Holy Spirit Catholic Church
Annandale, VA 22003-4165
When seventh-grade girls start asking how they can learn to hear God's voice more clearly, the fruits of "Fiat" are clear.
"Girls are actively listening for the voice of God," said Fr. James Searby, founder of "Fiat."
One pre-teen participant added, "I really like doing adoration because it's really cool to be able to go there.... We can talk to Jesus right in front of us and not worry about if he's listening."
The need it meets
Getting young Catholic girls (grades 5 to 12) excited about their faith, getting them to understand and live their faith better, getting them to develop a real, personal life of prayer.
Getting them to develop a personal friendship with Christ, which impacts their everyday lives, their families and communities.
Getting them to think in terms of their life as a vocation to follow Christ.
Where it came from
Fr. James Searby started Fiat in the spirit of Pope John Paul II's New Evangelization.
How it works
Girls in grades 5 to 12 receive guidance in four areas of formation:
The primary role of Fiat is to have girls spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament during Eucharistic Holy Hours at the parish. Girls take on the responsibility of scheduled times to adore Our Lord and receive from Fiat formation on how to pray (they learn meditation, contemplation, Lectio Divina, vocal prayer with special emphasis on the Rosary). During their peaceful time of adoration, they pray and intercede for those most in need, especially the elderly, the sick and the young people in their parish.
Besides the scheduled prayer times the girls meet twice a month as a group.
One meeting is a Bible study; the girls study the Gospel for the upcoming week or a particular theme in the Bible so that they may grow in their love for the Word of God and in their friendship with Jesus.
The other meeting is dedicated to a charitable work they perform, a talk by someone on how they can come to understand and live their faith more deeply (e.g., a formation talk on modesty guidelines given by a professional fashion consultant), or a fun and exciting cultural activity (e.g., field trips to art museums, theaters and musical productions, with discussion afterwards).
- 50 members strong.
- Young girls attend weekly Eucharistic Adoration.
- Members learn various ways to pray: Rosary, vocal prayer, mental prayer.
- Fiat members have an indescribable attentiveness and joyfulness at religion class in the parish school. They don't just learn a concept; they live a spiritual life.
Service projects have included:
- making pink, knotted rosaries for hospitalized cancer patients
- making decade bracelets for smaller children
- picking apples and donating them to the Little Sisters of the Poor
- praying at a local cemetery during All Souls week
The girls are asking how to learn to hear God's voice more clearly; they share their faith openly at school.
- Weekly Eucharistic Adoration/Holy Hour.
- Focus on what God wants the girls to do, not what society wants them to do.
- Leadership of the parish priest, to give Fiat members spiritual direction and teach these girls how to pray fervently.
- Frequent confession helps the members grow in personal holiness.
How to implement it
- Set up Adoration/Holy Hour at least once a week for the girls.
- Launch it with the help of girls of junior high age.
- Get mothers involved with the club.
- Have an information evening so the girls know what they are getting involved in.
- Since every parish has its own particular needs and culture, a Fiat group should tailor its activities to meet the needs of the parish culture and its unique family life.
Submitted by Fr. James Searby on August 8, 2007.
Rev. James Searby, Parochial Vicar is pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church.