School of Discipleship: Grades 9-12

WELCOME LETTER from ANNE,
our Coordinator of Discipleship Formation

 

Our Approach

The goal of our School of Discipleship is to “make disciples,” as the Lord Jesus put it.

While discipleship involves a certain amount of learning and head-knowledge, it’s more about saying YES to Jesus, and then letting one’s life be transformed by the grace and working of the Holy Spirit. Discipleship is about learning how to live—taking one’s cue from the Master and Maker of all Life, God himself.

The School of Discipleship is not an extension of High School. Youth do not receive grades, nor do they “graduate” from discipleship, nor are they even required to be a part of the program.

Instead, youth receive encouragement and direction, they progress through various levels of discipleship, and they—ideally—participate because they choose to (though, this is not always the case).

Our aim is to provide a more individualized and relational approach to discipleship. Because of this, the program itself and the registration will be different.

Registration

The REGISTRATION FORM should be filled out (if you don't have one on file already at the parish) and returned to the Discipleship Formation office.

1. Parents/youth will receive the standard registration form from the parish.

2. Youth must meet with Father in order to complete the registration. Just follow the link to the right. The purpose of this meeting is:
- to talk about where the youth is along his or her journey of faith
- to talk about the youth’s knowledge of basic teachings and ideas of the faith
- to talk about his or her relationship with the Lord (if he or she has one)
- to talk about his or her interests and how they might be enhanced—from a faith perspective
- to talk about how the program might look like for the youth’s individual needs, interests, and personality

If preferred, youth may schedule to meet with Father either individually or as a pair.

3. To help both the youth and Father to prepare for the meeting, each youth should complete a pre-meeting questionnaire found at the link to the right.

3 Components

The Young Adult Program will consist of three components, all happening at the same time—starting in November.

1. An Individualized “Track.” Each person will be engaged in whatever educational-formational “track” that s/he and Father work out. This could include: online courses, or small group work, or in-person gatherings, or virtual gatherings and instruction, or…whatever works for the individual. Unlike the past, this individualized instruction will not be limited to Wednesday evenings. Possible additional times for instruction will include: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings; and Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings. It is the intent that each person will have a planned out overview of their years in the program, so that both the youth and the faith formators have goals to work toward.

2. Formation Houses. Each person will be assigned to one of four formation “Houses,” based on: his or her personality, approach to faith, and level of engagement. The House will gather once a month, and will have at least one adult who serves to guide it (in cooperation with Fr. Brian and Anne). The purpose of the formation House is: to foster community, to provide some accountability in the practice of the faith, to lend a sense of identity and belonging, and to provide a space of mutual support. This is a different aspect of discipleship formation than the straight-up “educational track” mentioned above. The House is about learning to live discipleship…in community, among supportive peers.

Each house will be given a room at the parish center in Greenleaf to decorate and make their own. Each house will also have its own social media connection point: a place to post prayers, needs, and thoughts; a chat room or other virtual connection platform; and links to resources for young Catholic adults. Activities each House might be engaged in could include: praying at an abortion clinic, hosting Holy Hours, visiting nursing homes, neighborhood activities, local mission trips, providing liturgical ministries, among many other possibilities. Additionally, we hope to have an annual day of Inter-House activities, such as: sporting competitions, non-sporting competitions, talent shows, and who knows what else!

3. Levels of Engagement. Each person—in discussion with Father and Anne—will be initially placed at some “level of engagement.” The “level of engagement” refers to one’s engagement of the Lord. This is not about one’s “buzyness” for the faith, but one’s depth of faith and relationship with God. Each level of engagement will have its own ritual attached to it, because it’s important to mark and to celebrate one’s advances in the faith.

Follow this link for more details on LEVELS OF ENGAGEMENT.

Confirmation

A young adult may ask to move onto the Confirmation preparation track at any point in his or her time in the program. This is a significant change from the past. But with this change also comes an increased responsibility on the part of the youth to be committed to—and already living—the life of a confirmed Catholic.

If a youth asks to move onto the Confirmation track—but is asked to delay that move, it will be for very specific reasons, and Father, Anne, and faith formators will do everything they can to help the youth progress toward the sacrament.

Receiving Confirmation is not the end-goal of the Young Adult Program; instead, faithful Catholic living as a disciple of the Lord is our goal. Confirmed persons will be expected—by the Church—to continue growing in the discipleship and practice of the faith they themselves profess.