Flavia Margarito, 23, works with children of various ages during religion class held at St. Mark Parish in Boynton Beach. She has participated in the Diocesan School of Christian Formation over the years growing in faith and now wanting to pass it along to others and serve the Church. LINDA REEVES|FC

Religious formation classes are beginning

PALM BEACH GARDENS | The School of Christian Formation for the Diocese of Palm Beach is kicking off its new year of classes for Catholics interested in growing in faith, and developing a greater understanding and love for the Church.

“Knowing our scriptural, historical and theological foundations is fundamental for all Catholics,” said Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito, in a statement on the diocese’s website. He goes on to highly recommend the program, under the umbrella of the Office of Hispanic Ministry and director Father Duvan Bermudez.

The diocese has a variety of classes and programs available for people at host parishes throughout the five-county diocese. Classroom sessions are facilitated by both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking instructors, who have earned degrees in theology or have expertise in the course they are leading.

The 12-hour courses are taught at various times including days, nights and weekends, and at the heart of the various sessions is everything one might want to know about the Church, Catholicism, Jesus and the Bible. Nourishing, challenging and equipping students to pass the knowledge forward are also at the heart and soul of the program.

Flavia Margarito, 23, is a parishioner of St. Mark in Boynton Beach, and she has taken half a dozen formation classes so far. We spoke to her in an interview as last year’s sessions were coming to an end. The young woman appeared “fired up” in faith and is now taking on ministry roles at her parish.

“I want to learn more about my religion,” said the young woman in college, who over the year has worked classes around school, studies and activities. “We can learn how to better teach people.” She is now teaching religion classes to youngsters.

After sessions this year there is an end-of-the-year retreat for the class of 2019 on April 27 at Mary Immaculate Parish in West Palm Beach. A graduation ceremony is planned May 14 at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens for those who successfully complete courses.

The fee is $10 per class plus the cost of the textbook. In many cases, parish support is provided to those active in ministry in their faith community. As a rule, no one is turned away due to not having class tuition.

The complete three-year course is also offered online. For more information, call 561-775-9544 or email aaguilera@diocesepb.org or visit https://www.diocesepb.org/school-of-christian-formation. For online courses visit www.searchlightvs.com.