Finding Middle Ground Between “Churchy” and “Secular” Events

Most adult faith formation activities seem to fall into two disparate categories. On the one hand, we find activities that are unabashedly spiritual in nature. Here are examples from various parish bulletins: First Friday Eucharistic Adoration Rosary Group St. Peregrine Novena Baptismal Preparation Divine Mercy Chaplet Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Christ’s Passion …and so on. […]

Start-of-the-Year Parent Gathering—Free PowerPoint Presentation

As you plan for the new catechetical year, schedule a start-of-the-year parent gathering. This is a great opportunity to meet parents and encourage them in their role as their children’s first catechist. To help you, I’m offering a free PowerPoint presentation, complete with suggested script, for hosting a parent gathering. The message it conveys is […]

Creating Worship Kits for Parish Groups

Many parish organizations have supply cabinets in which they stash their paper plates, napkins, coffee cups, pens, pencils, paper, and so on, so that when they meet, they can swing into action. I suggest that every parish organization have access to another important resource for their supply cabinet: a “worship kit.” Every time a group or […]

Four Things My Mentor in Ministry Taught Me

Accepting the invitation to work full-time in ministry felt like coming home. My initial arrival into the full-time ministry world, however, was overwhelming at times. Thankfully, there was a wise teacher, boss, and mentor, Charles, to walk alongside me and “show me the ropes.” As I look back on those first six months at the […]

Looking for Ideas for Do-it-Yourself Service Projects

I’m looking for ideas for “do-it-yourself” service projects—things that can be done on site at the parish with 20 or 30 adult volunteers in a couple of hours. One such idea, albeit quite ambitious, is the Helping Hands project from Catholic Relief Services. This requires 40 volunteers and a minimum of two hours to package […]

How Do We Recruit New Catechists? INVITE Them!

What is it that all DREs know about the majority of Catholic families today? They are overwhelmed by an overbooked schedule of events and work, and growing our faith is often deferred to those once-in-a-while moments when things are quiet; that is not necessarily weekend Mass. So how do we find future catechists? I propose […]

Ministry Is…

What is ministry? It seemed a simple question, posed to me by a pastoral ministry student who was interning at our parish. I began thinking of an eloquent response describing the beauty and joy of being the hands of Christ and building the kingdom of God, but later that day I found myself standing in […]

Through the Year with the DRE

It’s been a couple of years since I posted this popular post, so I thought this would be timely to share as we proceed through the summer months in anticipation of the upcoming catechetical year! Back in the day, when I was a “baby” DRE (Director of Religious Education), I turned to a nifty book […]

The Power of Invitation to Church Ministry

Being invited to participate changed my life. I was 17, a senior in high school, and I opened a letter from my pastor inviting me to participate in the Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI), sponsored by the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Until that moment, my faith lived within the boundaries of Sunday Mass and in the […]

Planning Your Adult Faith Formation Calendar

With all of the traveling that I do, sometimes my calendar can get a little crazy. I’ve gotten better at it, but I can remember some times when I asked myself, “What was I thinking when I said yes to this?” In parish life, we do this all the time. Even when we have calendaring […]