Shop Now Login/Register View Quote View Cart
1.800.221.5175
Catechetical Programs
Christ In Us, Parish Edition Grades K - 6 View Details | Buy Now
Christ In Us, School Edition Grades K - 6 View Details | Buy Now
We Believe Catholic Identity, Parish Edition Grades K - 6 View Details | Buy Now
We Believe Catholic Identity, School Edition Grades K - 6 View Details | Buy Now
We Live Our Faith Catholic Identity Edition Grades 7 - 8 View Details | Buy Now
Our Catholic Faith Grades 4 - 6 View Details | Buy Now
One Faith, One Lord Grades 7 - Adult View Details | Buy Now
Discovering God Ages 3 - 5 View Details | Buy Now
God's Own Making Grades 4 - 8 View Details | Buy Now
Between You and Your Child Grades K - 8 View Details | Buy Now
Sacrament Programs
Core
Believe • Celebrate • Live Reconciliation Primary Ages 7 and 8 View Details | Buy Now
Believe • Celebrate • Live Eucharist Primary Ages 7 and 8 View Details | Buy Now
Believe • Celebrate • Live Confirmation Ages 12–15 View Details | Buy Now
Believe • Celebrate • Live Confirmation Restored Order Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
Believe • Celebrate • Live Reconciliation and Eucharist Intermediate Ages 9 and 10 View Details | Buy Now
We Believe and Celebrate Baptism View Details | Buy Now
Supplemental
We Gather in Prayer Kit Grades K–Adult Buy Now
My Reconciliation and Prayer Book Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
My Mass Book Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
We Believe and Pray Grades 4–6 View Details | Buy Now
Catechetical Bilingual
Creemos Identidad católica Grades K–6 View Details | Buy Now
Vivimos nuestra fe Grades 7–8 View Details | Buy Now
Nuestra fe catolica Grades 4–6 View Details | Buy Now
Una sola fe, un solo Señor Grades 7–Adult View Details | Buy Now
Entre usted y sus hijos Buy Now
Sacrament Bilingual
Core
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Reconiliación Primaria Ages 7 and 8 View Details | Buy Now
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Eucaristia Primaria Ages 7 and 8 View Details | Buy Now
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Confirmación Ages 12–15 View Details | Buy Now
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Reconciliación y Eucharisita Intermedio Ages 9 and 10 View Details | Buy Now
Creer • Celebrar • Vivir Confirmación-Restauración del orden sacramental Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
Creemos y celebramos Bautismo View Details | Buy Now
Supplemental
Mi Reconciliación y libro de oración Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
Mi libro de la Misa Ages 7–9 View Details | Buy Now
Lifelong Learning
Bibles
The Compass Bible for Catholic Teens Buy Now
My Big Book of Catholic Bible Stories Buy Now
La Biblia católica para jóvenes Buy Now
Adult Resources
Everything About Parish Ministry I Wish I Had Known Buy Now
Becoming a Parish of Mercy Buy Now
The Wounded Body of Christ Buy Now
Missionary Discipleship Buy Now
Catechism
YOUCAT Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church Buy Now
Catechism of the Catholic Church Buy Now
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults Buy Now
General Directory of Catechesis Buy Now
National Directory of Catechesis Buy Now
YOUCAT: Catecismo Joven de la Iglesia Católica Buy Now
Catecismo Católica de los Estados Unidos para adultos Buy Now
Prayer Books
YOUCAT: The Youth Prayer Book Buy Now
Parent's Guide to Prayer Buy Now
Prayerbook for Catechists Buy Now
Sagrada Biblia: Dios Habla Hoy Buy Now
sadlierReligion Hero-1.png

March 23, 2020 REL Asset - Activity, REL PD - Leaders

Communication Tips for Parish Catechetical Leaders

Directors of Religious Education are entrusted by their parish with the task of overseeing the formation of the next generation of Catholics. Busy parish catechetical leaders have the important role of engaging the families and students in their care. Effective communication with these families is critical. Given the current situation unfolding across the world, effective communication is even more critical than ever.

communication-tips-for-directors-of-religious-education-parish-leaders

This post includes tips for parish catechetical leaders for communicating with families in simple but effective ways all year long: now, in the time of unprecedented social distancing, and in the coming weeks when we will once again be face to face. Some of these ideas will have to wait until that time, but some you can put into practice right away. You can also download a Family Communication Questionnaire to distribute to families to customize your communication approach and make your efforts count.

