Ministry Formation Day in Raleigh Explores Sacraments, Cycle A Readings

Donna Smith Around the Province

RALEIGH, N.C. — John R. Donahue, SJ, and William McConville, OFM, presented “Sacraments and the Life of Faith” to more than 275 people who attended the Sept. 8 Ministry Formation Day at the Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi here.

Fr. Donahue, a native of Baltimore, Md., discussed the upcoming Cycle A, Gospel of Matthew and sacramental imagination as characteristic of Catholicism. He has lectured widely at scripture workshops in the United States, Canada and South Africa, and has published three volumes of commentaries on the Sunday readings, as well as several books.

“Though the Gospel of Matthew mentions only baptism and the Last Supper, the teaching and actions of Jesus provide a sacramental encounter that draws people deeply into the mystery of God with us,” said Fr. Donahue.

William, associate pastor at St. Francis, in photo above, continued the discussion, focusing on the seven sacramental apex moments. His presentation sought to highlight the necessary interconnections among the Word of God, ritual, and ethical demands in celebration of the sacraments in the life of the community of faith.

The Evangelization Ministry Group, which coordinated the event, reports that the day was a great success, and is planning a follow-up Ministry Formation Day for the spring. The Rev. Richard Fragomini will present a more in-depth view of the sacraments of baptism and eucharist.

— Donna Smith is liturgical communications specialist at the Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi in Raleigh.