How to Build a Sense of Community in Your Learning Space

Every faith formation experience should strive to form community since we, as people formed in the image and likeness of a Triune God, are inherently communal. It is in community that we experience Christ and are formed in Christ. The National Directory for Catechesis reminds us that, “Catechesis prepares the Christian to live in community and to participate actively in the life and mission of the Church.” (20) In his book, The Intentional Christian Community […]

Transitions and Connecting to the Community

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 […]

How to Inject Energy into Your Adult Faith Formation

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 […]

The Wedding Feast at Cana: A Call to Community

Have you ever noticed that many heroes in popular culture are loners? These heroes save the day, but they tend to do it all by themselves. Think of Batman, Superman, Ironman, Wolverine, and for those of us who are a little older, the Lone Ranger. Our heroes tend to be rugged individuals who, even if they engage in an alliance or loose affiliation with others, do so reluctantly. A good example of this is Han […]

Revamping Your Parish Registration Process with the “Five W’s”

At a recent Theology on Tap event, I met a young woman named Jennifer. As we talked, I learned that she was a catechist at one particular parish but that she frequently attended Eucharistic Adoration at another parish. I asked her which one she was a member of, and she replied, “Neither. I’m multiparishional. My idea of a parish community is something that is fluid and customizable to my needs and time. Besides, what are […]

The Spiritual Life of Catechists, Part 6: Participation in the Community

This is the sixth article in a series about the spiritual life of catechists, inspired by the list of characteristics in the National Directory for Catechesis. Catechists and catechetical leaders generally don’t sit in ivory towers reading theology in their spare time (thankfully!) Theirs is a lived faith, and nothing indicates that more than active involvement in the parish community. Their reputation and appearance as a regular part of parish life is proportional to the […]

Promoting Catholic Identity, Part 2: A Commitment to Community

This is the second article in a series on the five characteristics of Catholic identity and how we can nurture those in our children. Children often see “church” as a pretty building to which they go to pray. They often are unaware that the Church is first and foremost a community of people. Jesus told us, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them,” (Matthew 18:20). Together, we […]

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #5: Preparing to Live in Community

Recently, we began a series here on my blog about the six tasks of catechesis, focusing on the notion that God is calling each of us to fulfill a role that he has planned for us. Just as actors rely on certain strategies to immerse themselves in character, we too rely on certain strategies to “immerse” ourselves in the role that God is calling us to fill: the “best version of ourselves” (to borrow a phrase from […]