Dear Old, New and Future Newmanites,
I’d like to share some thoughts with you about Faith Studies, which have their home in the Newman Centre on the McGill campus.
After Mass in the Newman centre, a friendly girl simply asked me “Would you like to take part in a faith study?” I asked: “What is it?”
Faith studies: Small groups of ladies and small groups of men meet together once a week or so to pray together and discover more about their faith.
Initial thoughts: I wondered whether this was something intended for me. Something that I would ‘get something’ from – or whether I should politely, but firmly just say – “I’m afraid I’m a bit too busy”. I am so glad that it was a friendly, encouraging face who asked me to consider faith studies; I am so glad “I’m busy” wasn’t my response.
I took part in the first series of studies in the autumn term of last year – it is affectionately known as ‘Disco’. The series title is apt- Discovery of the heart of the Gospel Message. Through weekly meetings in which our group prayed together, expressed our understanding of the Faith, and offered our personal experiences of living of Christian life to each other, I was humbled by the faith of my friends, given courage to live out my faith and discovered for my life, the importance of making time to pray – to create time for Lord in my hectic McGill and exchange student schedule. Disco armed me with the words to express my faith to others simply and with clarity. What a huge gift that is in evangelisation- how often might we allow someone to come closer to Christ if we would only share with them the Gospel message.
In the second term, I participated in the next series of studies – “Source” is about the Holy Spirit. The faith study resources are rich. I particularly valued the times when we studied small passages of Scripture. How wonderful to be able to read passages of the Bible to each other, talk, question and discuss it and then pray together. Coming to meet my group for faith studies was something I looked forward to during the week, but I began to realise that meeting for faith studies was interesting, but increasingly helping to bring me closer to Jesus Christ. Sometimes, our group would finish our studies, and then attend Mass together. Faith Studies gave me the opportunity to consider how I could organise myself and build my life with Jesus Christ at the centre.
I pray that many of you will find the time and courage to join a faith study group this term or next. I pray that the Holy Spirit inspires you to share with your friends as you as you journey, deepening your faith in the Risen Lord.