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Adult Formation and Lay Ministry

124 Logan Boulevard, Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
(814) 693-9605
email: layministry@dioceseaj.org


"For our part, we bishops cannot imagine ourselves entering a new millennium embarked 
upon a new evangelization, 
unless we walk side by side
with our lay sisters and brothers." 
(National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 
Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium)
 

 "The best preparation for the new millennium, therefore, can only be expressed 
in a renewed commitment to apply as faithfully as possible, the teachings of Vatican II to the life 
of every individual and of the whole Church." 
(Pope John Paul II, As The Third Millennium Draws Near)


About Adult Formation and Lay Ministry

Frequently Asked Questions

Adult Formation and Lay Ministry Process
Year One Schedule 2004-2005
Year Two Schedule 2004-2005
Third Year Tracks

Lay Ministry Formation Process
Year One
Year Two
Year Three

Registration Information and Fees


About Adult Formation and Lay Ministry

     Several years ago our diocese initiated a process to support lay women and men seeking to deepen the influence of Christian faith in their lives.  This process led to the establishing of an Office of Adult Formation and Lay Ministry, the creation of a Diocesan Committee on the Laity, and the setting up of a number of lay spiritual formation programs. 

 

       The Lay Ministry Formation Process is the cornerstone of Office of Adult Formation and Lay Ministry programming.  The Lay Ministry Formation Process consists of two years of basic formation  designed to meet the theological education, leadership training, spiritual formation, and pastoral skill development needs of the laity of our Diocesan Church, followed by a third year in a specialized ministry.

      The Lay Ministry Formation Process is very successful in meeting two particular types of needs.  First, it provides an enrichment opportunity for people seeking to live their faith more fully in their families, the workplace and society.  Second, it offers spiritual formation, a deepened understanding of Christian faith, and a chance to develop communication and leadership skills for those serving as religious educators, family life ministers, coordinators of youth group activities, Christian Initiation team members or sponsors, or in some other form of lay ministry.

       Please take the time to review the information on this web page.  Note in particular that Year I Lay Ministry Formation classes meet for eleven evenings in the fall and thirteen evenings in the winter-spring for two hours each evening.  There are also two Saturday workshops in the fall and spring that run from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.   The cost of the program during the first year is $50.00.  The cost of the second year is $75.00 which  includes extra textbooks.  There is a $15.00 fee for each Saturday workshop.

       If the Lay Ministry Formation Process sounds interesting to you, download, complete and mail the registration form included on this page, talk to your pastor about our diocesan lay formation process, and join us for the HEART OF FAITH course in the fall.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What is lay ministry?

 The term as understood in our program can be defined in two senses -- a general sense and a particular sense.  In the general sense, first of all, ministry takes place in all aspects of our lives.  Lay Ministry is service by ordinary Christians given in the name of the Lord.  It is intentional activity -- grounded in our faith -- that takes place in our families, work places, communities, parishes and diocese.  This type of service eliminates the division between "religion" and everyday life.  If you are interested in ministry in this sense, you should sign up for adult formation on the registration form.  Ministry can also be understood in a particular sense as a public activity in the name of the Church.  These activities can include the ministries of catechesis, worship, youth ministry, tribunal advocate, hospital visitation, and many others.  If you are interested in a specific ministry in the Church, you should sign up for lay ministry certification on the registration form. 

Q.  What is Lay Ministry Formation?

 Believe it or not, we are all involved in an ongoing formation process -- life itself.  Our thoughts, faith, and feelings are continually influenced by all that we see, hear, and experience.  The Lay Ministry Formation Process is designed to provide us with an opportunity to go beyond the random influences of everyday life, and intentionally deepen the influence of Christian faith.  The Lay Ministry Formation Process helps us to live an adult response to our baptismal call.

Q.  I'm already living a good Christian life, why do I need to be in a formation process?

 We are called to make the best possible use of our God-given talents and gifts.  Lay Ministry Formation is designed to help us respond to the call to be the best we can be.  It provides us with a better understanding of our Christian faith, helps us to understand ourselves more fully, and teaches us to work with others more effectively.   Lay Ministry Formation consists of a three year process that combines theological education, study, prayer and prayerful reflection,  communication and group dynamics skills, and leadership training.

Q.  What statements do we find within Catholic Tradition about the ministry of the laity?

 Since Christ in His ministry from the Father is the fountain and source of the whole apostolate of the Church, the success of the lay apostolate depends upon the laity's living union with Christ.  For the Lord has said, "Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).  (Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, No. 4)

 Baptism and Confirmation empower all believers to share in some form of ministry....  Christian service in the world is represented in a preeminent way by the laity....  Since the Second Vatican Council new opportunities have developed for lay men and women to serve in the Church....  (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Called and Gifted: The American Catholic Laity)

Q.  What have participants in Lay Ministry Formation said about the process?

"The past two years that I have been involved in Lay Ministry have been the best two years of my involvement in the Catholic Church."
-- Judy Kurutz, St. Joseph Parish, Renovo

 "The process made me realize how important it is to become an active participant in lay ministry!"
-- Deacon Thomas Papinchak, SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Windber 

"The courses presented some ideas that were new to me, and also reintroduced concepts that I already knew but hadn't thought about for a while.  I especially liked the class on Christian Prayer."
--Claudia Kolar, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Cresson


 Adult Formation and Lay Ministry Process - Year One Schedule 2004-2005    

Tuesdays: St. John Gualbert Activity Center, Johnstown     (7-9 PM each evening)
Program
Heart of Faith
Old Testament
Christian Prayer & Spirituality
Meeting
Dates
Aug. 24, 31
Sept. 07, 14, 21, 28
Oct. 12, 19, 26
Nov. 02, 09
Jan. 04, 11, 18, 25
Feb.  01, 08, 15, 22

Snow Date: March 1    
Mar. 08, 15, 22, 29
Apr. 05

Snow Date: April 12

Wednesdays: St. Catharine of Siena, Duncansville
               (7-9 PM each evening)
Program
Heart of Faith
Old Testament
Christian Prayer & Spirituality
Meeting
Dates
Aug. 25
Sept. 01, 15, 22, 29
Oct. 06, 13, 20, 27
Nov. 03, 10
Jan. 05, 12, 19, 26
Feb.  02, 16, 23
Mar. 02
Snow Date: March 9    
Mar. 16, 30
Apr. 06, 13, 20

Snow Date: April 27

  Thursdays: St. John the Evangelist, Everett                      
(7-9 PM each evening)
Program
Heart of Faith
Old Testament
Christian Prayer & Spirituality
Meeting
Dates
Aug. 26
Sept. 02, 09, 16,  23, 30
Oct. 07, 14, 21, 28
Nov. 04
Jan. 06, 13, 20, 27
Feb.  03, 10, 17, 24

Snow Date: March 3    
Mar. 10, 17, 31
Apr. 07, 14

Snow Date: April 21
                                               
Adult Formation and Lay Ministry Process - Year Two Schedule 2004-2005
                                                                                         
 Mondays: St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Johnstown               (7-9 PM each evening)
Program
New Testament
Sacraments
Church History
Meeting
Dates
Aug. 30
Sept. 13, 20, 27
Oct. 04, 11, 18, 25
Nov. 08, 15, 22,29
Dec. 06, 13, 20
Jan.  03
Snow Date: Jan. 10
Jan. 17, 24, 31
Feb. 07, 14,21, 28
Mar. 07, 14, 21
Snow Date: March 28

Thursdays: Sacred Heart Formation Center, Altoona             (7-9 PM each evening)
Program
New Testament
Sacraments
Church History
Meeting
Dates
Aug. 26
Sept. 02, 09, 16
Oct. 07, 14

(6:30-9:30 PM)
Oct. 21, 28
Nov. 04, 11, 18
Dec. 02, 09, 16

Jan. 06, 13, 20, 27
Feb. 03, 10,17, 24
Mar. 03, 10
Snow Date: March 17

Advanced MBTI Workshop - Saturday, November 20, 2004

Retreat - April 8-10, 2005


Adult Formation and Lay Ministry Process - Third Year Tracks 

(All Classes meet from 7:00-9:00 P.M. unless otherwise noted.)

Advanced Bible Study: Through the University of Notre Dame. See http://www.step.nd.edu. Contact: 814-693-9605.

Christian Initiation Team Ministry - The location and day will be announced later.  Instructor: Mrs. Jeanne Thompson and Team.  Information: (814) 695-5579.  Cost: $50.00; Leadership Workshop: $15.00; CI Workshops: $15.00 each.

