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Resources for Parish Faith Formation Leaders


[rokdownload menuitem=”61″ downloaditem=”256″ direct_download=”true”]

Printable version of Resource List[/rokdownload]

Diocesan sites: 

Ave Maria Press:

Ignatius Press:

Loyola Press:


    Connects DREs throughout the US

OSV (Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division):







St. Mary’s Press:

Twenty-third Publications: 

Center for Ministry Development (CMD):

John Roberto–Lifelong Faith Associates:

Bible Study:

Bible resources: Felix Just:




Catechetical Sunday:

New Evangelization:


Team RCIA:

North American Forum on the Catechumenate:  

Youth Ministry:

Camden Youth Ministry Links:      

National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry:        

National Initiative for Adolescent Catechesis:

National Assn of Catholic Youth Ministry Leaders:

Institute for Faith & Life:


Sticky Faith:      

Young Adult:

National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Assn:                               

Busted Halo:          

Newman Centers:  An online subscription to a resource kit that will help you create and sustain a vibrant young adult ministry with minimal staff time at minimal cost with maximum results.

Special Needs:

National Catholic Partnership on Disability:

Retreat Centers:

Camden:  Romero Center

Cape May Pt:  
Marianist Family Retreat Center:
St. Mary’s by the Sea:

Vineland:  Pope John Paul II

News outlets:

American Catholic:       
Catechist Magazine:      
Catholic News Service:  
National Catholic Reporter:  
Today’s Parish Magazine:   
US Catholic:                     
National Catholic Register:


Catholic Relief Services  

Center for Faith Justice:    

Online Prayer: 


Creighton University

Celebration Publications:

Catholic Online:

Sunday readings, etc.:

Pray Tell Blog:



Pauline Media:

Catholics Online:

National Catholic Catechetical Leaders:

Faith and Family Life Formation

Faith and Family Life Formation

Faith and Family Life Formation is an important area of concern under the umbrella of Lifelong Faith Formation. Lifelong Faith Formation is an integrated journey of the entire Catholic-Christian community in response to the baptismal call to holiness as members of the Body of Christ, the Church. To assist in that journey, the staff of the Faith and Family Life Formation office have created these toolkits for parish use:

CREDO Registration for 2013-2014  If you haven’t yet joined or renewed your CREDO membership, here’s your opportunity to do so. Print out and mail your completed form and check soon. The next meeting date is Octobe 17th at Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood. Don’t miss this opportunity for support and enrichment with other parish leaders!
{phocadownload view=file|id=276|text=CREDO Registration Form 2013-2014|target=s}

(10) NEW Rainbows for All God’s Children – Emotional healing for children and teens who have experienced significant loss

(9) NEW Baptized Adults Seeking Confirmation

(8) 2013-2014 Event Calendar

(7) Resources for Parish Faith Formation Leaders

(6) Guidelines for Hiring/Retention of a Parish Faith Formation Leader

(5) The Annual Parish Faith Formation Profile is available here for parish use. Please use the Excel version if you would like to edit and save your profile on your own computer. The pdf version can be printed for handwritten or typed profiles only.
Annual Parish Faith Formation Profile (Excel)

(4) Starting an Elizabeth Ministry

(3) Welcome Aboard: Hiring the Lifelong Formation Team

(2) Building for the Future: Transitioning Your Parish from Traditional Catechesis to Lifelong Faith Formation

(1) Glossary of Lifelong Faith Formation Terms


Sr. Kathleen Burton, ssj                                            Mary Lou Hughes
Co-Director for                                                            Co-Director for
Faith & Family Life Formation                                  Faith & Family Life Formation
Office of Lifelong Faith Formation                          Office of Lifelong Faith Formation
(856)-583-6131                                                            (856)-583-6132        

(19) Correlating the Barna Community Survey to the Pastoral Priorities

How does our Parish’s Pastoral Plan for implementing
the Pastoral Priorities correlate to the Barna Study?

How does your parish’s pastoral plan relate to the recent Barna Community Study conducted in the 6 counties of South Jersey that comprise the Diocese of Camden?

The Barna Study is all about the Pastoral Priorities!

The complete study of the South Jersey Faith Survey conducted by Barna is available on the diocesan website,  Two dimensions of the Barna Report, – the Demographic Profile (page 97 ff.), and the attitudinal/behavioral data found throughout the survey, undergird who we are as the Church  of South Jersey and provide a descriptive backdrop that undergirds specific data that correlates directly to the six Pastoral Priorities.

The “Executive Summary” (pages 5-9) refers to these Pastoral Priorities:

  • Liturgy (4 times)
  • Lifelong Faith Formation (9 times)
  • Priestly Vocations (1 time)
  • Compassionate Outreach, particularly Evangelization  (17 times)
  • Youth and Young Adults (2 times)
  • There is no direct reference to Lay Ministry (although this group is highly integral
    to the accomplishment of pastoral plans for the other 5 Pastoral Priorities.

