Challenges and Successes of Being a Catechetical Leader

Every year as a Director of Religious Education has its own unique challenges and successes. I keep telling myself that if I’m doing the same thing as the year before, then I’m doing it wrong. Here are some continual challenges I face and the ways I have found success amidst them. Challenge 1: Recruiting Catechists I have a large program, and even though I have some very dedicated catechists, I also have an average turnover […]

Busy Families and Faith Formation

I have a confession to make. I am a soccer mom. This week we will have soccer matches every night for four nights in a row. I am also a DRE and a Ministry Consultant, treasurer for the soccer organization and Saturday concession coordinator, and mother and general problem-solver for five children ranging from middle school to post-college struggling adult. I wear many hats, often simultaneously. I find life out of balance on many occasions […]

Setting the Stage for Evangelizing Parents

I recently came across a good article from a good Web site written by a good resource (someone you should know). The article, “Setting the Stage for Evangelizing Parents,” is written by Patrice Spirou, the Assistant Director of Religious Education for the Office of Formation and Discipleship in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. I had the pleasure of meeting Patrice when I was in Atlanta not too long ago and even had the opportunity to enjoy sitting […]

Reaching Parents on the Margins of Parish Life

A catechist friend of mine recently commented that there was a general attitude among parents. She called it the “drag-drive-drop” mentality: parents dragged their children into the car, drove them to the faith formation center, and dropped them off at class! While not true in every parish, the question of how we reach parents who are disengaged or disinterested in their children’s faith formation is becoming an increasingly difficult task for us all. There are […]

Successful REP Kick-Off Event!

Thanks be to God, we had a wonderfully successful kick-off event for the Religious Education program at St. Cajetan that focused on the adults as well as the children. The goal was to begin to chip away at the “drop-off” mentality and I think it is safe to say that last night we made a significant dent! I counted at least 100 adults present and we prepared 115 folders! Here’s a pictorial summary: Signage was key […]

REP Kick-Off Event with Adult Focus

This year, in addition to my work in Adult Faith Formation at St. Barnabas Parish, I am also assisting the DRE at St. Cajetan, Deb Breakey, where I served as a 6th grade catechist last year. Together, we are focusing on changing the “drop-off” mentality of the parents of kids in the Religious Education program. To that end, the first night of RE (September 16) will have a totally different look than in years past. […]

Combatting the Drop-Off Mentality, Peoria Style

I enjoyed a wonderful day in the Diocese of Peoria, IL, on Saturday (8/2) with about 175 catechetical ministers and was privileged to deliver the keynote and the closing talk for the day. In between, however, I enjoyed sitting in on some workshops delivered by local catechetical ministers. I really enjoyed participating in a breakout session for catechists of fifth and sixth grade children (since I taught sixth grade last year) that was led by […]

Putting Parents First When You Kick-off the Catechetical Year

I mentioned in a recent post how I am working with the DRE of a parish to combat the “drop-off” mentality that many parents have when it comes to their child’s faith formation. Here are some ideas for resources from Loyola Press that can help you to put parents first when it is time to kick-off the new catechetical year. Resources (either free or low cost – under $10) to give Parents: Forty Ways to Foster […]

Combatting the “Drop-Off” Mentality

This afternoon, I met with Deb Breakey, the DRE of St. Cajetan Parish in Chicago, to brainstorm a new way to kick off the catechetical year this Fall designed to combat the “drop-off” mentality that so many parents have when it comes to their children’s faith formation. We are working on designing an experience on the first night of religious education that, in essence, will be an intergenerational event. Parents will be asked to gather with […]

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