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CHAPTER 6: PRACTICAL HELPS

  “Trust in God who provides us richly with all things for our use.” 1Timothy 6:17

 

Practical Help 1

RECRUITING FOR EVANGELIZATION AND CATECHETICAL MINISTRY

The persons who respond to the invitation to serve as catechists, assistants, team members, office help or in numerous other positions are the greatest resource for parish catechetical and evangelization programs.  While the great majority of these ministers are non-compensated, most respond from a sense of commitment and a desire to serve the Lord; some seek self-fulfillment, and some respond because they see a need or simply because a personal invitation was extended.  When calling forth and inviting people to serve, DCM’s and Program Coordinators will want to eliminate “volunteer” language as much as possible and to help persons understand that in serving they are responding to their baptismal call.  The following suggestions may be helpful in recruiting:

· Pray for guidance and support.

· Make needs known.  Use a variety of methods: parish bulletin, website, newsletter; a job board; announcements at liturgies and parish meetings.  Even though some people do not read the bulletin or heed announcements, many people do.  Many people will respond if they are convinced there is a need for their help.

· Discern the gifts in the community.

· Be realistic and honest about what the task entails.  To serve as a catechist is a major commitment demanding more time and preparation than being the person who sends out the newsletter or is chairperson of the phone committee.  A printed job description, which defines the task, explains the training and/or experience necessary, and approximates the number of hours involved each week, will help a person to make a realistic decision.

· Extend invitations and the reason for the invitation (e.g. person’s gifts).  Personal invitations extended by the Pastor and DCM will yield more positive responses.  Remember, it's easy to say “no” to a phone call.

· Try not to “box” people into categories.  A professional teacher may not wish to teach religious education classes on his/her weekends, but may be willing to help in another way.  Try to fit gifts and talents to needs, capitalizing on people’s creative abilities and hobbies.

· Provide comprehensive orientation, training, in-servicing and support.  Make sure people are introduced to each other, and that they feel welcomed and needed. Provide a clear description of the task they are to accomplish.  Be available to answer any questions, and be appreciative of the work completed.

· Maintain an adequate record of services and be willing to provide references.  Even though a person is not paid, experience is valuable and can be used on resumes and job/college applications.

· Insure that all personnel (compensated and non-compensated) are made aware of and comply with diocesan policies regarding sexual misconduct, screening and safe environments.  Maintain a copy of the signed declaration, acknowledgement form on policy on Sexual Misconduct and all other safe environment materials in a confidential file for each person.

Practical Help 2

NURTURING AND RECOGNIZING THOSE WHO SERVE

The important service which people provide will continue if people are supported, encouraged and nurtured in their ministry.  People should be asked to commit themselves for a specified length of time with the opportunity to renew their commitment if they desire.  Some suggestions for nurturing and recognized those who serve are:

· Create pleasant surroundings for work and meetings; be congenial; greet ministers by name; provide coffee/refreshments.

· Provide good resources and materials.

· Reimburse the out-of-pocket costs that incur as part of the ministry.

· Provide registration fees for attendance at training courses, conferences, institutes and workshops, or reimburse upon completion.

· Offer child care service to enable parents to serve.

· Keep Pastor, pastoral council and parents informed about the work of those who serve.

· Publish a list of persons who serve in Catechetical and Evangelization Programs; post names on bulletin boards; print in parish newsletter; send newsworthy information to the diocesan newspaper.

· Take time to talk with ministers and express appreciation for their efforts.

· Form support groups for sharing in joy, growth and prayer.

· Share the positive comments you hear about and their work.

· Plan a liturgy around the theme of celebrating their call and ministry.

· Plan a recognition dinner, invite spouses.

· Honor those who serve with certificates, awards and honors.

· Send birthday, anniversary, special occasion, get well cards.

· Write personal thank you notes; send a Thanksgiving Day card to the minister’s family.

Celebrate outstanding projects.

· Plan a minister of the month celebration.

· Have a family picnic.

· Provide a suggestion box; involve them in planning and evaluation.

· Recognize personal needs and problems; be accommodating; respect sensitivities.

· Enlist ministers to train other ministers.

· Provide opportunities for individual conferences.

· Get feedback on what works and what doesn’t work.

· Keep challenging ministers; provide new responsibilities, if desired.

· Smile.

