The Becoming Catholic! program at St. Stephen the Martyr will help you deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ through a more intimate knowledge of His Church and Holy Scripture. The program will prepare you for full communion or initiation in His Church. Through learning about the Faith, engaging with the parish community, participating in liturgies, and witnessing to the Faith, you will encounter Christ and grow in your love and relationship with Him. You will experience a growth in openness in your heart and mind so that you may become His lifelong disciple!
Who Should Attend
The program is designed for anybody seeking a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ through His Church:
- Baptized Catholics seeking a more intimate knowledge of their Faith
- Baptized Catholics needing First Communion or Confirmation
- Individuals baptized in other faith traditions seeking full communion with the Catholic Church
- Individuals desiring Baptism in the Catholic Church
What to Expect
You will encounter Jesus Christ and learn the Faith in weekly sessions
• Encounter Christ in Scripture: You will dive into the Sunday Mass Readings and explore the literal and spiritual meaning of the texts. You will learn how the Old Testament Readings foreshadow the New and how the New Testament fulfills the Old. You will encounter Christ as the Word of God in Scripture.
• Learn the Faith: You will be inspired, led, and taught the fundamental truths of the Faith (next page) through a variety of trusted print and video resources including: the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholicism by Bishop Robert Barron, and Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained by Dr. Edward Sri.
• Deepen Your Relationship with Jesus Christ: You will learn and experience how to pray and develop spiritual habits to deepen your relationship with God.
Beyond the weekly sessions, you will explore the Faith with a variety of activities
• Church Walking Tour and Fall Spiritual Reflection at St. Stephen the Martyr
• Eucharistic Adoration / Benediction and Winter Spiritual Reflection at St. Stephen the Martyr
• Spring Morning of Reflection at Holy Family Shrine
You will also participate in several beautiful liturgies
• The Rites of Acceptance and Welcoming in the Fall at St. Stephen the Martyr
• The Rites of Sending, Election, and Call to Continuing Conversion in Lent at the Cathedral
• The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at the Easter Vigil at St. Stephen the Martyr
What We Believe:
• Possessions, Pleasure, Power, Prestige: Why do we still feel like something is missing in our lives?
• God’s Plan for His People: How did God reveal Himself to us?
• Receiving God's Revelation: How do we know what we have received is true?
• We Believe: What does it mean to have faith?
• Our Loving Father: Why did God create the world and us?
• The Word Became Flesh: Why did God become one of us in the person of Jesus Christ?
• The Lamb of God: Why did Jesus Christ suffer and die for us?
• Our Advocate: How does the Holy Spirit work in our lives today?
• Sharing in the Divine Communion: How is Jesus Christ present to His People today in His Church?
• The One Closest to Jesus Christ: What is Our Blessed Mother’s role in our lives?
• The End: What do we believe about death and the end times?
• The Good News!: What is our response to the simple message of God’s love and mercy for each of us?
How We Celebrate:
• Outpouring of God’s Grace: What are the seven sacraments and the liturgy?
• Received and Sealed: How do Baptism and Confirmation initiate us into the Church?
• Food for the Journey: How does the Eucharist nourish us?
• Worshipping Together: What is happening at Mass?
• God’s Healing: How does God offer His healing mercy through Confession and Anointing of the Sick?
• Unique Relationships: How do Marriage and Holy Orders reflect a total gift of self to other(s)?
How We Should Live:
• Living in Response to Christ: What are the basics of Catholic Christian moral teachings?
• Right Relationship with God: First, Second, and Third Commandments
• God's Plan for the Family and Life: Fourth and Fifth Commandments
• God's Gift of Human Sexuality: Sixth and Ninth Commandments
• Right Relationship with Created Things: Seventh and Tenth Commandments
• What is Truth? Eighth Commandment
Meeting Times & Location
We meet after the 9:00 AM Mass on Sunday in the Gonderinger Parish Center (building South of the Church) for approximately two hours from September through Pentecost.
There is no cost to participate. St. Stephen the Martyr Church provides all materials. You may want to bring a notebook and pen to take notes.
Participants are expected to come to most sessions and activities. We know that we all have busy lives and you will probably miss occasionally. We just ask that you let us know.
We don’t currently offer childcare; however, if this is an issue for you please let us know and we’ll try to make arrangements.
Children & Other Members of the Family
Your children can participate as well. We will customize a program for each member of your family depending on their ages and what step in their faith journey.
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