Developing a Core Team: A little Family Formation history lesson

A few words from one of our founders:

Where two or three are gathered in my Name, there I will be with them.  Matthew 18:20

When Religious Education was moving from teacher based to family based format and Family Formation was in its birthing stage at the Church of Saint Paul, the only way I knew how to do this was to PRAY.  The concept [family catechesis] was a new idea, yet one that Pope John Paul II was calling for.  Several documents and Church teaching at the time were indicating that “Parents are the primary teachers” although very little had been developed to give parents the tools they needed to get the job done.   I was the new coordinator/DRE of the process and the only thing I knew how to do was to gather some friends and pray.  We met for the first time and AMAZING things began to happen right away.  I guess there was a security in numbers for me .. or added support.  But God had a plan and through the collective sense of the group, the new idea of Family Formation took root.  I continued to gather a variety of willing souls to meet with me on a regular basis, which eventually formed what we now call our Core Team.  Each month we met in the chapel, in front of the Eucharist, and offered ourselves as willing servants to do whatever God asked of us.  When people pray like that, God listens, looks down from His royal throne and probably says “Look there .. let’s give this group the tools they need to make this happen”.  And He did.

Throughout the following years, the Core Team has faithfully prayed, carefully listened and shared what they feel God is telling them, and then moving forward.  The great gift for all of us has been to witness the profound depth, the creativity, the ideas, the commitment, and the result of something new, yet old.

I can’t find the words to describe the power that has been in the room when we meet. It almost always feels like a new Pentecost each month.

I am no longer with the Church of Saint Paul because of a move and retirement, but what was begun so long ago, continues through the steady commitment of the people involved.  I stay connected via email and regular reports from the group and feel as though I am with them in spirit and prayer.

Trudy Swanson

One comment

  1. Trudy, that is so beautiful! I would love to request prayer for our new parish. I have so prayed for Family Formation, and we are finally seeing indications that it is a possibility.

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