A large portion of the “Data Analysis” (pages 9 through 62) relate directly to one
or more of the Pastoral Priorities:

  • Liturgy (6 times)
  • Lifelong Faith Formation (8 times)
  • Priestly Vocations (1 time, specifically, to image due to the clergy abuse crisis)
  • Compassionate Outreach, particularly to Evangelization  (7 times)
  • Lay Ministry (2 times)
  • Youth and Young Adults ( times)

In the final sections of the “Data Analysis” (pages 63-96), there are six areas which relate
to all the 6 Pastoral Priorities.  These areas are:  (1) Benefits of Being Catholic; (2) challenge
of being Catholic; (3) Interest in the Catholic Church; (4) Perceptions of the Catholic Church;
and (5) Religious Beliefs.

In summary, altogether there are:

  • 12         sections that refer to Liturgy
  • 14        that refer to Lifelong Faith Formation
  • 7          relate to Priestly Vocations
  • 13         call for Compassionate Outreach
  • 8          related to Lay Ministry, and
  • 8          correlate to Youth and Young Adults

How can we correlate this valuable information to our parish’s Pastoral Plan?
If your pastoral plan has be developed with the methodology presented (see Harvesting Gifts)
– using “Plan – Do – Check,” – go to the sections in Barna which correlate to the pastoral
priority(ies) addressed in your pastoral plan.  Does it offer you a way to “check” your progress,
or does it provide you with data to help you update your plan which is always a cyclical tool for
parish growth?  After your discussion with the PPC, determine what, if any, future action needs
to be put into place in order to move your parish’s Pastoral Plan forward into future months.

You will need legal size paper to print the Correlation of the Barna Community Survey with the Pastoral Priorities

Catholic Social Teaching

Is your parish looking for a way to familiarize your
members who are engaged in social justice, in
compassionate outreach, with Catholic Social teachings?

If so, then this toolkit provides a way to offer a series of seven
evenings of adult faith formation based on the documents/sources
for the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching.

This toolkit is built on the correlation of the 7 themes with the
Catechism created by Sr. Antoine Lawlor which was used by
Norman Roberts as a member of the Peace and Justice Ministry
at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in Plano, Texas, Diocese of Dallas.
Norman crafted the design for the evenings, and the correlations
to the other three documents listed below.

If the design works for your parish, there is no end to creativity that
you might employ to explore the Church’s teaching that undergird
the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching!


The documents cited for use in this toolkit are found online
at either or
You may want to BOOKMARK or add them to your FAVORITES on your computer.

The documents listed below are only a sample of the Church’s Social Justice teachings;
specifically, those that we used to create these discussion grids.

For additional Church teaching on social justice issues, go to
either the Vatican website or to the US Catholic Bishop’ website.

Caritas in Veritate:
Go to

Faithful citizenship:
Go to

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Go to

Gaudium et Spes is a Vatican II document which is found on the Vatican website.
Go to

You may contact the creators of these sessions and correlation documents at:           

These are the documents you will need to host these sessions:
Session design for sharing on Catholic Social Teaching
CST themes
Gaudium et Spes Cross Reference
Caritas in Veritate Cross Reference
Faithful Citizenship Cross Reference
Catechism Cross Reference
Sample Session on Theme 2
Examination of Conscience

How Young Adult Responsive is My Faith Community?

How Young Adult Responsive is My Faith Community?

Why do the assessment?

–  The parish would like to focus on young adult ministry

–  Young adults from the parish would like to connect more deeply with the parish

–  We wonder where twenty & thirty somethings are?

–  In response to the Barna Study for the Diocese of Camden

–  In response to the Year of Faith or the New Evangelization

Suggestions for doing the assessment:

Who is needed to do this well?

This tool is designed for parish staff, pastoral councils, and young adult parishioners in order to continue or begin a conversation and action steps regarding young adult ministry.

Parish staff includes:  pastor, parochial vicars, parish secretaries, parish catechetical leader, liturgical music leaders, key ministry leaders, youth ministry leader, and school principal

Key parish council representatives and parishioners include:  bereavement ministry leaders, marriage preparation team leaders, baptismal preparation team leaders, Confirmation preparation leaders, parish sporting team leaders, members of the Knights of Columbus, Moms group, St. Vincent de Paul Society…

Understanding: Who are young adults?

Young adults are considered between the ages of 18 – 39

  • —  single
  • —  engaged
  • —  married
  • —  married with children
  • —  single-again
  • —  in & out of college
  • —  professionals
  • —  in the military
  • —  single with children
  • —  immigrants
  • —  migrant workers


If you or your parish community would like to learn more about Young Adult Ministry or how to connect with young adults, please contact Greg Coogan at or 856-583-6122. We are here to help!

Parish Assessment for a Young Adult Responsive Community

Make Your Parish Young Adult Friendly

Black History Month

The celebration of black history began in 1926 with Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson. He believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His goal to raise the awareness of African-Americans’ contributions to American history, education, culture, science, and technology was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that included the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. 

After Woodson’s death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African-American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African-Americans about the importance of black history. In addition, the civil rights movement focused Americans of all races on the subject of the contributions of African-Americans to our history and culture. 

