Transitions and Connecting to the Community

May 11, 2017 Special Contributor 0

Some years ago I ended a period of ministry at a parish and school that had become my spiritual home. During the time I served there, I had developed many relationships with catechists, parents, students, and staff, and I had participated in many affirming and community-building endeavors over the years. I had felt called to serve this particular place, but it was time to serve in new ways. I was not quite sure what the Lord […]

The Parent Panel for Parent Meetings

April 17, 2017 Joe Paprocki 2

A few years ago, I posted about an approach I’ve been taking for parent sacramental prep meetings, particularly First Eucharist. Basically, I’ve been asking the catechetical leader to recruit four or five parents from the previous year’s First Eucharist class to form a panel that I can interview about their experience of bringing their children to the sacraments. I have had nothing but great success with this format as these parents eagerly give witness to […]

Finding God Kindergarten Now Available

April 3, 2017 Joe Paprocki 0

The wait is over! Finding God Kindergarten has arrived! For over a decade now, the Finding God phenomenon has been touching the lives of young people in grades one through eight in parish religious education programs and Catholic schools. Now, Finding God Kindergarten completes the picture! Jesus famously told his disciples not to hinder future disciples—the “little children”—from coming to him. Loyola Press has always taken this charge seriously. It was with little children in mind […]

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 […]

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