This guide for pastoral leaders talks through how we can serve our people well during this challenging time. It explores:
- The Signs of the Times - Assessing the current situation.
- Coaching Parents From a Distance - Understanding what parents need right now and how we can provide it.
- At-Home Activities - How we can send fun catechetical activities home, now that many parents are suddenly homeschooling their children. Provides a survey of great options that are available today.
- Sunday Worship - Reviews how we can help families focus on the Sunday readings and worship on Sundays while our parishes are closed.
- Other Adult Formation - Briefly reviews options.
- Serving Others - A few ideas for focusing our families on service during this time.
Even in the most difficult times, the Holy Spirit can break through and do something new and amazing. We may see it in new neighborhood connections that form, as a family shops for the elderly neighbor next door. We may see it in greater compassion for those on the margins of society, or in unexpected kindness in the aisles of an emptying grocery store.
While none of us would have wanted this crisis situation, I have to wonder if something new could break through in our parish families, who are being holed up in fear in a situation not entirely different from the disciples in the Upper Room 2,000 years ago.
Many of us have lamented how parents are not passing on faith to their own children, and how they rely too much on us as parish leaders to do it for them. Well, now we somehow find ourselves in a situation in which we can't do it for them, at least for a while. How might the Risen Christ enter through the locked doors and stir things up?
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The Pastoral Center
Paul Canavese serves as director of The Pastoral Center (PastoralCenter.com), author, frequent conference speaker, and pastoral consultant. He has his MTS from the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley. He directs GrowingUpCatholic.com (focused on coaching parents) and GospelLiving.org ("intentional daily life Catholicism"). He has served in a wide range of parish ministries, most recently as a pastoral consultant at Corpus Christi Parish in Piedmont, CA. Paul also has 20 years of experience in software development and management with technology startups and social media. Along with his wife Ann, two daughters, and seven chickens, he lives in Alameda, CA, where they operate a mini-urban farm and looks for creative ways to build community in their neighborhood.