Hosting Adult Faith Formation Viewing Parties

living room tv

Nowadays, it is very common for people to host viewing parties for all sorts of occasions including pop culture events like the Academy Awards, significant civic events such as a presidential debate, a sporting event, or the premiere or series finale of a TV show. Such viewing parties are hosted in someone’s home, and the hosts send out invitations (usually verbal or through social media) for people to attend and offer hospitality and refreshments for those who show up. It’s a nice opportunity for people to engage with others around a significant event, share in conversation about the program viewed, socialize, and meet new people.

I suggest that this model be used for adult faith formation, especially given the number of quality video resources available today for Catholics. This is another way of honoring the domestic church, by enabling households to host faith formation at home rather than always on the parish grounds. It also makes for a more comfortable viewing space and a more inviting and hospitable setting. Likewise, it resolves the problem of which day of the week and what time of the day to host a program at the parish by inviting households to choose the day and time they wish to host.

As mentioned earlier, there are many excellent resources with discussion guides available for viewing. Consider the following from Loyola Press: Meaningful Conversations About Prayer; Who Cares About the Saints? by Fr. Jim Martin, SJ; Becoming More By Doing Less: Practicing the Power of Pause by Terry Hershey; or, from Word on Fire Ministries, Bishop Barron’s Catholicism series, just to name a few.

The video/DVD can be packaged with a routing slip on it (name of hosts, locations, dates, times) so that each host can deliver it to the next one for viewing.

There is a Catholic tradition of “traveling statues”—often a Mary statue so that people can gather in a host’s home to pray the Rosary before the image. (I remember my parents hosting a traveling Mary statue when I was a child.) As part of the New Evangelization, we need to extend this tradition to video resources that can bring a sense of the sacred into people’s homes.

Your thoughts? Your experiences? Your suggestions?

About Joe Paprocki 2125 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press. He has more than 30 years of experience in ministry and has taught at many different levels. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller The Catechist’s Toolbox and Under the Influence of Jesus.

6 Comments on Hosting Adult Faith Formation Viewing Parties

  1. I’m a religious woman with the Franciscan Missionary Sisters of Assisi in. Zambia. Here our Catholic faith has grown rapidly especially since the introduction of the so called Small Christian Communities (SCC). Christians meet within their neighborhood and the parishes prepare different topics for discussion. They either meet once every week or fortnightly. Besides discussionz even the instructions for the sacraments bare taught from.there. once a month all the SCC meet at the parish for a discussion with their parish priest. In their SCC they rotatehost homes they share they party they fundraise, they support each other.Its like a faith support group within the neighborhood.I encourage those who don’t practice the SCC to try it out.

  2. Very interesting article. That is a good suggestion for a meeting with a group at church. There is always something we can learn from each other.

  3. I was so excited to see this article as I have been trying to form a young adult group here at our church. Your ideas will definitely help me and the response from Sister Charity was excellent. Thank you so much for all your help.
    Mary Kerekes

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