By SUZANNE HAUGH, Special To The Bulletin | Published January 8, 2009
Developing small faith communities at the parish level will be the focus of “Growing Your Community: A Small Faith Community Rally” to be held Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta.
The event will begin with a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed by a workshop from 9 a.m. until noon. The registration fee is $10.
The workshop will be led by Brother Bob Moriarty, S.M., of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn., the first diocese to establish an office charged specifically with the mission of fostering small faith communities within parishes. The office, directed by Brother Bob, also develops lectionary-based materials for reflection.
“Brother Bob has a number of years of experience in the area of small faith communities,” said Dorothy Polchinski, associate director of Adult and Young Adult Ministry in the Office of Religious Education.
Facilitating the development of these “living cells” within a parish is essential work, according to Polchinski. “The presence of small faith communities in parishes impacts family life because growing one’s faith becomes a more important part of family life.”
Sponsored by the archdiocesan Office of Religious Education, this outreach event will also bring together representatives from various programs with small faith community formats. Parish leadership and others attending the rally will be able to talk to these representatives and preview materials.
“It’s a very positive direction as we are empowering the parishes,” Polchinski said. “Our role as part of the curia is to work with parish leaders so that they can go out and do their jobs.”
She is excited to be organizing the event that came as a response to the needs “out in the field.”
Understanding the dynamics and elements needed for successfully running small communities is essential, she added, as “leaders could affect the outcome of where a group goes.”
The “first fruits” of this directive are to reach out to parishes. “We hope to enable parishes to become more vibrant communities of faith.”
For more information or to register for the event, contact Marsha Giardina at email@example.com or call (404) 885-7232.