Corpus Christi Blog

What is Adult Faith Formation?

08-21-2022Weekly ReflectionKaren Henz, Kino Graduate; Catechist Trainer with the Diocese of Phoenix

We are always surprised when we hear people say they are not aware of adult learning opportunities at Corpus Christi. Hopefully, this information will help you consider joining one of many options this fall.

As adults, we tend to fall into a routine defined by our career, work, and family life. In our spare time, many of us seek adult friendships along with spiritual and learning experiences beyond our individual interests and our participation at weekly Mass. Many people look for opportunities to learn about and discuss topics of interest in Catholicism with other adults, to ask questions, and to share common experiences of their faith in a non-judgmental, warm, and welcoming setting. We call it Adult Faith Formation: a full-range of formal and informal resources to foster learning experiences for individuals and adult-fellowship groups to grow spiritually, educationally, and in relationship with each other.

Parishes are tasked by the US Bishops to provide Catholic adults with opportunities to grow closer to Jesus — to mature knowledgably, completely, and truthfully about what we believe — all in fellowship with our parish community. This is not only for our own benefit, but also so that we can comfortably share what we learn with others — our family, friends, and those we meet. Through our Baptism, we are all called to share the Good News of Jesus with others, completely and authentically, but how can we do this if we are not completely confident or informed?

Our adult faith is meant to grow and strengthen through trust in God, life experiences, and knowledge. For many of us, formal study and discussion of our beliefs ended when we completed our reception of the sacraments in high school or, for some, in grade school. As adults, many of us rely on our understanding of our faith to make decisions based on what we learned as children or teens. We attend Sunday Mass weekly, where we receive spiritual nourishment both from Jesus, Himself and our priest’s or deacon’s homily, which breaks open that day’s scriptures and explains how they apply to us. How many of us ponder or discuss these messages or study the Bible in depth?

At Corpus Christi, we are blessed with ongoing adult programs covering a variety of topics based in sound, Catholic teaching, which offer genuine fellowship, in a safe and comfortable environment, in order to explore our faith, ask questions, and grow spiritually. Apart from groups that meet for prayer or to discuss next Sunday’s scriptural readings, this article focuses on four, adult learning opportunities: ACES, CAFÉ, Coffee Break Women’s Ministry, and Men of St. Joseph.

ACES (Adult Catholic Education Series)

Thursdays in classrooms 7 & 8

Click here for info on fall classes.

ACES began during the summer last year. Classes are offered in different areas of Catholic faith and education; all adults are welcome. The class includes a video presentation from one of many scriptural scholars or Catholic educators, followed by a discussion of questions and handout materials on the topic. Discussions are with the entire group so everyone can hear responses to questions, offer additional reflections or ask questions. Past topics have included the early Church and the Mass.

Michelle commented on the classes saying: The recently offered classes on church history and the Mass were invaluable… and have increased my appetite to learn more and share it with others.

Carol said: Having been poorly catechized in childhood and no catechism in high school, I remained true to the Church, but always had a great desire to learn about the Catholic faith… The Church history class… set the foundation for so many things I did not understand.

Of the Mass class she said: “…when you fully understand the Mass, it becomes a beautiful experience and draws one closer to God. …the more we learn, the better Catholics we become.

CAFE (Catholic Adult Faith Enrichment)

Saturdays in classrooms 7 & 8 Fall classes start September 10.

Topics vary each month. Click here for the full schedule and to register.

This series began in fall of 2021 and repeats annually. This is the same class offered by the Kino Institute with the Diocese of Phoenix; all adults are invited. Classes are held one full-day or two half-days a month and run from September through April. The presentation is from the US Catholic Catechism for Adults, with lively discussions of the Catholic faith, where questions are encouraged. Discussions embrace not only what we believe about our faith, but also how to defend it given our current society and culture.

Karen said: This class was super interesting… The material was presented in such a way that anyone on any level could understand it… I highly recommend this class to anyone that wants to delve deeper into the Catholic faith and find beauty and richness in our Church.

Both ACES and CAFÉ are coordinated by Jack & Karen Henz. Questions? Contact Jack at or Karen at

Coffee Break

Women’s Ministry

Wednesday mornings in rooms 7 & 8 Click here for info on the fall session.

Coffee Break began over 20 years ago. It is primarily a scripture-study group of 40 to 60 women of all ages. New studies begin each September and January with a small fee for study materials. Free childcare is provided. Recent topics included the Prophets of the Old Testament, and the book, Why be Catholic? by Trent Horn. The format includes reading the Bible at home using a study guide with questions. The group meeting includes intercessory prayer, followed sometimes with the viewing of videos from well-known biblical scholars, and concluded by small group discussions to share personal reflections. Pre-registration is not necessary.

Questions? Contact Anne Young at

Men of St. Joseph

Wednesdays at 6:30pm

The first Wednesday of the month features a guest speaker, and subsequent weeks feature an inspiring video series followed by small group discussions. Recent topics have included the Eucharist and Confession.

Additionally, the group occasionally meets offsite at Native Grill and Wings for pizza, wings, fellowship, and a three to four-week speaker series. The next speaker series begins September 7 on the topic of “Reading the Bible Confidently and Fruitfully,” by guest speaker, Joe Cady (click here for more info). The group has been meeting for about five years under the leadership of Dcn. Dennis Lambert. All men over 18 are welcome to attend. If you are looking to deepen your faith and your understanding of it, the Men of St. Joseph can certainly benefit your quest!

In summary, our parish offers many great adult learning options. Prior knowledge or study of the Bible is not required for participating in any of the classes, which are all based on sound Catholic teaching. September is usually a time when thoughts return to the excitement of going back to school to study new things. No matter what your age or where you are on the journey, give one of these wonderful programs a try this fall. If you see one of interest, you will want to make time to attend because topics are rarely repeated. Please watch for more information in the bulletins, Flocknotes, flyers, and announcements after Mass. You may be surprised at what new insights you might gain about your faith, and who you just might meet in the process.