Tips for Hosting a Book Club at Your Parish

August 22, 2016 Joe Paprocki 2

Book clubs continue to be a popular vehicle for social interaction while encouraging and motivating people to read, to encounter ideas they might not otherwise consider, and to talk about their own ideas and thoughts about what they’re reading. Parishes and faith communities can use book clubs to build a sense of community, invite new people to explore the Catholic faith, and experience faith formation. Book clubs can be an excellent vehicle for pre-evangelization and evangelization […]

Communicating Expectations to Catechists

August 12, 2016 Joe Paprocki 2

My good friend Tom Quinlan, Director of the Catechetical Office in the Diocese of Joliet, IL, recently sent me a copy of something he shared with his catechetical leaders to help communicate expectations for catechists. I’ll let Tom do the explaining: As a former parish director of religious education, I found it important to provide catechists with a covenant each year. This catechist covenant would detail what was being asked and expected of them in their role […]

Pokémon GO: A Parish Primer

August 8, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

In my book, A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion, I propose that parishes need to continually help people find connections between the Catholic faith and daily living, including hobbies or activities that people engage in: “This approach can be a wonderful form of pre-evangelization, a way of inviting people to begin getting a flavor of the Catholic way of life without being overwhelmed by anything that smacks […]

Confident Catechists: How to Prepare for the New Year

August 3, 2016 Darcy Osby 4

During Advent and Lent, the Church prepares for the feasts of Christmas and Easter. Similarly, summer is the season when catechists prepare for the upcoming catechetical year. The more time we take to prepare, the more comfortable and confident we will be echoing the Word of God in our classrooms. Prayer, Prayer, and More Prayer The most important thing we can do to prepare for the new catechetical year is to pray. Through prayer, the […]

Meet the “Worst” Catechist

July 25, 2016 Joe Paprocki 0

I love this article that my friend and colleague Denise Gorss brought to my attention. It’s titled “Why I’m the Worst Catechist at My Parish, and Still Signing Up,” and it’s written by catechist Deirdre Mundy. What I love about it is her humility—something that is a great quality for every catechist to have. She is most definitely NOT the worst catechist, but the fact that she recognizes her own unworthiness and places her trust […]

One Parish’s Initiative to Be More Welcoming

July 19, 2016 Special Contributor 4

Just over a year ago, Steven Serafin and his pastor were the new people at St. Mary’s Parish in Dover, NJ. This gave them the opportunity to approach faith formation with fresh eyes. As Pastoral Associate and Director of Faith Formation, Steven shared about a parish initiative called the “theology of welcome” in an interview with Loyola Press. Following the message put forth by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI with the New Evangelization, St. Mary’s is […]

Summer Planning for the DRE: Developing Goals and Objectives

July 13, 2016 Special Contributor 0

“Do you work during the summer?” No matter how often I hear this question, I am surprised by its suggestion. Do others really believe there is nothing to do once the religious education programs wrap up for the school year? Although the pace may slow somewhat (aside from summer programs and Vacation Bible School), most DREs have plenty to keep them busy during June, July, and August. Summer is often a time for me to […]

A Different Kind of Small Faith Group

June 27, 2016 Joe Paprocki 3

Last summer, I posted about some ideas for adult faith formation that were less “churchy” sounding but still unabashedly spiritual. I’m working from the premise that we too often approach adult faith formation as attempting to get adults to come to our turf (the parish grounds) to join groups we are forming to study some aspect of the Catholic faith. Instead, I’m proposing that we identify where and around what activities adults are congregating and invite […]

Safety Programs in the Classroom

May 26, 2016 Shannon Chisholm 3

I began my position as the director of faith formation at my parish with dreams of renewing my students’ and their families’ relationships with Christ. I imagined how I was going to be the best catechist to my students. I would create engaging lesson plans, I would lead reflective retreats, and I would assist at Masses that inspired people’s faith. What I didn’t imagine were other important—but not as romantic—elements of a faith formation program […]

Ending the Year on a Good Note

May 11, 2016 Shannon Chisholm 0

When we approach the end of faith formation classes for the year, we can be overwhelmed by a flurry of activity. During this period, our highest priorities are the celebration of the sacraments, planning for the final classes, end-of-year meetings, and looking forward to the next year. Amidst all these priorities—as well as tying up any loose ends—we can easily forget to take a step back and reflect on some of the gifts that are […]

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