Religious Formation Conference

The Religious Formation Conference (RFC) is a national Roman Catholic organization serving religious institutes of women and men with programs and services for those in the ministry of initial and lifelong formation, and general congregational membership.

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Discipleship as a Tool for Formation for Ministry

 Patricia Schoelles, SSJ

In the Spring 2018 issue of Divinity, The Missional Ministry Issue of Duke Divinity School, Douglas Campbell’s article “Paul and the Mission to America,” begins with Campbell proclaiming that the U.S. church is gripped in a “glacier like crisis.” Campbell attributes the crisis to two sources: first, “the inexorable secularization under the pressure of post-industrial society,” and second, “a culture diversifying into alternative spiritual ecologies.”

Those involved in formation work for religious congregations are more than aware of these realities. The culture we live in is indeed increasingly secularized, and spirituality is obviously in a situation of change and shifting foundations. In his article, Campbell even suggests that the Christian churches in the United States may be dying. So it won’t do to try to ignore these signs of our times. We acknowledge them and search for ways to face them and work with and within them. As we strive to hand on to new members of our congregations and to invite them into what are for them new and often very particular spiritualities, we are confronted with shifting foundations for spirituality and with ever increasing secularization.

Read entire article in the fall edition of InFormation, click here. 

Article by Patricia Schoelles, SSJ, a Sister of St. Joseph of Rochester, NY. Dr. Schoelles currently teaches World Religions at Nazareth College and St John Fisher College in Rochester, NY


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