IMPACT Schedule and Session Description
Sessions at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hiawatha, IA (*unless otherwise indicated)
Year One Sessions (2017/2018)
September 16-17*: Opening Retreat on Christian Discipleship (American Martyrs Retreat House)
IMPACT begins with a two-day retreat to reflect on Christian discipleship. We explore the Scriptural foundation of discipleship, as well as the qualities, practices, and mission of Christian disciples. Prayer, reflection, conversation, food and fun are a part of this weekend experience.
October 7*: Self-Knowledge
Our impact as a Christian disciple depends on healthy and honest self-knowledge. In this session, participants will explore the self in relationship with God—our true identity as children of God. Through self-discovery, we will also begin to understand how our God-given personalities, as well as our gifts and talents, can be used for furthering the kingdom of God.
November 11: Christian Spirituality
The goal of Christian spirituality is union with God through Jesus Christ, which is also the longing of every human heart. This day explores God’s call to us and our response as disciples. The writings of a few of the great saints will impact our study as guides on the spiritual journey.
December: On-line Advent Retreat
During the busy month of December, IMPACT participants will be asked to partake in an on-line Advent retreat. Daily readings, prayer, and journaling will be expected, as well as a weekly on-line discussion.
January 13: Spirituality of Scripture
Critical to Christian discipleship is a well-grounded understanding of the story of salvation history as presented in the Bible and transmitted through the Catholic Church. This session explores the covenant between God and God’s people as told through the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New Testament in Jesus Christ.
February 10: Spirituality of Sacraments/Sacramentality
Catholics see and experience the world differently. At this session, we explore the world as graced—God’s presence permeates the world through love, compassion, forgiveness, beauty, truth, and order. This sacramental worldview impacts our lives as Christian disciples in our homes, workplaces, parishes, and communities.
March 10: The Spirituality of the Paschal Mystery
The root metaphor for Christianity rests in the Paschal Mystery: the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we journey through Lent into the Triduum, the Church moves its members into a deeper solidarity with Christ—from the cross into new life. We will explore the movement, the mystery, and the practical applications of the Paschal Mystery for Christian disciples.
April 14: The Spirituality of Leadership
Jesus modeled leadership through service to others, especially the least and the littlest. The impact of our leadership depends on how we serve those we meet and those we lead, as illustrated when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. We will study the Scriptural foundation for servant leadership, and how it should affect our lives as Christian disciples.
Year Two Sessions (2018/2019)
September 22*: Opening Retreat Day on the Christian Mission
(American Martyrs Retreat House) As disciples, we have been charged with the mission of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. We begin our second year with Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, which lays out the mission statement for the Church in light of the Gospel. We will explore more deeply the understanding of our Christian mission and practical, pastoral, ways of carrying out the mission.
October 20: Theology of Ministry The term, ministry, derives from the Greek word, diakoneo, which means to serve. As Christian ministers, with Jesus Christ as our example, we will further study the theology of lay ministry in the Church. Why are we to serve? How are we to serve? Who do we serve?
November 17: Jesus in the Gospels As disciples, we are to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ. Our primary way of knowing Jesus is through the four Gospels, with each giving a different image of Christ. Our study will focus on the kerygma, a Greek word meaning proclamation. The kerygma is the proclamation of the Christian faith: What is the message of Jesus Christ? Why did Jesus live, die, and rise? How and why do we proclaim Him through our ministry?
December: Each IMPACT member is asked to participate in parish offerings.
January 19: Our gifts, talents, charisms will be explored within the context of the mission of the Church. When we know and understand our charisms, we can participate more fully and joyfully to the kingdom of God.
February 16: Theology of Baptism The Sacrament of Baptism is the foundation of all sacraments. In Baptism, we are claimed by God, immersed in the body of Christ, and sent on mission. As one professor said, “If we ‘get’ baptism, we understand our faith!” We will study the theology of baptism and grow in our understanding of its implications for individuals/parishes/Christian mission.
March 16: Catholic Social Teaching As we prepare to be sent out on mission, it’s vital to understand the basic principles of Catholic Social Teaching (often described as “the best kept secret of the Catholic faith”). How does the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) provide us with a vision of the human person and help us to seek justice within society today? How can Catholics’ values and commitments be formed through the biblical themes and theological principles at work within CST?
April 13: Parish Leadership How can we lead within our parishes? In this session we will explore three parts of a leadership process. First, leaders join with others to be attentive to needs and opportunities. Next, leaders reflect with others about what ought to be done. Finally, leaders collaborate with others to put decisions into action.
May 11: Commissioning
Participants of IMPACT will celebrate the conclusion of our two-year program with Mass and brunch!