Partnering with Parents: The Best Investment a Parish Can Make
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Partnering with Parents: The Best Investment a Parish Can Make Tom Quinlan ([email protected]). Opening Prayer: The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Come, Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth. Emmaus Offers Formative Model. Emmaus Model Encounter Understanding Relationship

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Opening Prayer: The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)

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Partnering with Parents: The Best Investment a Parish Can MakeTom Quinlan ([email protected])


Opening Prayer: The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)

Come, Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth.


Emmaus Offers Formative Model

Emmaus Model

Encounter

Understanding

Relationship

CONVERSION

Traditional Model

Understanding

Religious Practice

Faithful Living

DISCIPLESHIP


Parents Today

  • The more impactful relationship

  • How would you describe parents today?

  • Post-modernism and Parents

    • Julie – on the fence, wants to be revived

    • Kara – faith-filled and mostly gone

    • Kyle – just wants sacraments

    • Deirdre – can we clone her?


My Primary Pastoral/Catechetical Presumptions

  • The full spiritual/religious well-being of our parish families must be our focus

  • The Church has largely been successful sacramentalizing; the Church has largely been ineffectual evangelizing

  • Decline in practice well-evidenced; decline now in even seeking sacraments

  • Evangelizing Catechesis is essential; catechetical leadership is largely and increasingly about evangelization


Your Wisdom for Partnering with Parents (submit now)

  • What is your most effective practice?

  • Name an effective practice from a parish in your diocese.

  • What is something you would love to begin at your parish?


Twenty Suggestions (PLUS ONE) for Partnering with Parents

  • Utilize Digital Resourcing to Form Parents in Faith

    • go to them, where they live…on their computer, in their smart phone

  • Resource Parents in Helpful Ways Beyond Faith

    • meet their real and felt needs…parenting, marriage, finances, stress-management, etc.


  • Invite Families to Experience the Parish

    • devotions, liturgies (ie. blessing of pets, Stations of the Cross), parish happenings (formation, service, social, etc.)

  • Use Electronic Communication and Social Media

    • get the word out…this can assist with the prior two points and the latter (Twitter and Facebook can work!)

  • Constantly Reinforce the Proper Context for Faith Formation

    • Called to a life of prayer (including Mass) and service; catechesis provides a foundation (only)


  • Listen To Them: The Pastoral Role of Catechetical Leader

    • Become attentive to what they mean; be intuitive to their needs and care about them; strive to grow in cultural sensitivity

  • Challenge Them Out of Apostolic Courage (Pope Francis’ term)

    • Have the evangelizing conversation (lovingly)

  • Outreach I: Seek the Marginal and Unaffiliated

    • Intentional spring/summer outreach


  • Outreach II: Baptism and Beyond

    • Create and sustain relationship to parish; encourage faith practice in home and parish while the cement is still wet! (Habit formation: Cue, Rhythm, and Impact)

  • Create Opportunities for Parents to Participate (and Be Formed) In-Session

    • With their children and in a parent faith formation setting

  • Encourage Parents to Be Active in Their Child’s Learning at Home

    • Texts need to be sent home and consumed


  • Empower Parents to Pray with Their Children and Share Faith

    • Scripture, rituals and blessing

  • Coach Them Up

    • Train them formally to confidently embrace their role

  • Family Faith Totes

    • One bag per grade that rotates among families with special resources (specific to that grade) for parents and family


  • Say Yes Whenever Possible…

    • No when necessary and don’t be afraid to hold accountable…special circumstances, late registrations, conflicting activities, tuition and participation issues

  • Uphold the Values, Drop the Judgment

    • Condemnatory attitudes and actions are both inappropriate and ineffectual; ie.) Mass attendance

  • Affirm Positives and Celebrate Successes

    • Reinforce good outcomes with personal touches


  • Be A Talent Scout

    • Recognize giftedness in parents and call forth their gifts (Marie at St. Hubert)

  • Create A Culture of Relationship-Building

    • An environment where not only leader-parent relationships form but also catechist-parent, parent-parent, etc.

  • Plan and Goal-Set for Parent Partnering

    • With parish leadership and with parents


Your Wisdom for Partnering with Parents

  • What is your most effective practice?

  • Name an effective practice from a parish in your diocese.

  • What is something you would love to begin at your parish?


Plan With the End in Mind

What is the goal of parish faith formation ministry for children?

Your goal?

  • A simple, profound and essential question

  • Enormous implications

  • Work backwards from your answer


Plus OneThe Preeminent Evangelizing Value: Parent and Family Faith Formation Must Be At The Service of Fostering Conversion

  • “Get the parents through the children” is fine and true, but to what end?

  • Parents can’t give what they don’t have; they are primarily candidates for evangelization today

  • Each of the twenty prior points must be read through this lens of evangelization/fostering conversion


Modalities for Parent and Family Faith Formation

  • Whole community/parish formation events

  • Family formation events

  • Parent formation sessions

  • Parent coaching sessions with children

  • Retreats, evenings/mornings of reflection


Modalities for Parent and Family Faith Formation

  • Regular parish events

  • Regional or diocesanevents

  • Families at home

  • Families sent out in service

  • Formation content delivered home (digital or paper)

  • Small faith communities (gathered or virtual)


Occasions for Parent and Family Faith Formation

  • Seasons and Feasts

  • Ordinary Formation Sessions

  • Sacrament Preparation for Parents

  • Sacrament Preparation for Families

  • Singular (Special) Occasions


Parent Sacramental Prep Gatherings

  • Require attendance

    • Video tape and hold accountable

  • Provide a warm, hospitable experience

    • Not a meeting, an evening of reflection, or such

    • Make connections between life and Catholic faith

    • i.e.) Reconciliation/forgiveness; Eucharist/meal

    • Address their adult questions of meaning

    • The evocative power of story

    • Stress the importance of their bringing the faith home to their family

    • Provide specific, simple, resourced practices


For Reflection

  • Do people believe their way into belonging…or belong their way into believing?

  • What percentage of the last parent meeting could be considered evangelizing or designed to foster conversion?

  • Name something in your ministry/in the parish that seems effective in fostering conversion. Why does it seem effective?

  • Do I invite the Holy Spirit into my ministry?


For Reflection

  • How do I perceive parents in the program? How do parents perceive me?

  • Do I encourage catechists to relate to parents?

  • Do I utilize the gifts of strong role model parents to help to mentor other parents?

  • How well do I resource parents? How?

  • Am I able to keep my well full…spiritually, physically, emotional…a.) abundantly filled? b.) adequately filled? c.) are you kidding? 


Websites

  • www.sadlierreligion.com/webelieve/gather.cfm

  • http://www.sadlierreligion.com/family.cfm

  • http://www.dioceseofjoliet.org/reo/

    • Click on “Evangelizing Catechist Resources” tab and please feel free to share Be an Evangelizing Catechist/Teacher-Catechist with catechists and Catholic school teachers. My gift to you!


Questions/Comments


Come Holy Spirit!

Fill the hearts of your faithful,

And enkindle in them the fire of your love.

Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created;

And you shall renew the face of the earth.


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