Ascension and Saint Agnes Parish



We invite you to participate in our annual Catechumenate.  Christians are apt to speak of having a ‘relationship’ with Jesus, orGod.  We also speak of ‘knowing’ God.  What does this kind of language mean?  The Catechumenate offers an explanation and provides us an opportunity to develop this relationship, to come to know God.  Mostly using a seminar format, we discuss ways to know God: prayer, Bible, sacraments, worship, community, service, doctrine. 

The purpose of the Catechumenate is not only to teach us about God, but to help us know God.  It is a six month course for adults to explore the Christian faith.  All are welcome: the baptized and the unbaptized, the seeker, the unchurched, the cradle Episcopalian, the committed atheist.

The introductory meeting will begin with a light meal and provide an overview, introductions, informal presentations by the leaders, and consider questions and answers. You are welcome to come to any one class or to all of them.

As we study doctrine, prayer, history, spiritual growth, scripture, sacraments, we ask:

  1. Is it true, both abstractly true and true as in honest, authentic, sincere?

  2. Is it good?

  3. Is it beautiful?

  4. Does it more or less agree with my experience?

  5. Does it enrich life and humanity?

The discussion is led by clergy and laypersons, and all participants are encouraged to offer questions, arguments, or comments to the conversation.  Participants do not have to make a commitment, but participation is necessary for people who would like to be, or are considering becoming —

  1. adult candidates for baptism;

  2. candidates for confirmation (adults and teenagers who have been baptised in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost);

  3. candidates for reception (adults and teenagers who have been confirmed in the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Church and now would like to be received into the Episcopal Church);

  4. candidates for reaffirmation of baptismal vows (adults who wish a formal recommitment with the laying on of hands by a bishop);

  5. all who seek spiritual renewal, a deeper relationship with Christ, or a fuller knowledge of the Catholic faith.

If you are even casually interested in learning more about Christian tradition, please plan to join us at the introductory meeting and light meal on October 1, 2008. All are welcome to attend.  If you have questions, please call the church office at 202.347.8161 and ask to speak to Fr. Davenport.

Catechumenate 2009-2010

The Catechumenate
meets each Wednesday

From Oct. 2009 through Easter 2010

6:15 pm Evening Prayer, S. Francis Chapel
6:30 pm Mass, S. Francis Chapel
7:00 - 8:30 pm Catechumenate
meets in the Parish House

Review the Syllabus

All are welcome.
For information, call (202) 347-8161

Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God,
and fully to enjoy him forever.

LET US, IN HEAVEN'S NAME, drag out the Divine Drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction.

If the pious are the first to be shocked, so much the worse for the pious — others will enter the Kingdom of Heaven before them. If all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like Him? We do Him singularly little honor by watering down till it could not offend a fly.

Surely it is not the business of the Church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ."

  1. -Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos?, 24-25

WHAT THE CHURCH of Jesus Christ believes, teaches, and confesses on the basis of the word of God: This is Christian doctrine. Doctrine is not the only, not even the primary, activity of the church. The church worships God and serves mankind, it works for the transformation of this world and waits the consummation of its hope in the next. "Faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love" — love, and not faith, and certainly not doctrine. [But] the Christian church would not be the church as we know it without Christian doctrine.

  1. -Jaroslav Pelikan, The Emergence of Catholic Tradition (100-600), p. 1.

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Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes, 1217 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20005

Telephone 202.347.8161