Adult Faith Formation: Creating a “Greenhouse Effect” in the Diocese of Joliet

Recently, I had the privilege of spending a day with a 50–60 catechetical leaders in the Diocese of Joliet, IL, exploring adult faith formation. Here is the title and description of my topic: A Change of Climate: How to Create a Parish “Greenhouse Effect” that Fosters the Growth of Adult Faith Formation Adult faith formation is not accomplished via a program or an event or even a series of events. Rather, it is stimulated by […]

Adults Sharing Faith – Kids Listen In

Last week, we hosted an evening of adult faith formation at St. Cajetan parish that featured 5 adults forming a panel to share their stories of faith connected with the Rosary. While the event was sparsely populated (I’ve yet to solve the mystery of getting parents to attend faith formation while their children are in class…still working on it!), a bonus feature was that the 7th grade catechist brought his students over to “listen in.” […]

Getting Away from the Presentation/Lecture Method for Adult Faith Formation

One of the patterns that we need to break in order for ongoing Adult Faith Formation to take root and grow is the bad habit of lecturing to adults for 45 minutes or an hour and calling that adult catechesis. In many parishes, adult faith formation takes the shape of a staff member (pastor, associate pastor, deacon, pastoral associate, DRE) deciding that he or she will offer a series of classes for 6 to 8 weeks. […]

One Book, One Parish: Perfect for Adult Faith Formation

Here’s an idea for your parish Adult Faith Formation program: it’s called One Book, One Parish (affectionately referred to as OBOP here at Loyola Press). One Book, One Parish provides spiritual works that explain our Catholic culture and history; books that illuminate, inspire, provoke, and entertain; books that have a unique perspective and compelling authority.  We seek to help you establish communities of conversation around our faith and get people to re-engage with the parish […]

Attracting Adults By Telling Them They Are Needed

A popular idea for engaging adults in faith formation is to invite parents of children in RE to some type of enrichment at the same time that their children are in class – another way to combat the “drop-off” mentality. These efforts are often met with mixed results. Some parishes have had success with this approach while others get only a handful of parents to stay. Part of the problem is that we are often […]

Adult Faith Formation – Laying the Foundation

I met this morning with Maryellen, the staff liason for Adult Faith Formation at St. Barnabas, for our first meeting to begin laying out a vision for what we hope to accomplish in AFF this year. We both agreed that the place to begin is NOT with a program but with a VISION and a PLAN! With that in mind, we are looking to meet with the Faith Formation Commission of the Parish Pastoral Council […]

Catechists for Parish Organizations

The post I put up the other day about designating catechists for Men’s and Women’s clubs in parishes struck a positive chord with lots of people. In particular, a comment posted by Maureen summed up precisely what I was aiming at when she said that the idea: …also speaks to one of the foundational principles of the USCCB pastoral plan for Adult Faith Formation, “Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us”: parish life itself is the […]

“Meet the Staff” Day at St. Barnabas!

Today I had the pleasure of meeting with the staff at St. Barnabas Parish in Chicago where I will be assisting in adult faith formation! They were very warm and welcoming and we enjoyed spending about an hour together during which time I introduced myself to them and articulated my goals for working with them on adult catechesis and reporting on my blog. We then engaged in some give and take as they asked some […]

Time to Get Serious…About Adult Faith Formation!

I hope you enjoyed my “summer chuckles” while I was on vacation! Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, reminds us that “our relationship with God — like any relationship — can use some humor from time to time.” Now that I’m back, it’s time to get serious about my focus for the upcoming year: adult faith formation! As I mentioned in a previous post, this year, instead of teaching a grade of elementary age religious education, I […]

What Grade Will Joe Teach Next Year? Drum Roll Please…

At this time of the year, I get many questions from people asking what grade I will be teaching next year. The last couple of years, I taught 6th grade. Before that, I did a year of 4th grade and previous to that, I did several years of 8th grade Confirmation. So, just what WILL I be teaching next year? Drum roll please… ADULT CATECHESIS!!! I am so excited to be turning my attention to […]

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