Hospital Visitation Ministry  - Bon Secours Hospital.  Instructor: Reverend Edward Eckenrod.  Information: (814) 946-2132 or 943-6185.  Classes begin Monday, September 13. Meets from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. There will be ten weeks in the fall session and six weeks in the winter-spring session. Cost: $50.00; Leadership Workshop: $15.00.  (Note: There will be an interview as part of the application process.)

Liturgical Foundations - Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Altoona, Seton Suite.  Instructor: Rev. Msgr. Robert Mazur.  Information:  (814) 693-9605.  Classes will begin Tuesday, September 7. Meets from 6:30 to 8:30 PM Four-six week sessions. Cost: $50.00; Leadership Workshop: $15.00.

Leadership Workshop - Saturday, April 2, 2005. Instructor: Dr. Charles Kormanski from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM in the Conference Room of building A of the Diocesan Administration Center in Hollidaysburg.  This workshop is a requirement for all third year tracks. $15.00

For further information or registration, please call 814-693-9605 or email:  layministry@dioceseaj.org



Lay Ministry Formation Process

YEAR ONE:  FORMATION IN CHRISTIAN FAITH
This year-long process provides a foundation 
for ongoing adult faith growth and development.
 

Fall
Course
Heart of Faith: Jesus the Christ
(Meets for eleven weeks, one two-hour session each week)
Fall
Workshop
Myers-Briggs Personality Types Workshop
(Meets Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM)
Spring
Courses
Old Testament
(Meets for eight weeks, one two-hour session each week)
Christian Prayer and Spirituality
(Meets for five weeks, one two-hour session each week)
Winter
Workshop
Prayer Workshop or Journaling Worshop
(Meets Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM)

YEAR TWO:  FORMATION FOR CHRISTIAN SERVICE AND MINISTRY
Participants reflect upon our call as baptized believers to live lives of holiness and Christian service. 
They also explore what it has meant throughout history to be a part of the community called by God 
to be God's special people.
 
 
Fall
Courses
New Testament
(Meets for eight weeks, one two-hour session each week.)
Sacraments or Morality
(Meets for eight weeks, one two-hour session each week)
Fall
Workshop
Morality or Advanced Myers-Briggs Workshop
(Meets Saturday from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM)
Spring
Course
Church History 
(Meets for ten weeks, one two-hour session each week)
Spring
Retreat
Retreat
(Overnight retreat from Friday evening to Sunday at 1 PM)


YEAR THREE:  SPECIAL MINISTRY PROGRAMS*
The third year consists of skill training for involvement 
in specific forms of intentional Christian service. 
 
          1.  Adult Faith Formation Leadership
          2.  Advanced Bible Study
          3.  Christian Initiation
          4.  Family Life
          5.  Hospital Visitation
          6.   Liturgical Foundations
          7.  Liturgical Music
          8.  Master Catechist
          9.  Peace and Justice
        10.  Senior Adult Ministry
        11.  Senior Peer Counseling and Stephen Ministry
        12   Spiritual (Prayer) Companioning
        13.  Tribunal Advocate
        14.  Youth Ministry

  Please note:   Not all third year tracks are offered every year. 

Those who successfully complete the first two years of the process 
will receive Basic Lay Ministry Certification.

Those who successfully complete a third year program 
will receive Lay Ministry Certification in their special area of skill training.

 

Materials Fee:

 Participants are provided with materials for each program in which they enroll.  Participants are asked to pay a fee to cover the cost. of these materials.

 Fee for the Year I Lay Ministry Certification Process is $50.00, payable in two installments.  This fee covers materials for both the fall and winter-spring courses.  The fee for the workshops is $15.00 each.

 Fee for the Year II Lay Minstry Certification Process is $75.00, payable in two installments.  This fee covers extra books and materials for both the fall and winter-spring courses.  The fee for the workshop is $15.00.  There is also a weekend retreat at the end of Year II.  Current price is $85.00.

 Fees for Year I Adult Formation Courses are:  $30 for an 11-week course; $25.00 for an 8-week course; $15.00 for a 5-week course.  Fees for Year II Adult Formation Courses are:  $35.00 for a 10-week course (extra books); $25.00 for an 8-week course.
 

  If you want to register or have questions about the Lay Ministry Formation Process , please contact
 
   Office of Adult Formation and Lay Ministry

   Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown
   124 Logan Boulevard
   Hollidaysburg, PA  16648
    (814) 693-9605   email : layministry@dioceseaj.org