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.