Whole Family Catechesis Coaching Parents to form their own children
If you want to read more… • Coaching parents • A plan to have much higher expectations of our parents www.PastoralPlanning.com
Goals in this presentation • How can we succeed with restored order of initiation sacraments? • A conversation about the role of parents • What should it be? • What doesn’t that always happen? • What resources are there to support a greater role for parents? www.PastoralPlanning.com
Question What is the toughest aspect of this for you as a parish priest? www.PastoralPlanning.com
Decree on Bishops, #44From Vatican II Called for the development of a Directory to guide Catechesis
Already at that time • International Study Weeks were underway: • Nijmegen, 1959 • Eichstatt, 1960 • Bangkok, 1962 • Katigondo, 1964 • Manila, 1967 • Medellin, 1968 A real turning point Shifted from teaching “about religion” to helping folks have an encounter with Christ
The study weeks led to… A wave of activity aimed at renewing catechesis!
The church makes a shift • ‘71: Gen’l Catechetical Directory • ‘75: Evangelization in our Time • Evangelii Nuntiandi • ‘79: Catechesis Today • Catechesi Tradendae • ‘88: Catechumenate: RCIA • ‘92: Catechism of the Catholic Church • ‘97: Gen’l Directory for Catechesis
Evangelization Today • 1975 • Pope Paul VI • Very concise, very readable • One of the most important documents published in the church since Vatican II!
Evangelization Today • Catechesis in a ministry of the Word • “It initiates church members… • …into the meaning of Christian signs and symbols” • It assumes that folks have consciously accepted the proclamation of Christ • Conversion precedes catechesis! • Catechesis is Christo-centric
Catechesis in our Time • 1979 • From Rome • Repeats the Christo-centric themes from EN • Focus on catechesis • for the whole community • by the whole community • Calls for it to be lifelong
1988 The church… Restored the Catechumenate… after almost 1700 years of decline! A fantastic, new, and powerful understanding of catechesis emerged!
Followed, in 1992 by… The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Which led to… The revision of the General Directory for CatechesisSigned by Pope John Paul II in 1997 Places the catechumenate in a central place and role Sets the stage for lifelong faith formation for all ages!
Which led to… The General Directory for CatechesisIn Plain English
Two Great Goals Help folks turn their hearts to Christ, discover Christ in their lives & love the Church… Evangelization Offer all members some level of instruction in the faith to deepen their conversion… Catechesis
We know • More than 90% of adult Catholics • are active today • because their parents were active • only about 10% come to the church as adults • What does this tell us? • Parents play THE vital role! www.PastoralPlanning.com
A timeline to help until 1960 Formation in the home Mass every week Feasts & Seasons Fasting & abstinence Confession Religious Ed: filled in a tiny gap www.PastoralPlanning.com
A timeline to help until 1960 1960-70s The old “Catholic culture” ended Television & media Huge cultural shift in West At Mass less often Religious Ed: bigger gap to fill www.PastoralPlanning.com
A timeline to help until 1960 1960-70s 1980-90s Religion classes at parish or in schools …with the parents mainly absent Participation in Sunday Mass on the decline Home life more secular & media oriented Religious Ed: HUGE gap to fill www.PastoralPlanning.com
A timeline to help We have to help develop the role of parents. until 1960 1960-70s 1980-90s Today The numbers tell the truth The leading indicator “Will they have faith?” The role their parents played in their formation. www.PastoralPlanning.com
Two groups of parents • #1 Deeply engaged • Active in parish life • At Mass every week • Household of faith • #2 On the edge of the parish • Show up when the kids need it • Very tentative about faith • Religion not central in life www.PastoralPlanning.com
These two groups • The engaged – only about 16-20% • Still reluctant about formation for their own kids • Believes this is the job of the parish • The unengaged – nearly 80-85% • Some are hungry for more • But many are distracted so they don’t even feel the ache or longing… • These are the ones we must love the most www.PastoralPlanning.com
The outcome of this: • The passing of faith • from Generation to Generation • has slowed down or stopped. • Parents tend to remain absent… • as long as we agree to do it for them. www.PastoralPlanning.com
Many parents • Feel un-equipped • Don’t know their own faith • Haven’t got the fire of faith in their own hearts • So they drop their kid at the parish • And go shopping www.PastoralPlanning.com
And we at the parish • We accept these children • And we do a pretty good job • But we will always be only the substitutes • Parents form their own kids, even if they don’t take an active role www.PastoralPlanning.com
Add to that… • Restored order of Confirmation • The “carrot” will be gone • What will hold them? • If they stayed only for the carrot, • Our formation wasn’t working anyway • We aren’t losing very much
What seems to work A combination of 3 things: • Focus on the goal of helping people know Christ • Coach parents to form their own kids • Participatory liturgy www.PastoralPlanning.com
From the GDC #53 General Directory for Catechesis Conversion is first. It is the full and sincere adherence to the person of Christ and the decision to walk in his footsteps. Faith is a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, the making of oneself a disciple and it demands a permanent commitment to think, judge, and live like him. www.PastoralPlanning.com
From the GDC #98 General Directory for Catechesis What we find at the heart of all catechesis is not a book or a theology system, but a person! The fundamental task of catechesis is to present Christ and everything in relation to him leading people to follow Christ in their lives. www.PastoralPlanning.com
The Question of the Week Year B is available on the site now -- FREE • Breaking Open the Word • A process used in the RCIA • A two step process: • Re-proclaim part of the readings from Sunday Mass • Then ask first: • what touched me? • what word or phrase did I hear? • Followed by: • how does this affect my life?
