Because I live at St. Mark’s, Belt, and because this parish remains our largest in numbers, more services have been offered here. Perhaps my largest disappointment with St. Mark’s has been the non-attendance of many of our children during summer months. We truly need to encourage better youth attendance. Although it seemed as though we could not offer CCD classes this fall at St. Mark’s, guidance from Lisa Jassen may help us find a good solution. Regarding our week-day Masses in Belt, so well attended, I invite each parishioner to attend on some occasion if at all possible, just to appreciate the kind of close fellowship we experience in these more intimate liturgies.
What is most needed in our four faith communities, I believe, is ongoing spiritual development for our adults, who will then share their growth with their children and with other people living in this part of central Montana. In addition to our Eucharistic celebrations, I try to provide adult faith formation classes periodically throughout the year. A new series will begin sometime in mid or late fall; to date, I have not decided on our topic or text to study, so suggestions are welcomed. Furthermore, I have asked Fr. Owen to begin the NeoCatechumenate at St. Mark's, and that may happen in January. We will provide information in coming weeks of this program of intense faith-and-discipleship formation.
More is needed. We all need growth in genuine faith, which includes knowledge and practice of our Catholic faith within the context of the Diocese of Great Falls. We also need to develop bonds with Protestant brethren in this area, as we share our love of Christ Jesus. In coming weeks, I encourage you to share with me thoughts you may have for helping us build up our common life together. Jesus tells us how to proceed: “Ask, and you shall receive.”