Adult Faith Formation/St. Matthew yoUniversity (SMU)

Mission: St. Matthew yoUniversity seeks to invite all adults to grow in their Catholic faith into full Christian maturity. Faith Formation is a life-long process. SMU strives to provide relevant, meaningful educational and spiritual programs for adults of all ages. By incorporating teaching, community and prayer in all that we do, we hope to nurture and support a deep, growing, personal relationship with Jesus and his Church in all those we serve.


Look! Classes, lectures, workshops and retreats have been arranged for the winter / spring semester! Please look through the list and click on a class title to register online with a credit card.  Scroll below this listing to find class descriptions. 


Young Adults 20s and 30s; Quick Catholic Lesson (Led by Father Pat)

Seeking Purpose Retreat

Marie Miller Concert

33 Days to Merciful Love

Epic the Early Church

The Mass (Waxhaw Campus)

The Mass (Main Campus)

Ephesians: Discover Your Inheritance

Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother

Psalms: The School of Prayer

Eight significant Moments in Church History (Father Frank Cancro) Class is full

Lectio Prayer with Jane Brock

Listen to Your Life: Lenten Transformation Through Life Transitions (Carla D’Rozario, M.A.)

Show Us Your Mercy: A Lenten Morning of Reflection (Susan Reynolds, M.T.S., M.Ed., Ph.D. in Theology and Education)

S.O.A.P.  (Saving Our Adolescents from Prostitution=S.O.A.P.)

Moving On After Moving In

The Power of Calm Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool

Living Your Strengths (Strengths Exploration Class)

Young Adults – Living Your Strengths

Little Rock Scripture Study – HEBREWS

Caring for God’s Creation: The State of Charlotte’s Water

Feel free to come to the office in person to register for classes and pay with check or cash only. (credit card is online only.)

Mail in a registration. Download and print your registration page, click SMU REGISTRATION PAGE

St. Matthew Catholic Church

Attn: Adult FF Registration

P.O. Box 49349

Charlotte, NC 28277

Please read below for the classes, workshops, retreats and lectures being offered this semester.


33 Days to Merciful Love*
Five weeks
Lennie Cox
Jan. 9 to Feb. 6
10 am to noon
NLC 203

Father Michael Gaitley shows us ‘Merciful Love’ using one of the greatest saints of our time, St. Therese of Lisieux. St. Therese in her “Little Way” lived a life abundantly, full of holiness. Father Gaitley’s ‘Merciful Love’ is a 33-day, easy-to-do retreat in preparation for Consecration to Divine Mercy. During the five-week retreat/course you will experience your own ‘little way’ of holiness and learn to live a life of mercy.

Consecration day will be: Monday, Feb. 11 (Mass time to be determined)

Epic: The Early Church*
Ten weeks
Courtney Wolford
Feb. 20 to April 24
7 to 8:30 pm
NLC 206
Epic: The Early Church program presents the first 500 years of the Church through the lives and event of the saints, philosophers, theologians, martyrs and ruthless emperors. Discover beyond any doubt that the early Christian church was indeed Catholic. Learn about the major people, places, and events of the early church. Gain a greater understanding of the teachings and dogmas of the Faith, and meet those who gave their lives to define and defend them. Learn how the heroic stories of the saints can challenge and affirm your own walk of faith.

The Mass* (see below and click on the location you want to attend in order to register.)
Seven Weeks
Charles Knatz
Two offerings

Waxhaw Campus
Thursdays, April 11 to May 23
10 to 11:30 am

Main Campus
Tuesday, April 23 to June 4
7 to 8:30 pm
NLC 206
Walk through the Liturgy with Bishop Barron and be transformed through insights on this most privileged and intimate encounter with our Lord Jesus Christ. See how the Mass brings us out of the fallen world and into the heavenly realm, how it resonates with
a call from God and a response from his people, the Church, and, most importantly, how we are intimately jointed with the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus through the Holy Eucharist. The Mass will help you understand how to fully, consciously, and
actively participate in the source and summit of the Christian life.

