Strategy 1: Engage parents more fully in the life of the parish by giving them the tools to practice their faith within the domestic church by June 30, 2020.
Status: In Progress.
Debbie Barry is a parishioner and student with the Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute, LPMI. Her practicum focuses on engaging parents more fully in the life of the parish. She is planning activities for the upcoming 2019-2020 year.
RELEVANCY: Parents of the Parish have requested assistance with ideas and strategies so they can more fully engage their children in the Catholic Faith. providing carry over into the home of concepts and activities discussed and implemented in Faith Formation classes.
This type of effort is: Brand new for us
- Host two to four parent sessions by June 2020. Status: In Progress. Presently this is being planned with the Faith Formation staff and Debbie Barry as part of her LPMI practicum.
September 9th, we hosted a Family Sacramental Preparation Meeting. This meeting was not only a practical way for families to learn about the required steps for their children to make a sacrament, but we asked them to reflect about the spiritual needs of their families. This part of the meeting involved small group discussion, inviting the parents to think about how to live out the mission of the domestic church in their homes. We filled out a survey from the parents about how the parish can support families in today's challenges, which we will use as a sense of direction moving forward with Debbie's LPMI practicum initiatives.
At our Super Saturday sacramental session, we had the parents attend the morning mass with their children, followed by a parent's session once the children and teens began their sacramental preparation classes.
We have three sessions planned for the coming year for parents: one for the parents of children in our sacramental preparation programs and four Family Faith Cafes. Free refreshments and coffee will be provided as families experience fellowship while participating in an interactive lesson about our faith. The first Family Faith Cafe was on the topic of the liturgical year and it took place on Sunday, October 20th during our Sunday morning Children's Faith Formation classes. The second Family Faith Cafe was themed towards the topic of prayer and the mass on Sunday, February 9th. Many parents commented that they enjoyed the this Family Faith Cafe more than the first session. It included rotating stations where both parents and children participated in catechetical activities such as a liturgy jeopardy game, prayer activity, and other stations working together while learning more about the mass.
- Establish a core team of leading families who will identify priorities of Parish families by January 1, 2020. Status: Presently, this is being planned by Debbie Barry as part of her LPMI practicum. As previously stated in Progress Milestone 1, we filled out a survey from the parents about how the parish can support families in today's challenges, which we will use as a sense of direction moving forward with Debbie's LPMI practicum initiatives.
- Implement identified priorities of the family core team with 30-50 additional families by June 1, 2021. Status: In Progress. Debbie Barry, as part of her LPMI practicum, is planning an information session in which she and her volunteer team can identify the needs of parents and families. This feedback will shape how this ministry will move forward. Our Faith Formation staff will continue to touch base on updates from Debbie Barry as she continues to plan for a recruit a core team.
- Provide parents with Faith Formation resources, activities and religious instructions so the faith can be nourished within the home life by September of 2019. Status: In Progress. Vacation Bible School, VBS, took place in June 2019, as it was re-introduced to the parish after taking a break for a year. The event was energetic and successful, with great feedback from our families. Parents, young adults, and teenagers served as leaders which helped equip sharing of the faith for the families involved. Our Faith Formation staff sent a daily email update about the VBS theme, allowing families to extend the catechetical message to their domestic church in the home after their children had the experience.
Faith Formation Staff, Monsignor Morris and 4 high school youth attended Notre Dame Vision for June 17th - 21st. Monsignor Morris and Mandy Westrich, Faith Formation Coordinator, attended the track titled "Liturgical Formation: Forming Families for Full Conscious, and Active Participation."
Our Faith Formation is providing Book-of-the-Month Club through Dynamic Catholic to be distributed to adults. Beginning in September, the Book-of-the-Month club is being targeted to parents and adults within the parish to meet at 10:15 am on Sunday mornings to coincide with Children's Faith Formation classes. Not only is this an intentional way to invite parent participation in a ministry while their children are in religious education classes, but it is a priority that we provide opportunities for adults to deepen their faith. The simple format for this new Book-of-the-Month Club is meant to be approachable for busy adults to encounter the Lord alongside one another in prayer, fellowship, and candid conversation. The first book featured in this ministry on September 29th, 2019 was Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly. Our Director of Discipleship, Sherri Briand, ran out of free copies of the book for participants a week before the first Book-of-the-Month session due to the high volume of individuals interested.