(Compiled and adapted from Bannon, William J. and Suzanne Donovan, S.C., Volunteers and Ministry.  ( New York :  Paulist Press, 1983 and Johnson, Douglas W., The Care and Feeding of Volunteers. ( Nashville :  Abingdon, 1978.

Practical Help 3

 SCHEDULING

Scheduling of programs and events is a key responsibility of the Director of Catechetical Ministry or Program Coordinator.  Well-planned schedules, which take into consideration the needs of all concerned, will do much to facilitate the work of the catechetical or evangelization leader and will avoid unnecessary conflict and tension.  Whenever possible, different options for programming will allow for the needs of participants, parents and families to be met.  Hints for scheduling:

Personal Scheduling

Keep a running list of tasks which need to be accomplished: 

· daily (e.g. assignments of tasks, responding to mail, answering phone messages, scheduling of appointments, etc.);

· weekly (e.g. staff meetings, regular office hours, bulletin announcements, etc.);

· monthly (e.g. in-service meetings, ordering of supplies, reports to pastor and/or board, accounting tasks, etc.);

· yearly (e.g. registration, recruitment, supervision, evaluation, celebrations, etc.).

Parish Scheduling

In scheduling parish events, be aware of:

· major holydays, liturgical seasons and holidays (it’s important to check when weekend or middle of the week holidays will be celebrated!);

· vacation schedules for area schools;

· major parish events;

· major diocesan events;

· community events in which the parish community will want to participate (a sacramental preparation workshop for parents which is scheduled on Super Bowl Sunday will not endear the DCM to a good number of parishioners!).

Parish leadership should meet in the early spring to reach a consensus on the scheduling of major programs and events in order to avoid conflict.  Schedule dates for all catechetical/evangelization programs—preschool through adult, parent meetings, sacramental celebrations, rehearsals, catechist meetings, staff meetings, rites for RCIA,  etc.  If you use the parochial school for any sessions be certain to communicate with the Principal to avoid scheduling conflicts.  Once dates are decided, be certain to mark them on the Master Calendar.  Check with persons involved and be flexible!!  Revise the calendar if there are oversights or mistakes.

An OECM Program Brochure is sent to all Evangelization and Catechetical Leadership in August of each year and the OECM website lists events as soon as they are confirmed in the Calendar of Events section.  In addition, , the diocesan newspaper and the diocesan website publicizes upcoming events.

Practical Help 4

PLANNING MONTH BY MONTH

AUGUST

· Recruit new catechists, team members, etc.

· Finalize rosters of staff and volunteers.

· Publicize Conference for Church Ministers, courses, workshops.

· Meet with other Parish Staff for planning, prayer, socializing.

· Plan Catechetical Sunday celebration.

· Prepare texts, materials, supplies for distribution.

· Conduct registration for school year programs

· Prepare calendar of activities.

SEPTEMBER

· Continue to recruit new people.

· Attend Leadership In-service meeting.

· Conduct local orientation/in-service sessions.

· Facilitate attendance at Formation Courses for catechists not certified.

· Celebrate Catechetical Sunday.

· Distribute calendar of year’s activities.

· Continue with registration for classes.

· Insure registration for Conference Day.

· Notify catechists, teams of upcoming events.

· Sign yourself up for courses.

· Insure that all new catechists and others who serve in the catechetical program are screened.

· Insure that all new catechists and others who serve in the catechetical program complete the Protecting Our Children Process.

OCTOBER

· Send address list of all catechists to OECM.

· Attend Leadership In-service meeting.

· Set up files.

· Plan parents’ night.

· Begin planning for Thanksgiving/Advent.

· Conduct safe environment training for appropriate age groups and new students.

NOVEMBER

· Supervise catechists.

· Attend Leadership In-service meeting.

· Continue plans-Thanksgiving/Advent/Christmas.

· Report to Pastor/Council/Education Committee.

· Publicize upcoming events.

· Complete Statistical Report.

· Publicize Advent Program.

DECEMBER

· Finalize Christmas activities.

· Attend Leadership Day of Prayer.

· Publicize vacation schedules.

· Register for Los Angeles Congress.

JANUARY

· Register for Spring Forward Conference.

· Attend Leadership In-service meeting.

· Begin plans for Lent/Easter.

· Begin Budget Preparation for next year.

· Evaluate if you will remain in your position.

· Notify pastor if you will not return next year.

· Notify catechists, teams of any upcoming events.

· Complete Rite of Election materials.

· Send in response forms for Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion.

FEBRUARY

· Begin preparation for summer programs.

· Order materials for summer programs.

· Attend Leadership In-service meeting.

· Begin long-range plans for next year.

· Continue budget preparation.

MARCH

· Publicize schedule for Easter vacation.

· Evaluate textbooks for continuance or change.

· Finalize budget

· Attend Leadership In-service Meeting.

· Organize summer program.

APRIL

· Evaluate programs.

· Plan celebrations for programs which will end.

· Survey personnel re: desire to return next year.

· Attend Leadership In-service Meeting.

· Determine needs for next year.

· Order supplies.

· Calendar for next year.

· Begin scheduling of next year’s parish programs.

MAY

· Return catechist forms to diocesan office.

· Return your own renewal form to diocesan office.

· Remind constituency of  Conference Date.

· Recruit new personnel for next year.

· Conduct pre-registration for next year.

· Order texts, teacher manuals.

· Order Catechetical Sunday materials.

JUNE

· Recruit new catechists.

· Attend Leadership Retreat Day.

· Meet with coordinators to plan next year.

· Give Financial Report to Pastor.

· Finalize summer program.

JULY

· Conduct summer program.

· Enjoy vacation in July or August.

Practical Help 5

GOAL SETTING AND PLANNING

Setting goals for long-range and short term planning for catechetical and evangelization programs is an essential component of the ministry of the Catechetical or Evangelization Leader. This planning, however, cannot take place in isolation.  Members of the pastoral team, coordinators, catechists, team members, parents and parish members should be involved in the planning process.  Planning should always consider the persons to whom the program is directed.  A program which is successful in one parish may not meet with the same success in another setting.

“…[E]very parish needs to develop a coherent catechetical plan that integrates the various components of the overall program and provides opportunities for all parishioners to hear the Gospel message, celebrate it in prayer and Liturgy, and live it in their daily lives.  That plan should reflect the priority of adult catechesis” (NDC, p. 255).   There are any number of planning processes which can be used, but in general, the basic planning process includes the following:

· Review parish’s mission, goals and objectives in light of diocesan priorities to determine how the catechetical/evangelization program will support them.

· Determine the goals for catechesis and evangelization in your parish —what do you hope to accomplish?  See NDC pp. 254-257

· Identify the audience—for what specific group is the program planned?

· Obtain information about the audience—through observation, written instruments, or interviews.

· Define the needs or problems on which you will work.  List and prioritize.

· Determine objectives—what are the desired results?  Useful objectives are clear, specific, achievable, measurable and consistent (e.g.  By June of next year 60% of the catechists in our parish will be certified, by May we will begin a year round catechumenate program).

· Plan the program to meet your objectives.  List the range of program possibilities, describe possible results from each program plan, and select a plan for implementation.

· Detail each plan, listing what is to be done, who will be responsible, what are specific assignments, and time, budget and space considerations.

· Implement each program according to plan.

· Evaluate what has been done, examining what positive changes have occurred, how well were objectives accomplished, how well were plans implemented, plans for future.

(Adapted from Blazier, Kenneth D., Workbook for Planning Christian Education.  Valley Forge , Judson Press, 1983.)

Programs of catechesis and evangelization should be subjected to regular evaluation in light of the established goals and objectives.

Practical Help 6

PROCEDURE FOR DEVELOPING A MISSION STATEMENT

The following procedure is included for possible reference for parishes that want to develop or revise their Mission or Vision Statement.

1. Parish Planning Team or Leadership Team identifies and lists the main activities and programs of the parish, such as the liturgical, catechetical, evangelization and social outreach programs.

Helpful techniques include:

Brainstorming

Arriving at consensus in small groups/reporting to large group

Interviewing heads of all parish groups and organizations

2. Reflect on activities as a group

Why do the activities exist?

What commonly held beliefs or convictions motivate the parish to initiate and support these activities?

Reflection should try to understand how these activities are related to the tenets of faith, the dignity of the human person and the requirements of the gospel message.