Quick Catholic Lessons with Father Mike Schmitz (Young Adults 20s and 30s)
Six weeks
Facilitated by Father Pat Hoare
Come to one session or all of them, simply come when you can!
7 to 8:30 pm
Tuesday, Jan. 22
Tuesday, Jan. 29
Wednesday, Feb. 6
Friday, Feb. 8
Sunday, Feb. 10
Tuesday, Feb. 19
Monday, Feb. 25
Did we mention, we’ll have beer available for those 21 years old or over.
Come join Father Pat Hoare, have a beer if you are 21, or over, years of age, and let’s discuss what it means to be Catholic in six short weeks of Quick Catholic Lessons with Fr. Mike. Calling all Young Adults, in their 20s and 30s for this focused social and fellowship program just for you! Bring your questions in a safe and open environment. Some topics we’ll be discussing are:
• Why Be Catholic and Not Just Christian?
• What Is Hope and Why Do You Need It?
• Mastering Love and Relationships
• Is it OK to Judge Someone?
• The Meaning of Suffering
• The Power of Prayer


Ephesians: Discover Your Inheritance*
Eight weeks
Stephanie Levin
Fridays, Jan. 18 to March 8
12:30 to 2:30 pm
NLC 204
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reveals many remarkable gifts that we as Christians are given in the Church. This letter tells us about the nature of the Church—as a body, as a household, as a mystery, as a communion, as a bride, and as an army. It shows us the great inheritance that awaits us as sons and daughters, adopted fully into the family of God. It reveals how God’s great love for us can transform our daily lives if we allow it.

Mary: A Biblical Walk with the Blessed Mother*
Eight weeks

Main Campus
Sue Merchant
Thursdays, Feb. 7 to March 28
7 to 8:30 pm
NLC 208

Waxhaw Campus
Father Peter Ascik
Thursdays, Feb. 7 to March 28
7 to 8:30 pm
Join us as we embark on an eight-week pilgrimage with Mary, the mother of Jesus. Discover why Catholics hold Mary, the most important woman in salvation history, in such high esteem. We have a profound reverence for the Blessed Mother. We turn to her in prayer, in the Mass, in the rosary and in Marian devotions. We honor her with special feasts celebrating the significant events in her life. You will learn and reflect on how she works in our lives today, drawing us ever closer to her Divine Son.

Lectio Prayer*
Six weeks during Lent,
Jane Brock, M.Div.
Come celebrate the season of Lent through prayer. Register for one of the three sessions offered!

Monday, March 4 to April 8; 9:45 to 11:30 am NLC 132/125
Tuesday, March 5 to April 9; 7 to 8:30 pm NLC 132/125
Friday, March 8 to April 12; 10 to 11:30 am WAXHAW

Though prayer is one of the essentials of a thriving faith, we often feel as if we’re talking to ourselves—or, worse, as if we’re talking to no one at all. How can something so vital to the Faith be so elusive? Now, with the clear teaching and artistry of the Augustine Institute’s Lectio series, Dr. Tim Gray masterfully uses the discipline of Lectio Divina to show you how to make prayer an effective effort of love and intimacy. In six video sessions, Prayer: Finding Intimacy with God captures the secret to opening our hearts and minds to Scripture as the means to hear from God and then respond in conversation, basking in His presence and resolving to live in and through His love.

Little Rock Scripture Studies*
Seven weeks
Deacon Paul Herman and John Mooney
Thursdays, Jan. 10 to March 14
9:45 to 11:45 am
NLC 203
Hebrews is more like a sermon than a letter. It reviews the history of Israel to demonstrate how Jesus Christ fulfills and even surpasses all the hopes express in the Old Testament. It presents Jesus as the unique High Priest who is simultaneously the one who offers sacrifice to God and is himself the sacrifice. It describes the exaltation of Jesus Christ as superior to all that came before, whether prophet, priest or angel. Jesus is presented as our High Priest whose compassion for us is rooted in his humanity, but whose sacrifice is all sufficient because he is without sin. Those who receive this sermon/letter are reminded of the great heroes of faith found in the Old Testament and are urged to imitate their faithful endurance.

