Our parish is committed to the goal of providing a happy, safe, and holy environment for each member of our parish family to develop their faith at each stage in his or her life. Formation in our parish involves the very young preschooler as well as the eldest members of our community. We recognize that our faith journey begins at our Baptism and continues throughout our life.
The Office of Formation coordinates the spiritual development and maturation of our entire parish community. Programs are provided for children, middle and high school aged youth, young adults starting independent life, and parents and mature adults.
We are a faith community of over 1,600 families and have over 1,000 participants in our faith formation programs at any given time. Our programs are staffed by hundreds of our own parish membership. Transfiguration’s Christian Formation Programs have a dynamic of openness and gift to each member of our parish!
I had the great privilege this summer to accompany a group of teens from Transfiguration on our annual service retreat week with the Sisters of Saint Joseph in the city of Rochester. We live in community with the sisters at St. Boniface convent, work at various ministry sites during the day, and spend our evenings in reflection and discussion about what it means to follow Jesus in a world so broken and full of need. This year we also walked around the block to St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality for their Thursday evening Mass. The teens were so moved by the presence of Christ in that community that they’ve asked me to take them back again and again as the summer went on. At the end of the week, one of our teens so beautifully voiced what the experience had meant to him: “All my life I’ve been doing things at church, but I’m always in my head. Now, I feel it in my heart.”
I think this young man expressed what life-long faith formation and being Church is all about. It’s about meeting Jesus with our whole person – head, heart, and hands. It’s about falling more deeply in love with God at each stage of our lives. We long to know more about God and the teachings of our faith, to have a safe place to explore our questions. We come to recognize the face of Christ in the person sitting next to us at Mass, and especially in the poor. At a deep level, we come to understand our own identity, made in the image and likeness of God, and to understand that sacred identity is shared by every person we will ever meet. Our hearts are broken open and we are moved to become the hands of Christ in our world.
Here at Transfiguration we strive to provide opportunities for all to encounter God, no matter your age or where you are on your faith journey. In the following pages, you will find information about our faith formation programs for preschoolers, grade-schoolers and families, middle-schoolers, high-schoolers, and adults. I’d like to draw your attention to two new offerings in particular.
If you are looking for a way into relationship with Jesus and with our faith community, please join us for The Chosen series Wednesdays in October. We’ll have dessert, watch an episode, and share some conversation. When I first viewed this new series about Jesus, I knew we needed to include it in our formation offerings this year. I felt my heart opened to the person of Jesus in a new way through this wonderfully done story-telling. It’s just delightful!
For all parents of tweens or teens, and other adults who care about our young people, we are hosting a special event on Wednesday, October 2. Diocesan Director of Youth Ministry Leslie Barkin will walk us through Helping Teens With Stress, Anxiety, and Depression by Roy Petifils. We hope this will be the beginning of a larger conversation for all families struggling to raise healthy teens in such a challenging time. Please spread the word to the parents you know! In this season of new beginnings, may we all renew our desire to know Jesus more deeply through our head, heart, and hands. .
Peace in Christ,
Director of Formation