Importance of Adult Faith Formation

In his pastoral letter, Bishop Nickless asks the question, “If we who are supposed to be mature in faith do not know the Catholic Faith well, how can we live it and impart it to our children and future generations of Catholics?”

What Bishop is addressing is the importance of adult faith formation, and moreover the necessity of a deep, mature and lived adult faith. As Pope St. John Paul II declared, “Adults have the greatest responsibilities and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form.” Their formation in faith is essential for the Church to carry out its mandate to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to the world. Adults who are mature in faith are essential to who we are and what we do as a Church. Therefore, “To grow into and draw near to Him, the Perfect Man becomes accordingly a grace and a task for every creature” (ACCC 10).

The effect that this understanding of Adult Faith Formation can have cannot be overstated. As Catholics, we recognize that parents have the duty and responsibility to be the primary educators of their children.

Effective adult faith formation will certainly have a profound impact on children, youth and young adults. In a sense, it will produce children’s catechists and youth ministers in the home; parents will instruct their children in the faith by their words, deeds and particularly, example of lifelong formation – catechesis does not and should not end with Confirmation, but is a pilgrimage over the course of each person’s life (OHBWU 39-40).

Recognizing all of this, the Diocese offers consultation in adult faith formation for parishes. If you would like additional information please contact Fred Shellabarger at (712) 233-7532 or

Workshops and Retreats

The Office of New Evangelization & Family Life is here to assist our parishes and parishioners deepen their faith through a variety of ways, including: catechist formation and training, workshops, talks, consultation in faith formation and assistance with parish religious education and evangelization efforts.

Please contact any of them to schedule a presentation at your next retreat or workshop!

Fred Shellabarger
Director of Catechesis and Family Life
(712) 233-7532

Linsey Hoard
Assistant Director of Youth Catechesis & New Evangelization
(712) 233-7561

Kara Bentz
Assistant Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
(712) 233-7516