Using the Liturgical Calendar to Create a Different Kind of Climate Change

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One of the goals of a catechist is to create a climate of prayer in the faith formation setting. In fact, the General Directory for Catechesis tells us that the most effective catechesis takes place within a “climate of prayer.” (GDC 85)

Today, more than ever, we are keenly aware of the term climate because of the issue of climate change. Climate refers to the prevailing weather conditions in a region over a long period of time. In a climate-controlled environment, we can control those conditions (heat, humidity, barometric pressure, etc.) to suit our purposes, such as growing plants and flowers in a greenhouse.

A faith formation environment must be “climate-controlled,” not so much in terms of temperature—although we definitely want people to be comfortable!—but in terms of conditions that are conducive to the growth of the seeds of faith.

One of the most effective ways of creating a climate of prayer is to focus on the liturgical calendar. By focusing on the seasons and feasts of the liturgical year, we invite those we teach into an ongoing narrative—a story of God’s action in the lives of his people. This narrative of rescue, restoration, and reassurance is told through the stories of the lives of the people of Israel and through the lives of Jesus, Mary, the Apostles, and the saints.

So how do we effect this kind of climate change? How do we celebrate the liturgical calendar in our faith formation settings? Here are some ideas.

By celebrating the liturgical year, you create a “climate-controlled” environment where the conditions are always favorable for growing closer to the Lord and for growing deeper in faith.

What are some of the ways that you observe the liturgical year in your learning environment?

About Joe Paprocki 2351 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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