Beginning the Conversation About Adult Faith Formation

As a Church, we’ve been talking about adult faith formation for years and yet, here we are “beginning” the conversation at Christ the King parish. That’s not a knock on the parish—many parishes find themselves in the same boat: yet to realize what it means to make adult faith formation a priority. Thankfully, Fr. Larry Sullivan and his staff are determined to change all that! Recently, I met with Fr. Larry and the staff at […]

Adult Faith Formation at Christ the King Parish, Chicago

I’m excited and pleased to announce that this year, I will be working with the pastoral staff at Christ the King Parish in Chicago, IL, to focus on adult faith formation. The parish is led by Fr. Larry Sullivan, who was a student at Quigley Seminary South High School when I taught there from 1981–90, so I’ve known Fr. Larry for a long time and am thrilled to be collaborating with him. He and his […]

Misery Loves Company

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my frustration with regards to not finding the “secret formula” to attracting adults to faith formation. I was tickled to receive the following e-mail from a good friend of mine who has been a catechetical leader for years and is one of the smartest people I know: To tell the truth, I’m sort of glad you didn’t find some secret I’ve missed my whole career. Because I would […]

Faith Formation for Parents: Bruce’s Story

As he sat down, he leaned to the mom next to him and whispered, “Don’t ask any questions; I want to get out of here before eight!” This was Bruce*, a 40-something professional man whose daughter Denise was enrolled in our Confirmation program. The setting was a parent session offered before the children’s sacramental preparation began. Bruce rarely went to church, had little to no spiritual life, and no real knowledge of his Catholic faith […]

Digging for the Secret to Adult Faith Formation Success: Al Capone’s Vault

As regular readers know, this past year, I dedicated my time and efforts to working in the area of adult faith formation, and I’ve discovered many ideas and strategies along the way, and we’ve had some marvelous discussions about some of these. One thing I had hoped for more success in was discovering the keys to getting adults to respond to/attend adult faith formation offerings. In that area, I must admit, I feel like Geraldo Rivera promising […]

Revisiting the Notion of Brokenness and Adult Faith Formation

It would seem that I touched a nerve (in a good way) when I suggested recently that our adult faith formation efforts need to focus on brokenness. This idea really seems to resonate with people, based on the volume of comments and the number of people who shared the post on social networks. Thanks for making this such a robust conversation. I thought it might be helpful to revisit it and delve a little deeper. […]

Adult Faith Formation Needs to Focus on Brokenness

The key to effective adult faith formation can be found in church basements all over the country. And what, exactly, can be found in church basements? Twelve Step meetings. People do not go to Twelve Step meetings because they like the music. They don’t go because of how the space is decorated. They don’t go because the seats are comfy or because of a big video screen. They don’t go because the food is good. […]

How to Use Mentoring as a Tool for Adult Faith Formation

When the topic of adult faith formation comes up, we Catholics have a tendency to immediately shift to a default mode which is the classroom model: there must be a topic, a presenter, and “students.” The topic is usually doctrinal, the presenter is typically the only one who speaks, and the students are passive receptors of the speaker’s wisdom. More and more parishes are recognizing the reality that adult faith formation must come in many […]

Adult Faith: Moving to a Needs-Based Approach

One of the problems with adult faith formation, as I see it, is our “packaging.” We want our adults to have a good grasp of Church doctrine but the problem is that we present it as…drumroll please…CHURCH DOCTRINE! In other words, our adult faith offerings are most often too “churchy-sounding” to attract a wide or new audience. Most folks are simply not going to be swayed by topics such as the following: Understanding the Mass […]

Final Installment of Families Living Faith at St. Jude, New Lenox

Last month, I posted on two occasions about a unique approach to faith formation at St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, IL, which honors the role of parents as their children’s primary catechists. In short, the parents and kids gather once per month at the parish at which time the kids are taught a lesson by catechists while parents engage in a session of adult faith formation and are equipped with resources to go home and to […]

1 2 3 4 5 7