Adult Faith Formation

Adult Faith Formation & Evangelization Committee


Evangelization is spreading the Gospel – the Good News of God’s Word. We evangelize both in the parish and broader community.

“The Church which ‘goes forth’ is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice. An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first (1 Jn 4:19), and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast.” – Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, no. 24


RCIA / Catholicism 101 – The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process of becoming Catholic and receiving the sacraments for the first time. It is centered on Scripture, the Mass, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. Those participating are joined by the RCIA team and by anyone else interested in growing deeper in their faith. Sessions are scheduled as needed.

Adult Faith Formation & Bible Study – Parishioners and visitors at St. Leo the Great are very committed to growing deeper in their faith through adult faith formation and Bible study. Numerous programs and Bible studies are typically offered.

Plus Ten Sundays – The congregation is asked to stay a few minutes after Mass on the last weekend of the month for a short inspirational adult faith formation video in church.

Lighthouse Catholic Media – Lighthouse CD’s, books, and booklets are available at St. Leo’s in the gathering space of the church. Please see the display with various CD selections to build your faith and family.

Ongoing Outreach Ministries – Examples of ongoing activities include the Weinberg Ministry, visiting parishioners in nursing homes, and coordinating the parish census.

One-time Events – Special handouts at Christmas and Easter Masses, large-print missals, obtaining wheelchairs for church, bringing in various speakers and special events.


Contact Person:

Michael Ruszala, M.A.
Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation & Evangelization
835-8905 x 12
mruszala@stleothegreatamherst.com

Queen of Heaven (Recent Adult Faith Formation Program)

Talks by Lighthouse Catholic Media

Week #1 - The Necessity of Divine Mercy

Fr. Chris Alar, MIC, reveals the urgency to live and share the powerful message of Divine Mercy. He explains the basics of the Divine Mercy feast, image, novena, chaplet, and hour of mercy, and how to incorporate them into your spiritual life. In this Year of Mercy, discover God’s transformative message of Divine Mercy.

Parishioner Comments

I loved the entire CD. I learned so much that I didn’t know about Divine Mercy. I can hardly wait to listen to it again.

Diane – Houston, MS

Fr Alar explained aspects of the Divine Mercy Promise that had previously not been clear to me and it was a great joy and comfort, giving me much peace, and encouraging me to spread the message of God’s love through Divine Mercy.

Ann – Huntsville, AL

Week #2 - Facing Your Fears

Mark Hart uses Scripture and his experience of surviving an earthquake to share how we can master our fears. He also reveals how our fears will pursue us if we don’t meet them head on. Mark encourages us to not only face the proverbial giants in our lives but to slay them as David did Goliath, thereby finding freedom in Christ.

Parishioner Comments

Mark emphasizes that fear immobilizes us, while love moves us to do great things. I now plan to tell my problems how big God is, not vice versa.

Monica – Wichita, KS

An awesome, funny, and really terrific talk. Just what I needed. Now when fear takes hold of me I will know how to shake it loose!

Julie – Bluffton, SC

Week #3 - Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage

Dr. Timothy Gray presents an honest look at the blessings and struggles of marriage. He connects the Fall to daily marital struggles and explains how, like Adam and Eve, spouses can end up blaming instead of supporting each other. Dr. Gray also explains how words can heal and build up married life. Discover how to find or renew happiness in your marriage with Beloved.

Parishioner Comments

Dr Gray taught me how words can be life-giving and how what I say has the power to heal.

Anna – Reedsburg, WI

It was fascinating how Dr. Gray connected Adam and Eve to modern day spouses. I had now idea how much I could learn from Genesis about my own marriage!

Pio – Ave Maria, FL

Week #4 - Making P.E.A.C.E. With Difficult People

Dr. Gregory and Lisa Popcak, through a five-part P.E.A.C.E. process, offer powerful insights to help you work through difficult situations with the people in your life. This system will assist you in resolving problems and work towards more fully reconcile with them. Full of practical guidance, this presentation will show you how to better love and relate to the difficult people in your life.

Parishioner Comments

This talk was really pertinent to me, especially the breakdown of the categories for P.E.A.C.E.

