The Saint Bernard Religious Formation Process exists, ultimately, to bring its members into deeper intimacy with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), with each other and all of humanity.
The Church recognizes that parents are the primary educators of their children. Through the Generations of Faith program, the Parish of Saint Bernard exercises its responsibility to assist parents with their responsibility to teach their children about the Catholic Faith, as well as supporting adults in lifelong learning.
By offering a formal religious education, the program supplements the faith formation that occurs in the family, in the parish and larger Church and the world beyond. The religious education component is an important part of that faith formation, as it hands on knowledge and offers Christian witness. The student and his or her family may then reflect upon this teaching as a way to grow towards a Christian appreciation for and participation in the Church, and, through the Church, all of creation.
GENERATIONS OF FAITH (GOF)
Why Generations of Faith?
The U.S. Bishops have directed all Catholic parishes to make adult faith formation a primary focus. In response, Saint Bernard Parish provides this process for the lifelong faith formation of ALL members of the parish: children, youth and . Generations of Faith (GOF) helps each of us respond to our Baptismal call to be the best Christian disciple we can be.
Why do we do what we do?
We believe that Generations of Faith will help parishioners to engage in more meaningful participation in the Mass and church events. It is our goal to encourage everyone to reflect on the significance of these events and to apply Catholic teachings to daily life. We envision strengthened Catholic individuals, families and community as the outcome of this program.
Format of a Generations of Faith Session:
The Gathering: Coming together to share a community meal.
The Opening: Music, prayer and a presentation introducing the upcoming liturgical event and its focus for the community.
Going Deeper: Age appropriate learning groups with discussions and activities for greater understanding of the theme.
The Sharing: Coming back together to share experiences and insights from learning groups.
The Sending: Returning home to continue sharing faith in households and with others.
The Celebration: Re-gathering of whole community to wholeheartedly celebrate the litrugy and events in the life of the parish.
Generations of Faith: Frequently asked questions
Who participates in Generations of Faith?
EVERYONE! - adults, young adults, adolescents and children (with their parents), visitors, people from other parishes, friends, neighbors - EVERYONE!
Does Generations of Faith include toddlers (children 1-3 years)? What about preschoolers?
Because each gathering lasts approximately two hours, we have a “Play and Pray” room for toddlers and preschoolers that is staffed by the parents with children of that age. These parents have attended the Protecting God’s Children course. This staffing is done on a rotating basis.
What are “Sessions” and “Gatherings”?
We celebrate either ”events” within the Church calendar or a Catholic ideal or philosophy (i.e., Advent, Pentecost, Morality, Sacraments, Creed, etc.). We have two identical gatherings per session, so that people may choose the gathering that is most convenient for them:
Sunday morning (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM) - or -
Monday evening (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM)
How does Generations of Faith affect sacrament preparation?
Sacrament preparation takes place in addition to the foundational teaching provided by Generations of Faith.