! Catechesis is a life-long process of initial conversion, formation, education, and on-going conversion. It seeks to lead all God's people to an ever deepening relationship with the Divine.

Today, we have retrieved the notion of catechesis to capture the broader mission of the Church to proclaim the Gospel to adults, youth and children in order to "put people in communion with Jesus Christ" (Catechism of the Catholic Church #426).

Sometimes we think of faith formation as just “knowledge of the faith.” It is so much more than that! At Pax Christi our programs are called “faith formation” because we believe that the term includes all the elements of catechesis: knowledge of the faith, liturgical education, moral formation, teaching to pray, community life, and missionary spirit.

Faith formation never ends; it continues throughout our lifetimes. A person of formed faith:

• is formed by the liturgy—readings, homilies, songs, prayers, community, and the Eucharist;

• makes moral decisions prayerfully and with the teachings of the Church as part of the process of decision making;

• prays on a regular basis, alone and in community;

• participates in the life of the community through social, missionary, and/or education activities;

• carries out the mission of the church by serving in the local and global communities;

• continues growing in knowledge of the faith.

At Pax Christi we echo the faith passed through the first disciples, down to us at Pax Christi, and continue on, from generation to generation.

Questions? Contact Lynn Schelitzche, Director of Faith Formation, 952-405-7230, or lschelitzche@paxchristi.com.



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Pax Christi Catholic Community

12100 Pioneer Trail
Eden Prairie, MN 55347

952-941-3150

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