ALLOUEZ — What does it mean to be a missionary disciple of Christ in modern society? How do we come to know Jesus both as our Lord and Savior — and as our friend?
Paid parish staff, Catholic school system presidents and administrators, principals, directors and coordinators of religious education and youth ministry and youth ministers from around the diocese will find out as they gather for a Discipleship Formation Seminar on Oct. 24. The seminar, sponsored by the Green Bay Diocese, will be held at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay.
A second half-day seminar — for Catholic school system presidents and administrators, principals, directors and coordinators of religious education and youth ministers — will be held on Oct. 31 at Nativity of Our Lord Church in Green Bay (Ashwaubenon).
“The Discipleship Formation Seminar is designed to help us better understand our call as disciples of Jesus Christ along with the correlation between evangelization, catechesis, parish life and mission within the discipleship process,” explained Bishop David Ricken in announcing the latest seminar.
“’Disciples on the Way’ is an invitation from Bishop Ricken to become, in the words of Pope Francis, a ‘missionary disciple’ witnessing to the Gospel in our families, homes, parishes and communities,” explained Julianne Stanz, director of New Evangelization for the diocese.
“The Discipleship Formation Seminar is designed to help us to understand the opportunities and challenges in forming disciples of Jesus Christ and is focused on discovering and following Jesus in our own life, so that we can introduce others to the person of Jesus and his body the church.”
Bishop Ricken, in his pastoral letter — “Teach My People to Pray” — explained a disciple of Jesus as “someone who is a good friend of Jesus and spends some time alone with the Lord in prayer every day.” The formation seminar seeks to help participants become friends of Jesus.
Parish staff members are invited to the Oct. 24 seminar if they have not attended one of the regional meetings being offered around the diocese this fall. There is no cost because the seminars have been paid for by a donor through a grant to the Catholic Foundation. Lunch will be provided both days.
Diocesan personnel have already undergone this formation seminar, as have many school administrators.
Franciscan Sr. Kay Klackner, diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, said those administrators have found the seminar to be “a profound experience,” especially “the Kerygma (proclamation of the Gospel message) experience” which combines video and music with personal experience, reflection and Gospel readings.
“Principals immediately wanted to know how and when we can share the experience with teachers,” Sr. Kay said. “The plan for teachers is unfolding.”
Parish volunteers have been attending regional formation seminars; there are four more being offered in October. (For information on and locations of the remaining regionals, visit this link.)
Topics covered and the presenters at the Oct. 24 seminar include:
- Fr. Dan Felton, diocesan vicar general;
- The “Kerygma proclamation” with Manitowoc Franciscan Sr. Marie Kolbe Zamora and Julianne Stanz, director of New Evangelization for the diocese;
- “Theological and Historical Foundations of Missionary Discipleship by Sr. Marie Kolbe who chairs the Department of Theology and Ministry at Silver Lake College in Manitowoc;
- “Listening for Missionary Discipleship with Kristin Bird, of Burning Hearts Disciples;
- Time for prayer.
The Oct. 31 seminar speakers will include Sr. Marie Kolbe and Kristin Bird, and along with time for prayer.