DISCIPLE is the second course of the program that aims to lead participants to becoming missionary disciples, following the example and model of the perfect missionary disciple, Mary. Participants are guided to a deeper understanding of their baptismal calling to live as children of our Heavenly Father, brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, and temples of the Holy Spirit. To facilitate their growth in relationship to the Holy Trinity and the Church, participants are formed to: pray the rosary daily, celebrate a weekly family meal, practice meditation on the Word of God through “Lectio Divina” or “Liturgy Prep," participate in parish/church based ministry and evangelization.
Each of the three sections of DISCIPLE are dedicated to the persons of the Most Holy Trinity, and each section culminates by looking at the relationship of Mary, the perfect and model disciple, with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Options for Running the DISCIPLE Program
The recommended setting for the DISCIPLE Program is at the parish. In this venue, each of the key elements can be shared. We have observed that when the meal, talks, small group discussion and missionary assignments are shared, there is a joyful communal experience. Our hope is that DISCIPLE will build parish life, sacramental life and build community relationships. This will also lend itself to a natural formation of MISSION groups, the next step of Becoming Missionary Disciples.
While the live parish program is the recommended manner to offer DISCIPLE, this may not always be possible. For parishes who are unable to host a live program, the videos and materials can also be used remotely. A speaker could make the presentation to a virtual audience, using the outlines in the administration manual. Or the administrator of the program can use downloaded videos for the presentation of the talks. Depending on the video conference capabilities, small group discussions could still be incorporated.
Finally, some parishes or persons might consider a hybrid model as an option for offering DISCIPLE. While the parish offers the program to participants in person, they also use video conferencing for those who desire to participate remotely. The video portion can begin with the opening remarks and testimonials and go through the talks and small group discussion. Some video conferencing software will allow the remote participants to have their own discussion groups.
MISSION is the final part of the program and consists of small missionary discipleship groups that meet regularly together. The mission groups allow members to continue their growth as missionary disciples. The small group meetings consist of prayer, witness of their missionary goals, meditation and sharing on the readings for the upcoming Sunday liturgy (called liturgy preparation), ongoing formation, setting new missionary goals when appropriate, and a closing prayer. The purpose of the MISSION groups is to provide members with a place of encouragement, accountability, ongoing formation, and community.