“One way of renewing parishes, especially urgent for parishes in large cities, might be to consider the parish as a community of communities and movements…to form ecclesial communities and groups of a size that allows for true human relationships…. In such a human context it will be easier to gather to hear the word of God, to reflect on the range of human problems in the light of this word and gradually to make responsible decisions inspired by the all-embracing love of Christ.”
(Pope John Paul II The Church in America, January 22, 1999)
From her very beginning, the Church has often grown and thrived among small groups of disciples. As we examine the ministerial practice of Jesus, we watch as He called the apostles, drew them together as a small faith community, and instructed them. They prayed together and shared their lives. They learned, questioned, grew, and were sent out. Research strongly supports that parish-based small group ministry provides the best opportunities for Catholics to consistently grow in their faith.