Offer families a Family Communication Questionnaire and invite them to complete and return to you so that you can tailor your communication efforts to your unique parish.

Communication Tips for Parish Catechetical LeadersDownload Now

Descargar ahora

Making Connections 

One of the many tasks that Directors of Religious Education oversee is communication with the families enrolled in religious education. This task includes logistical information about program offerings and session times. The details are important. But every communication with families is also an opportunity for engagement and community building. Here are six ways to make the most of each opportunity to connect with families.

Some of these communication ideas will have to wait until the end of social distancing, but some you can put into practice right away!

Connection 1: Email

This goes without saying, but electronic communication is the best way to get important information to the members of your program quickly and clearly. Email is best for sending vital information like dates and upcoming events or requests. It’s not the best way to evangelize. Save that for meetings, programs, and social media!

Connection 2: Parent Meetings

One of the most effective ways to connect with parents of students in your care is to host annual parent meetings. If you’re not hosting yearly kick off meetings, it’s something to consider as a way to build relationship. All of Jesus’ ministry was relational. Consider using the meeting to host a speaker who will enrich the parents’ faith lives, rather than just reading through the year’s schedule or reviewing policies. Distribute an info sheet with important housekeeping details at the end of a meeting instead of dedicating an entire meeting to logistics. If needed, consider a virtual meeting with video and audio capabilities, so feel like you’re together in the same room even if you can’t be.

Connection 3: Intergenerational Classes and Programs

Deepen the faith lives of students by first inviting their parents to a deeper faith. When the time is right and it’s safe to do so, consider including an intergenerational option in faith formation if it’s possible or include intergenerational events and classes. You might host a couple of retreats a year or promote a family service day each year, in which the entire family comes to the parish to participate together in a service project.

Connection 4: A Helpful Catechetical Program

The job of compiling information and sending individual communication and mail merges is a big one that takes time away from the other important tasks that Directors of Religious Education are responsible for. A good communication system, ideally included as a tool in your catechetical program, streamlines communication and saves you time and energy and also lets you share program information in a timely and personalized way.

Connection 5: Social Media

A social media presence brings parish programming into the 21st century, and into connection with the regular lives of those it serves. If your religious education program doesn’t already have an active account on a social media site, this is your invitation to create one. Social platforms are a great place to link videos about the faith, post important announcements, (safely) share photos from programs, or invite people to participate in events.

Connection 6: Family Mass

We know that as Catholics, the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith lives. One of the best ways to connect with the families in our care is to meet them around the table of the Lord. When the time is right and it’s safe to do so, consider hosting a family Mass. Have the music be chosen specifically to appeal to students and involve them in the planning if you can. Be sure to end with a reception.

Letting Families Connect with You

By knowing families’ needs and particular preferences for communication, you can further strengthen your relationship with them as Director of Religious Education.

The Family Communication Questionnaire will inform you about the best times to reach your families, the types of events that they are interested in attending, and the social media platforms on which they are active and regularly find information.

Make sure that families know the way to get in touch with you in a way that is most convenient and effective for you, too!

Download the Family Communication Questionnaire and share it to learn more about the families in your program today.

In Summary

Each communication is an opportunity for Directors of Religious Education and parish catechetical leaders to connect with families of children enrolled in religious education. Make each effort count towards informing AND engaging children and families.

 

 

 

S_Shutrop_200x240px

 

Sarah Shutrop currently serves as the Director of Formation for Immaculate Heart Academy in the Archdiocese of Newark. She oversees the spiritual life of the school and formation of its students. She holds an MA in Theology from the University of Notre Dame, and was recently featured as a presenter for Notre Dame & the USCCB’s pre-synodal conference, “Culture of Formation.” She resides in Northern New Jersey with her husband Kevin, her infant son Luke, and their dog Jacqueline.