Most cradle Catholics have had the experience of receiving religious education through their elementary, middle, and high school years — either at a Catholic school or as part of a religious formation program. Unfortunately, for many Catholics, that formation and learning stopped when we entered adulthood. But thanks to Jim Fangmeier, there are 2 opportunities to continue learning the faith in our Catholic Community of Bartlesville.
Each week at 9:15 a.m. in conference room one, a class is held to help prepare for the next week’s Scriptures. Jim makes use of many resources to lead the participants through the class. There is also time for discussion.
“This way, when you attend Mass the following week, you will have a pretty good idea what the priest or deacon is talking about in the homily,” Jim says. “Our Bible is our textbook.”
Jim would love to see more parishioners attend this time of formation. There is no homework or need to catch up if you miss a class. Studying exactly what will be read at Mass makes sense.
On Monday nights, Jim leads an adult Bible class that guides attendees through a book or books of the Bible. The participants have studied Matthew, Acts, Genesis, and Isaiah, to name a few. Right before the pandemic, they were studying Revelation, and the study time was compressed. Starting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11, they will again pick up Revelation. Usually, about 25 people from both parishes attend the Bible study. Jim looks forward to taking more time to study Revelation.
“I want people to learn more about the Bible because it leads us to our salvation,” Jim says. “It’s so exciting to learn about the Word of God.”
Jim has enjoyed taking advantage of his free time in retirement to get more involved in the parish. Leading faith formation was put on his heart as something he should be doing.
“I heard the whisper and said ‘yes,’” Jim says.
Knowing what it was like to be busy with work, Jim understands if younger people don’t have the time to attend. But he encourages everyone to give the classes a try or to find some other way to be involved. In addition to facilitating the classes, he serves as a lector and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
“There are so many jobs you can do in the parishes,” Jim says. “Just give a little bit of your time, which can make a big difference.”
If you aren’t physically able to get involved, consider praying for all those who are — Jim adds this is another excellent way to get involved.
Take a leap of faith and learn more at the Sunday or Monday classes — there is always more to learn about our faith!
“If you think you know it all, you just made a mistake,” Jim says.
For more information, contact Jim Fangmeier at 918-440-0264 or email@example.com.