This past fall, under the direction of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the Archdiocese of Newark launched Forward in Faith Together: Our Road Ahead. This comprehensive pastoral vision charts a positive path forward for the Archdiocese and its ministries, with a focus on six key pillars.
One of these pillars, “Lifelong Faith Formation and Education,” outlines the Archdiocese’s achievements to date and future plans to support its Catholic community as its people learn and grow in their faith.
Cardinal Tobin often has said that the vision for Forward in Faith is that of a missionary disciple — and the purpose of lifelong faith formation is to develop disciples within the Church. Becoming a disciple is not a moment in time, but a lifelong process, and the Archdiocese is committed to developing initiatives that enable parishioners to flourish in every aspect of their lives: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.
To help the faithful grow in the human dimension, the parishes and ministries of the Archdiocese will strive to create and support programs that enable parishioners to be respectful people of strong moral character, who take care of themselves and others.
The spiritual dimension aims to help the faithful grow in their relationship with Christ through the efforts of the catechetical ministries of the Archdiocese. An emphasis is placed on nurturing the faith of adults, youth, and children, and assisting them as they strive to live committed lives as disciples of Jesus.
A focus on the intellectual dimension ensures that parishioners of all ages deepen their faith through continuous learning and study. And by reinforcing the importance of the pastoral dimension, the faithful will become more active, not only in their parishes, but in their communities.
Because faith formation is a lifelong process, there is a need to engage children and young adults, creating programs that reinforce the role of family and support and sustain Archdiocesan schools. Equally important is ensuring that as children become adults, the Church remains relevant and prominent in their lives.
To realize the vision, the Archdiocese continues to compile valuable insights from integral groups such as the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, individual parish councils, and catechetical ministries. Together, as one body, the church of Newark embarks on this new vision in communion with, and as disciples of Jesus.