Lawn Chair Catechism, Session 1

LawnChairCatechismSquare This summer, CatholicMom.com is hosting an on-line book discussion group for Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples. Each session will focus on one chapter of the book, and yours truly is participating. Hit the link above to see all of the participants, and to find the discussion questions.

How would you describe your lived relationship with God to this point in your life?I’m a Lay Dominican, and so making God part of my daily life is simply something I do. That includes regular times of prayer, as well as cultivating an awareness of the presence of God as I go about my day.

What does the word “discipleship” mean to you? To be a disciple is to accept a teacher’s discipline, or way of life. We are to be disciples of Christ, and to follow his ways.

Do you perceive a need in the Church today to help lay Catholics become more fervent followers of Jesus Christ? Absolutely. We Catholics are generally happy to pitch in to help others, and so follow the second of the two great commandments; but the first great commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and we mostly haven’t been taught what that means.

How would you describe your parish’s current efforts at discipleship? A hotbed of discipleship? A weekly gathering of spiritual sleep-walkers? Or perhaps something in between? It’s hard for me to say, precisely, because of my involvement with my Lay Dominican chapter, which is at another parish altogether. But there are some things I have seen happening over the last several years:

  • For the last year or so, we’ve had an adult faith formation program up and running. Due to our family’s schedule I’ve not generally been able to participate, but I hear good things about.
  • Our pastor has been preaching heavily on the subject of discipleship over the last sixth months; this past Sunday he actually used the phrase “intentional disciple” in his homily.
  • We have quite an active Lifeteen program at our parish, which I’ve been somewhat tangentially involved with. It’s been running for seven years now, and I gather we have a number of young men discerning a call to the priesthood, and at least one young woman discerning a call to religious life.
  • The bishop over our region in the archdiocese has been a strong supporter of the work of the Catherine of Siena Institute for quite a while now (if I remember correctly, he’s mentioned by name in the book).

So things are looking good for the future.

  • By Sarah Reinhard, May 29, 2013 @ 6:03 am

    Will, What exciting developments in your parish. Reaching adults is the #1 hardest thing I’ve found in my own parish work/involvement and it seems that we do it best by reaching out to their kids first.

  • By Alicia Hart, May 29, 2013 @ 7:46 am

    I am also impressed with what is going on in your parish! Unlike Sarah, our parish has a hard time reaching ANYONE other than the same people who always participate. I am interested in finding out what other parishes are doing so that I may be able to bring some of it home to my own!

  • By Bethanie Ryan, May 29, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    I understand your statement about Catholics understanding the second but not the first part of the Great Commandment. I don’t know what this says about the Church, but I know many fallen away Catholics who are very active and doing great things in social justice. They say that they are serving because of their formation in the Catholic faith but they just can’t be a part of the Church anymore. It is a sad state of affairs.

  • By Deanna, May 29, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    I think cultivating an awareness of God throughout the day is one of best and most important things we can do.

  • By Will Duquette, May 29, 2013 @ 5:45 pm

    I would agree 100%.

  • By Jennifer Fitz, May 30, 2013 @ 3:30 am

    I knew I wanted to read your answers. Very encouraging!

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