Psalms: The School of Prayer*
Eleven weeks
Stephanie Levin
March 5 to May 28
12:45 to 2:30 pm
NLC 202
With Psalms: The School of Prayer, The Great Adventure moves from telling the story to making it personal. While the historical books of the bible recount God’s creative and redemptive acts in history, the Psalms reveal Israel’s response to God’s covenant offer and serve as a model for our response to Him. Indeed, one could say that the historical books tell the “outside” of the story of Israel by giving an historical perspective, while the Psalms tell the “inside” story, which comes from the deeply personal perspective of one who is seeking God. Our Communication with God is enhanced by a deeper understanding of the book of Psalms and of the individual psalms that reside in each of our hearts.


Four weeks
Father Frank Cancro
Tuesdays, Jan. 15, 22, 29; Feb. 5
7:10 to 8:45 pm
NLC Banquet Room
A survey of significant stops on the church’s journey through history. We will explore 1) the age of martyrs and the edict of toleration, 2) the development of early spiritual traditions, 3) the contributions of the Byzantine age, 4) the ups and downs of  the early reforms to the great Reformation and the church’s response, 5) the great age of missionaries, 6) the French revolution and the American experiment, 7) The two Vatican Councils and 8) the quinquennial of Pope Francis. The goal of the course is a deeper appreciation of our connections to our history as well as a deeper understanding of some aspects of church today which are rooted in our past.
Fr. Frank Cancro is Catholic priest, Pastor, Educational Administrator, Lecturer, Retreat and Workshop Leader, Circus Chaplain,  and a Canon Lawyer.

Listen to Your Life: Lenten Transformation Through Life Transitions*
Four weeks
Carla D’Rozario, M.A.
Thursdays, March 14, 21, 28, April 4
7 to 8:30pm; NLC 132/125
Lent is an invitation to listen to our lives. As we attune to the rhythm of each unique season, we’ll see that spiritually we experience the pattern of being securely rooted, painfully disoriented, and surprisingly reoriented (`a la Walter Brueggemann). Life transitions that may disorient us include raising children, changing careers or educational endeavors, moving or experiencing an empty nest, grieving the death of a loved one or the loss of a relationship, and healing from physical or emotional trauma. In a blend of lecture and reflection on Scripture and our own lives, this class will guide us through paying attention and orienting ourselves in the midst of life transitions, patiently allowing our pain to transform us, and moving toward an Easter encounter with the Risen Christ!

Carla D’Rozario received formation in Spiritual Direction and Ignatian spirituality while earning her M.A. in Pastoral Theology from Loyola Marymount University. Carla’s diverse experience as a retreat guide and lay minister encompasses companioning couples, parents, immigrants, and the aging and dying. Her reflective style of presenting engages both the mind and heart.

Show Us Your Mercy: A Lenten Morning of Reflection
Susan Reynolds, M.T.S., M.Ed., Ph.D. in Theology
Saturday, March 30  
9:45 am to 12:30 pm   
NLC Banquet Room 
During these times of polarization and division, mercy can seem in short supply. As we journey through Lent, join us for a morning of peaceful and prayerful reflection. Meditating on God’s mercy in the parables of Jesus, participants will examine the healing gift of mercy in their own lives and envision how they might embody God’s mercy to the world.

Susan Reynolds, M.T.S., M.Ed., Ph.D. in  Theology and Education at Boston College and is currently an  Assistant Professor of Catholic Studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia.  She holds a PhD and MTS from Boston College and a MEd and BA from the University of Notre Dame. Her work examines the relationship between theology and culture. She has over a decade of experience in campus, parish, and liturgical music ministry.