In 1976, during the nation’s bicentennial, the celebration was expanded to a week and President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

All year long, 3 million Catholics of African descent contribute to the spiritual, intellectual, and communal life of the Church. This month we honor their contributions to the Church as well.

The Black Catholic Ministry Commission would like to invite you to consider attending these events in honor of Black History Month:

[rokdownload menuitem=”61″ downloaditem=”227″ direct_download=”true”]Black History Month Activities[/rokdownload]  Note corrected date for Tuskegee Airmen event

U.S.Catholic has a number of articles about black Catholics on their Black History Month page. Please go to their website:

(15) Hallmarks of Parish Vitality

Hallmarks of Parish Vitality


The parish Self-Assessment is designed to provide parishes with feedback that is helpful to parish leadership (pastor, staff and parish pastoral council, etc.) for future planning.

• It sets the stage for engaging parishioners in the transforming work of parish growth and renewal through current and future parish ministries.
• It provides a forum for deanery dialogue and planning designed to support each other as parishes plan for growth in vitality. 

Ways to Use:

1. This toolkit is primarily designed for use of the Parish Leadership (see attached processes).

2. A second way is to invite a small diocesan team (coordinated by the Pastoral Planning Office) who could assist in the dialogue needed and validate the self-assessment.

3. Another way is to engage in a peer review, inviting some members from other parishes to assist in the dialogue needed to validate the self-assessment.

4. Once one of the above is conducted, a parish may want to involve parishioners in the process, either through random mailing or “in pew” copies with a collection process named.  Toolkit #15 may be downloaded from to the parish’s own website.  This may be printed off and distributed.  However, this way doesn’t tabulate responses or analyze them.  Responses may be tabulated and analyzed by a free or low cost Online Survey Tool that may be used on the parish’s website. Some websites already have the capacity for conducting a survey.

 Download the full toolkit: Hallmarks of Parish Vitality


Hallmarks of Parish Vitality

We’ve been telling you that a collaborative effort was underway in the diocesan offices to create a self-assessment tool for parishes to use. The toolkit, called “
Hallmarks of Parish Vitality“, is designed to provide parishes with feedback that is helpful to parish leadership for future planning. Clicking on the image at left will take you directly to the toolkit.

“Hallmarks of Parish Vitality” is toolkit #15 under the Pastoral Planning tab. 





(18) What Should I have on my Parish Website?

What Should I have on my Parish Website?

     When people view your website, you are essentially inviting them to meet your parish family, in your family home. So think of your website as an extension of that parish home. What is the image that you want visitors to have of your parish family?

     This toolkit is designed to help parish leadership decide what information should be on the parish website, and where on the website that information belongs.


  1. Four points to consider for ease of navigation
  2. Three points to consider in making your website attractive

Organization and Content

  1. 9 Must-haves for the home page
  2. Additional home page considerations

What Should I have on my Parish Website? PDF

(17) Ever Ancient, Ever New: the Art and Practice of Lectio Divina

Ever Ancient, Ever New: the Art and Practice of Lectio Divina

This page, and the accompanying article by Sr. Antoine Lawlor,  provide an introduction to and a simple means to engage in Lectio Divina.

One Simple Way to Engage in Lectio Divina: 

  • As parishioners gather at a pastoral council planning meeting, they might spend time praying with Lectio Divina.  The work hasn’t begun and the group perceives a reflective space and peaceful environment.  
  • The day’s gospel or other short scripture passage is read; after a few moments of quiet reflection, the same biblical text is read again.  After reading (and hearing) the text a second time, those gathered are invited to speak a word or phrase which each heard in the reading. Any word which touched them or which they heard anew is offered without any commentary or explanation about the phrase.
  • The reading is proclaimed to the group a third time and again a brief time of reflection follows.  Now parishioners are asked to share any part of the reading which, when heard, was meaningful, instructive or formative for them.  The words that were heard may lead one to remark about family life, or give some insight for ministry.  The direction may go wherever the Spirit leads.  As people begin to share what they heard in the reading, and listen to one another’s insights, a spiritual bond begins to form that deepens one’s relationship with God who is present within the community. 
  • Questions begin to form such as, what is God communicating to us through the Word?  What does this reading say to me personally?  What does it mean for the parish?  Does the Word really function as a “two edged sword?”  Does it cut to the heart?  How does the Word help us to change our hearts? How will we carry this message from God gently and gratefully into our lives this week? 
  • As one becomes familiar with Lectio Divina, one can adapt its simple methodology for use by any group, whether for the parish pastoral council, the youth group, or for ministry to seniors.  Lectio Divina may become the preferred prayer for each stage of lifelong faith formation.

Ever Ancient, Ever New: the Art and Practice of Lectio Divina

Excerpted from:  Ever Ancient, Ever New: the Art and Practice of Lectio Divina.  Antoine T. Lawlor, IHM, D. Min.     USCCB: Catechetical Sunday Booklet September 19, 2009.