3. Look for similarities and differences; agree on what best reflects the parish and its uniqueness.

4. Prepare a draft of the Mission Statement - a statement of why this parish exists and what it calls its members to do.  Options for preparing the draft include:

1) Groups of four or five to develop tentative statements; bring back to entire group for discussion, choice of one, or combining of statements

2) Allocate the task to a few people, have them develop a tentative statement, seek suggestions from entire group

Remember that a Parish Mission Statement should be

1) brief, expressed in a few sentences or one or two paragraphs

2) spiritual, expressing the spiritual purpose of the parish

3) inspiring, stimulating, activating as well as informing

4) broad and comprehensive, expressing continuing purpose

5. When draft is agreed on by leadership team, the Mission Statement is promulgated throughout the parish.  The mission statement should be used as a basis of future planning for the parish.

Practical Help 7

PLANNING WORKSHOPS AND LITURGIES

In addition to the planning of major programs, the DCM, Program Coordinator or other catechetical/evangelization leader will often plan workshops, in-services and meetings and be responsible for coordinating liturgical celebrations for catechists, students teams, catechumens and candidates, adult and parent groups, etc.  From time to time, the Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry offers courses, workshops and in-services to assist Leadership in these areas.

On the following pages you will find check lists which will help you to prepare for the practical details of the workshops or celebrations you are preparing.

Practical Help 8

CHECKLIST FOR PLANNING WORKSHOP DETAILS

AGENDA

_____ Step by step description of program

_____ Approximate time of each step

_____ Who will do each step?

_____ What materials/supplies/audio visuals are needed?

_____ Determine cost of program

SCHEDULE

_____ Put on Parish Master Calendar

_____ Reserve necessary rooms

_____ Arrange for necessary audio-visual equipment

_____ Order needed supplies

_____ Prepare programs/handouts

PUBLICITY

_____ Attractive flyers to target audience

_____ Bulletin and web page announcements

_____ Posters

_____ Announcements at Liturgies

_____ Personal invitations/word of mouth

_____ Invite neighboring parishes, if applicable

_____ Notify Diocesan Newspaper, if applicable

_____ Email Reminders

PERSONNEL

_____ Discuss possible speaker(s) with Pastor.

_____ Secure speaker(s)

_____ Confirm speaker in writing, detailing date, place, time, stipend arrangements, etc.

_____ Secure personnel to help

·   open/lock facility

·   set up facility (provide floor plan)

·   clean up facility

·   prepare refreshments

·   handle registration

·   distribute programs

·   run audio-visual equipment

REGISTRATION

_____ Is pre-registration necessary?

_____ Is there a fee?

_____ Registration Forms

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

_____ When will evaluation take place

_____ Evaluation forms detailing what was helpful about program, what needs to be improved

_____ Personal evaluation detailing what went well, what you would change in the future

_____ Thank you letters to speakers/helpers

Practical Help 9

CHECKLIST OF COMMON NEEDS FOR WORKSHOPS

FACILITY

_____ Tables

_____ Chairs

_____ Floor plan for setup

_____ Podium

_____ Microphone

_____ White board, markers, cleaner

_____

_____

ENVIRONMENT

_____ Bible

_____ Plants

_____ Banner(s)

_____ Candle(s)/matches

_____

_____

REFRESHMENTS

_____ Beverages

_____ Snacks

_____ Tableware

_____ Trash bags/cans

_____ Materials for cleanup

_____

_____

REGISTRATION

_____ Forms or Sign-in sheets

_____ Name Tags

_____ Pens/Pencils/Markers

_____ Cash box, receipt book, change

_____

MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT

_____ Programs

_____ Handouts

_____ Audio-visual equipment, e.g. power point projector

_____

GOOD TO HAVE ON HAND

A “workshop box” which contains:

