|Welcome to Open Book readers|
|Written by Sherry|
|Friday, 26 January 2007 05:57|
We appreciate you dropping by.
Who Are We?
Intentional Disciples is a group blog devoted to the baptismal call, spirituality, gifts, vocations, ministry, work, history, theology, evangelization, formation, bad jokes, and pastoral support of lay Christians seeking to live their faith in the 21st century.
What is the Catherine of Siena Institute?
All the posters on our blog are involved with the Institute’s work in some way. The Institute emerged nearly 10 years ago out of a collaboration between Fr. Michael Sweeney, OP and a laywoman, Sherry Weddell. The Institute’s purpose is to “equip parishes to form lay apostles”. So far, we have worked with nearly 25,000 lay and ordained Catholics in hundreds of parishes in 74 dioceses on 4 continents.
We are not a lay movement nor do we have a pre-packaged “program” to offer. As we say on our website: We seek to foster the proclamation of the gospel to all the world by ensuring that lay Catholics (who are 99% of the Church) are equipped to effectively carry out their unique and essential part in this mission.
Every baptized Christian is called by Christ; therefore, every Christian needs the preparation that the Church offers to those called to fulfill a specific mission. The Church calls such preparation "formation." "Formation is not the privilege of a few, but a right and duty of all." (Christifideles Laici, 63.) We are working to ensure that every Catholic has access to a formation that:
We work to make apostolic formation and support readily available to all lay Catholics by:
Why did we choose the title “Intentional Disciples” for our blog?
Because Jesus is the heart of everything in the Christian life: our worship and sacramental life, our communion with his Church, our prayer life, work, loves, and play; our hope of ultimate salvation. We mean “disciple” as if you and I were Peter on the shore of the sea of Galilee and had the same opportunity to make a personal response to the same invitation. Peter didn’t drop those nets and spend the next three years with Jesus accidentally or unconsciously.He had to make a deliberate choice to say "yes" and then a series of choices to actually follow Jesus through the months and years ahead. In the same way, you and I are called, at some point, to respond with personal faith and assent to the faith into which we were baptized.
What do we mean by “Intentional?"
The integration of mind, heart, will, body soul and spirit in a deliberate "yes" to Christ's invitation to ‘follow me.’
". . .the "good news" is directed to stirring a person to a conversion of heart and life and a clinging to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; to disposing a person to receive Baptism and the Eucharist and to strengthen a person in the prospect and realization of new life according to the Spirit.
--Catechesis in Our Time
The joining of personal interior faith with assent to Church teaching and communion; the union of personal disposition and the sacraments as the Church has explicitly taught in great detail since the Council of Trent. This is Catholic to the bone, as old as the Gospels and as current as Benedict XVI's speeches. There isn't a shred of originality in it anywhere. As Amy noted in her post, there is nothing new about this.
Is the term “Intentional Disciple” evangelical Protestant?
No. I (Sherry) never heard the term “intentional disciple” used when I was an evangelical. Nor have I heard it used elsewhere. We came up with the phrase "intentional disciple" last summer after years of finding that the term "disciple" alone simply didn't convey the union of "fides formata" (personal faith and repentance infused with hope and love that the Council of Trent insisted was necessary for justification) and sacramental grace to pastoral leaders.
After working with thousands of pastors, DREs, pastoral and diocesan staff and pastoral leaders all over the world, we knew we needed a term that was perfectly Catholic but just a tad unfamiliar. Unfamiliar enough to make Catholics think again.
Our experience has been that we can meticulously walk through a detailed and documented presentation on Church teaching on evangelization and people just look at us with glazed eyes. But if we use the term "intentional disciple", they wake up. Some rejoice, others get angry - but no one falls asleep.
And not being asleep would seem to be the first pre-requisite for fulfilling the Church's primary mission of evangelization.
“Intentional Disciple” is not a trademark. It's a useful phrase. The speculation that our tiny, hand-to-mouth outfit has visions of becoming the next "Purpose-Driven" empire is beyond irony. And in case you were wondering, we are a certified albino-monk-assassin-free zone.
What topics do we discuss on Intentional Disciples?
Anything and everything related to the discipleship and apostleship of the laity and the mission of the Church to the world.
1) Proclaiming Christ and the practical evangelization of individuals: How to communicate the kerygma to those who are not yet disciples of Jesus Christ and help them become disciples.
2) Formation: How to nurture the spiritual maturity and foster the apostolic call of every baptized person, especially at the local parish level.
3) Discernment and Vocation: Anything related to charisms (duh!) and the discernment and living of personal vocations - especially non-ecclesial vocations.
4) Evangelization of culture and societal structures - especially in relationship to the faith, work, vocations, and initiatives of lay Christians.