Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Faith-Sharing Small Groups: An Experience of Communion in Parish Life
by Frey, Mary Patricia, D.Min., Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology, 2019, 170; 13881727
Abstract (Summary)

The Church, as a home and school of communion, promotes a way of life in which relating through love and compassion is taught. Faith-sharing small groups are among the avenues in the Church that repeatedly prove to be a source for building communion. Particularly, when using the upcoming Sunday Scriptures as their primary focus, faith-sharing small groups lead participants to not only enhance their communion with God and one another, but also to experience a heightened engagement in the Sunday Eucharist where their union is strengthened in a profound way. A parish that offers such faith-sharing small group activity builds relationships among her members, and encourages them to reach out to others and draw them in to God’s loving family.

We thirst for union with God and one another to satisfy our search for fulfillment. We long for such loving unity because we are made in the image of God – a communion of self-giving love. Current research in neuroscience informs us that even our brains have a unique capacity to be connected with one another. We are able to experience what another experiences: Not only to join in another’s joy, but also to alleviate another’s suffering through our participation in it. While this uncanny ability to relate is innate, it will not develop on its own but must be fostered and encouraged.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McCormick, Mary
Commitee: Kaczuk, Edward, Ott, Mark
School: Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology
Department: Theology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Theology
Keywords: Communion, Eucharist, Faith-sharing, Neuroscience, Parish, Small groups
Publication Number: 13881727
ISBN: 978-1-392-18455-4
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