'Faith Sharing' meetings - how to!

Good evening(or morning) CAF :wink:

I’ve recently been elected as a member/officer/whatever of the University’s Catholic society and my role is basically living and sharing the Catholic faith. “Catholic Lifestyle Officer” if you will.

One of my “duties” is to be at and guide weekly “faith sharing” meetings with other Catholics. They are very informal, I have been to a few and we watched a few videos on Saints, sung some hymns, chatted about stuff, the usual! So I am looking for help on what to cover and how to cover it! I mean, I have ideas but I am not sure how to implement them or what have you. What would you expect or enjoy at such a meeting? Meeting isn’t even the right word, but anyway.

For example, its women’s week here, so I’d like to do something on Women and the Church and possible Mary. So what do you think we could cover or do, talk about etc? Bear in mind, resources out here in South Africa are non existent. Internet print outs and the occasional video/book hand me down are just about the only things we have.

Any help/suggestions would be awesome :slight_smile: Thanks and God Bless :smiley:

I would LOVE to find a local group of Catholics to share the reading of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with me.

The CCC is indexed and is heavily footnoted out to include paragraphs from the Old & New Testament, thoughts from Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church.

IMO, an absolutely beautiful book.

I think it is great that you are using the Internet to collect ideas on how to run your group. There are many types of groups that are important to the functioning of the Catholic Church. Through the Internet leaders can share what has worked for them.

One important aspect of this sharing is ordinary leaders can have a voice. When books or other traditional media are used the ideas tend to come from very successful, special people, who frequently do not understand the average group. For example, I once saw a video where they gave directions for a small Charismatic prayer group, about 35 people. They though more than a 100 was normal. Actually the largest group in our diocese was about the size of their small group. Our normal group was about 10, and often one had to know how to handle a group of 5. The experts simply do not give advice on how to turn a group of 5 into a group of 10, or even how to turn 10 into 35. At best they may help you turn 35 into a hundred, though usually they will want to share their latest thoughts on making groups of 100 grow.

I think discussion sections like this are needed for all the various types of groups that we have in the Catholic faith.

I have a number of pages on church singles groups. richleebruce.com/singles/group.html

Singles groups are not an area that I am really all that expert in. I know a lot more about running Charismatic groups, but it is a topic where I have some important things to say. Much of what I have to say is based on my parents experience rather than mine.

With the Assumption of Mary being last weekend, it was beautiful here at Mass. Our Priest had us, all together, recite the Hail Mary.

I got tears in my eyes while saying it. :o

=NewsTheMan;6969291]Good evening(or morning) CAF :wink:

I’ve recently been elected as a member/officer/whatever of the University’s Catholic society and my role is basically living and sharing the Catholic faith. “Catholic Lifestyle Officer” if you will.

One of my “duties” is to be at and guide weekly “faith sharing” meetings with other Catholics. They are very informal, I have been to a few and we watched a few videos on Saints, sung some hymns, chatted about stuff, the usual! So I am looking for help on what to cover and how to cover it! I mean, I have ideas but I am not sure how to implement them or what have you. What would you expect or enjoy at such a meeting? Meeting isn’t even the right word, but anyway.

For example, its women’s week here, so I’d like to do something on Women and the Church and possible Mary. So what do you think we could cover or do, talk about etc? Bear in mind, resources out here in South Africa are non existent. Internet print outs and the occasional video/book hand me down are just about the only things we have.

Any help/suggestions would be awesome :slight_smile: Thanks and God Bless :smiley:

***Use he Catechism and Bible as basic tools.

Start with prayer, proceed to THE CREED, then The sacraments, then the Bible.

God Bless you!***

The only group type meeting I’ve ever been to on a continual basis was Weight Watchers (secular focused) and then Overeaters Anonymous (semi-spiritual depending on the group).

OA follows the 12 Step program and it is very easy to conduct as for as the order of the meetings go. OA primarily has two small devotional books that are read at each meeting and the remainder of the time is used for discussion and group readings of particular topics. I really enjoyed the meetings.

Some Protestant churches have a type of Christian 12 Step program for multiple needs (weight control, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, chastity, etc).

I only mention this, because these meetings have a definate purpose each week.

If you’re not familiar with any 12 step program, the first thing done at the meeting is for the group to recite the 12 steps.

Depending on the addiction to be overcome, the wording is included to suit the need:

THE TWELVE STEPS

  1. We admitted we were powerless over (______) - that our lives had become
    unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to
    sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we
    understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature
    of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make
    amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do
    so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
    admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
    God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us
    and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to
    carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our
    affairs.

Your group might enjoy saying & meditating on a decade of scriptural rosary.

Rather in the lectio divina tradition.

(I can’t believe I actually remembered how to spell lectio divina :))

Google search: scriptural rosary

Aside from the suggestions of the other poster, you could also talk about the following topics:

  1. Saints that has inspired you.
  2. Struggles that each one of you encounters as you live your Catholic Christian life on a daily basis.
  3. Questions & objections that each of you have encountered about the Catholic faith & try to know the answers to it in order to defend the faith.
  4. Daily prayer, things that you do to draw closer to God.
  5. Moments in your life that you have experienced the love, presence, forgiveness & mercy of our Good God.

Always start & end with prayer. It is best for the group (time permitting) to be able to go to confession & holy mass before the faith sharing in that way it makes it strongly rooted in Christ and will be drawn closer quickly to Him.

May God’s Peace, Love, Mercy, Graces & Blessings be with you and to all!

We have many groups called Small Christian Communities that use a pamphlet called “Celebrating the Word”. It is a study and reflection based on the upcoming Sunday Liturgy - looking close at the readings. What is really great is that it has questions for discussion and they often take the groups into many faith sharing directions.

You might find some helpful info there.

It is written by Fr Frank Ruetz CR at the Ressurection Centre in Waterloo, Ontario.

celebratingtheword.com/

I second the idea of using the upcoming Sunday readings. We follow a format of reading the passage our loud. Then we aks if there was anything that jumped out at you, anything that you didn’t understand or something that made you feel uncomfortable (could be the passage is asking you to explore something in your life). Then we read the passage again and pray about what God is saying to us. Then we ask what is God asking us to do in the upcoming week. Usually a very lively discussion follows the questions. Don’t be afraid of the silence that might occur during the session. We end with intercessory prayer. You can also use a commentary like suggested above. We use Exploring the Scriptures. There are also some web sites that have a question of the week based on the scriptures for Sunday.

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