_____ Flashlight

_____ Extension Cord

_____ Extra Paper/Post it notes

_____ Scissors

_____ Pencils/Markers

_____ Paper clips

_____ Scotch tape/masking tape

_____ Stapler, staples

_____ Can opener

_____ First aid kit

_____ Cell  phone

Practical Help 10

CHECKLIST OF EUCHARISTIC LITURGY NEEDS

_____ Presider

_____ Musical Accompaniment

_____ Cross Bearer

_____ Server(s)

_____ Lector(s)

_____ Eucharistic Minister(s)

_____ Altar Table

_____ Altar Cloth

_____ Plant(s)/flowers

_____ Cross

_____ Candles

_____ Candle Holders

_____ Matches

_____ Chairs for Ministers

_____ Lectionary

_____ Sacramentary

_____ Vestments

_____ Microphone on altar

_____ Microphone(s) for music group

_____ Music stands

_____ Lectern/Ambo

_____ Microphone on lectern/ambo

_____ Hosts

_____ Large Host (s)

_____ Chalice

_____ Paten

_____ Wine

_____ Pitcher for wine

_____ Water/cruet

_____ Bowl

_____ Towel

_____ Corporal

_____ Purificators

_____ Cups for Wine

_____ Plates/baskets for hosts

_____ Worship aid for Liturgy

Practical Help 11

BUDGET PREPARATION

The “establishment of a budget based on stewardship principles what ensure priorities are named as a process for allocating resources” (NDC, p. 247) is considered an important part of any catechetical or evangelization program.  In addition to “budgeting” time and talent, the Director of Catechetical Ministry or Program Coordinator may also budget money.

Each catechetical or evangelization leader who is responsible for the financial aspects of a program should prepare a detailed operating budget each year in consultation with the Pastor or his delegate.  No matter which method for dispersal of funds is used, the DCM or Program Coordinator should keep accurate, detailed records of all financial transactions.  In addition to preparing an anticipated budget, he or she should provide a Financial Statement at the end of each year or more frequently if it is required by the Pastor or pastoral council.

The suggested budget preparation sheets on the following pages may provide assistance in the budget preparation process.  The catechetical leader should work closely with the parish bookkeeper to insure accuracy in accounting and budgeting procedures.

Practical Help 12

BUDGET PREPARATION WORKSHEET

ANTICIPATED INCOME

Registration Fees _______________

Special Collections for

Religious Education _______________

Other Means (gifts, fundraisers, etc.) _______________

TOTAL _______________

ANTICIPATED EXPENDITURES

Personnel Salary Benefits Total

Director of

Catechetical Ministry ___________ ___________ ____________

Program

Coordinator ___________ ___________ ____________

Program

Coordinator ___________ ___________ ____________

Secretarial Staff ___________ ___________ ____________

Catechists ___________ ___________ ____________

Custodial ___________ ___________ ____________

TOTAL ____________

General

Office Supplies ___________

Postage ___________

Equipment Purchases ___________

Equipment/Maintenance ___________

Library Supplies ___________

Telephone ___________

Utilities ___________

Dues ___________

Computer Upgrades ___________

Printing ___________

Other ___________ ___________

Other   ___________ ___________

TOTAL ___________

Program  (compute for each program:  preschool, special education, elementary, youth ministry, sacraments, RCIA, adult formation, etc.)

Textbooks/Manuals _______________

Supplies _______________

Catechist Formation _______________

Audio-visual purchases _______________

Audio-visual rentals _______________

In-service _______________

Speakers _______________

Retreats _______________

Workshop/Institute Fees _______________

Professional Literature _______________

Appreciation _______________

Insurance _______________

Other ____________ _______________

Other ____________ _______________

TOTAL _______________

Anticipated Expenditures _________________

Anticipated Income  less _________________

Parish Subsidy _________________

Practical Help 13

STRESSFUL BEHAVIORS WHICH CAN LEAD TO BURNOUT

· A tendency to over plan each day:  often we try to accomplish too much, set unrealistic goals and then work harder to reach them.

· Involvement in multiple projects:  having many projects going at the same time is at the heart of ministry.  This can challenge us and expand our capacities.  It can also lead to fragmentation, superficiality, overstress and burnout.

· Polyphasic thinking:  because of the multiplicity of our projects, while we are occupied with one activity, we tend to think of other things we have to do.

· Chronic sense of time urgency:  our multiple projects have multiple deadlines.  We experience ourselves in a continual struggle with time, and experience time as a pressure.

· Impatience with delays or interruptions:  this can come as a logical outcome of our time urgency if we are not careful, a dangerous hazard for persons whose ministry is to be available.

· Inability to relax without feeling guilty:  built into our American psyche is the necessity to produce.  It can make us neglect necessary time for enjoyment, reflection, prayer, study, things that are vital to our ministry.  Also because we are often free at odd hours when others are working, we may encounter lighthearted witticisms about our leisure, which can hinder our taking time to relax.

· Compulsion to overwork:  the danger is that we can neglect all aspects of life but work, which reduces us to functional persons, ineffectual in a ministry to others.  We need to take days off, vacation, time for retreats or professional growth.

· Need to Win:  this probably takes the form of wanting everything to succeed.  Success becomes our only end.  Realistically, not everything we do will be the success we want, and in our ministry we can often learn more from our failures than our successes.

