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Partnering with Parents: The Best Investment a Parish Can Make Tom Quinlan

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Presentation on theme: "Partnering with Parents: The Best Investment a Parish Can Make Tom Quinlan"— Presentation transcript:

1 Partnering with Parents: The Best Investment a Parish Can Make Tom Quinlan (

2 Opening Prayer: The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) Come, Holy Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

3 Emmaus Offers Formative Model Emmaus Model Encounter Understanding Relationship CONVERSION Traditional Model Understanding Religious Practice Faithful Living DISCIPLESHIP

4 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?

5 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

6 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?

7 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.

8 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)

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 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

14 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?

15 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

16 Plus One The 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

17 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

18 Modalities for Parent and Family Faith Formation Regular parish events Regional or diocesan events Families at home Families sent out in service Formation content delivered home (digital or paper) Small faith communities (gathered or virtual)

19 Occasions for Parent and Family Faith Formation Seasons and Feasts Ordinary Formation Sessions Sacrament Preparation for Parents Sacrament Preparation for Families Singular (Special) Occasions

20 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

21 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?

22 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?

23 Websites m m ◦ 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!

24 Questions/Comments

25 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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