Raising Our Hearts and Minds to God: Adult Faith Formation in Catholic Prayer Practices

Deborah Scopacasa, Fordham University


My D.Min. “in-ministry project” entails the creation of a course curriculum for parish adult faith formation on Catholic prayer practices that focuses on the history and technique of Catholic prayer forms. This course intends to fill the gap of the limited curriculum resources available on this subject in the context of parish adult faith formation. This course is analyzed with feedback from the participants regarding its effectiveness, primarily by indirect assessment. I perform critical curriculum analysis of published parish adult faith formation materials to determine where gaps in curriculum exist. Of the publishers that have texts approved on the Conformity Listing of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for high school texts and series, there are three publishers that produce materials that are set in a format to use in parish adult faith formation. These materials deal mostly with prayer in general without noting the history or practice of specific prayer forms. Therefore I compose a curriculum based primarily on the philosophy of progressive adult education which includes elements of liberal adult education, consisting of a seven-session course that introduces adults in a parish setting to Catholic prayer practices. These seven sessions cover Prayer in General, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, The Liturgy of the Hours, Contemplation, The Examen, The Rosary, and Summary Sharing of Prayer Experiences. Each session includes a presentation by the catechist, large and small-group discussions, individual time for reflection, and praying any particular prayer form discussed. The project contains a course outline with a detailed timeline for each session as well as ten to fifteen pages of research on each of the prayer practices that are discussed to provide content for the sessions. Some of the sessions also contain handouts to be used in the presentation of the material. The course is evaluated and includes reflections for its future use.

Subject Area

Religious education

Recommended Citation

Scopacasa, Deborah, "Raising Our Hearts and Minds to God: Adult Faith Formation in Catholic Prayer Practices" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28649771.