·  Excessive Competitive Drive :  in our work we may feel ourselves in competition with what is happening in a neighboring parish or diocese, instead of concentrating on the needs of the people we serve.

· Persistent drive for advancement or recognition:  since our monetary recognition is somewhat limited, we may look for excessive praise or recognition once the inner reward for a job well done is not enough.

(Adapted from Dennison, Sr. Mary, “To Burn? Or To Burn Out?”  In the Vocation and Spirituality of the DRE,.  Kelly, Rev. Francis D., ed.  ( Washington :  NCEA), pp. 10-11.

It is important for evangelization and catechetical leadership to know themselves, to set attainable goals and to use common sense in planning programs and activities.  Some realistic suggestions to prevent overwork, frustration and fragmentation include:

· Do one thing at a time

· Be aware of your self

· Fit the program to the people, not the people to the program

· Start simply

· Do things well

· Pilot new ideas

· Develop and keep good files

· Label everything

· Prepare early and well

· Learn to delegate.

(Adapted from Flagel, Clarice, The DRE Ministry, Issues and Answers.  Dubuque :  Wm C. Brown Company 1983, p. 35)

Practical Help 14

RECOMMENDED TEXTBOOKS

It is the responsibility of the Diocesan Office to recommend textbooks for use in parish catechetical programs.  The Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry provides a list of Recommended Textbook Publishers on its website.  [See OECM Website List of  Recommended Catechetical Textbooks]

 The series which are recommended have been reviewed by the Office, are in conformity with theCatechism of the Catholic Church as determined by the Office of the Catechism of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and comply with National Directory guidelines which state that textbooks should:

· Present the authentic message of Christ and his Church, adapted to the capacity of the learners and in language that can be understood by them

· Be faithful to the Sacred Scripture.

· Highlight the essential truths of the faith, giving proper emphasis to particular truths in accord with their importance within the hierarchy of truths

· Be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church

· Be approved by the local bishop

· Give to those who them a better knowledge of the mysteries of Christ

· Promote a true conversion to Jesus Christ

· Inspire and encourage those who use them to live the Christian life more faithfully

· Be culturally appropriate and reflect the real-life situations of those who use them

· Promote charity, appreciation, and respect for persons of all racial, ethnic, social, and religious backgrounds

· Present other ecclesial communities and religions accurately

· Employ a variety of sound catechetical methodologies based on the results of responsible catechetical research

· Include appropriate examples of Christian prayer and opportunities for liturgical experiences and incorporate the use of Sacred Scripture as a text for study along with other catechetical textbooks

· Offer short passages of Sacred Scripture that can easily be learned by heart

· Contain opportunities to review and measure progress in learning

· Be visually attractive, engage the students and incorporate a variety of examples of Christian art.

· Include graphics that represent the various regional, cultural, economic and religious characteristics of the people who will be using them

· Engage the intellect, emotion, imagination, and creativity of the students. (NDC, pp. 283-284).

In addition to the Guidelines mentioned above, our Bishop has offered directives based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church to insure that catechesis which is handed on is not deficient.

[See Guideline 27 :  Handing on the Faith]

Practical Help 15

MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY

Catechetical sessions should make use current media and technology because “as with all communications media, all the dimensions of cyberspace can be used as effective catechetical instruments” (NDC, p. 290).  Computers, the internet, email and instant messaging are just of the methods which can be used for communication, publicity, and contact with parishioners, students, parents and catechists.  DCM’s, Coordinators and catechists should become familiar with official Catholic websites which offer a wealth of information, current documents, spiritual insights and inspiration.

Dozens of sites provide immediate access to many enriching resources:  the daily readings from Sacred Scripture, the prayers of the Church, the liturgical books, the documents of the universal Church and the united States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the writings of the Fathers of the Church and other theological texts, liturgical sources, spiritual reading, Catholic magazine and newspapers, virtual tours of the great cathedrals of the world, close-up looks and expert commentaries on religious art and architecture, and sacred music—to name but a few (NDC pp. 290-291).

