Lent as a Catechetical Leader

March 15, 2017 Paul Gallagher 0

Our annual Lenten journey has begun. I don’t know about you, but it seems like I always start this penitential season really well, but then quickly fall into the same old busy-ness of parish life. In fact, for most catechetical leaders, Lent is our busiest time of the year. How do we counter that? First and foremost, we have to make a commitment to prayerfully focus on what the season means. It’s a time to […]

How to Inject Energy into Your Adult Faith Formation

March 13, 2017 Joe Paprocki 1

Are you looking to inject new life and energy into your parish’s adult faith formation program? Here’s a suggestion that will guarantee results, especially if your parish and the community are multicultural: tap into the energy of Latinos, Asians, and African Americans. In a 2015 CARA survey, people were asked, “How interested would you be in the following?” Catholic volunteer/aid organizations Language classes for parishioners Whole family catechesis classes Small faith communities Catholic fraternal societies Community […]

Encouraging Family Mass Attendance One Family at a Time

February 21, 2017 Darcy Osby 2

Those of us who serve in the ministry of catechesis know the disconnect that exists between religious education and families who do not attend Sunday Mass. How do we get parents who drop off their kids at faith formation classes but do not attend Mass into church on Sunday? We can try gimmicks, requirements, scolding, and guilt, but the only thing that will get families into the pews is conversion. I’d like to share one […]

Melting Those “Stone Faces” at Parent Meetings

February 20, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

When I am asked to present at a parent meeting (First Reconciliation or First Eucharist), I am often met by a lot of what I call “stone faces”—a look on the parents’ faces that says they would rather be anywhere else but here! Don’t get me wrong: the folks are cordial, just not very emotive, and I remind myself that most are coming straight from work or a long day at home. A big part […]

Directing Our Schedules

February 15, 2017 Margie Copeland 0

How do you feel when you look at your schedule? Do you see multiple activities of your family and faith formation world overlapping? Do you wonder: How can I fit another parents’ gathering into this cascade of children sessions, catechist trainings, paperwork, parish council meetings, lesson planning, sacramental preparation, and more? Let me suggest that since we direct our programs, we also need to direct our schedules. Each time we look into our datebooks, we […]

Think Young! Intentionality in Planning and Recruiting

January 30, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

One of my favorite lines from the movie La La Land comes from the lips of the character Keith, played by John Legend, as he tells the character Sebastian, played by Ryan Gosling: Jazz is dying because of people like you. You’re playing to 90-year-olds at the Lighthouse. Where are the kids? Where are the young people? You’re so obsessed with Kenny Clarke and Thelonious Monk. These guys were revolutionaries. How are you going to […]

Nothing Beats the Personal Touch When Recruiting Catechists

January 20, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

This Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 4:12–23) is a reminder to us that nothing beats the personal touch when it comes to inviting people into ministry. And this time of the year—late winter—is a good time to start your catechist recruitment efforts for next year. Jesus did not put up posters or distribute literature inviting people to follow him; he used the personal approach. He asked people what they were looking for and then he invited them to […]

Building a Productive Faith Leadership Team

January 19, 2017 Paul Gallagher 0

How do we build a productive faith leadership team? Here’s my story. For most of my career as a DRE, I was blessed to work with a great pastor who was also my friend. I had known him before I took the job, and when the day came when he asked me to take on the leadership role in faith formation, I felt very comfortable with the decision. I haven’t regretted a minute of it. […]

Does Your Parish Have a Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy?

January 16, 2017 Joe Paprocki 1

Recently, as I was searching for a video on the Corporal Works of Mercy, the following caught my eye. It is from St. Michael’s Church in Poway, CA, and features the pastor, Fr. John Dolan, introducing how the parish practices the Corporal Works of Mercy. Within the first few minutes of the video, we also meet Bridget Beas, who is the parish Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy. First, I think it is fantastic that […]

Reviewing and Renewing a Faith Formation Program

January 12, 2017 Margie Copeland 0

After more than 25 years in catechetical ministry, I started to look back on what was asked of me in five different parishes over those years. Some of the answers were to reorganize, create permanent records, minister to families, and all the rest of what we do. At each parish, however, something else happened: the numbers of families joining the program grew; the number of families “coming home” to the Catholic Church grew. What was […]

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