Catechetical Institute comes to Elk River

For years, Father Mark Innocenti heard about the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute — a two-year program based in St. Paul that provides ongoing faith formation for Catholic adults — and he hoped that one day he’d be able to bring it into one of his parishes.

Father Mark Innocenti

In September, his hope will come to fruition when the institute comes to St. Andrew Church in Elk River, where Father Innocenti serves as pastor.

Over a course of two years, participants will engage in four modules of 11 classes each, plus two formative sessions during each module. Modules include instruction on the creed, sacraments, moral life and prayer. After completing all four modules, students receive a certificate of completion. The main textbook will be the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“It’s a great opportunity for our parish and those in the surrounding areas. The two-year course covers the Catechism of the Catholic Church and is taught by professors, many of whom are from St. Paul Seminary, the same people who teach many of our priests,” Father Innocenti said.

This is the first time the institute will offer its program in the Diocese of St. Cloud. Father Innocenti said St. Andrew’s could potentially host up to 200 people in the course, and he encourages people from around the diocese to consider attending. Elk River is about 35 miles from St. Cloud.

“People are hungry to learn more about their faith and this is a spectacular opportunity to do so,” he said.

Jeff Cavins, who served as the institute’s first director, will visit St. Andrew’s on May 17 to present a talk, “Praise God and Thank Him: Biblical Keys for Joy Filled Living” (see box).

In addition, he will answer questions about the upcoming institute.

For more about the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute or to register for the Elk River program, visit The deadline for applying is July 1.

Author: Kristi Anderson

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