SAU CFDD
May 212015
 

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

For years, parish faith formation efforts have mainly centered around young people, said Don Boucher, diocesan coordinator of youth and young adult ministry. However, studies have shown that the faith of parents — and whether faith is being encouraged at home — is the biggest influence for children in their faith journey.

Lindsay Steele
Parish ministry leaders, from left, Sister Irene Munoz of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa, Patty Erusha of St. Mary Parish in Solon, Jennifer Wemhoff of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport, Pat Phillips of Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine and  Kathy Brown of St. Mary Parish in Albia assemble a puzzle during a team-building exercise at one of last year’s Faith Formation institute days.

“If the parents are faithful, the likelihood of the child doing that is greatly increased. … To raise the next generation of Catholics, we have to do it with parents, not without them. They are key.”

This year’s June Institute will focus on evangelizing families and empowering the domestic church. Sponsored by the diocese’s Faith Formation office, the institute is open to clergy, lay ministers and parents. It will take place June 13 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at St. Mary Parish in Solon.

Attendees will have an opportunity to learn how to help parents with their faith journeys and the challenges they may be facing in contemporary society. Parish ministers can discuss how they might be able to better serve families and help parents reinforce faith in the home.

Joan Weber of the Center for Ministry Development will facilitate the event. Boucher said, “She has been doing this for decades. She has a lot of good information to share.”
Boucher said the June Institute will be the first of many efforts made in the next few years to help evangelize families and empower the domestic church. The annual August Gathering, which will take place Aug. 28 at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City, will continue the discussion. “We need to help strengthen faith within the family. … I think parents really want to do that, but might not know what to do, especially at the pace of life today.”

How to register
Cost to attend the June Institute is $10; lunch provided. Registration deadline: June 5. A copy of this flyer and link to the online registration can be found at: www.davenportdiocese.org/faithform/index.htm. For more information, contact Barbara Butterworth butterworthb@davenportdiocese.org (563) 888-4240.

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