The Extraordinary Power of Small Faith Groups

This Lent, for four weeks, I am facilitating a small faith group for my parish, Christ the King. Now, I have to begin by telling you that this is not my prayer group or any kind of insular little group that has been meeting for years. Our small groups are “pop-up” in nature—we do them for four weeks, several times per year and people sign up for them not knowing who they will be thrown […]

Helping Parents Model Catholicism for Their Children

My friend Steve once related that perhaps the most influential experience of his childhood—in terms of his Catholic faith—was getting out of the bed one night to go to the bathroom and seeing his father on his knees saying his prayers bedside. Steve had no idea that his dad prayed at all, let alone on his knees each and every night. Because children are so strongly influenced by their parents, we need to do all we […]

Adult Faith Formation and the Problem of “Church Groupies”

When doing faith formation with young people, one of the problems is that no one wants to show that they enjoy being there; that would not be cool. I have found that, when doing faith formation with adults, there are some folks present who are at the opposite extreme. I call them “church groupies.” I’m not talking here of the same loyal folks who faithfully support everything and show up most of the time. I’m […]

Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures Cycle A Video Options

For the last two years I’ve offered handouts for Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures, to be used in parish small faith groups. Year A materials for 2017 are now available. As I did last year, I selected some options for online videos for further reflection on each week’s theme. Always remember to preview videos before showing to your group, to determine appropriateness for your setting and be sure things work as expected. First Sunday of […]

90 Participating in Year of Mercy Small Faith Groups

Earlier this month, my parish, Christ the King, began hosting six small faith groups with 90 total participants gathering weekly for four weeks to reflect on Scripture passages related to the Year of Mercy. Two of the groups are being led by our Associate Pastor, Fr. Matt Litak, while the other four are being led by parishioners, including me. Two of the groups are meeting in the rectory, three are meeting in homes, and one—my group—is meeting in the […]

Meet the Adult Faith Formation Team

After laying the groundwork over the past year, we are blessed to have an adult faith formation team in place at my parish, Christ the King in Chicago. Presently, the team consists of eight people (Seven are pictured and one was behind the camera!) including our Associate Pastor, Fr. Matt Litak. At our first meeting, we shared our hopes and dreams for adult faith formation at the parish and began discussing ideas for addressing the […]

Becoming a Portal for Spiritual Enrichment Opportunities

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Finding God faith formation program. One of the temptations we face when looking to grow our adult faith formation experience in the parish is to try to become all things to all people when we simply do not have the resources—human and financial—to do everything we would like to do. With that in mind, I propose that parishes think of themselves as a “clearinghouse” […]

Themes of Mercy for the Year of Mercy—Free Discussion Materials

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Confirmed in the Spirit Confirmation preparation series. The Year of Mercy that Pope Francis proclaimed last year concludes this November. Mercy is the most fundamental and defining attribute of God, revealed through God’s actions throughout the Old Testament and most notably, in the person of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Why not take some time in the next few months to explore themes of […]

Year of Mercy Discussion Group Videos

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Confirmed in the Spirit Confirmation preparation series. If you plan to use the free discussion materials Reflecting on Themes of Mercy for the Year of Mercy, you might consider using some of the following video options for further reflection on each week’s theme. Always remember to preview videos before showing to your group, to determine appropriateness for your setting and be sure things work as […]

Mercy Passport: Don’t Leave Home Without It!

As we celebrate Independence Day, I am conscious of the fact that many people are taking advantage of the summer months to get away. And, if your destination includes traveling abroad, you need to have your passport with you. Well, here’s another kind of passport to take with you as you move about this summer: a Mercy Passport! The Archdiocese of Louisville, KY, has created and made available a Mercy Passport to encourage people to become intentionally conscious […]

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