Loretta – Missouri City, TX

The Popcaks clearly explain when to speak up and when not to when someone is hurtful. The tips on how to present the issue in an understandable manner were outstanding and necessary. This talk helped me find resolution and peace in all parts of life!

Monica – Wichita, KS

Week #5 - Pure Fatherhood

Fathers are the link between heaven and earth, and are intended to be an image of our Heavenly Father. Drawing on the examples of St. Joseph, Devin Schadt shows us how to become a father on earth like the Father in heaven. Devin is a husband, a father of five, and the co-founder of the Fathers of St. Joseph, an apostolate dedicated to the renewal of authentic fatherhood.

Parishioner Comments

Devin provides a humorous and authentic recipe which is simple & bold for a powerful call to fatherly greatness. Change the father, change the world.

Charlie – Kernersville, NC

Wow! What a great talk on the importance of fatherhood for families and the impact fathers have in revealing our Heavenly Father. This talk helped me to better appreciate a father’s role in the family, on society and the world.

Laura – Newtown, PA

Week #6 - Changed Forever: The Sacrament of Baptism

Fr. Mike Schmitz is one of the leading speakers to young people in the Church today. In this presentation, he explains how Christians truly become sons and daughters of God the Father for all eternity through the sacrament of Baptism.

Following the presentation, Lighthouse Catholic Youth has provided a bonus segment from Fr. Mike that explains the topics of “Infant Baptism” and “No Salvation Outside the Church”.

Parishioner Comments

This is a talk for the New Evangelization. Father Mike packs it full of new expressions that open up everything, and powerfully draws us into the great mysteries of our faith. Wow!

Seth – Laconia, NH

Every new mom and dad needs to hear this talk. You will never think of Baptism in the same way again!

Theresa – Ridge, NY

Week #7 - How to Save Your Marriage Before Meeting Your Spouse

Can you divorce-proof a marriage before it begins? In this top-notch presentation, Jason Evert shows us how to build the foundation for lasting love, and reveals how marriage preparation starts before “engagement”. Jason Evert has spoken about chastity to more than one million people around the world and is the author of more than a dozen books, including “How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul” and “Purity 365”.

Parishioner Comments

I LOVE hearing Jason Evert speak! He’s a great speaker who offers great insight to those who are single and looking for a significant other, or even those who are already in a relationship.

SAMANTHA – SLIPPERY ROCK, PA

Week #8 - Green Sex: The Case for Natural Family Planning

First comes loves, then comes marriage … then what? If sex is natural, why are we so eager to make it artificial? In this presentation, Jason Evert presents the case for Natural Family Planning as he unveils the beauty of God’s plan for sexuality. Jason has spoken about chastity to more than one million people around the world and is the author or more than a dozen books.

Parishioner Comments

This is a great talk for all to hear and take to heart, especially all married and engaged couples.

Laura – Newtown, PA

This talk has the potential to save marriages of those already married and those who hope to marry in the future.

Ida – Leesburg, IN

Week #9 - How to Date Your Soulmate-YOUTH
Week #10 - Prove it, God ... and He did!

As a lifelong Catholic, wife, and mother of three, Patty Schneier struggled with the Church’s teaching on contraception – as many men and women do today. Her discovery of Pope John Paul II’s “Theology of the Body” revealed to her the fullness of God’s plan for sex and marriage, and led to a dramatic renewal of her marriage and her faith. Patty now speaks around the country about the challenges she faced on her amazing journey.

Parishioner Comments

I LOVE this testimony! This is my story, and the story of so many of us trying to follow ALL the teachings of the Church

Rachel – Thibodaux, LA

Patty did an excellent job of walking us through her journey and being an example of how we should all walk with God and be obedient. The Lord proved to Patty that it is wonderful and not burdensome to follow Him and Patty relayed that to us. She is a great speaker and this is definitely one CD you have to keep “on the list.”

Jane-WI

Week #11 - From Love, By Love, For Love

Father Michael Schmitz tackles some of the most difficult topics in the Church today. With compassion, clarity, and humor, he shows that the Church’s teachings on contraception and same-sex attraction are rooted in the yearnings for authentic love that is shared by all, who are made in the image and likeness of God.