Our own Diocesan Website contains a wealth of information regarding parishes and parish websites, personnel, policies, upcoming events, and information from the various offices.  A certain amount of caution is advised when using internet for catechetical purposes.  “Simply because information is available on the Internet does not make that information true or reliable—even if the website claims to be Catholic” (NDC, p. 291).  The OECM website provides links to several reliable Catholic sites.[Visit the Diocesan Website and the OECM Website ]

Practical Help 16

MEDIA AND RESOURCE CENTER

    The Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry serves parish catechetical and school programs by providing audio-visual and curriculum resources at the Media and Resource Center .  Videos and DVD’s which support catechetical and evangelization programming can rented from the Media Center .  An extensive catalog which including descriptions of each audio visual may be found on our website.  [Visit the OECM Website for Media Catalog ]

It is possible to reserve Media by phone or email.  Reserved media may be obtained at thePastoral Center during regular office hours Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  Media may be returned anytime using the Media Return slot at the rear of the Pastoral Center .  A complete list of Media policies and procedures can be found on the OECM website.  [Visit theOECM Website for Media Policies and Procedures and  to Book Media ]I n addition, the Media andResource Center contains up-to-date examination copies of recommended catechetical curriculum, resources and current periodicals.  Materials may be reviewed at the Pastoral Center . 

[See Recommended Texts ]

Practical Help 17

PASTORAL PRIORITIES

Diocese of San Diego

2006-2010

Addressing effectively these pastoral priorities requires first and foremost a renewed commitment by all in the Church to enthusiastically embrace the mission of Christ.  This includes individuals, families, parishes and other faith communities, Catholic institutions and agencies, organizations and movements.

I. Emphasizing the Sunday Celebration of the Eucharist

· Toward keeping holy the Lord’s Day;

· Respecting diverse cultures;

· Leading to living a Christian life.

II. Fostering Evangelization and Systematic Catechesis for All Ages

· Based within and promoting our Catholic culture;

· Beyond generic Christianity and including Sacred Scripture, the Creed and Tradition

· Utilizing inspiring witnesses;

· Making faith formation relevant and the foundation for living out the moral and social imperatives of our faith;

· Using “discipling” as the radical methodology

· Embracing those baptized but uncatechized and ecclesially non-engaged (unchurched);

· Emphasizing adult faith formation

III. Strengthening Marriage and Family Life

· Based upon the plan of God and teaching of the Church

· With marriage preparation which prepares engaged couples for mature commitment, addresses family of origin issues, and utilizes the help of mentoring couples;

· Including programs for young married and newly parenting couples which anticipate and address challenges;

· Offering enrichment opportunities and promoting family practices and traditions.

IV. Building a Culture of Life

· Promoting human life and dignity;

· Encouraging the development in every parish of an integrated program of social ministry based on the principles and values of Catholic social teaching;

· Fostering and funding systems of collaboration which will allow the Church to make a difference in the world.

V. Engaging Youth and Young Adults

· Responding to them within their culture and integrating them within the Church

· Activating clergy and parish leadership to be part of the process;

· Taking advantage of good youth movements.

VI. Promoting Priestly and Religious Vocations

· Within a culture of vocations;

· With priests and religious as inviters.

VII. Embracing Cultural Diversity

· Respecting cultural differences while striving for unity within every faith community;

· Ensuring the inclusion of different cultures in every aspect of parish life and guaranteeing fairness in responding to the needs and desires of all.

VIII. Calling and Equipping Lay People for Shared Responsibility and Collaborative Ministry

· Within every parish, among neighboring parishes and diocesan-wide;

· Requiring formation programs for lay administrators and lay ecclesial ministers. 

Practical Help 18

PASTORAL PRIORITY II

EVANGELIZATION AND CATECHESIS

Indicators to Determine How a Parish Is Implementing Priority II

· Our parish leaders and members are committed to evangelization as our common mission to witness to Christ and to proclaim the Good News of salvation.

· Our parishioners are invited to ongoing evangelization through ever deeper conversion and communion with Jesus and are encouraged to live Gospel values in order to actively evangelize their environments.

· We reach out to those who do not know Christ, to Christians seeking full communion with the Church and to alienated and inactive Catholics.

· Newcomers are warmly welcomed into our parish.

· Our parish has a clearly articulated vision of life-long faith formation to which adequate attention is given and resources are committed.

· Our parish has a comprehensive plan for catechesis respecting language and cultural diversity as well as special educational needs including:

· Sacramental preparation and systematic catechesis for children and youth, including their parents,

· The Christian initiation of adults and children,

· Scripture study and faith-sharing experiences,

· Adult faith formation.

· We provide for the certification and ongoing renewal of our catechetical ministers in accord with diocesan policies.

