Adult Faith Formation

Discipleship is a lifelong journey.

Understanding that faith formation is a lifelong pursuit is vital to our Collaborative’s holistic philosophy for a healthy body, mind, and spirit. As beloved children of God and as members of the body of Christ, we are continually urged to know, love, and serve God more fully.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops describes adult faith formation as an essential process inviting Catholic Christians to integrate their own life experiences with knowledge of the faith, love of God, and love of neighbor. It is a complete initiation into the life of the Church as a way of forming a Christian conscience and a desire to act as Christ’s hands and feet in the world.

Blessing of Throats at SMG 02/03/19At St. Maria Goretti and Our Lady of the Assumption, we offer varied opportunities and venues to learn more about and grow in your faith as a Catholic Christian. Wherever you are in your faith journey, we want to walk alongside you.  If you’re looking for some simple first steps, we invite you to attend Mass weekly, participate more fully in the sacraments, and take advantage of our rich Catholic traditions such as Eucharistic Adoration, the Blessing of Throats on the Feast of Saint Blaise, and praying the rosary.  If you want to further deepen your initiation into the Catholic way of life, we offer Bible Study groups, a Men's Spirituality Group, book clubs, and ARISE Together in Christ meetings.  If you are ready to better answer the call to discipleship, we offer Discipleship School that features presentations, interactive exercises, guidance on giving witness testimony to our faith, and spiritual enrichment.  For those who are interested in becoming Catholic, we encourage you to consider the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. (For more information on RCIA, please visit our Becoming Catholic section on our website.)

For more information on our current Adult Faith Formation offerings, please contact our Director of Parish Ministries, Donna Delahanty.  For information on local retreat offerings and retreat centers, go to our website's Retreat Resouces section.

Online Self-Guided Advent Retreat

As we prepare our homes for holiday visitors, let us also prepare our body, mind, and spirit for the coming of our Savior.  We know it is a busy time of year, and joy-filled moments spent with family and friends feed our souls, but it is also important to spend some quiet time with God.  So we're offering this online retreat to do wherever and whenever you have a few minutes "to come to" Jesus.

Each week, we will post reflections and Advent resources.  Follow along at your own pace.  You're only one click away from the renewing peace and revitalizing joy of a spiritual retreat:

College Student Faith Care Package

"I will never forget you. See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name..." (Isaiah 49:15b-16 NAB). We taught our children that through the sacraments, they became members of our faith family.  So now that they're young adults in college, let's show them!  

Let’s keep our college-age children “in the loop” and “in our prayers” while away at school.  Fill out a form, and we’ll periodically send them prayers for midterms and finals, helpful faith-based articles, seasonal plug-in activities, and every college student's lifeline...SNACKS! For more information, contact Kate McGrath.

Here's a helpful list of online resources for college students.

Eucharistic Adoration

Our Lady of the Assumption: Mondays 7:00-8:00 pm
Saint Maria Goretti: First Friday of every month 8:30 am-12:00 noon

The Blessed Sacrament is exposed and adored by parishioners to pray before the Lord Jesus present in the Monstrance.


A Rosary prayer group meets prior to the 9:00 am Mass on Wednesdays at Our Lady of the Assumption Church. The Lynnfield Knights of Columbus promotes devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary through their 5th Sunday Rosary Program which takes place after the 7am Mass at OLA every month that has five Sundays. Click here for instructions on HOW TO PRAY THE ROSARY.

Men's Spirituality Group

The Men’s Group meets on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 7:45-8:45 am at the priests’ residence next to St. Maria Goretti Church to discuss upcoming Scripture readings for the Sunday Mass, and examine ways to apply the readings to everyday life. Please contact John DiBello.

OLA Bible Study with Nina Pension 10/18/19

Bible Study

Our Bible Study group meets on Fridays after the 9:45am Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption's Church Hall.  Each five-week session focuses on different aspects of the Bible and how we can incorporate them into our daily lives. For more information, please contact Piri Collard.

ARISE Together in Christ

ARISE Together in Christ renews and deepens spirituality through the opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in scripture, to explore faith's connection to daily life, and small-group faith sharing in a warm and welcoming environment.  This format invites people to develop a closer relationship with Christ, deepen their faith, grow in community, and reach out in service to others. ARISE sessions are usually offered during Advent and Lent. For more information, please contact Pastoral Associate Donna Hegan.

Discipleship School

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands “Go and make disciples.” It might surprise you to know that he was talking to YOU.  When we are baptized, we are signed up to be disciples. Our parents promise to raise us to evangelize. Really.

Discipleship School 060319By virtue of our baptism, we promise to work as a disciple, to bring people closer to God.  The reality is, however, that we don’t always have the tools necessary to make that happen.  For example, what do we say about the Catholic Church to someone who is struggling with their sexual identity?  Or, what do we say to a family who has lost a loved one to suicide and wonders if that person has made it to heaven?  Do we know what to say to a woman who has had an abortion and is too ashamed to meet with a priest for Confession?  How do we convince a divorced man or woman that they can receive Communion, when they believed it was common knowledge that they weren’t allowed to do so?

This is why our Collaborative, in cooperation with St. Theresa’s in North Reading, has launched Discipleship School for our parishioners.  There are answers that all of us seek to hot topics in the Catholic Church.  In our daily lives, we meet people who have questions about our beliefs on God, the Catholic Church, heaven, the Holy Eucharist.... and we should have answers. We need to be prepared to know what to say to those who have been away from the church and want to return, or people who are thinking of leaving the church and need to be encouraged to stay.   

For the inaugural session, 30 people from St. Maria Goretti, Our Lady of the Assumption, and St. Theresa’s Church in North Reading were invited to participate. Students not only learn what a disciple is, but are empowered to go out into the world and be good ones. We want to start a wave of intentional, emboldened disciples. It can start here. It can start with us. Go and make disciples.