Saint Philip Parish has a wide variety of Adult Faith Formation opportunities throughout the course of the year. The following are some of the more recent events and gatherings that have allowed our parishioners to grow more deeply in their relationship with Jesus:
Lenten Soup and Speaker Series
This popular series takes place on the Wednesday evenings of Lent at the Ascension Church Site. Guests enjoy a dinner of homemade soups and salad in Conner Hall, then they gather in Ascension Church to listen to an amazing speaker from the Diocese of Pittsburgh on a particular Lenten topic. Afterward, everyone returns to Conner Hall for a light dessert and a table discussion about the particular topic of the evening. Past speakers have been Fr. Alek Schrenk, Deacon Bill Batz, Ms. Eileen Colianni, Fr. Don Ware, Dr. Maureen Crossen, Sr. Bernadette Manning, SC, just to name a few.
This new experience took place over four evenings in September 2019 and was an opportunity for participants to share fellowship and discussion over a dinner, presentation and faith sharing. 100 parishioners participated in this first-time program and found the experience to be an enlightening and uplifting opportunity to learn more about Jesus. In this series, the reflections of Bishop Robert Barron were viewed and discussed.
Forming Intentional Disciples
Based on the award-winning book, Forming Intentional Disciples, by Sherry Weddell, this special series involved a cohort of parishioners who were invited to learn more about becoming Intentional Disciples. Special training took place over three days of reflection, faith sharing, lectures and fellowship encounters in the methods of Sherry Weddell and the St. Catherine of Siena Institute. Participants were trained to oversee small faith groups and lead discussion tables at the Encounter Christ Series. A second cohort is planned for Spring 2020.
Advent Evenings of Recollection
Fr. John Gizler, Pastor, and Ms. MaryAnn Garfold, Director of Faith Formation, offered four evenings of prayer, reflection and discussion during the weeks of Advent. Themes were from the Sunday Readings of Advent and offered an in-depth opportunity to learn more about this special season of expectant hope and waiting for the Christ Child.
In 2017, Saint Philip Parish was blessed to host Mr. Bill Wegner, President of Good News International Ministries, a Catholic Missionary Group that holds parish missions across the United States, Canada and in Europe. Our Parish Mission Theme was “Dare to Live Jesus” and we experienced an amazing four-night Mission with group discussions, refreshments and an opportunity to go to confession with our parish priests. A vibrant contemporary music group provided uplifting liturgical music throughout the Mission.
Pray, Fast, Give – Making the Most of Lent
This five-week series took place on Thursday afternoons from 1:30pm-3:00pm with Fr. John Gizler. Based on the book, Pray, Fast, Give, this series was an in-depth look at how we can enter more fully into the penitential season of Lent. Gatherings included a presentation by Fr. Gizler, discussion about the specific chapters of the book, and faith sharing with those in attendance each week.
In-Depth Church Tours
During the Lenten Season, in-depth tours of St. Philip and Ascension Churches are given by Fr. Gizler. These tours, usually held on two Sundays in Lent, last about 1.5 hours and take participants through the interesting history of both of our church buildings. From the neo-Gothic architecture of St. Philip to the repurposed Pittsburgh Railways Car Barn that became Ascension Church, both tours offer a very interesting look at our houses of worship.
Experiencing the Scriptures of Advent
Fr. John Gizler, Pastor, and Ms. MaryAnn Garfold, Director of Faith Formation, led the parish through an evening of prayer and praise as they discussed the Scripture Readings from the Advent Season.
Other Faith Formation offerings included Lenten Family Day, Lenten Movie Night, Into to Scripture, Praying Our Experiences, and Ask-a-Priest Night. Look for additional gatherings, classes and experiences in 2020!