Adult Catechesis: A Priority, Not an Option

What was your favorite meal, favorite book, or favorite TV show when you were eight years old? How did you see the world? Fast forward to when you were in high school. How would your answers change? Now think about today; are your answers different? We’d be in deep trouble if we didn’t grow up and expand our tastes, knowledge, and skills. Unfortunately for many Catholics, when it comes to faith formation, we put on […]

Who Do You Recruit to Animate Adult Faith Formation? Try a “Regular Guy”

My favorite radio station in Chicago—WXRT, 93.1 FM—features a movie critic who goes by the name of “The Regular Guy.” Since 1984, DJ Marty Lennartz has portrayed a stereotypical gritty Chicagoan giving his take on the current motion picture hits. The bit is brilliant, of course, because listeners fashion themselves as “regular people” who can relate to this movie critic who has no airs about him. That explains my answer to the question, “Who do you […]

Beginning the Conversation About Adult Faith Formation

As a Church, we’ve been talking about adult faith formation for years and yet, here we are “beginning” the conversation at Christ the King parish. That’s not a knock on the parish—many parishes find themselves in the same boat: yet to realize what it means to make adult faith formation a priority. Thankfully, Fr. Larry Sullivan and his staff are determined to change all that! Recently, I met with Fr. Larry and the staff at […]

Going Mobile for Adult Faith Formation

When I talk about adult faith formation going “mobile,” I’m not talking about anything involving mobile phones! Rather, I’m talking about getting adult faith formation “off campus,” so to speak, and taking it on the road, namely to people’s homes. Pope Francis is encouraging us as a Church to “go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the Gospel.” (Evangelii Gaudium, 20) I suggest […]

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. These activities are all fine and good, and the contrast I’m about to set up is not between good and […]

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 meetings that should remove such conflicts, we still sometimes find ourselves overbooked and unable to devote time and energy to […]

Making Our Parishes Spiritual Wellness Centers

On my way to work each day, as I ride the train from the south side to the north side of Chicago, I see a variety of storefronts advertising spiritual wellness—places to nurture one’s body, mind, and spirit in order to achieve serenity and calmness as well as answers to life’s questions. They offer Reiki, meditative breathing, yoga, guided meditation, acupuncture, Chakra balancing, sweat lodge ceremonies, healing circles, tarot cards, and spiritual classes. While they […]

Digging for the Secret to Adult Faith Formation Success: Al Capone’s Vault

As regular readers know, this past year, I dedicated my time and efforts to working in the area of adult faith formation, and I’ve discovered many ideas and strategies along the way, and we’ve had some marvelous discussions about some of these. One thing I had hoped for more success in was discovering the keys to getting adults to respond to/attend adult faith formation offerings. In that area, I must admit, I feel like Geraldo Rivera promising […]

Let the Triduum Teach

Any liturgist will tell you that the best way to teach about liturgy is to celebrate richly and robustly. The Triduum, which is only weeks away, is without a doubt the most robust sacramental celebration in our life of worship and, as such, provides an extraordinary opportunity for quality adult faith formation simply by inviting people to play a role in the celebrations. Here are some ideas for how to make that happen. Holy Thursday Evening […]

Adult Faith: Moving to a Needs-Based Approach

One of the problems with adult faith formation, as I see it, is our “packaging.” We want our adults to have a good grasp of Church doctrine but the problem is that we present it as…drumroll please…CHURCH DOCTRINE! In other words, our adult faith offerings are most often too “churchy-sounding” to attract a wide or new audience. Most folks are simply not going to be swayed by topics such as the following: Understanding the Mass […]

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