Encounter - Small Communities of Faith

St. Charles Borromeo parish has a number of small communities of faith for men and women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.  

If you are interested in starting or joining a new group, please email Jim Schuster at jschuster@stcharleschurch.org



What are Small Communities of Faith?

The authenticity of any small faith community depends on the four pillars or essential elements of Christian community–of the Church–being present.


“The teaching of the apostles”:  Integral Formation

·         Regular formation in the faith in general

o   Ample opportunities are already available at the parish for members of SFC’s to attend together

o   Special formation sessions for SFC’s, whether for a single SFC or for several SFC’s (e.g. just women’s) or for all SFC’s together

·         Regular formation in “faith communion,” in fraternal charity, in particular

·         Regular integral human formation (spiritual, intellectual, psychological, social, physical)


“The breaking of the bread”:  Liturgical Celebration

·         Members of SFC’s regularly attend Mass together

·         Members of SFC’s are committed to the regular practice of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation


“The communal life”:  Fraternal Charity

·         Each SFC should have its own name (ideally a biblical word or a term from Christian tradition)

·         SFC’s may have a community covenant which explains their particular name, charism, and goals

·         Members of SFC’s regularly share “agapes” or fraternal meals

·         SFC’s may have a mentor who helps form, shepherd, the community in charity

·         Members of SFC’s regularly enjoy some form of community recreation

·         Members regularly do some communal work of charity, of volunteering


“The prayers”:  Unity in Prayer

·         Individual SFC’s gather regularly for communal prayer involving both an objective element (the inspired Word of God in Sacred Scripture) and a subjective element (personal prayers of adoration, praise, thanksgiving, contrition and supplication/intercession)

·         All SFC’s gather together regularly for a larger communal prayer

·         Communal prayer involves some song, which is “praying twice”

·         The formal inauguration of a SFC may begin with a blessing/dedication, and annually renewed




We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love

and that love comes with community.  ~ Servant of God Dorothy Day