Adult Faith Formation Archive

Did you miss a presentation? Want extra copies of presentation materials? You’ve come to the right place!


The Eucharist and Its Background as a Jewish Meal
Fr. Brian McDermott
Sunday March 1 10:10am
Understanding the Jewish roots of the Eucharist is critical for appreciating what Jesus was, is and offers his friends: a new Passover, a new Manna, a new Bread of Presence.

Building Inclusive Communities by Understanding Differences – Continuing the Conversation
Sunday, February 23, 10:10am, Lower School, Big Room
Presenters Drs. Thea Bruhn and Roly Diaz will hold a follow-up session to address questions about how families can have conversations about respecting gender differences, cultural norms and non-traditional family structures. It is not necessary to have attended the first presentation. All are welcome.


Historical Perspectives on the Laity in the Church
Fr. John W. O’Malley, SJ, Professor of Theology at Georgetown University

Sunday, January 12, 10:10am, Trinity Hall

If the church is best defined as the People of God, the role of the laity in it is obviously crucial, as history demonstrates irrefutably. Join Fr. John O’Malley for a quick historical overview followed by a discussion of how the abuse crisis and Pope Francis’ promotion of “Synodality” raises the laity to a new prominence for our times.

His latest book, When Bishops Meet, published in August, traverses more than 450 years of Catholic history and examines the Councils’ most pressing and consistent concerns: questions of purpose, power and relevance in a changing world.

Did you miss Fr. O’Malley’s presentation? You can listen to it here.


Advent: A Season Worth Waiting For
David Pennington, Pastoral Associate for Liturgy
Sunday, December 8, 10:10 am, Chapel

David Pennington, our Pastoral Associate for Liturgy, will explore the themes and meanings that fill the Advent season. He will offer suggestions about how to engage the season both at church and at home.

All are invited to renew the anticipation and hope this season of preparation.



Jesus’ Preaching on the Kingdom of God in Matthew’s Gospel
Dr. Alan Mitchell, Professor of Scripture, Georgetown University
Sunday, December 15, 10:10 am, Chapel

As we begin a new Liturgical year (Year A)  that will focus on the Gospel of Matthew,  this presentation offers insight on Matthew’s lens on Jesus’ mission.

Alan Mitchell, Professor of Scripture at Georgetown, will focus on the theme of  Jesus’ Preaching on the Kingdom of God in Matthew’s Gospel.

All are welcome to come and renew acquaintance with the Gospel of Matthew.


Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church
Austen Ivereigh
Tuesday, November 19, 7 pm, Trinity Hall

Join journalist Austen Ivereigh, author of Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Convert the Catholic Church, as he takes us takes us inside the Vatican’s urgent debate over the future of the church. This colorful, clear-eyed portrait of Pope Francis centers on the tensions generated by the Pope’s attempt to turn the Church away from power and tradition and outward to engage humanity with God’s mercy.

Pope Francis is attempting to reshape the Church to evangelize the contemporary age, but he has faced rebellions over his allowing sacraments for the divorced and his attempt to create a more “ecological” Catholicism, as well as a firestorm of criticism for the Church’s record on sexual abuse. Yet, Francis has emerged as a leader of remarkable vision and skill with a relentless spiritual focus — a leader who is at peace in the turmoil surrounding him.

With entertaining anecdotes, insider accounts and expert analysis, Wounded Shepherd takes the reader on a journey through the key episodes of Francis’ reform in Rome and the wider Church and brings into sharp focus the frustrations and fury, as well as the joys and successes, of one of the most remarkable pontificates of the contemporary age.


Blaming God? Exploring Ancient and Medieval Jewish Lamentation Literature as a Response to Exile
Rabbi Hyim Shafner
Sunday, November 10, 10:10am, Trinity Hall

From the destruction of the ancient Temple to medieval persecutions to the modern Holocaust, Jews have responded to tragedy with a rich body of scripture and liturgy. In this presentation, Rabbi Shaffner will provide several examples and examine their themes and theology. 

Rabbi Hyim Shafner is the rabbi of Kesher Israel: The Georgetown Synagogue, in Washington, DC. He has Rabbinical Ordination, an MSW in social work and an MA in Jewish philosophy from Yeshiva University. Rabbi Shafner is the author of the Everything Jewish Wedding Book (2008), a founding writer of Morethodoxy, and a periodic contributor to The Journal of Jewish Ideas and Ideals.  


Showing Respect and Welcome to LGBTQ Catholics
with Rev. James Martin, S.J.
Sunday, October 20, 3pm, Main Church

In his groundbreaking book, Building a Bridge, Fr. Jim Martin issued an impassioned plea for Catholic leaders to relate to their LGBT flock in a new way, one characterized by compassion and openness.  Fr. Martin turns to three virtues from the Catechism of the Catholic Church — respect, compassion and sensitivity — as a model for how Catholic leadership and LGBT Catholics can move together on a “two-way bridge” toward reconciliation and love.