On December 24th, Christmas Eve, a group of children and a couple of teens put on a living Nativity Reenactment at the 6 pm Mass. This went very well. Additionally Mandy Westrich worked hands-on with the parents to coordinate this through two rehearsals. One of the rehearsals brought a Parents Night Out where adult chaperones did activities with children, a time in which Mandy had the reenactment youth go with her in the Church to rehearse. The positive response led to Mandy and the families working together again for the children to do a Gospel Reenactment for the Epiphany of the Lord on January 5th. We feel as though the families who did this within our faith formation community was an organic way for parents to personally reflect on the significance of these liturgies in support of their children's participation.
Point person(s): Mandy Westrich, Sherri Briand and Debbie Barry
Strategy 2: Offer presentations that will meet the diverse needs of families by June 1, 2021
Status: In Progress.
Our parish staff and clergy are utilizing various programs in order to support the diverse needs of the families. These program include: Rite for Christian Initiation (RCIA), Children's Faith Formation, Youth Ministry, Parishioner Highlight Communications initiative, and the Parish Assistance Program through BayCare Behavioral Health.
RELEVANCY: Families of St. Catherine of Siena reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. Including, but not limited to, blended families, families of divorce, families with unique cultural traditions, families with members who have special needs/disabilities, widows/widowers, etc. SCOS families have expressed a desire to create family-based activities that are inclusive for all.
This type of effort is: Building on current efforts
- Develop and implement three annual family activities by September 1, 2020. Status: In Progress. We will host or have hosted the events: Family Fall Festival, Caroling for Cans, Easter Egg Hunt, and the Living Rosary to commemorate the end of the Faith Formation year.
The Fall Festival and Trunk-or-Treat event took place on October 26th at 5:30 pm. This new event featured carnival food, festival games, Haunted Hay Rides, a Not-So-Spooky Halloween Trail, and Trunk-or-Treating; this new parish family event has created a lot of buzz within our parish and local community. Our Facebook Event reached over 12,000 users and over 700 people have responded (either RSVP-ing as "Going" or "Interested"). We intentionally invited ministries to run carnival games as a way for them to organically promote their ministry to parishioners and non-parishioners who participate in the games. We planned to have enough food to accommodate the crowd who will walk over after 4:00 pm Saturday Vigil Mass. We extended the invitation of this event to the displaced members of Transfiguration Catholic Church as the following day was the first Spanish Mass. The event was a big success as it was well organized and was a joyful evening for all. About 400 people attended, making for a diverse group in both age and culture. Many parishioners as well as non-parishioners attended. Feedback was given in person as well as on our Facebook page that the event felt very welcoming.
Upon evaluating the event, it has been determined that next year we will change the time from 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm to 5:00pm - 7:00 pm as the event is more ideal with the sun still out and right after the 4:00 pm Vigil Mass. Next year we will also seek to enhance how we are to market more to the middle aged and elderly demographic of our parish as this event easily appeals to young families.
Caroling for Cans happened on December 7th, promoted as a parish-wide event. Families in our programs were personally invited to this event, but it is also by flyer, over social media, website, and Mass slides.
Coffee with a Counselor took place on February 7th 2020, promoted as a parish-wide event. About 25 adults attended this presentation by Dolores Mortimor. The mental health professionals who hosted this event from the House of Mercy expressed they would like to do another Coffee with the Counselor in the future. Sherri who coordinated the event agreed with the presenters. We will plan to have one more of these events to educate families about common challenges people face regarding relationships and mental health.
Recruit six families to witness their faith in family life by July 1, 2021. Status: In Progress. This is already being planned and implemented by the Communications team. In July 2019, we highlighted 6 members who were involved in our RCIA programs as both candidates and sponsors, to highlight their experiences this the RCIA process. This video, inviting others to attend the RCIA inquiry sessions, was shown at all weekend Masses and distributed on all social media channels.
Provide counseling opportunities through Baycare for 10-15 families by July 1, 2021. Status: In Progress. We are looking to BayCare Behavioral Health and other programs to provide presentations and resources for families. The first program, a Suicide Prevention presentation, happened on October 20th at 4 pm in the Family Life Center and was advertised to the rest of the diocese by the diocesan Office of Life, Justice, and Advocacy. Over 40 people attended both within the parish and in the local community. Our parish has invested in a Parish Assistance Program through BayCare Behavioral Health, which our parishioners have been made aware of through the website, social media, bulletin, and word-of-mouth within our ministries. Through this program, parishioners are entitled to 3 free professional sessions to help them in mental health counseling with anxiety/depression, stress, relationship issues, family issues, grief/loss, and addictive behaviors. This has been promoted in our website and bulletin, so that parishioners can continue to utilize this important resource.
Point person(s): Sandra Garcia-Olivares and Bethany Davis