Speak up at FORUM

By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger

LONG GROVE — FORUM 2018 invites youths, parents and adult leaders to come together to explore challenges facing individuals and parishes in today’s world.

“If we band together, maybe we can begin to address those challenges more effectively,” said Don Boucher, director of the diocesan Faith Formation office.

The two-day forum, organized by the diocesan Faith Formation office, aims to help parish groups to identify challenges, grow deeper in faith, discover practical ways to more fully live as a disciple of Jesus, and develop concrete action steps for improving parish faith formation ministries. The forum will take place Feb. 17-18 at St. Ann Parish in Long Grove. Overnight guests can choose free, simple lodging or hotel accommodations at a reduced, block rate.

Parishes are invited to send a delegation of up to 10 people to take part in the forum, which will include keynote sessions, workshops, community building exercises, testimony-sharing and problem-solving sessions. Participants will work in their parish groups, as well as with others in their demographic. Boucher encourages parishes to send a variety of individuals who can offer unique perspectives. He said the best way to do this is for faith formation leaders to offer personal invitations to adults and youths who they think would represent the parish well. He suggested asking youths for their help in identifying outstanding peers.

Mike Patin, a former high school teacher and coach from Louisiana who now offers faith presentations around the world, will lead the forum. Patin refers to himself as a faith horticulturalist, which Boucher believes is a fitting description. “He is charismatic and funny, but really deep. He has a great ability to connect with audiences and hit them with a great message. He is a great motivator.”

The participation fee is $55 per person and includes meals. Parishes are highly encouraged to register their parish group as soon as possible for planning purposes; parishes have until Feb. 7 to choose and register their participants.

More detailed information can be found at https://www.davenportdiocese.org/forum or by calling (563) 888-4240.

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