Recently revised, the book has been called a compassionate book desperately needed in today’s climate of divisiveness.  All are invited to come and hear Fr. Martin discuss what the Church can do to create a more welcoming environment. A Q&A session will follow as time permits.

Fundamentals of Christology Series

March 24, 31 & April 7
10:10 a.m. Chapel

Over the course of three sessions, Fr. Brian McDermott, SJ will offer some fundamental themes in Christology, the theological exploration of the meaning of Jesus Christ. He will first consider the distinction between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith, Jesus’ Jewishness and aspects of his ministry. In the second session, Fr. McDermott will examine Jesus’ passion and death both historically and theologically. In the last presentation, he will explore Jesus’ resurrection as the radical transformation of his whole person and as the hope of transformation for all humanity.

Session 1 Notes

Session 2 Notes 

Session 3 Notes

Women in the Diaconate

Saturday, March 30
9:30 a.m. Coffee Reception
10 a.m. Presentation in Trinity Hall

Two years ago, Pope Francis appointed the first-ever special commission to study the possibility of ordaining women as deacons. The Pontifical Study Commission on the Diaconate of Women discussed questions surrounding the restoration of women to the ordained diaconate. 

One of the commission’s members, Dr. Phyllis Zagano, an expert on the question of restoring women to the ordained diaconate in the Catholic Church, was appointed to the commission by the Pope, and she will bring her perspective for discussion on March 30. The church’s evident need for more women in ministry demands careful exploration and evaluation of the historical roots, contemporary ecclesial realities, and creative future possibilities for including women in the diaconate.

Dr. Zagano is an internationally acclaimed Catholic scholar and lecturer on contemporary spirituality and women’s issues in the church. She is Senior Research Associate-in-Residence in the Department of Religion at Hofstra, where she has continued her research in the history of spirituality and the history of women in the church since 2002.

All are welcome to join us for a brief hospitality reception at 9:30 a.m., followed by Dr. Zagano’s presentation at 10 a.m. and a Q&A session afterward. Dr. Zagano will sign copies of her books as time permits. 

Books will not be sold at this event; they all are available for purchase at Dr. Zagano has made a reflection and study guide for her book available online.

Adult Faith Formation Archive of Past Presentations and Resources


Finding God in All Things … Even Your Family

Saturday, February 23
6:30 p.m., McKenna Hall (This session focuses on couples.)

Sunday, February 24
10:10 a.m., Trinity Hall (This session focuses on families.)

Join Tim and Sue Muldoon, authors of three books drawing from the tradition of Ignatian spirituality, to shed light on how prayer can enhance our personal relationships, particularly in our married and family life.  The Muldoons will share their reflections on their experiences as married people and as parents, but also on what they have learned from their professional lives (Tim as a theologian, Sue as therapist and religious educator).

They will talk about the Ignatian practice of finding God in all things, reflecting on how this kind of attitude allows people to draw meaning even from the mundane tasks of everyday life. They will pay particular attention to the call to a deepening of love in family life.

The Muldoons are the authors of Six Sacred Rules for FamiliesThe Discerning Parent and Reclaiming Family Time.


Clericalism and Centralization: Learning From an Episcopalian

Sunday, February 17
10:10 a.m., Chapel
Presented by Dr. Timothy Sedgwick

Join us as we reflect on the work of the Anglican Roman Catholic Theological Consultation in the United States (ARC–USA). This “ecumenical dialogue” group focuses on teaching and formation in the Christian faith and on commonalities and differences in how teaching and formation has been shaped in our two churches.

In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Sedgwick has served the Anglican Theological Review as book review editor, board member and president of the board and as a board member for the Society of Christian Ethics. In the Episcopal Church, he presently serves on the Board of Directors for the College for Bishops and on the Anglican – Roman Catholic (ARC) USA bilateral discussion, currently on moral theology.

Click here to read copies of the document as well as responses from the Catholic and Anglican perspectives.

The Search for Christian Unity: Where are we and what matters?
January 20
10:10-11:10 a.m. Chapel
Presented by John Borelli

Join John Borelli from Georgetown University to hear where the church is now, ecumenically speaking. He will offer general remarks on the questions being asked today, which he describes as “different from the questions decades ago,” and comment on the issues and implications being faced by churches.

He will also highlight some of the principles and concepts now at work, such as “Differentiating Consensus,” “Lack of Symmetry” and “Steps on the Way to Full Communion.”

In addition, he will also highlight signs of hope and causes of concern.

Click here for Dr. Borelli’s paper compiled for this session.