Seeking Purpose Retreat 2019
Saturday, Jan. 26
8 am to 4:30 pm – Banquet Room
St. Matthew Catholic Church
8015 Ballantyne Commons Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28277

$40: Includes continental breakfast, lunch and all materials including the spiritual gifts assessment (provided after registration), a one-on-one mentoring session and a Discernment Workshop on Feb. 23.

Register online with credit card:

For more information, contact
Bethann Rohaly, 704-941-7456 or or
Kathy Bartlett,

We believe that all Catholics are empowered with the Holy Spirit at baptism and confirmation with extraordinary gifts, that when cultivated, will awaken a desire for God’s will and purpose for their lives. We strive to provide a compelling, straight forward approach to empower others to boldly claim, foster, develop, expand and awaken a deeper personal relationship with the Holy Spirit on a daily basis through a process of personal discernment, prayer, and small group sharing that will impact and transform the life of our parish, church and world.


Moving On After Moving In*
Ten weeks
Wednesdays, Jan. 30 to April 3
9:30 to 11 am, NLC 239/240/241 or
Based on the book After the Boxes are Unpacked: Moving On After Moving In by Susan Miller, this ministry is designed to enfold, encourage and engage women who are new to the community and/or to St. Matthew. It serves as a vehicle for personal, spiritual and communal support and growth.
For more information, email Becky Malinowski and Valerie Menzel at

The Power of Calm Raising Your Kids By Keeping Your Cool*
Six weeks
Jenny Cox, MA, LMFTA
Wednesdays, April 10 to May 15
7 to 9 pm
NLC 234/235
$10 per person
Emotional reactivity is behind every bad pattern, bad decision and bad relationship. Whenever we get reactive, whether by screaming, cutting ourselves off, overcompensating for others, or taking things personally, we operate out of our anxiety and not from our values. The Power of Calm is based on the popular ScreamFree Parenting program which teaches us how to calm down, grow up and get closer to the ones we love. This is a revolutionary approach that invites patents of all ages (with kids of all ages) to focus on themselves, press the “ pause button” on emotion, and create close, meaningful family relationships. Created by marriage and family therapist, author and speaker Hal Runkel, ScreamFree parenting has helped millions of parents crate a calmer household with more cooperation and respect.

Jenny Cox is a licensed marriage and family therapy associate
and a certified ScreamFree Marriage leader. She is married with two children.

Living Your Strengths (LYS)

Need help finding out:

  • Who did God plan for YOU to be?
  • God made each of us, unique, on purpose and for a purpose!
    Visit the Gallup’s CliftonStrengths website, and there you’ll find a Strength’s assessment. You can take the assessment online. But one step better, is taking a Strengths Exploration class.

Strengths Exploration*
Learn to spend time and energy on things you do well, who did God plan for you to be as well as, realize God made each of us unique, on purpose for a purpose! 
six-week classes with trained facilitators
Please choose the best day and time from the list below

Classes beginning in Jan. 28 to March 11 – currently registering for these Strength classes.

Mondays, 1:30 to 3 pm
Tuesdays, 7 to 8:30 pm
Wednesdays, 10 to 11:30 am
Wednesdays, 7 to 8:30 pm
Sunday, 10:15 to 11:45 am

Young Adult group: Wednesday, 7 to 8:30 pm

Classes beginning in April 1 to May 19: (Registration will begin mid-March)
Mondays, 1:30 to 3 pm
Tuesdays, 7 to 8:30 pm
Wednesday 10 to 11:30 am
Thursday, 7 to 8:30 pm
Sunday, 10:15 to 11:45

Strengths Exploration is a small-group program designed to help you discover your God-given talents and begin to shift your focus away from fixing your weaknesses. With the guidance of trained facilitators, groups explore each of the CliftonStrengths top talent themes – regular patterns of behavior – and determine how to apply these talents to personal, professional and spiritual aspect of their lives to fulfill God’s purpose.

