Archive for the ‘DRE & Faith Formation Coordinators’ category

Distance Parish Registration Reminder

June 10, 2014

Family Formation seems to be in a bit of a growth spurt lately with lots of new parishes either committed to joining the fun or expressing serious interest in starting this fall.  While you are welcome to come on board at any time, there are definitely optimal times to do so, and these are tied to our printing and shipping schedules.

This is just a gentle reminder that your registration will trigger a chain of events which all need to happen before your materials arrive in your mailbox, so the earlier you register, the better.

We offer three options (besides moving to Ham Lake and just joining our program J ), and each has it’s own deadlines:

For Individual FamiliesJuly 25 is the deadline to register to receive the entire year’s worth of lessons beginning with the September Home Lesson.  Please register here.

For Parishes planning to register for the Template-Only option for 2014-15, there is no registration deadline, however, it is to your advantage to register early to allow ample time to prepare the lesson materials.  You may register any time here (choose Option 2).  Links to the September lesson materials will be distributed mid-July.  Knowing the number of families participating is not required to register.  That information will be collected from you in December.

For Parishes planning to register for the Ready-to-Use option: July 25 is the deadline to register to receive the entire year’s worth of lessons beginning with the September Home Lesson.  You need to register only once each year.  Please do so here (choose Option 1).

 

As always, start at our website with your basic questions, but then feel free to call or email any time you need help.

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Tips from the Field

February 2, 2014

We’re always glad to hear ideas from Family Formation DREs and families!  This one comes from a veteran DRE who has found an easy way to help her program’s parents build community and get more out of the monthly talks.

I believe Family Formation is firmly rooted in the minds and hearts of our families. We continue to make small changes with the hopes of improving the program each year. One of the bigger changes in the past couple of years is to break off into small group after the adult sharing with questions about what they just heard from the presenter. This has been a challenge for many because sharing about faith matters is difficult. The more we do it the better it becomes. We feel it is creating an environment for our parents to get to know each other a bit more outside of the Sunday liturgy with the hopes of building community within the church and most importantly to help people talk about their faith so it becomes easier for them. Hearing what others do in their homes to grow in their faith also gives them encouragement and sometimes the push they need to do the same. Changes takes time…..just plain hard for most!

heart mind

Yet another great idea from Anne

November 15, 2013

This one has all sorts of fun possibilities!

minute to win it

Our evaluations last spring had the request that we do activities where the people get to know other people at the sessions. Another request was that we cover a little bit on the Mass each month since the Mass is central to our faith.

I took those two requests and combined them into one activity. Each month we now begin with “A Minute to Win It“. Everyone gets a partner (not a family member and someone they have not partnered with on previous months). They learn each other’s name.

Then we do some activity for one minute — first one partner and then the other. The activity is then connected to a part of the Mass and that part of the Mass is explained. The Minute to Win It activity is then repeated.

A couple of the Minute to Win It activities we have done: 

  • How many drops of water can you get on a penny without the water running off (the priest pouring a small amount of water into the wine)
  • Sucking up on a straw, how many bean could they move from a plate to a sheet of paper with the outline of a “3”. (What does the priest do with his mouth 3 times at Mass? kiss the altar (twice) and kiss the Book of the Gospels)

Minute to Win It has become a fun way to meet other people and to learn about the Mass.

NOTE: If you’d like a little more Minute to Win It inspiration, just google “Minute to Win It games” for lots of great ideas.

In today’s mail:

November 14, 2013

mail bag

Some creative ideas from one of Family Formation’s distance parishes.

I decided to do a couple of new things this year and they are working really well.

Our families were not doing the memory verses. I’m not for sure why. I believe it is important for us to memorize parts of our faith so I came up with another option for the families. Each month they can do the memory verse OR learn a new prayer. Learning a new prayer has been a hit!

I printed each prayer on 1/4 sheet of colored cardstock (the bright colors) (English on one side and Spanish on the other). Each prayer card has two holes punched in it so it can become part of a prayer ring.

At our first session for the year, each child picked up the cards that had the prayers they already knew on them AND one prayer to learn. These prayer cards were put together with covers using one inch metal book rings. Each month that the child learns his/her prayer, he/she can pick a new prayer to learn.

The kids like being able to pick a new prayer to learn. One boy has an extra prayer ring that they keep in the vehicle they drive to meet the bus. Each morning they pray on the way to the bus stop and he works on learning his prayer.

A Hispanic mother was very excited last month because she and her son had both learned the “Our Father” in English. She told me that she goes to the English Mass but always prays the “Our Father” in Spanish. She was obviously excited that she could now pray it in English.

Thanks, Anne, for sharing these great ideas!

We love hearing your creative ideas for making Family Formation work better!  Feel free to email them to us or just comment on the blog.

Parent meeting ideas that worked!

October 12, 2013

Lisa, a DRE in New York, shared two great ideas that she used to engage the parents at their October meeting:

bingoThey loved the bingo game! After the power point presentation , I handed out the bingo cards and we answered the questions together. I asked the parents to take a shot at answering the questions out loud… assuring them that there are no wrong answers and that we are learning together. They were really getting into it! A few parents wanted bingo sheets that they could take home with them for their homeschooling time. We gave holy card prizes to those who said bingo.

Also , we asked for 3 volunteers to come up and recite the 7 sacraments ( memory verse) not letting them know at the time that there was a prize involved. The 3 volunteers answered and won $5 gift cards to Tim Hortons. Each time we gather we will ask for 3 volunteers to recite memory verse to encourage them to learn along with their children.

And remember, parents, catechists, and DRE’s – we LOVE to hear ideas that worked well with your students!  If you have something you would like to share, no matter how simple, we know others are encouraged by hearing it as well.  Simply email someone in the Family Formation office with the details, and let us know if we have permission to blog it!

Fasting

February 13, 2013

Fasting can be difficult.  Some words of advice are in order:

  • Do not purposely bake food you intend to give up.
  • Do not purposely smell food you intend to give up.
  • Lastly, if you fail, do not beat yourself up about it.  Try again.

Year-end report from Ellsworth

June 20, 2012

We thought you’d all enjoy hearing a few of the highlights of the impact Family Formation is having in Ellsworth, Wisconsin:

Our 1st year of Family Formation has made a difference in our parish. Just getting the message out, that it is the responsibility of the parents to teach the Faith to their children and we will help them, is a big deal! We do have an elementary school in our parish which goes through 5th grade. I overheard some of the 5th graders talking exitedly about going to Family Formation next year. Yeaa!

We have opened up our Family Formation Adult Talks to the whole parish, since we are using the church and there is plenty of room. Depending on the month and the speaker we have had a large amount of parishioners other than the Family Formation parents come for these talks. The range was from 20 to 50 additional people!  The parish is catching on and it has gotten much attention.

I am looking forward to another great year of Family Formation. Have had 4 different parishioners that have approached me, without my asking, wanting to do a Family Formation talk. That is amazing to me.

 

Thanks to Joan for sharing a report of her parish’s first year with Family Formation!  This is also the perfect place to remind readers that we would love to talk with you about bringing this transforming program to your parish!  You can start at our website, with our workshop folder, or simply by contacting us.


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