Discovering Christ at St. Agnes Church

Discovering CHRIST

The Discovering CHRIST program is a 7-week experience where people come together to explore the relevance of Jesus in their lives and develop a deeper relationship with Him. It is a situation where people of all backgrounds and levels of faith become involved in the process of evangelizing within their faith community. It is a time when family and friends come together to hear the good news and personally encounter Jesus Christ! The series continues with Following CHRIST and Sharing CHRIST.

“Faith is foremost a personal, intimate encounter with Jesus . . .
It is in this way that we learn to know Him better,
to love Him, and to follow Him more and more.”

-Pope Benedict XVI, October 2009

Each of the seven evening sessions will begin with a song, a prayer, and delicious meal. Following the meal a video lesson relevant to the night’s topic will be offered through dessert and coffee after which participants will break into small groups for further discussion on the topic. Then for one final moment of the evening, another song and prayer will send participants on their way to a more enriched life. Between the 5th and 6th sessions, the gifts of Holy Spirit will be explored in a Saturday retreat providing participants with even more spiritual benefits.

Week 1

What is the Meaning of Life?
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eyes on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.”
Ephesians 1: 11-12

Week 2

Why does Jesus Matter?
“Who do you say that I am?”
Matthew 16: 15-17

Week 3

What does Jesus Want Us to Know?
“The source of Christian joy is the certainty of being loved by God, loved personally by the Creator, by the one who holds the entire universe in his hands and loves each one of us and the whole great family with a passionate and faithful love, a love greater than our infidelities and sins, a love which forgives.”
Pope Benedict XVI, June 23, 2006

Week 4

Why Do I Need a Savior?
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
John 3:16

Week 5

Why is the Resurrection Important?
“If you confess with your lips that Jesus is the Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9

Retreat Week

The Holy Spirit and You.
God wants to change your life with his Holy Spirit because he loves you “For the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit whom he has given to us.”
Romans 5:5
“Let us rediscover, dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and of our confirmation, sources of grace that are always present.”
Pope Benedict XVI, Pentecost Sunday, 2008

Week 6

New Life in the Spirit: Being a Catholic Disciple.
“So everywhere we go, we talk about Christ to all who will listen. Warning them and teaching them as well as we know.”
Colossians 1:28

Week 7

Believing and Belonging: Why We Need the Church.

“Discovering Christ has touched hundreds of lives at St. Martin de Porres since we began the series in 2010, and as a result it has impacted the life of our entire parish. It’s been a springboard for a renewed faith for people in the pews, as well as for many who have been away from the Catholic Church for years.”

– Msgr. James Sullivan, St. Martin de Porres, Poughkeepsie, NY

Following CHRIST

A seven-week journey that explores and encourages Catholic discipleship.

Following Christ helps those who have completed Discovering Christ to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. This is accomplished through the grace of God by praying together, teaching, and supporting one another in some of the basic disciplines and truths practiced by Christians since the early Church.

A Typical Session

Following Christ consists of seven sessions and a retreat day. The weekly sessions include four components: prayer, video teaching, fellowship, and small group discussion.

  1. Prayer
    Participants have grown more comfortable with prayer during Discovering Christ and this is an opportunity for participants to grow deeper together in group prayer.
  2. Video TeachingThe teachings provide practical ways to grow in relationship with the Lord and include foundational disciplines and truths that are important for maturing in Christ.
  3. FellowshipAfter the teaching, there is time for fellowship over drinks and desserts as people transition into their small groups.
  4. Small Group DiscussionSmall groups are a place to freely discuss the teaching content. A Following Christ small group also serves as a means of accountability for completing the action items encouraged in each session.

 

“Just like working out, the muscles get used to the same routine. Following Christ stretched my faith into a new direction. New prayer routine, new look to help interpret the Bible, new friends to help me on the journey.”

– Candido

Session Topics

  • Daily Personal Prayer
  • Hearing God in Scripture
  • The Power of the Sacraments
  • Forgiving One Another
  • The Spirit-Empowered Life
  • Retreat
  • Retreat: The World
  • Retreat: The Flesh
  • Retreat: The Devil
  • Advancing the Mission of the Church
  • Celebration Session

“[Following Christ] has helped me to be more confident in choosing one path over another in day-to-day decisions, and has strengthened my passion for the Holy Spirit and how I can rely on Him. FC has also helped me clarify concrete steps, [and] actions I can use to deepen my faith.”

– Beth

Sharing CHRIST

A seven-week mission that trains Catholics to share Jesus Christ with others and invite them to be part of the Church.

Sharing Christ focuses on personal or friendship evangelization, sharing our relationship with Jesus in our daily encounters with people. The course helps to develop an attitude of the heart that moves us to be open to share the Good News we have experienced anytime and anywhere.

A Typical Sesssion

Sharing Christ consists of seven sessions. The final session takes place in a retreat setting. The weekly sessions include four components: prayer time, a video teaching, fellowship, and small group discussion.

  1. PrayerParticipants have become more comfortable with prayer through Discovering Christ and Following Christ, and are growing in group prayer and worship.
  2. Video TeachingThe teaching provides practical ways to share our relationship with Jesus in our daily encounters with people.
  3. FellowshipAfter the teaching, there is time for fellowship over drinks and desserts as people transition into their small groups.
  4. Small Group DiscussionSmall groups are a place to freely discuss the teaching content. A Sharing Christ small group also serves as a means of accountability for completing the action items for each session.

“[Sharing Christ] has lit a fire under a lot of people here and I rejoice at what God is doing in our parishes because of it.”

– Fr. Tim

Session Topics

  • Called to Share Christ
  • Befriending Others
  • Sharing Your Story
  • The Power to Share Christ
  • Presenting the Good News
  • Inviting Others to Meet Jesus
  • Retreat:  Put Out Into the Deep For a Catch

“I would highly recommend this course to any parish seeking to deepen its members’ awareness of our common call to be evangelists for Christ and to provide Holy Spirit-inspired tools solidly rooted in Scripture and Church tradition as a way to answer that call.”

– Amy