Engaging Luke’s Imagination
December 2
10:10-11:10 a.m. Chapel
Presented by Alan Mitchell, Professor of Scripture, Georgetown University

Many of our favorite Gospel stories and parables are ones that only appear in Luke’s Gospel, like the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan, The Rich Man and Lazarus, and the Tax Collector, Zacchaeus.  As we prepare to read Luke’s Gospel in the coming liturgical year, delving into the richness of Luke’s imagination will afford us opportunities as a parish to deepen our Ignatian heritage.  Long before St. Ignatius discovered the importance of the imagination for finding God in scripture, Luke prepared the ground for that discovery by creating narratives about Jesus that actively engage our imaginations in reading, study and prayer.  “Engaging Luke’s Imagination” will explore some of the ways  Luke altered Mark’s Gospel by enhancing Mark’s narratives, supplying details omitted by Mark, by creating additional stories about Jesus and even rearranging Mark’s stories to present Luke’s imaginative portrait of Jesus.

Thomas Merton: A 20th Century Prophetic Voice
December 9 – Presented at two different times
10:10-11:10 a.m. Lower School, Big Room
4-5 p.m. Lower School, Big Room
Presented by Fr. Kevin Gillespie, SJ

“On the last day of January, 1915, under the sign of the Water Bearer, in a year of a great war, and down in the shadow of some French mountains on the border of Spain, I came into the world.” 
These opening words from the spiritual classic, The Seven Story Mountain, served as the way by which Thomas Merton described his birth; on December 10, 1968 the world was shocked with Merton’s sudden death while on a pilgrimage to Thailand. On the occasion of this 50th Anniversary of Merton’s death, an overview of Merton’s life and legacy will be offered. Excerpts from some of his significant writings will be offered. Audience participation will be invited.

Ecumenical Dialogue: Learning from Differences & Agreements
October 28
10:10-11:10 a.m. Chapel
Click here to read copies of the document as well as responses from the Catholic and Anglican perspectives.

Stumbling in Holiness
October 14
10:10-11:10 a.m. Chapel 

September 30 10:10-11:10 a.m. Trinity Hall
Raising Faith-Filled Kids: Keeping Children Safe on the Internet 

We know that parents are concerned with keeping their children safe in their digital environments. Join us on for
the first installment in this year’s Raising Faith-Filled Kids series, where we discuss how you can keep your children safe on the internet.

Our speaker will be Haley Halverson, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. At NCOSE, she develops and executes national campaigns to change policies and raise awareness. Her advocacy work has contributed to instigating policy improvements in the native online advertising, retail, and hotel industries. Haley regularly speaks and writes on topics including child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual objectification, the exploitation of males and more.

Click here to see a PDF of her presentation. 

How to Talk to Your Children About Pornography

There are more resources for parents on our Child Protection page.


1517-2017 Lutherans and Catholics: Then and Now
September 14-15, 2017
Presented by Georgetown University
Free, but registration required. Click here for info and to RSVP.


Book Discussion: Fr. James Martin, SJ

Building A Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion and Sensitivity

September 30, 2017
10:30 a.m.    Holy Trinity Church

Fr. Martin recently told a group at Fordham University, “My main hope for the book was that it would start, or at least continue, a conversation that needs to happen about how the Catholic Church treats its LGBT members. I also hoped to invite church leaders — bishops, priests and lay leaders — to consider the ways that the institutional church reaches out to LGBT people.  Or doesn’t reach out to them.

Building a Bridge provides a roadmap for repairing and strengthening the bonds that unite all of us as God’s children. Turning to the Catechism, he draws on the three criteria at the heart of the Christian ministry — “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” — as a model for how the Catholic Church should relate to the LGBT community.


Reformation Sunday or Common Commemoration:
Moving Beyond the Fifth Centenary of Luther’s Reformation

October 29, 2017
10:10 a.m. in the Chapel

Session resources
Presentation slides
Moving Beyond the Fifth Centenary of Luther’s Reformation by John Borelli 
Joint Statement on Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation


December 2017 The Gospel of Mark
Fr. Paul McCarren, SJ

As we begin a new liturgical year and the Gospel of Mark, come be reacquainted with the Gospel that we will be hearing for the next several months.

December 10 “Be at peace … Are you?”
10:10 a.m. St. Ignatius Chapel

December 17 “There is One among you who you do not recognize … Why not?”
10:10 a.m. St. Ignatius Chapel


Lecture Series: Deepening our Understanding of Islam
Imam Yayhi Hendi
Session handouts

Session 1 Faith, Creed & Sharia VIDEO
Session 2 Sources of Faith: The Quran and Muhammad VIDEO
Session 3 A History from Mecca to America VIDEO
Session 4 Mary: The Embodiment of Mercy and Compassion VIDEO

Advent Seminar
Fr. Peter Gyves, SJ, MD
Session handouts

500 Years of the Reformation
John Borelli
Session resources
Remembering 500 Years of the Reformation
Five Imperatives: A Hopeful Future of Accompaniment