Combined Locks, Wisconsin

FLOCK Overview

Overview, Mission, and Goals

Question: What are the vision and mission statements? Why do they matter?

FLOCK Faith Formation Vision

We are Catholic disciples who follow Jesus and share Him with others!

FLOCK Faith Formation Mission: 

St. Paul Parish is devoted to cultivating families of well-formed disciples who know, love, serve, and share Jesus Christ and His holy Church. 

The vision is a broad statement of identity and purpose. Every baptized Christian has the same vision! The Second Vatican Council articulated: “For the lay faithful… their main duty, whether they are men or women is the witness which they are bound to bear to Christ by their life and works in the home, in their social milieu, and in their own professional circle... Let them also spread the Faith of Christ among those with whom they live or have professional connections - an obligation which is all the more urgent, because very many men can hear of Christ and of the Gospel only by means of the laity who are their neighbors.” (Ad Gentes, paragraph 21)

As a faith formation ministry, our identity is that we are Catholic disciples. We are Catholic: part of the Church Jesus founded. We are disciples: those who learn from the Lord Jesus. Disciples discover, follow, worship, and share Jesus many times in their life-long walk with God. From our identity as “Catholic Disciples” flows our purpose: to know Jesus Christ personally and share Him with others.

A mission is focused with a specific task and goal in mind. All baptized Christians have the same mission, given to us by Jesus Christ Himself: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20). As a faith formation ministry, our mission is cultivating families of well-formed disciples who know, love, serve, and share Jesus Christ and His holy Church. That’s a lot of churchy words, but it’s helpful to break down!

We cultivate because spiritual growth is a Holy Spirit-driven process. Parishes provide opportunities for people and families of all ages and stages, but God is in charge. Humans have free will and the responsibility to respond to God’s presence in their life. Like a farm, a family is a long-term project of ongoing care. That’s true in a household-family, but also in a parish family and the family of God! In a field, in a family, in a parish, or in the entire Church, sometimes things are messy and stressful. Other times things are so fruitful we marvel and give thanks. Through it all, we remember God’s love and care for each of us.

A well-formed disciple doesn’t mean someone who has a degree in theology or knows all the right Church answers! Well-formed refers to the whole person: their human maturity and spiritual maturity. We are all on a faith journey. People develop different stages of spiritual maturity throughout their life, not often correlated to their age or level of education. In the Kingdom of God, great saints can be uneducated or highly educated. Great saints can be very young or advanced in years. Great saints can come from families of abject poverty or from situations of inconceivable wealth. This path of life-long growth as a disciple isn’t complete until we enter heaven, so no one on Earth is “done” with their journey as a follower of Jesus Christ.

Question: What does the FLOCK name mean?

Each part of the FLOCK name has important meaning for our program!

Families: The foundation of any society is the family, which includes not just parents and their own kids, but also grandparents, extended family, and others. But families are hard work! Saint Pope John Paul II said, “To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.” To support each other in this hard work of family life, FLOCK is oriented around all our families journeying in faith together.

Living: If we just hear and learn about Jesus and Church, and don’t do much with that information, it isn’t very helpful. As individuals, families, and a parish community, living out our faith in our actions is where the “rubber meets the road” of our walk with Jesus.

Our: Faith and life in Jesus Christ and his Church is personal, “my faith,” but it’s also communal, “our faith.” We need each other!

Catholic: We are blessed to be part of the Catholic Church! Our community goes back all the way directly to Jesus and his Apostles, and we have over two   thousand years of wisdom to draw from and the   prayers of the Saints in heaven. We are proud to be Catholic!

Koinonia: {pronounced “COIN-an-NEE-ah”} This word is Ancient Greek, and was often used in the Early Church to describe the fellowship, love, and support among the friends and followers of Jesus Christ. In the Bible, Hebrews 10:25 says, "Do not neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encourage one another."  FLOCK is all about families in community!

What are our ministry priorities for faith formation?

Crafted to be relevant and appropriate to the combination of diverse ages/needs within each each group, FLOCK includes four guiding priorities:

Prayer: Saint Mother Teresa said, “Prayer makes your heart bigger, until it is capable of containing the gift of God himself.” FLOCK will help families strengthen how they pray together, in ways we might all know already and also by learning new ways that we can pray.

Bible: our monthly FLOCK themes for families follow the cycle of Bible readings, called the lectionary, that everyone hears proclaimed at Mass. FLOCK encourages and empowers children/teens and parents/adults to grow closer to Jesus Christ who is present in the Scriptures.

Mass: because Sunday [weekend] Eucharist is such an important moment each week to celebrate, worship, rest, and remember, the entire FLOCK experience is crafted to be lived out and deepened by each family’s presence at the weekend  liturgy. Throughout the year we will work on learning more about who is who at Mass [it’s not just about the priest!], why we celebrate the way we do, what we “put in” and  “get out” of Mass, and how Jesus draws us closer to himself and to each other in this way.

Service: Jesus inspires each of us to think about, pray for, and serve others who are in need. We seek to serve others as individuals, as families, and as a whole St. Paul Catholic Church community. FLOCK will provide many opportunities for service throughout the year, and we are excited to see all the new and creative ways our families  will reach out to all our neighbors!

To summarize:

  • FLOCK Faith Formation is Families Living Our Catholic K
  • FLOCK Vision (identity and purpose): We follow Jesus and share Him with others!
  • FLOCK Mission (specific task): We cultivate families of well-formed disciples.
  • Flock is our ministry to grades 1-5 including First Reconciliation and First Communion.
  • Edge is our ministry to grades 6-8.
  • Cor is our ministry to grades 9-11, including Confirmation.

As always, I am praying for our families and our team of catechists! Please join your prayers to mine as we entrust our faith formation year to Our Lady of Champion. In 1859, Our Lady appeared along a backwoods path near the base of Door County. She told a young farmgirl named Adele Brise, “Gather the children in this wild country and teach them what they should know for salvation: their catechism, how to sign themselves with the Sign of the Cross and how to approach the Sacraments. That is what I wish you to do. Go and fear nothing; I will help you.” Combined Locks in 2023 might not be the “wild country” of 1859, but Our Lady’s intercession continues!

St Paul, pray for us! Our Lady of Champion, pray for us!

In the love of Jesus, our Good Shepherd,