Strengths Coaching
Find coaches online at the website. Each coach has a personal message. Strengths coaches are available for free one-on-one sessions to help you set goals and apply your God-given talents and strengths.

Peace and Social Justice

Saving Our Adolescents from Prostitution  (Saving Our Adolescents from Prostitution=S.O.A.P.)
Event to Combat Human Trafficking in Charlotte

Saturday, March 23, from 9 a.m. to noon, New Life Center

Think human trafficking is not happening in our zip code? Think again. Charlotte ranks eighth in the nation for number of human trafficking cases reported, with girls and boys being groomed and lured online for sex/slavery at malls, shopping centers, sporting events, and other public venues.

Theresa Flores, a 15-year-old from a well-to-do family in a suburban neighborhood, was one of them. Now an author, and international speaker on human trafficking, Flores will talk about the problem, share her personal story, and provide practical ways to combat this evil at a Saving Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP) event on Saturday, March 23, at St. Matthew Catholic Church. Participants of all ages are invited to help label bars of soap with the National Human Trafficking Hotline number to be delivered to area hotels and other known trafficking spots in Charlotte.

Flores is author of The Slave Across the Street and The Sacred Bath. She has been featured on The 700 Club, The Today Show, and MSNBC’s Sex Slaves-The Teen Trade. She has also been featured on Nightline, America’s Most Wanted, and For the Record as a sex slave survivor. For more information about Flores and her work, visit www.
If you suspect someone is a victim of human trafficking, call 911 right away and do not attempt to confront a suspected trafficker directly or alert a victim to your suspicions. To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH), call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).
This event is sponsored by the Peace and Social Justice Ministry of St. Matthew Catholic Church. Contact us at

Caring for God’s Creation: The State of Charlotte’s Water
Sunday, January 27, 2019
2 to 3:30 pm
NLC 239/240/241

Caring for God’s Creation is a fundamental theme of Catholic Social Teaching. Pope Francis’ 2015 Encyclical Laudato Si’ is a wake-up call for Catholics and non-Catholics to the realities of the world we live in.
One of the most critical natural resources is water. While many of us take clean water for granted when we turn on a spigot, most of us don’t realize just how fragile the water system is right here in Charlotte.
The Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation (CRF) is a local, community-based group of members and volunteers located throughout the 5,000 sq. mile, 24-county river basin that dedicates time, talent and treasure to ensuring the protection of the Catawba-Wateree River.
Come join Ms. Emilee Syrawicze, Executive Director, Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, as she talks about the State of Charlotte’s fragile water system: Where does the water come from? Where does it go? What are the biggest threats to the quality of our water? How does economic development impact the water system? How was our water impacted by 2018 hurricanes? What can we do to help conserve water? How can we help ensure safe, clean drinking water for the generations that follow us?


Lectio Divina* 
Sister Mary Hugh Mauldin, RSM, MA
Wednesdays, 9:30 to 10:45 am
NLC 234/235
No registration; simply come when you can. Lectio Divina is an ancient community prayer form using the upcoming Sunday Mass readings, providing Scriptural enrichment and community building. Please bring your bible.

Centering Prayer

In a busy world, a time for silence is a rare experience. However, authentic spirituality always embraces silent time with God. Centering Prayer is a practice that invites us to be present to God as God is present to us. It is a process that transforms us and brings inner peace into our lies.

Please contact Janie Normile at or Bruce Hassett at 


*Child care is available with 48-hour advance registration to the nursery. Call 704-543-7677 x 1003.


For more information contact Michael Burck, 704-543-7677 x 1020.

Click on the link above to get a map and directions to both St. Matthew Ballantyne and St. Matthew -Waxhaw location.

New to volunteering at St. Matthew? Please read our Safe Environment Policy.