Forming Loving Disciples
It is of great importance for both children and adults alike to continue to grow in the faith that we share. With this understanding in mind we focus on serving the formation and spiritual needs of ALL parishioners, both children and adults throughout the life cycle.
Throughout the year we offer faith formation programs and opportunities for our children, youth, and adults. We invite you to take advantage of the opportunities that best fit with your individual or household needs.
We also offer Supplemental Formation options, and we hope that you will take advantage of these in addition to our Core Faith Formation Programs.
Adults without school-aged children are encouraged to consider registering themselves for our Foundations of Faith program. Each year we have adults without children at home take advantage of the program because we have several great choices for our adults within this program including large group talks and small discussion groups. During Foundations of Faith, we will also be offering mini-courses on a variety of topics. Previous courses have included parenting, marriage, Christian finance, Vatican II, bible study, Church history, the lives of the saints, and social justice.
Sacramental Preparation for Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Confirmation for children and youth occurs separately from our core faith formation programs. Children participating in or entering a sacramental preparation process for Reconciliation, Eucharist, or Confirmation, must also be enrolled in either an Archdiocesan approved Catholic school or a parish faith formation program. All Sacrament Preparation is coordinated through the parish even if the child attends a Catholic school. Information for sacramental preparation will be available in July.
Core Faith Formation
One of the primary ways we serve the formation needs of our parishioners is through our three core faith formation programs:
Foundations of Faith (FOF)
- Foundations of Faith: This whole community approach to faith formation is available to every parish household. FOF (Foundations of Faith) meets on Sunday evenings beginning at 5:30 pm. Adults attend general session presentations on various faith topics, attend mini-courses or participate in small group breakouts, while children & youth attend their small groups. Nursery care is available for infants & toddlers. Each evening concludes at 7:00 pm.
- A parent / guardian MUST accompany children to Foundations of Faith.
- Dates: 9/17, 10/1 ,10/8 ,10/15, 11/5, 11/12, 11/19, 12/3, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24
Family Intergenerational Religious Education (FIRE)
- Family Intergenerational Religious Education (F.I.R.E.): F.I.R.E. is open to all households in the parish. Most FIRE groups consist of five to seven households with adult participants taking turns leading sessions. The curriculum is grounded in scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The curriculum is intergenerational; younger and older participants learn from one another. FIRE is open to every household in the parish community.
- Home Study: This option supports the belief that parents/guardians are the primary formers in the faith of their children. The home study option allows parents/guardians to work at their own pace with their child throughout the year. An age-appropriate textbook will be provided for each child, along with the material that helps parents/guardians in teaching multiple children of different ages within the same household.
- 5/21 (jump start), 9/17(orientation/Book Distribution), 1/7 (mid year gathering), 4/7(end of year gathering). All meetings are at 12:15 PM.
Supplemental Adult Formation
Staff Contact: Brian McCrohan, Pastoral Associate
We believe that all of us are called to lifelong faith formation and that the journey begun at our Baptism continues through every stage of life. We truly believe in building a culture of formation within our parish; for our children, our youth, and especially for our adults.
Our adult faith formation begins with Mass, but should not end there. Throughout the year we have many ways that we can engage with our faith, deepen it, and come to a fuller understanding of God’s love. Through ministries like our Small Faith Communities, regular Bible studies, retreats, Kate’s Cinema, adult mini-courses, and special events throughout the year, our adults are offered opportunities to continue to deepen their faith and learn how they can live that faith in their daily lives.
Small Faith Communities
Staff Contact: Brian McCrohan, Pastoral Associate
While individual prayer and study, as well as large group formation opportunities, are great ways to deepen our faith, we have found that small groups are often one of the best ways to deepen our faith through dialogue with other believers. These groups become small faith communities as the individuals within them share their faith, their joys, their challenges and walk together on the road of discipleship. If you enjoy the fellowship of praying, reflecting, and sharing with people in a more personal setting, one of our small faith community options might be right for you!
This option, for adults, is a regular gathering of groups of six to ten people, enabling participants to reflect on the Word of God, on their faith, and on their call to holiness and Christian discipleship in their daily lives. This is a great way to connect on a more personal level with other parishioners. Groups typically meet in homes twice a month. Requests for groups based on language and/or ethnicity will be happily accommodated.
Christian Family Movement
The Christian Family Movement offers marriage enrichment to parents while helping them put faith into action in everyday life. This program offers support to parents in raising a Christian family, for teaching children the value of serving others, and for staying connected to the parish family. Groups of five to seven families meet monthly, taking turns hosting in their homes. Provided materials guide the families through the program.
Gather together with other parishioners to view and discuss movies and the themes that relate to our faith. This is a fun way to enjoy a good movie and time with other parishioners. Details about titles and times are provided in the bulletin.
For those who are interested in a small group in- depth study on particular topics pertinent to our faith, we offer brief five session adult mini-courses over the winter. Past courses have included Church History, Science and Religion, Dante’s Divine Comedy, Stress-Reduction for Catholics, Faith and Finance, Catholic Social Teaching, and many more. Our courses for this year are being arranged and we welcome ideas for topics and speakers. These courses are held in conjunction with our FOF Faith Formation Program on Sunday evenings from 5:30-7:00PM, but you are welcome to register for a mini-course even if you do not register for the full year of TGIF. Details regarding course topics and dates will be publicized as they approach. Contact Brian McCrohan for suggestions or more information.
Scripture Study/ Book Studies
Scripture studies and book studies are offered as a small group opportunity throughout the year. It is designed for adults desiring to make time for scripture and spiritual reading in their busy lives. Participants are encouraged to spend time in personal study before each gathered session. These small group gatherings are opportunities to pray, share, and reflect communally on the assigned readings. Multiple groups are available, held on a variety of days and times. Contact Brian McCrohan for more information.
Young Adult Ministry
For college aged folks and those in their 20s and 30s, Young Adult Ministry is an opportunity to learn about and discuss our faith in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Through a variety of events and programs we seek to help young adults continue to learn about and grow in their faith in a community that understands the busyness and complexities of their lives. This is a great way to meet other young adults in the parish and the region as you continue your faith journey.
African Faith Community
Staff Contact: Alexis Zabsonre, Coordinator of Outreach to Immigrant Families
Our Saint Katharine Drexel Parish African Faith Community (AFC) is a ministry of the parish organized by our African families to join together in community, in prayer, and in support of each other, and to welcome new African immigrant families into our parish. They meet regularly, contribute their talents to our Music Ministry, and host events to share their culture and faith with the whole parish.
- Saint John Regional Catholic School – PreK through grade 8 (http://www.sjrcs.org/)
- Saint Thomas Moore Academy – PreK through grade 8 (http://www.stmamd.org/)
- Mother Seton – Pre-K through grade 8 (https://www.mothersetonschool.org/)
- Saint John’s Catholic Prep – Grade 9 through 12 (https://www.saintjohnsprep.org/)
- Mount St. Mary’s University – Catholic undergraduate and graduate degrees (https://msmary.edu/)