December's meeting was filled with the "advent" of a new style of published materials for HighSchool/Confirmation programs. The focus of the meeting's agenda was to review a couple of new programs on the market, specifically "Chosen" by Ascension Press and "Decision Point" by Dynamic Catholic. It should be noted that although each is called a "Confirmation Program", it is a high school faith formation program which does include the component sessions that can be pulled out for the "Direct Preparation of the the Sacrament." You will find in this month's folder the links for
Click the titles below to open the flyers.
Our prayer was found in the files of the Northern Region. It does not have an author cited, but it is beautiful. Please take time to pray and reflect on the words.
Please note the hours during the holidays and into the winter.
Please note the schedule for the remaining CL / YM meetings for this year. We do have a meeting in January, however it will be the second week rather than the first week (Jan 8th & 9th). Main agenda topics are included. If there is something you would like to see added to the agendas, please don't hesitate to let us know.
Advent Morning of Reflection
Reservations are due Monday, Dec. 8, but we will try to accommodate later registrations. Call 797-4030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Encourage Catechist Certification
Please share this little flyer with your catechists! We are trying to boost the numbers of certified catechists in all of the regions. Though we do have a very nice amount of catechists certified, almost 30%, there are some parishes with very few if any certified catechists. This is not referring to VIRTUS certified...this is Diocesan Catechetical Certification. This refers to the series of either in-person or on-line courses designed to enhance the catechist's understanding of the ministry as well as obtain better knowledge of scripture and discipleship. Along with this flyer, please share with them the schedules for online courses and in-person courses.
Digital Disciples Boot Camp (DDBC)
Digital Disciples Boot Camp is a 10 week course to dive into and learn how to use Web 2.0 tools in your ministry. There are three levels in which you can enroll, from an introductory level to a professional level which includes a capstone project and earns 2.5 CEU credits from University of Dayton. The course is sponsored by Interactive Connections and University of Dayton. Cheryl Smith and Andrea Slaven are DDBC coaches and can help you every step of the way! Apply for a Heritage Scholarship.
"Chosen" was presented by Donna Prusko. She began using the program this year at St. Mark's, Utica and has been very impressed. The program is very well thought out and includes everything needed for the director, the catechist, the sponsor and the family.
Here is the trailer to see what Chosen is like:
"Decision Point" is currently be used at St. Mary's in Clinton and St. Peter's in Rome. Both Mary Lou Lauchert and Laura Mack helped present and share their experiences using "Decision Point". Both are very happy with the program. One thing about this program is that all the materials can used online for free, even the videos. The student books are inexpensive, but can also be downloaded...free.
Here is a trailer to introduce Matt Kelly and "Decision Point".
This lesson we chose to show at the meeting..the lesson intro video is very cool, with a great message. I would suggest though, that you view an example from the rest of the sessions. The lesson intros are very image rich. The lesson sessions are very informative, but not visual. I would suggest if using these to stop periodically to discuss. Matt Kelly is the only presenter on all the videos. He is very informative, but, as I said, you may want to find break points in the lesson videos.
Other Links for Decision Point:
1. Confirmation Guidelines. It is important to note that according to the Confirmation guidelines, parishes need to offer Confirmation "DIRECT PREP" as a separate program from the regular high school faith formation. Direct Prep instructs the candidates of the Liturgy of the Celebration of Confirmation, the effects of the sacrament, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the call to discipleship beyond Confirmation, theology of service, symbols of the rite of Confirmation and preparation for the liturgical celebration. Students in Catholic High School are not expected to attend high school faith formation in the parish, but do have to attend the Direct Preparation sessions offered in their home parish. All students must have at least one full year (30 hours) of faith formation prior to entering direct preparation.
Information regarding Direct Preparation for Confirmation can be found in the Sacramental Guidelines which every parish should have. Just a note...an updated/revised document is underway and, if all goes as planned, will be out in the spring. This will not have any major changes, but will be clarify information and provide new resources. Stay tuned for more info.
2. Building Safety Plans? The questions came up if anyone has a documented Building Safety Plan. At this time, no has this documented. However, in the Catechetical Leaders' handbook there is information to describe Evacuation Plans. You may want to begin drafting a policy for your parish for emergency lock-downs (check with schools if you are dealing with release time), hallway monitoring, access to the building while students are present, dismissal instructions, pick-up information, etc. This information can be communicated to the catechists in a Catechist Handbook and to Parents in a Parish Family Handbook. There is information about preparing handbooks also in the Catechetical Leaders' Handbook. I think we should take a closer look at some of the items in our CL handbook which will be part of the February agenda on Administration.
3. There is only a small number of people interested in beginning a book club. Are you interested but haven't yet expressed that interest. Let me know.