The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Formation Days take faith on the road around state

Six cities, 20 speakers, 500-plus parish leaders dig into mystery of Eucharist

Published: May 10, 2023   
Courtesy Faith Formation Office
Father Mike Johns, pastor of St. Louis Church in Camden, speaks during a Formation Day at St. Louis Church in Camden April 29.

More than 500 catechists and parish leaders participated in the diocesan Formation Days on the mystery of the Eucharist.
Faith formation director Jeff Hines said the last event April 29 at St. Louis Church in Camden drew 50 catechists from Lake Village, Hope, Jacksonville, Little Rock, El Dorado, Hot Springs and Magnolia to hear talks on the Eucharist.
A “Formation Day” is a day for catechists and parish leaders from the Diocese of Little Rock to come together to deepen their understanding of the faith to better equip them for their work in the parish. 
Formation Days are held regionally so that catechists can attend the date and location that is most convenient for them. In past years, catechists came to Little Rock each September for a Catechetical Day. To reach more catechists, the Office of Faith Formation asked parish priests if they would like to host Formation Days and invite people from surrounding parishes.
Six parishes hosted Formation Days during the 2022-2023 academic year. Invitations to attend were sent to parish pastors and directors of religious education and faith formation.  
Participants heard talks on the 2021 document from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops titled, “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church.” The document says that we should “reflect on Christ’s gift of himself in the Eucharist and our response to that gift.” 
The day began with a bilingual morning prayer, followed by a series of eight talks. The talks were given in English and Spanish in separate rooms.  The groups came together for lunch. The day ended with participants attending the parish vigil Mass.
Formation Days were held at St. Augustine Church, Dardanelle; St. Theresa Church, Little Rock; St. Benedict Church, Subiaco, Blessed Sacrament Church, Jonesboro; and St. Louis Church, Camden. The final Formation Day will be held May 13 at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers.  
Twenty speakers gave presentations. They included Father Jon Miskin, Sister Ana Luisa Chávez Leos, Sister Ana Lilia Mares de Luna, Sister María del Refugio Caldera, Father Stephen Gadberry, Father Mauricio Carrasco, Deacon Marcelino Luna, Father Mark Stengel, David Thompson, Maria Elena Thompson, Father Cassian Elkins, OSB, Father Nelson Rubio, Father Stephen Elser, Father Martin Amaro, Father Martin Seibold, Father Mike Johns, Father Edward D’Almeida, Deacon Jose Fabio Cruz, Deacon Arturo Hernandez and Deacon Arturo Castrejon.
These parishes have volunteered to host the Formation Days for 2023-2024.

  • Sept, 16, 2023: Harrison, Mary Mother of God Church
  • Nov. 11, 2023: Helena, St. Mary Church
  • Jan. 27, 2024: Texarkana, St. Edward Church
  • March 16, 2024: Fort Smith, St. Boniface Church
  • April 27, 2024: Little Rock, St. Edward Church
  • May 18, 2024: Rogers, St. Vincent de Paul Church

The theme of the 2023-2024 Formation Days will be “Building a Culture of Evangelization.” More details will be shared in Arkansas Catholic and on in the coming months.

Bishop Taylor wants you to know more about your faith and the Church: Sign up for Arkansas Catholic's free digital edition.

Please read our Comments Policy before posting.

Article comments powered by Disqus