What does a Faith and Action Circle Meeting Look Like?

Faith and Action Circle meetings should conform to the rhythm of the liturgy and therefore to the rhythm of the parish. The liturgy has four distinct parts: (1) the gathering, (2) the Word, (3) Communion with and through Christ in the Eucharist, and (4) the sending forth for mission.

“We are not on our own personal crusade. We are walking with Christ and in Christ. Doing it on our own is a sure sign that Jesus is no longer working through us.”

   Archbishop Emeritus George Niederauer
   Archdiocese of San Francisco
   CCG Episcopal Advisor

The Faith and Action Circles are meant to have a similar rhythm.

  1. We gather to serve Christ and his Church, not ourselves or our personal agenda. The meeting begins with the Memorare, asking for the intercession of patroness, Our Lady of Guadalupe, our role model and guide, the greatest evangelizer. It also starts with a statment of mission and purpose: promoting the centrality and integrity of marriage for children and society.
  2. We study and share faith as we read, reflect and develop a deeper understanding of what the Church teaches and how we can share that with family members, friends and, in some cases, public officials.
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    We take time to reflect on the community of the circle —the intimate relationship that we have with each other through Christ in the Eucharist. As we strive through the Holy Spirit to become love for our mission, we must first become love to each other. As Pope Benedict has taught us, we are roped together in Christ, like a party of mountain climbers in our quest for the Summit, Christ himself. The circle members support each other in the quest and struggles in a culture that undermines families, and is hostile to faith and the reality of marriage, and family. We are not alone. Christ is with us; Christ is in us.

  4. And then as we depart, we re-commission ourselves with the Prayer for Evangelization of Culture, standing in a circle with our left hand on the shoulder of the next person—sending each other forth to serve Christ and his Church.

The Heart of the Meeting

Part 2 – Study and Faith Sharing

The second part of meeting is dedicated to learning, formation, and community building.  The process involves reading a prescribed text and providing personal reflections on the text. The focus must always be on self and never on how the text applies to other people. 

Discussion and cross talk are discouraged to avoid being distracted by conversations that can lead the group away from reflecting on the text and the primary purpose of this part of the meeting—learning and formation. In building community, the group is encouraged to take responsibility for supporting one another in their formation for mission.

Part 3 – Community Action and Business

The third part of the meeting is devoted to community in Christ and is focused on discussion and planning of practical ways of putting what is learned into action—in the home, among close circles of friends, in the work place, and in the public square(see examples of group action). This can range from a discussion of how to act on insights gained from that very meeting, to planning efforts to recruit new people into the movement.  It would be good to also discuss results or difficulties related to personal or group actions since the last meeting.

Examples of Personal Action:

  1. Share an insight gained with a family member and/or close friend to precipitate a conversation about love, marriage, family, or human sexuality.
  2. Make a public statement in support of marriage and family using techniques learned from the movement through comments posted on blogs and websites, letters to the editor, email conversations, and on Facebook and Twitter.

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