The beginning of the new year is a time of review and renewal, and Christine Pinto, associate director of faith formation for the St. Cloud Diocese, intends to provide both at the upcoming “What’s your Story?” gatherings.
Occurring Jan. 3, 7 and 31, the gatherings are an opportunity for all who have a hand in faith formation within the diocese, including catechists, volunteers and directors of religious education.
“Participants will discover how our story is part of God’s story and see how God is at work in our lives and in others’ lives, who are the people in our stories that make a difference and who are the characters in your story who has shown you who God is,” Pinto said.
“Kids come with stories, too,” she added.
These gatherings will assist leaders in faith formation to see the stories God is writing for each of the children and adults with whom they interact. At the event, participants will experience a retreat-like setting and an opportunity to hit the restart button at the beginning of a new calendar year.
The retreat is modeled after a Pathways for Family Formation mini-retreat designed by Faith and Family Life Catholic Ministries, and builds on a resource that was introduced in the diocese last spring.
The retreat focuses on the four seasons of the year — winter, spring, summer and autumn. Each season is associated with a set of experiences and feelings. For example, the winter season deals with grief and the spring season with growth.
This model will help attendees reflect, when encountering someone within their parish community, “Did they just have a winter day or a summer day?” Pinto said.
“I hope the gatherings will allow participants to see themselves in the grand story of salvation history,” Pinto said.
While these retreats are designed to assist those working in ministry, they are open to everyone.
IF YOU GO…
Jan. 7 at Sacred Heart Church in Sauk Rapids from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 31 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Isanti from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.