Please join us on Monday February 3rd for our next Adult Faith Formation Leader Network gathering. We have an exciting program scheduled and an opportunity for you to win a Living the Eucharist Parish Starter Kit! See details for the meeting below! Don’t forget to add this date on your calendar!
March Gatherings with Paul Canavese
All ministry leaders are invited to join us for our March Sacramental gatherings with Paul Canavese from Growing up Catholic. The mission of Growing up Catholic is to provide parishes with resources that coach and empower parents to form their own children in the faith, faith that lasts a lifetime! Parishes are encouraged to invite all leaders and volunteers involved in the sacramental catechesis of infant baptism, First Eucharist, and Reconciliation.
Family Bible Challenge
The Leadership Institute of the Diocese of Bridgeport is pleased to present the Family Bible Challenge. Now in its fourth season, the Family Bible Challenge continues to expand. We welcome the faithful of the Diocese of Dallas to our adventure and hope you enjoy the weekly reflections and quizzes.
ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE!
"made me feel like God is alive in our parish." -Parishioner, Monroe, LA
Living the Eucharist is an exciting parish-based renewal experience designed to help parishes foster spiritual growth and discipleship through a more profound experience of Sunday Mass.
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CPM courses are offered in English and Spanish in different locations around the Diocese.
The Certificate in Pastoral Ministry (CPM) Program, a collaborative venture of University of Dallas and the Diocese of Dallas, is designed to meet the educational and formational needs of adults who serve their parishes, schools or other Catholic organizations on a volunteer basis. Click here for
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Let us accompany you in your ministry!
The NDC says (on p. 251) that one of the roles of the Diocesan Catechetical office is to “develop processes for the recruitment, approval, orientation, placement, ongoing formation, evaluation, and retention of parish catechetical leaders.” It is our fervent hope that we can provide you, the catechetical leader with: an orientation to the diocese, ongoing formation through workshops, in-services, and meetings; and mentorship so as to retain you in this beautiful ministry of ours for years to come. Our office will connect with you through email campaigns, phone calls, and site visits. We welcome contact that you initiate at any time. We are here to be of service to you!
"Catechesis is the centerpiece of a diocese’s evangelizing activities and is closely linked with all other forms of education in the faith." (NDC, 2005, p. 253) Catechesis is NOT simply gaining knowledge of our Catholic faith. To be catechized is to know and love the Jesus of the Gospels and to profess Him as Christ our Lord. A well-catechized catholic will act authentically as a witness of the grace and mercy of God and bring others into a deeper relationship with the Lord. It is our desire to accompany catechetical leaders in this most essential task of our collaborative ministry.
The formation of catechetical leaders and parish catechists is a priority for our office. We have worked with the University of Dallas “to establish theologically and academically sound programs of preparation for parish catechetical leaders” and parish catechists. (NDC, 2005, p.251) The Certificate for Pastoral Ministry includes core courses in theology and scripture and ministry specific courses in catechesis for catechists and catechetical leaders. Everyone in ministry is urged to pursue this certificate. Our office can provide you with information or you can contact the Neuhoff School of Ministry at the University of Dallas.
We understand how busy you are in the parish. All of us have worked in parishes too. Sometimes it feels like you can barely maintain the existing parish ministries. It is our responsibility to “keep catechetical personnel informed concerning important church documents and recommendations that pertain to catechesis.” (NDC, 2005, p.252) We have a robust website, filled with best practices and current trends in catechetical formation. We can be a resource if you are interested in innovating any part of your parish catechetical ministry.
"Pastors have specific responsibilities that derive from their particular catechetical role. All believers have a right to catechesis; all pastors have the duty to provide it." (NDC, 2005, p. 220) Pastors have the enormous task in providing for the faith formation of parishioners. We joyfully join you in your ministry as chief catechist. Our staff can support your parish staff in preparing the faithful to receive the sacraments of Infant Baptism, First Reconciliation, and First Eucharist. We also have resources in children’s ministry and adult ministry, as well as initiatives for the new evangelization. Our office offers a comprehensive catechist certification process and one designed for the catechetical leader.
