Talk of the New Evangelization is sweeping parishes and dioceses around the globe. We know it is necessary, but we can be confused about what it actually is, what it is not, and how to do it. There is often some confusion between evangelization and catechesis. Most people seem to respond to the “how” of evangelization by providing information about the faith and/or increasing opportunities to teach the faith. These are good practices, but they […]
Last month, I posted on two occasions about a unique approach to faith formation at St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, IL, which honors the role of parents as their children’s primary catechists. In short, the parents and kids gather once per month at the parish at which time the kids are taught a lesson by catechists while parents engage in a session of adult faith formation and are equipped with resources to go home and to […]
Last week, I told you about the innovative faith formation program, Families Living Faith, at St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, IL. Today, I’d like to provide a few more details, background, and observations about this unique approach that takes seriously the role of parents as their child’s first catechist. “Getting there” was not easy and required a great deal of planning. listening, and trial and error over a number of years. The parish first attempted to move […]
I recently had the opportunity to spend some time with the faith formation staff at St. Jude Parish in New Lenox, IL, to get some insights into their Families Living Faith program: an approach to faith formation that takes seriously the Church’s call to make adult catechesis primary. The St. Jude faith formation program has about 1200 children. In their Families Living Faith program, children in grades 1–6 and their families come together for an […]
I always found our opening prayers for Confirmation and First Eucharist meetings to be challenging. Normally these involved something written down, something we would all read together, or maybe a pertinent piece of Scripture, or maybe both. It often felt dry and mechanical. What I wanted to do was engage our families, invite them to get to know the Jesus I knew—a Jesus who was active, interesting, and intensely interested in their lives. The question […]
The parish is abuzz with questions already: “Have you started your baking, shopping, planning, list-making, wrapping…?” No sooner has Halloween moved on than we find Christmas bursting onto the scene in every grocery store, department store, catalog, and flyer. It is a cycle that encourages us to be always thinking of and preparing for “the next thing,” rather than taking time to stop and become aware of the blessings and graces our God is trying […]
This Sunday, the Religious Education program at St. Cajetan will host a Family Mass at 9:00 AM and our DRE, Deb, asked each catechist to put together a display for their grade. I finished mine this morning, featuring how the kids are Finding God in the stories of the Old Testament and how God reveals his love to us leading up to his greatest revelation: his Son, Jesus Christ! Have a great weekend!
During the Hofinger Catechetical Conference in New Orleans last weekend, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a couple of excellent presentations given by my friend and colleague Tom McGrath, whose specialty is family faith. Tom distributed and made reference to a handout that he has developed called Forty Ways to Foster Prayer in Your Home which is drawn from his book Raising Faith-Filled Kids. Although I have seen this handout before, I was […]