Small Christian Communities


"The community of believers were of one heart and one mind.” Acts 4:32

Sacred Heart hosts approximately 10 Small Christian Communities (SCC’s). SCC’s are becoming the foundation for many of the ministries that Sacred Heart supports. In addition, each community is a place where community members can share their walk with God in support of each other as they bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus.

Opportunities for Ministry in Small Christian Communities

Small Christian Community Formation Team: The Small Christian Communities provide parishioners with opportunities to join with others in prayer, catechesis, faith sharing, and service. The SCC Formation Team invites new participants, organizes and facilitates new communities, assists the communities in ongoing formation, and provides resources for catechesis and faith sharing. The time commitment varies through the year, but is most intensive before and after Evangelization Retreats.

Small Christian Community Liaison/Facilitators: Community Facilitators serve as the link between the Pastoral team, the Community Formation team and the larger community and the small community they represent. Facilitators relay any concerns from their community, help determine appropriate catechesis material, attend liaison meetings once each month with the SSC Formation team, relay and distribute miscellaneous information back to the small community, and maintain a posture of leadership within the community. Training is available.

If you would like more information about joining or starting a Small Christian Community contact Debbie Chester at 344-8311.

Catachesis Materials

Evangelization: God’s Love for Man by Alfonso Navarro
This book is strongly suggested as the beginning catechesis material for new small faith communities formed from the Evangelization Retreat. It is the basis for the retreat format and gives community members an opportunity to share on a deeper level what they experienced on the retreat. It is a translation and sometimes the wording is confusing. A glossary of terms is included in the community handbook for new communities.

Essentials of the Faith: A Guide to the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Alfred McBride 
Like the Catechism Essentials of the Faith is built on four pillars: The Creed, The Sacraments, The Commandments, and Prayer. But unlike the Catechism it puts the complex theological concepts into easy-to-understand, everyday English. It is ideal for personal or group study. Each chapter consists of a short essay on a topic from the Catechism, a practical life application, thoughtful reflection questions, prayer, and a glossary of terms.

Called to Be Church: Faith Sharing for Small Church Communities by Arthur Baranowski 
This faith sharing book provides a brief commentary on the lectionary readings for each Sunday and major feast. “Life Focus” gives at least one set of questions to spark faith sharing. Material is provided for all three cycles of the lectionary. In addition to enriching small church communities, the “Life Focus” questions can be used by any parish groups seeking to incorporate faith sharing into their regular meeting format.

Imagine Jesus by Frank Anderson 
Imagine Jesus takes us back to the gospels for a real look at Jesus daily living, the social setting of his life, and the crucial decisions he made. There are four parts to each chapter: 1) Scripture, 2) Analysis, 3) Prayer, and (4) Discussion. This format can be adapted to the “hand” format and can turn our newfound observations into a bridge toward better communion with God.

At Prayer with Mary by John Phalen & James Posluszny 
Through Scripture stories we come closer to understanding the true person of Mary. By focusing on a down-to-earth image of Mary -- her deep faith, her humanness, her poverty, and her struggles -- this booklet presents a model of Christian living that can support and guide us on our journey. (7 sessions)

Awakening the Mystic Within by Frank X. Tuoti 
This generous collection of beautiful and inspiring reflections is designed to fire the hearts and stir the souls of those beginning the contemplative journey. Leads small faith-sharing communities to investigate the rich mystical heritage and tradition of the Catholic Church. (6 sessions)

Beyond Black and White by Danny Duncan Collum 
Provides an opportunity for small faith-sharing communities to explore what the Catholic faith has to say about the racial issues facing our society. Offering them the opportunity to reach and forge common bonds with people of all races. (6 sessions)

Embracing Life by Michael T. Mannion 
Calls us to reflect prayerfully and share our faith response to a number of life issues. Deepens our convictions that each person and all creation are sacred. (6 sessions)

Creative Aging: Making a Difference in Later Life by Richard von Stamwitz 
These faith-focused sessions emphasize how the enlightenment of aging offers new opportunities to contribute to society through sharing observations, talents, and experiences. (6 sessions)

In Memory of Jesus: Reflections for Parents Whose Children Are Preparing for First Eucharist by Maureen S. Hagan 
The year that our child prepares for first Eucharist can be such a special time. This booklet will hopefully bring a certain consciousness to the process. It is an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings on our own faith journey and on what it is like to be sharing that journey with our young first communicants. (6 sessions)

Strengthening Family Life by Catherine Martin 
Promotes a deeper appreciation of family life, exploring the many faces of family in today’s society. (6 sessions)

Civic Responsibility: What’s It All About? By Mary Ann and Steve Jeselson 
Explores what it means to be a civic leader, encouraging participants to pursue creative solutions to a wide range of human concerns. (6 sessions)

The World of Work by Edmund Flood 
A look at entering into the complex reality of our work to find the opportunities offered us as Christians. (7 sessions)

