Lifelong Formation

Lifelong formation is the process through which we come to follow Jesus more closely throughout the course of our lives. Grounded in the Gospel, instruction in the faith and accompaniment in this journey of spiritual growth, lifelong formation equips us to respond to the events of our lives in light of the Gospel.

Adult Education

Saint Mark is proud to offer a comprehensive set of formation offerings on Sundays from 9:15-10:15 AM for disciples of every generation during the school year. A new schedule of course offerings will be published each Fall and Spring. See our current offerings below.

Parish School Of Religion (PSR)

The Goal of the Saint Mark Parish School Of Religion is to support and assist Parents in the faith journey of their children.  Parents, by word and example, are the primary teachers of their children.

We offer the opportunity for faith to come alive for our children through knowledge, prayer and the sacraments.  We strive to assist our children in committing themselves to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

Saint Mark provides religious education for four year old through 9th grade in the Youth Center. 

Sunday 4 yrs to 8th grade 9:00 A.M. to 10:15 A.M.
Sunday 9th Grade Confirmation Class 9:00 A.M. to 10:15 A.M.

 Online registration for the 2023-2024 year is no longer available, please register Sunday morning in the youth center beginning at 8:45 am.

Pay PSR Registration Fees Here

Order Of Christian Initiation For Adults (OCIA)

O.C.I.A. – Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (formerly RCIA) is under the direction of Deacon Philip Boettcher. This is the Church’s process for  bringing individuals into membership in the Catholic Church through the clelebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

“Initiation is a gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful” 

Parishioners interested in assisting  formally with this ministry, may contact Deacon Phil Boettcher

Coordinator: Deacon Philip Boettcher at deacon.phil@stmarkrc.org

FORMED

FORMED is Catholic faith, on demand.  It’s your source for captivating feature films, inspiring audio talks, engaging eBooks, and video-based study programs.   Accessible via multiple electronic devices and even available through ROKU! with content from over 75 Catholic providers!  There’s something for everyone of all ages!  

How do new parishioners register for an account? Registering for FORMED is easier than ever:

  1. Go to formed.org/signup
  2. Select your parish (using zip code 35242 is easiest)
  3. Register with your name and email address
  4. Check that email account for a link to begin using FORMED

How do parishioners log into FORMED that previously had access?

  1. Go to formed.org/signup
  2. In the upper right corner, select “Sign In”
  3. A new “Sign In” screen appears and user enters their email address and selects “Next”
  4. A message appears for user to “Check your email!”
  5. Check that email account for a link to begin using FORMED

We’ve created a series of videos to guide your parishioners through logging in, signing up, and using the platform. 

Watch here for more instructions

WHOLE FAMILY CATECHESIS

Did you know that almost every active adult Catholic is active because his or her parents had faith? But it wasn’t necessarily faith that came from a textbook, no matter how excellent a textbook may have been.  It came from the witness, “faith talk”, and practices that went on in the home.  

It’s a New Day 
Everyone lives in a world that is very different from anything that the Church has ever known before.  How we pass on the faith in this new reality is a challenge for all involved: the children, the catechists, the families and all members of the parish.

To help with this challenge, the General Directory for Catechesis (1998) was published by Pope John Paul II and his advisors.  It calls loudly for a shift away from a children’s only religious education program, to one  that provides catechesis for the entire family and all adults.

The Heart of the Matter
We have finally come to understand that a children’s religious education program that isn’t situated within a community of well-formed adults won’t work.   

  • Religious Education, in other words, isn’t just for kids anymore!  It’s for all of us!
  • It’s a life-long process, not connected in any way to the period of one’s schooling.
  • It fits into everyday life and is not separate from the joys and sorrows, the griefs and anxieties we all face.  It flows from our shared worship for which we assemble every Sunday.
  • It is the key to human happiness for us all. It’s the Good News we believe, and how we discern God’s direction in our lives.

Rather than being a burden, a well-fashioned religious education program that encompasses the entire parish will lead us to true peace and happiness as we learn how to live God’s will for our lives and that of our parish.

A NEW KIND OF PARISH SCHOOL OF RELIGION EVENT

We are introducing new ways of approaching catechesis and religious education. The first way is Whole Family Catechesis.  It is a program that coaches our parents to allow them to take a more central role in their own child’s faith formation. Don’t worry, parents. Coaching you to become the primary catechist doesn’t mean sending a textbook home.  We will help you get started, provide family sessions and resources, encourage you to take initiative, and help you understand why this is so significant in your lives and the lives of your children.

We have incorporated into the PSR Calendar Year, two Fall and one Spring event during our PSR timeframes where parents attend with their children.  The families sit together, and the parents are given clear handouts that guide them in learning and teaching their children while they are there.

We know that you have many things going in your life as a parent.  And yet – this is a time of tremendous bonding between you and your child. Think of this as a real chance to grow together. Having faith and growing in your faith brings some wonderful happiness to your life: forgiveness, generosity, hospitality, a sense of hope, and most of all, a closeness to God.

  • Don’t skip this process or cut it short because life is too busy now.
  • Plan to attend Whole Family Catechesis sessions which are being planned for 2024.
  • This will last a lifetime!

In addition to Whole Family Catechesis, the following pages will tell you more about our new Lifelong Faith Formation program taking place in the Parish Life Center on Sunday mornings from  9:00-10:15 am.   This program is designed for everybody!  An introductory class that allows you to gather, listen, and discuss – you learn and participate at a level with which you are comfortable.

Each week PSR children will also be introduced to the significant Bible stories in their class that are discussed in the Lifelong Faith Formation Sunday session.  Parents and children will grow in their faith together as they continue the conversation at home about the beautiful story of salvation woven through the pages of the Bible.