The Church’s catechetical mission aims to help the faithful of all ages to grow in both human and Christian maturity, enriching the whole of life with the leaven of the Gospel. The three major goals of adult faith formation, as outlined in Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: A Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States are to invite and enable ongoing conversion to Jesus in holiness of life, to promote and support active membership in the Christian community, and to call and prepare adults to act as disciples in mission to the world.
Faith formation helps adults “to acquire an attitude of conversion to the Lord.” As adult believers, we learn and live our faith as active members of the Church. Our response to God’s call to community “cannot remain abstract and unincarnated,” but rather, “reveals itself concretely by a visible entry into a community of believers . . . a community which itself is a sign of transformation, a sign of newness of life: it is the Church, the visible sacrament of salvation.” The Church and its adult faithful have a mission in and to the world: to share the message of Christ to renew and to transform the social and temporal order. This dual calling to evangelization and justice is integral to the identity of the lay faithful; all are called to it in baptism.