· Our parishes engages a qualified director of catechetical ministry according to diocesan policies and guidelines.

· We have an active parish committee for evangelization and catechesis.

· Our parochial school is an integrated part of the educational mission of the parish and is adequately supported by the parish.

· Since our parish does not have its own grade school, it offers support for our children attending parochial schools in the area.

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THE EVANGELIZING PARISH

An evangelizing parish is a parish where each parishioner

· understands Catholic Evangelization.

· is in touch with their relationship with God and is eager to share their Good News with other people.  They see their faith as a gift to be shared.

· looks for ways and opportunities to share the Good News in fellowship with others who do not realize the Good News in their daily lives.

· is eager to learn more about their faith because they know what it has done and continues to do for them.

· wants to share their gift of faith with others.

· witnesses to the Good News by their lifestyle, words and example.

An evangelizing parish is a parish

· that addresses the needs and concerns of diverse cultural communities and fosters their integration into the full life and mission of the Church. 

· where every Sunday is "Bring a Friend to Church” day.

· where arms are opened wide to warmly greet visitors at worship, and make sure they feel welcome and wanted.

· which has a structure and an atmosphere that will draw new members into becoming involved, nurtured and strengthened, thus becoming evangelizers themselves.

· that cares for its members but sees itself reaching for those who are unchurched and need to know their Lord.

· which has a well thought-out plan for reaching all the unchurched and alienated within their parish boundaries.

Practical Help 20

THE EVANGELIZATION TEAM

The evangelization team should reflect the membership of the parish and include its cultural component. 

The evangelization team members are persons who

· are committed to spreading the Good News of Jesus.

· are prayerful and believe in the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

· can make at least a three-year commitment to the process.

· can give priority to the activities of the evangelization.

· are not “already doing everything.”

· have a general, global interest in parish-building.

· are self-motivated.

· can see themselves as ministers to the parish.

· are accepted by other members of the parish.

· are committed to the vision of evangelization.

The evangelization team leader should

· clearly understand what is meant by Catholic Evangelization.

· possess leadership and organization skills and have the time for the ministry to assure the success of the team.

· be able to hold team members accountable to the task.

· be a “team player” and committed to the development of team members.

· communicate with the Pastor, Parish Staff, Pastoral Council and Diocesan Office.

· be appointed by the Pastor.

Practical Help 21

KEY ROLES OF LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE

FOR ADULT FAITH FORMATION

(adapted from Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us)

Objective One

The Pastor and other Pastoral leaders will demonstrate a clear commitment to the vision and practice of lifelong growth in the Christian Faith.

Indicators

· The pastor establishes parish policies and procedures that give priority to the vision and practice of adult faith formation.

· Other parish staff members promote and support the faith formation of adults, and they encourage parish adults to participate in basic and continuous education in the faith.

· The parish places adult catechesis at the center of its stated mission and goals, and it promotes the importance of adult faith formation at every opportunity.

· The parish gives adult faith formation a priority in the allocation of financial resources in providing learning space, and in parish scheduling.

· The parish helps to provide access to various available learning resources and opportunities for adults.

Objective Two

Each parish will designate an adult faith formation leader—authorized by the pastor and personally involved in ongoing formation—to assume primary responsibility for implementing the ministry of adult faith formation.

Indicators

· The parish designates a staff person or qualified lay parishioner as the adult faith formation leader.

· The leader advocates for the primacy of adult faith formation in the parish.

· The leader promotes the development of an effective adult faith formation team.

· The leader works with other parish ministers to promote cohesive, effective adult faith formation programming.

Objective Three

The parish will have a core team of parishioners committed to and responsible for implementing the parish vision and plan for adult faith formation.

Indicators 

· The parish has a function adult faith formation team that is formally recognized in the parish leadership structure.

· The parish team, working with the pastor and parish staff, formulates a vision of adult faith formation for the parish.

· The team identifies elements of parish life that foster adult growth in faith, assesses their impact, and if necessary, offers recommendations to enhance their effectiveness.

· The team provides a diverse range of quality programming for parish adult faith formation.

· The team receives both initial and ongoing formation to prepare it to accomplish its mission effectively.

Objective Four

Each parish will have access to trained catechists to serve the diverse adult faith formation efforts of the parish or region.

Indicators

· Each parish has access to various types of well-prepared catechists for adult faith formation.

· Parish provide recognition for their catechists of adults and funding assistance for their formation.