Make Catholic Formation Holistic Again

Catholic formation isn’t just about teaching the brain; it has to do with the development of a whole person spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. The Church has long recognized that this formation best happens in a Christian community. In this episode, you’ll learn why knowing Church teachings isn’t enough—you have to allow your whole self to be transformed by Christ, including your prayer life, your personality, how you interact with others, and even the food you put in your body. Whether you’re a DRE, youth minister, parent, grandparent, or Bible study leader, this episode will help you take steps towards your own holistic formation and empower you to build a community where others can experience the fullness of true Catholic formation.



Holistic Formation
  1. Personal Faith Formation
    1. Growth in your own personal spiritual life
    2. This is a more general meaning of holistic formation
  2. Formation for Ministry
    1. Especially professional ministry in the church
    2. This is a more specific meaning of holistic formation
    3. Five Dimensions of Formation for Ministry
      1. Intellectual
      2. Pastoral
      3. Human
      4. Spiritual
      5. Communal
        1. (1) Priestly – emphasizes the communal formation
        2. (2) Lay ministers – communal formation is absent.
        3. This is the best way in which to form people


How can Lay People be Called to Live Their Lives in the Pastoral Dimension?
  1. By becoming an active listener, counseling others, performing administrative work and shaping programing so that it touches people’s lives rather than just educating them on Church teaching is living out this pastoral dimension.
  2. The majority of people who serve are actually doing a significant pastoral ministry all the time, even if they don’t recognize it.
  3. If the intellectual dimension is about the heart, the pastoral dimension is about the head and the hands. It makes concrete what we believe deeply, makes it humanly interact with those around.


Human Formation
  1. Seeks to develop our human qualities and character
  2. Fosters a healthy and well balanced personality for ourselves but also our service. The pastoral dimension is that service.
  3. Three elements that are involved in human formation. They makes us who we are and are what we bring to the table when we serve others.
    1. Personality
    2. Core Values
    3. Personal Narrative


Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:
  1. Thriving in Ministry by Matt Bloom
  2. Personality Inventories
    1. Myers Briggs
    2. Strengths Finder
    3. Catholic Charisms Inventory


We’d Love to Hear from You

Do you have comments, questions, or topic suggestions for the Ascension Roundtable hosts? Use the comment box below or email us at You may hear your question or comment in an upcoming podcast episode!

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