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placeholder August 8, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA
New program to aid catechists

Mark your calendars for a new program being offered by the Department of Faith Formation & Evangelization: crossfit.
Three "crossfit" classes directed towards catechists will be offered.

These classes are meant strictly for adult catechists because "we need to be paying a lot more attention to the spiritual needs of our adults. We do a lot for our kids but the adults need to be taught the faith and need to build up the faith on an adult level," said Steven Lewis, director of the RCIA crossfit program.

RCIA crossfit will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 20 in the Mullen Commons building at St. John Vianney Parish, 1650 Ygnacio Valley Road, Walnut Creek.

Catechist crossfit will be offered from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at St. Joachim Parish, 21250 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward.

The third crossfit class is for Spanish speakers. It will be offered from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Aug. 20 at St. Joachim. The cost is $25.

These "spiritual workouts" are meant to not be an actual workout but rather an experience in which you strengthen your spirituality.

All three programs include similar aspects. Steven Lewis says, "…the schedule is the only thing that's really going to change but the content should be pretty similar."

The RCIA crossfit program is $20 lunch included and the day is meant to "get [yourself] renewed and inspired."

Within the day that is structured as a workout there is a keynote "warmup," breakout sessions "circuit training," praise and worship "cross training" and a closing prayer "cool down."

Bill Keimig, a national speaker and the assistant director of the Catechetical Institute, will talk.

Register for the RCIA program at www.oakdiocese.org/rcia-crossfit.

The catechist crossfit is $25 registration, lunch included. Its "spiritual workout" is meant to "strengthen and inspire, as we begin a new year of ministry" through a structured faith filled day.

There are two guest speakers: Bob Rice, a nationally acclaimed speaker and author, and Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ. Sign up at www.oakdiocese.org/crossfit.


FAQs

Steven Lewis

Steven Lewis, director of the RCIA crossfit program, answered questions:

Is there an age suggestion?

"It is directed towards catechists…because we feel like those people need support just like anybody else does in the ministry so we're putting on these events."

Why is this needed?

"We think that we need to be paying a lot more attention to the spiritual needs of our adults, we do a lot for our kids but the adults need to be taught the faith and need to build up the faith on an adult level. All of them are a whole day of prayer. For the RCIA on the first half of the day is just prayer. The ground level that I want before we talk about anything else is are we praying because if we start there we can do anything."

How is it structured?

"[We thought] how can we structure the day so that we can serve both in a way that actually brings results which is why I felt that at least at the RCIA crossfit the first half of the day will be just spiritual, and then we will move to practical."

What are the differences between the three programs?

They're really similar in terms of what is included and what should be there but the schedule is the only thing that is really going to change but the content should be pretty similar."

What should people bring?

Your ideas. We're going to be spending some time in our practical breakout sessions and they are going to be much more discussion based … together we're going to be able to make each other better so bring your ideas and bring your concerns."

What is the core of the program?

"I care. We really want our catechists to know we're here to care for them and give them what they need. If they need spiritual formation or spiritual help we're here to provide that. If they need practical help for specific problems we're here to provide that too. We really want to make this the springboard for a caring relationship between the people working in the chancery and the catechists working in the parish, which is part of why I think we're so excited to put these on."

Will there be more of these?

"The hope is to make this an annual thing. Almost immediately after RCIA classes will start to kick up and then soon after adult confirmation classes will kick up so it's kind of a warm up."

Why did you choose the pun, crossfit?

"I think spiritual workout is a great way to think of it. We need catechists who are spiritually strong, who can spiritually go through the workout so it was fun to get a theme. Your relationship with God is … a muscle you have and you have to be able to work it out and you have to be able to build it so it can be stronger than it used to be so crossfit is not just because it's cute. It's also really fitting."

 
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