The witness of pastors • When you share what you believe • In simple but honest words • Others see belief as more possible for them • You may need to rehearse or practice this in front of a mirror or with each other.
Living Christ retreats • Friday evening and Saturday all day • About 30 folks per retreat • Leaders and host team from parish • Working with your local team • Brendan, Chris et al. • Deepen communion with Christ • Grow in your ability to “die in Christ” www.PastoralPlanning.com
Living Christ retreats • Use YOUR leaders • Do not make this complicated • Start with those in your parish who are already evangelized through Cursillo or other retreats • Provide follow up • Questions of the Week • Mini-Course gatherings or bible study • Be ready with follow up pastoral care
Resources There are many resources to help you implement this at www.PastoralPlanning.com
What seems to work A combination of 2 things: • Focus on the goal of helping people know Christ • Coach parents to form their own kids • Participatory liturgy www.PastoralPlanning.com
From the GDC #226 General Directory for Catechesis The religious awakening which takes place in the home during childhood is, simply, irreplaceable. www.PastoralPlanning.com
From the GDC #227 General Directory for Catechesis The local parish must, therefore, help parents by whatever means works best, to prepare for and assume their responsibility, of educating their children in the faith. www.PastoralPlanning.com
Whole Family Catechesis • A new form of religious education • One where parents take the lead • With their children • If parents can’t… • Grandparents • Older youth or others from the parish The parents are the teachers. www.PastoralPlanning.com
Coach your parents. • When you coach parents to form their own children • The parents also grow in their faith • You can’t just “send home a book” • Parents are intimidated • It’s not community based www.PastoralPlanning.com
To succeed • You need 3 things: • #1 Leadership & vision to see the whole picture of what it takes to grow up Catholic • #2 A Parent-friendly resource • #3 Motivate the parents to jump in www.PastoralPlanning.com
Coaching Parents Baptism Prep for Confirmation and First Communion & Confirmation Secondary school years The years after Baptism …until about age 5 or 6 Key years after the First Sacraments www.PastoralPlanning.com
Growing up Catholic These live in a “Catholic” home Baptism prep materials from a Catholic publisher are usually enough The goal here is: Evangelization Instead of the usual three night prep process, a three night retreat-like experience • A dual approach • One avenue for parents who are active and engaged • Another for those who are on the edge of parish life and faith Baptism www.PastoralPlanning.com
I Claim You for Christ • One example of a retreat-like process • Three sessions • Journey of Faith from their own baptism to the present moment • Dying in Christ – Reconciliation • Living in Community – Eucharist • A covenant about raising their kids in faith www.PastoralPlanning.com
Here’s what it looks like • Found on the web site • An E-product www.PastoralPlanning.com
Coaching Parents • Post-baptism care • Who stays in touch? • Again, a dual approach • More for those who are not engaged than for those who are Baptism The years after Baptism …until about age 5 or 6 www.PastoralPlanning.com
Entrusted to Your Care Who’s got time for this? • One example of a method for staying in touch • E-product • Reproducible • Letters, e-mail, calendars, invitations, & prayers • The key: Stay in touch • Relationship! www.PastoralPlanning.com
Here’s what it looks like • Found on the web site • An E-product www.PastoralPlanning.com
Coaching Parents • An ideal time to launch coaching • Parents expect to be more involved • Parents & kids attend together • They work as a family through the lesson. Baptism Prep for early Sacraments The years after Baptism …until about age 5 or 6 www.PastoralPlanning.com