Parishioner Comments

Humor and inspired teaching make this one of the best talks for Catholics I have ever heard!

Brad – Faribault, MN

An excellent and vital message for young people today, given in their own language.

Lorraine – Vancouver, BC

Week #12 - Marriage and Family - Love Unveiled

Good relationships and marriages are of vital importance to individuals, the Church and society overall, but real effort and wisdom are indispensible to making them strong and lasting. In this focused presentation Dr. Scott Hahn shares key principles that he has lived out in his own life. His advice is practical and challenging and sometimes requires sacrifice, but it is sure to bear good fruit and bring forth many blessings.

Parishioner Comments

Brilliant words of wisdom… A great engagement or wedding gift!

Julie – Sterling, VA

A wonderful and practical talk on how the issues that every family encounters can be addressed in ways that reflect the love that God has for the family.

Charlie – Cockeysville, MD

Week #13 - For Better Forever: A Catholic Guide To Lifelong Marriage

Dr. Gregory Popcak is a nationally-recognized Catholic psychotherapist and author of eight books. He and his wife, Lisa, host a daily program on Ave Maria Radio. Drawing from years of clinical practice, he integrates proven psychology with orthodox Christianity in a way that will surprise and challenge you, whether you are newlyweds or celebrating your Golden Anniversary.

Parishioner Comments

I love this CD and have been telling everyone about it! Thank you for everything!

Gloria – Covina, CA

Very interesting and educational! It gave lots of practical advice for married couples to enliven their relationships.

Richard – Greenville, NH

Week #14 - Three to Get Married

In this classic on love and marriage, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen places sex in the context of human love, and human love in the context of Divine Love. One of the greatest and best-loved spokesmen for the Catholic Faith, he beautifully presents the Catholic concept of marriage, emphasizing that our Blessed Lord must be at the center of every successful and loving marriage.

Parishioner Comments

It is fantastic and so enlightening! Every couple contemplating marriage should listen to this. Thank you!

Louise – Apache Junction, AZ

He explains so beautifully how marriage is the “vestibule to God”. His message is vital to every marriage today and needs to be heard.

Judy – Essex, CT

Week #15 - Catholic Teaching on Marriage and Annulments

Are annulments just a Catholic version of divorce? Nothing could be further from the truth. The differences are profound, and much of the confusion springs from a misunderstanding about marriage itself. Bishop Perry explains the key principles of the Sacrament of Marriage and applies them to divorce and annulments. This presentation answers the most commonly asked questions on this topic.

Parishioner Comments

A passionate, biblical, informative explanation of the Church’s teachings on marriage and annulments; a great educational resource!

Rennie – Spokane, WA

I rate this a 10 out of 10! It helped me to better understand the value of the Sacrament of Marriage and the consideration for annulments.

Karl – Denver, CO

Week #16 - Mary: Handmaid of the Lord

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta is known throughout the world as a woman who was totally committed to the Gospel. In this inspiring talk, she shares her insights on the Blessed Virgin Mary as a model of womanhood and perfect discipleship. She shows us that we, too, can do the will of God by saying “Yes” to the Lord in the big and little things in our lives; nothing is too insignificant.

Parishioner Comments

I rate this CD a 10! It gave me more understanding of why Mother Mary must be honored.

Luke – Calgary, AB

To hear Mother Teresa’s own words about compassion for human life was inspiring. I have shared it with family and friends.

Barbara – Lansing, MI

Week #17 - Discovering the Biblical Significance of Mary

In one of the most inspiring CDs we have ever offered on the Virgin Mary, Dr. Scott Hahn reveals incredible insights on the Biblical basis for the Catholic teachings regarding Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. This presentation will help shatter many misconceptions and clearly demonstrate how Catholic teachings are unmistakably rooted in Sacred Scripture.

Parishioner Comments

Wow! This is by far one of the most inspiring CDs I have heard so far! I can’t say enough about it!

William – Spring Hill, FL

Excellent! Great presentation – important information. This increases devotion and reverence for our Holy Mother.

Alina – Doral, FL

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