"May the church be the place of God’s mercy and love, where everyone can feel themselves welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live according to the good life of the Gospel. And in order to make others feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged, the church must have open doors so that all might enter. And we must go out of those doors and proclaim the Gospel.” — Pope Francis continuing a series of meditations on the church. (June 12, 2013) This quote from Pope Francis is our guide regarding welcome, hospitality, and evangelization. Catechetical Services has a deeply rooted commitment to radical hospitality so all might feel welcome in our Church. This includes those who come to our doors and those whom the Lord calls us to go out and seek. If you are interested in reinventing how you envision hospitality, we are here to join you in that initiative.
"Those involved in organization for catechesis should develop a clear statement to explain the principles and goals of catechesis, the measure of accountability and the provision for the communication of information." (NDC, 2005, p. 246) A parish catechetical plan involves more than selecting an approved curriculum series! Our staff would welcome the opportunity to accompany your staff in creating a catechetical plan that encompasses the whole faith community. The centrality of a catechetical plan is on adults, young and old, and in the context of the nuclear family. The plan requires a measurable set of outcomes and a process for communicating the plan to the parish community.
"The single most critical factor in an effective parish catechetical program is the leadership of a professionally trained parish catechetical leader." (NDC, 2005, p. 224) The Department of Catechetical Services can support pastors in the recruitment and hiring of catechetical leaders as requested. The staff is prepared to assist pastors in initial and ongoing formation of leaders for ministry. We offer a variety of workshops, in-services, and certification courses to provide catechetical leaders with theological and practical skills that witness the ideal of lifelong faith formation for themselves and those whom they serve.
Our Lady of Angels is offering a few of new options to better serve our PreK thru 5th grade families for the 2019-2020 school year.
We changed our Sunday faith formation schedule this year so that classes do not take place during any of the Mass times. This gave parents an incentive to attend Adult Formation while their children were in class. Currently parents are enjoying The 99 Series from Ascension Press. Adult “Sunday School” was a new concept for our families, but we are getting a lot of positive feedback about the content of the program from the parents that attend. Another added benefit from this is that parents are making connections with other parents that they might not otherwise cross paths with.
Our family has enjoyed the At-home formation this year! It has brought some very in depth conversations we wouldn't normally wouldn't have had, it's great!
The At-Home Faith Formation motivates our family to study, pray, and learn together on our faith journeys.
For those families whose schedules are not conducive to attending our traditional classroom sessions, we are offering an At-Home Formation program. We had 29 families sign up for the program this year. The parents attended an initial instructional workshop in the summer where they received their materials. We chose Sophia Institute’s A Family of Faith curriculum. We also send them monthly instructional videos that describe the upcoming month’s lessons, for additional support. We will offer another workshop for the At-Home families in January to give them an opportunity to share ideas and suggestions with each other, and to give us a chance to find out what is working and not working with this new program. We have gotten some great feedback from our families that are in this program.
We like that it is something we do together as a family and we get to hear directly from our kids their questions and/or thoughts on the topics we are discussing. We like that we are able to target specific topics and possibly go a little more in depth on them than they would in a classroom setting. At least for our family, we are very happy that we have been able to participate in at home faith formation programs this year.
One family said: “For us, my son’s crazy sports schedule is always a hindrance to CCD. The At Home formation program is a great way for us to a) accommodate his schedules, b) I get to ensure he's paying attention to what we're going over and most importantly c) get to spend time together going over the Catholic faith.”
Another family said: “I was surprised at how much I have actually learned while doing these lessons with my children”.
Quarterly Family Events
This year we have also included 4 quarterly “family events” in our faith formation calendar for all families that are registered in our programs. These events take the place of our regular classes for those particular dates, and serve as an opportunity for parents to interact with their children in meaningful ways. These events also help our “at home” families to still feel part of our community. The family events we offered this year are a service project for a homeless shelter, an Advent Festival, Kids Against Hunger project, and a Stations of the Cross play. We have found that the families that attend these events really do enjoy them.
We want to thank the Diocese for offering the Innovative Workshops last spring that served as a spring board for helping us to “think outside of the box”.