This is a staff-development process for all chancery, parish and Catholic Charities staffs who minister in the Diocese of Charleston, which includes the entire state. Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone, recognizing the role of the laity in the Church, established Spirituality and Formation for Ministry under the Education and Faith Formation Secretariat in August of 2016. At that time, our bishop was responding and recognizing the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the great Ecumenical Council Vatican II. One of the 16 documents of Vatican II was the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolicam Actuiositatem.
His Holiness, Pope Paull VI promulgated the document and in its introduction, one reads about the “proper and indispensable role of the laity in the mission of the Church … The Christian vocation by its very nature is a vocation to the Apostolate” (#2). The laity’s major duty is union with Christ.
When the Office of Spirituality and Formation for Ministry began over five years ago, we delved into the formation pillars that originated with the writings of St. John Paul II — human formation, intellectual formation, spiritual formation, and pastoral formation.
The first three years, we concentrated on intellectual formation. Specifically, we discussed Revelation and Catholic identity. Second, we explored the sacraments and models of the Church. The third year, we examined the social teachings of the church and how we make moral decisions. The fourth year, we transitioned into human formation as we learned about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and each participant took the full MBTI and either learned or re-learned their personality traits. The fifth year we collaborated with the Office of Stewardship and Mission Advancement to offer a spiritual formation retreat. Last year, our concentration was on human formation, as we reviewed the importance of one’s IQ, EQ and LQ respectively: Intelligence Quotient, Emotional Quotient and Love Quotient, as we defined those terms and explored how how Jesus exemplified intelligence, emotional, and love quotients.
Year Seven of Formation deals with Intellectual Formation of the four pillars of formation as we explore the topic of “Prophets Yesterday and Today.” We will give an overview of the three major parts of the Old Testament, concentrating on Biblical Prophets. We will also mention a few minor and major prophets and how they challenged the people to live moral lives.
A big part of this year’s seminar reviews and analyzes the need for modern-day prophets as we discuss Catholic Social Teaching and analyze a major issue affecting our society today: the racial climate and disparities in our world, specifically with regard to the United States. Our office and the Office of Ethnic Ministries of the Diocese of Charleston have collaborated to address key aspects of Catholic teaching regarding this topic. We will discuss modern Church teachings and whether how one lives life is consistent with the teachings of the major prophet: Jesus, the Christ.