At Home in the Catholic Church by Charles Pinyan 
Helps both new and longtime Catholics recognize and appreciate the many riches of the Catholic faith, celebrate what it means to be Catholic, and grow in awareness of various dimensions of the faith. (6 sessions)

Preparing for Your Child’s Baptism by Catharine Martin 
A look at the deeper spiritual meaning in everyday situations and the challenges of welcoming a child into the family. Ideal for new parents, those about to become parents, grandparents and godparents. (6 sessions)

Our Origin Story by Mary C. McGuinness & Miriam T. MacGillis 
Promotes a journey of personal transformation that will lead to the transformation of all which threatens the very life of planet earth. (6 sessions)

Nurturing Our Commitment: The Early Married Years by Maureen S. Hagan 
Exploring the issues of relationship. (6 sessions)

Make Media Work for You by June Dwyer Castano 
Identifies media’s motivations and our personal moral responses (6 sessions).

Making God Visible by Kathleen O’Connell Chesto 
Examines the role of parenting as a vocation, the roles materialism and consumerism play in the lives of families, the sources of violence, the role of rules and discipline, forgiveness, and the importance of traditions. (6 sessions)

The Time of Your Life by Mary C. McGuinness 
A look at how time in your life is spent and how your main activity impacts your life and the lives of others. (6 sessions)

Beginnings: Human and World Issues by Mary C. McGuinness & Thomas A. Kleissler 
Integrating faith and action in response to people’s needs (8 sessions)

Discipleship of Nonviolence by Betsy Clark, SSJ 
Practical ways to follow a path of nonviolence modeled on Jesus’ example (6 sessions)

Hunger in God’s World by Art Simon 
Concrete steps to address the contradiction between God’s intention for the world and widespread hunger. (6 sessions)

Lenten Longings: For the Life of the World - Cycle B
Reflections on the Sunday Readings addressing social concerns (6 sessions)

Lenten Longings: Seeing with God’s Eyes - Cycle C 
Reflections on the Sunday Readings with an invitation to see ourselves, one another, and our world with the eyes of God. (6 sessions)

Reflections on "Dead Man Walking” by Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ and Lucille Sarrat 
An examination of our personal feelings, assumptions and beliefs about the death penalty, and the developments in the teachings of the Catholic Church about the death penalty. (6 sessions)

Communities of Salt & Light by National Conference of Catholic Bishops 
Reflections on the social mission of the parish.

God, A Community of Love
Season I of Renew 2000 (6 sessions)

Season II of Renew 2000 (6 sessions)

Reaching Out (through Evangelization)
Season III of Renew 2000 (6 sessions)

Season IV of Renew 2000 (6 sessions)

Renewing for the 21st Century
Season V of Renew 2000 (6 sessions)

Renewing for the 21st Century
Season V of Renew 2000 - Lectionary Based (6 sessions)

Discovering Our Gifts by Thomas D. DeVries 
Enables participants, through a process of prayer, Scripture sharing, and faith sharing to come to the discovery of their particular gifts as members of the Christian community. (12 sessions)

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery by Margo A. LeBert 
These reflections offer a “taste” of the content of the Catechism and hopefully will encourage people to read and study it in greater depth. This booklet focuses upon the second part of the Catechism. (12 sessions)

Life in Christ by Margo A. LeBert 
These reflections have been developed to help small faith communities to break open the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This booklet focuses upon the third part of the Catechism. (12 sessions)

Christian Prayer by Margo A. LeBert 
This booklet offers sessions concerning the fourth part of the Catechism. (12 sessions)

Called & Gifted for the Third Millennium by the U.S. Catholic Bishops 
Reflections of the bishops on the thirtieth Anniversary of the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity and the Fifteenth Anniversary of Called and Gifted. It focuses upon our four-fold call - to holiness, to community, to mission and ministry, and to adult Christian maturity. (4-5 sessions)

A four-volume video series told entirely in the words of the New International Version of the Bible is a deeply moving presentation of the Gospel of Matthew. The Serendipity New Testament for Groups handout provides discussion questions and opportunities for faith sharing.

A four volume video series told entirely in the words of the New International Version of the Bible is a powerful narrative that gives new insight into the compassionate love that united the followers of Jesus in the early church.

The Call to Christian Happiness by Fr. Michael Sweeney and Sherry Weddell 
Christ promised his burden would be light. If you’re more familiar with the burden end of that statement, it’s time to experience the lightness. In this provocative, refreshingly original presentation the meaning and method of Christian happiness is explored. (4 audio tape series with opportunities for faith sharing)

Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States
The complete text of Go and Make Disciples along with a commentary and questions for personal use and group formation.

In Search of Belief by Joan Chittister 
A contemporary analysis of the meaning of the Creed.

Traits of a Healthy Spirituality by Melannie Svoboda 
A true reality check to help us determine how we live our faith today in which 20 specific indicators of a healthy spirituality are examined including self-esteem, wonder, friendship, courage, tolerance, joy, forgiveness, and others.