Stop complaining about evil movies... It does not get any easier than this!
Become a movie mobilizer, share the movie with those you love, start a discussion group with the dvd, order a few clips for an adult education event, go social and post promotions @sonofgodmovie or Facebook.com/sonofgodmovie. It opens February 28th in theaters across the country!
Why We Gather with Parents... at the Water's Edge!
by Dennis Mahaney
We just finished celebrating the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Was there someone to baptize at your parish? (Our Lady of Hope Church did). Baptism is one of our greatest opportunities for evangelization because baptism is a defining moment in the lives of parents. It can be a turning point for many parents who are functionally unchurched.
This can be an opportunity for New Evangelization if we shift our focus to the parents who already stand knee deep in God's grace. The new life in their arms gives them a sense of the depth and mystery of creation. Sadly, at such liminal moments, some parishes stay at a safe distance. Some make the mistake of focusing on religious rules which are like pebbles at the water's edge rather than venture out into the depths with parents.
Secretly, parents come filled with the awe of childbirth still reverberating within them. They feel God's presence. They come to the church to celebrate it. They seek validation, blessing, and support for the immensity of what lies ahead. That is why, baptism is a time for celebration more than instruction.
This is the challenge of new evangelization. What is one way that your parish can approach the water's edge with parents? Can we make baptism more affirming, engaging and supportive? Still unsure? Start by asking this question of those parents - mothers, fathers, grandmas, grandpas, Godparents who were recently refreshed at the water's edge. And come to the Parish Ministry Conference on May 16, 2014 to hear more about being a church that matters to all from Fr. Michael White and Tom Corcoran who wrote "The Story of a Catholic Parish Rebuilt - Awakening the Faithful, Reaching the Lost and Making Church Matter".
Janet Schaeffler, OP recently suggested some of the following other ways to connect with parents and families:
...you called the parents at the beginning of each semester or introduced yourself and shared your learning plans? What might that change about the faith relationship? Why not solicit their concerns, ideas and invite parents into a year of partnership? Why not let them know what you notice and appreciate about their child?
... you were available (as much as reasonable), before and after each program session? Why not greet the parents and ask how they are and how their child is doing? Profound things can be learned about families who are dealing with considerable issues in these unguarded opportunities.
... the session started with a circle prayer that included voicing intercessions? This can involve the invitation to children to write the name of someone needing prayer in a book of intercessions which is prominent at the entrance when they arrive. This book can be brought up and placed on a prayer table. This may break the ice and allow a child to discuss the hopes and fears of their life (and family).
... when a participant named a occasion of joy in the family or a milestone in their life, you sent a note of congratulations to the parents? Parents expect to hear words of congratulations from the president of the well-compensated college at a graduation ceremony. Hearing a word of appreciation and affirmation about a child's unique talents, conduct and efforts at less auspicious times can mean even more.
... you recommend a book of prayers or spirituality for parenting to parents? Many parents would love to stop and pray together but simply lack the resources to do so.
... you started a Facebook page as a class journal? This can keep interested parents apprised about what is being covered in sacramental preparation classes and pose some topics for discussion or questions for pondering with their children?
All of these ideas can affirm and support parents as leaders in the domestic church and forge a partnership in faith.
What Can Catholics Do?
Grow in faith, give witness to faith, share faith and be transformed in faith...
Keep Learning this Summer
Explore the Spiritual Riches of Lent
Use your Mission Passport in 2013
Bless the Home
Bendiciòn de Hogar
Read the Daily Scripture Passage
Pray as You Go (Podcast)
Pray the New York Prayer for New Evangelization by Rev. James Vacco, OFM
View a Daily Video Reflection
Read a Daily Inspiration for Greater Faith
Learn About the Saint of the Month
Pray the Morning Office (video)
Visit the Vatican Year of Faith site
Digest Church Teaching in Daily Doses
Follow the Blog of Bishop Richard J. Malone
Purchase inspiring and informative cd's from Lighthouse Catholic Media
What Can a Parish Do?
Parish Bucket List
Bless the Bicycles
Easter - an Ancient Opportunity for a New Evangelization
Connect, Welcome and Engage Catholics
Publish Your Own Parish Lent Prayer Booklet
Re-post Bishop Richard J. Malone's Blog for parishioners
Conduct a Parish Vitality Assessment
Develop Parish Vitality
Open Doors, Minds, and Hearts for People with Disabilities
Follow stories and opportunities at: