The 1% Prayer Challenge

What would happen if you gave 15 minutes of your day completely to God? That’s what Mike Lorenzo is asking the community at St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. John, Indiana. Mike is the Pastoral Associate for Evangelization at the parish. He works closely with the pastor and his colleagues to instill a desire to be closer to God and strengthen their prayer lives. Over the Lenten and Easter seasons they launched an initiative […]

Adult Faith Formation Does Not Take Off for the Summer

Summer provides us with the perfect time to forge ahead with plans for more robust adult faith formation in the year ahead. At Christ the King Parish, my home parish, we are taking advantage of the summer to lay the foundations for our best year ever in adult faith formation. Building on the success of our small faith groups during Lent, we are now inviting a number of parishioners to consider/discern serving on an adult […]

Adult Faith Formation: Don’t Go It Alone!

One of the traps we often fall into when approaching adult faith formation opportunities is thinking that we have to do it on our own, in isolation from other neighboring parishes. In reality, just the opposite is what is needed: collaboration! Today, when parishes are dealing with limited resources, it may not be practical for every parish to have a full-blown adult faith formation program. Instead, parishes can collaborate on certain aspects of the adult […]

Celebrating (Not-so) Small Successes in Adult Faith Formation

Numerous books and websites dealing with successful leadership strategies identify the importance of celebrating small successes (or “wins” or “victories”). Here is one such example: Brenda Bence: The Top 10 Reasons Why Leaders Should Celebrate Wins. This is precisely the reason why we are hosting a celebration tonight at Christ the King Parish: to celebrate the success of our Lenten small faith groups! Now that we are in the Easter season—a time of celebration—we are hosting […]

An Update on Small Faith Groups at Christ the King Parish

I can happily report that our venture into creating small faith-sharing groups during Lent at Christ the King Parish in Chicago has been successful; thanks be to God! Seven groups met for the first four weeks of Lent to reflect on the upcoming Sunday Gospel readings using materials that I provided through my blog. Each group averaged between 10 and 15 participants and met in homes or in the rectory on different days and times, […]

An Umbrella of Mercy

My friend and colleague, Kathy Donnelly, sent this wonderful story along to me. According to Sr. Phyllis Schenk, O.P., the Director of Religious Education at Resurrection Parish in Illiopolis, Illinois, the parish installed an Umbrella of Mercy in the church for the Year of Mercy. Under the umbrella are Loyola Press Beatitude Cards and small wooden plaques. Parishioners are encouraged to take a Beatitude Card home and to write on the plaque a time when they were shown mercy […]

God Provides! Small Faith Groups Update

As I reported a couple of weeks ago, I am assisting Christ the King Parish in Chicago in implementing small faith groups for the Lenten season. We did many preparations to get this initiative off the ground, including the following: recruiting small-group leaders displaying posters and signs on parish grounds training leaders advertising with bulletin announcements for the month of January having priests speak at all the Masses on January 17 hosting Sign-Up Sunday on […]

Kicking Off Small Faith Groups at Christ the King Parish

This year, I have been dedicating my efforts to building up adult faith formation at Christ the King Parish in Chicago. Our first foray into this area is forming small faith groups for the season of Lent, and I am happy to say that they are getting off the ground as I write this! Over the past five months or so, I have been meeting with the pastor, Fr. Larry Sullivan, and his staff to […]

Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures Cycle C Video Options

Last year I offered handouts for Reflecting on the Lenten Scriptures, to be used in parish small faith groups. Year C materials for 2016 are now available. This 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 Lent, Cycle C Temptation: What Is […]

Who Do You Recruit to Animate Adult Faith Formation? Try a “Regular Guy”

My favorite radio station in Chicago—WXRT, 93.1 FM—features a movie critic who goes by the name of “The Regular Guy.” Since 1984, DJ Marty Lennartz has portrayed a stereotypical gritty Chicagoan giving his take on the current motion picture hits. The bit is brilliant, of course, because listeners fashion themselves as “regular people” who can relate to this movie critic who has no airs about him. That explains my answer to the question, “Who do you […]

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