.- Adult faith formation programs in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will have a new home at the John Paul II Center as of July 1. Archbishop Timothy Dolan announced his vision for the center last spring, after announcing that academic formation of priests would no longer take place at Saint Francis Seminary. Planning began immediately.
The center will provide adult catechesis and formation to the faithful of southeastern Wisconsin. It will be located in space rented from the School Sisters of St. Francis on South Layton Boulevard in Milwaukee, reported the Catholic Herald.
The archbishop noted the need to expand the formation for lay faithful and to increase the number well trained lay faithful in the current cultural context.
The center will offer diaconate formation; preparation and formation for lay ecclesial ministry; programs that prepare, support, and strengthen marriage and family life, and enrichment opportunities for Catholics to learn about their faith.
Fr. Javier Bustos, a priest of the archdiocese, was asked to lead the planning for the center. Archbishop Dolan named the native Venezuelan priest the center’s director in January.
The center, which will offer programs within four major streams, was modeled on the image offered by the parable of the mustard seed, said Fr. Bustos.
The center will include the Ministry Formation Institute, which will provide formation for the permanent diaconate and non-degreed lay ministry.
The Pentecost Mission will provide faith formation to average Catholics, Catholic schoolteachers, catechists and those considering a vocation, especially in lay ministry.
The Emmaus Project will offer ongoing education and formation for individuals involved in specific ministry, Catholic faithful with an interest in learning more about the faith and parish ministry teams. Much of the work will be done in conjunction with other institutions in the diocese, including Catholic colleges and universities.
Programs such as Theology on Tap, opportunities for people in their 20s and 30s to discuss faith issues in social settings, and the Pallium Lecture series, will fall into the latter category.
The Nazareth Project will provide formation and support for adults entering into and living the sacrament of marriage. Specific areas of ministry include engaged ministry, newly married, marriage, parenting, and separated and divorced Catholics.
The center will use online education and video conferencing. There will be a small fee for the offerings, which will be in English and Spanish.