Refreshing...

Facilitator Backgrounds

These documents were designed to provide background on specific topics before offering an associated session on that topic.

Communion of Saints

Facilitator Background

Prepare to facilitate a session on the communion of saints, reflecting upon the unity among Christians which contributes to understanding of the Church.

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Epiphany

Doctrinal background and reflection for facilitators of learning sessions about the feast of the Epiphany • By Mariette Martineau

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Jesus' Death & Resurrection

The Paschal Mystery, Christ's work of redemption accomplished through his Passion, death and Resurrection, is the central belief of Christianity. How is this event situated in the context of God's saving plan? Why is it the center of our worship, and what difference does it make in our daily living? This background will provide the Church's answers to these vital questions of our faith. • By Joan Weber

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Our Lenten Journey • Generations of Faith

Facilitator Background

Keynote document with doctrinal content for sessions on the RCIA process.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

This document provides doctrinal content and facilitator guidance for those who will teach learning sessions about Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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Palm Sunday

This document will help catechists explore the topic of Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the Sixth Sunday of Lent (Lent ends the evening of Holy Thursday as the Mass of the Lord's Supper is begun), but it is also the beginning of Holy Week. It is a very important celebration in this respect, because it sets the stage and tone for the rest of the celebration of Holy Week. • By Paulette Chapman

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Pentecost • Generations of Faith

A reflection for facilitators to use in preparation for leading programs about Pentecost. • By Jim Merhaut

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Celebrating Triduum

Doctrinal background and reflection for facilitators of learning sessions on the topic of Celebrating the Triduum. • By Joan Weber

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Jesus Through the Church Year • Generations of Faith

Facilitator Background

This article explores the liturgical year and engages leaders in reflecting on our call to discipleship through the seasons, holy days and celebrations.

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Walking with Jesus through Lent • Generations of Faith

This background offers the seven steps of feeling humble, deserted, connected, zealous, healing, dying, and victorious as ways to walk with Jesus through the 40 days of Lent. • By Jim Merhaut

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What Can We Learn From the Holy Family?

This document gives catechists and table leaders a deeper understanding of the Holy Family through Scripture and the teaching of our Catholic Church. Pope Francis quotes and insights from the Extraordinary Synod on the Family are also shared. • By Joan Weber

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Church Structure

We believe in the Church, but how do the different parts of the Church work together to present a unified presence of Christ to the world? How does our participation in this diverse community change us and the world around us? • By Maria Scherer and Kim Schroeder

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Gathered by Eucharist: Sent in Mission

Facilitator Background

This document provides explores our understanding of Eucharist and mission from Church documents, Scriptures, and experience. • By Jane Angha

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Images of God

To describe God is not easy. Language and imagination fall short of description. Graphic art, music and literature try to create images of what God might look like. Much of our understanding of God comes from those genres and from some artist’s idea of what is true.

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Incarnation: God Among Us

This document provides doctrinal content and facilitator guidance for those who will teach learning sessions about the mystery of the Incarnation. • By Joan Weber

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Jesus' Mission Continues

Facilitators can use this session to prepare for teaching on the Church.

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Jesus Teaches Us about Ourselves

We are created in the image of God, a Trinitarian God who is a communion of three persons who are enveloped in love. Created in this image of harmonious love, we discover the core of who we are when we create harmony in our relationships. Love is where we come from, and it is to love we will return. When we are giving and receiving love we are in touch with our roots, and we are on the right path to our ultimate destiny.

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Resurrection of the Body

This document is the keynote document for all of the learning sessions entitled Resurrection of the Body. It includes doctrinal content and preparation materials for facilitators. • By Gladys Pozza

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What is Faith?

This document is the keynote document for all of the learning sessions entitled What Is Faith. It includes doctrinal content and preparation materials for facilitators. • By Jim Merhaut

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Discipleship: Serving Others in Christ's Name

This document explores our understanding of discipleship and service through Church documents, Scriptures, and shared experience. • By Joan Weber

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CRS & Catholic Charities

Keynote document providing doctrinal and reflective material for facilitators of the Catholic Charities & Catholic Relief Services learning sessions • By Kathy Brown

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Discipleship: New Testament Role Models

Facilitator Background

When studying stories within the New Testament, one can always find a certain newness and energy. These stories depict those who were witnesses of the living Christ or who learned about the Christ through eyewitness accounts. The images from the New Testament, of those who would eventually follow Christ and those who would turn away, bear striking similarities to the images and stories in our own backyards today.

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Earth Day

Facilitator Background

Reflect on how you care for God's creation.

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Economic Justice

The effort it takes to build a just and fair society requires heroic virtue. Saint Vincent de Paul and Dorothy Day were Catholics of heroic virtue and we celebrate their feast days this Fall. You may see yourself as much humbler than Vincent or Dorothy and be content to follow and let someone else lead. Even followers, however, have to be ready at times to pick up the flag of justice and carry it for those who are powerless to speak on their own behalf.

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Faithful Citizenship

The United States Catholic Bishops encourage us to practice faithful citizenship, to be good members of our democracy, and to be true to our discipleship at the same time. This document explores the topic of faithful citizenship. • By Joan Weber

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Living in Solidarity

Facilitator Background

This document provides doctrinal content and facilitator guidance for those who will teach learning sessions on the Catholic social teaching on Solidarity. • By Jim Merhaut

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Poverty Awareness

Facilitator Background

Facilitator background or adult learner guide for the topic of poverty and Catholic teachings about it.

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Respect for All Life

Shekinah is the Hebrew word signifying the glorious presence of God, and it is Dr. Abdalai's faith in God that sustains him in his work. Those who come to the Shekinah Clinic not only receive free health care, but they also experience the love of God through the compassionate care of Dr. Abdalai, his wife, Doris and the 35 volunteers who staff the clinic. • By Jim Merhaut

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Sacred & Social: Call to Family, Community, & Participation

This document provides doctrinal content and facilitator guidance for those who will teach learning sessions on the Catholic Social Teaching theme of the Call to Family, Community, and Participation. • By Jim Merhaut

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Thanksgiving Tables

Imagine the tables of our lives--and imagine the call to justice that stems from those tables.

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Catholic Social Teachings • Generations of Faith

This document explores our the principles of Catholic social teaching, their connection to the Word of God and the vital role they play in guiding us to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in the world today. • By Joan Weber

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Being Truthful • Generations of Faith

Facilitators explore how the sin of dishonesty seems to have touched every segment of our society in significant ways. • By Jim Merhaut

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Stewardship

Facilitator Background

Stewardship: what does it really mean? Is it just about sharing our time, talents, and money with our parish community, or is there more? This learning session explores the "more" of stewardship, connecting it to what it means to be a disciple.

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Living Like Christ: Following the Great Commandments

This document provides doctrinal content and facilitator guidance for those who will teach learning sessions on the Great Commandments. • By Jim Merhaut

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Life in Christ

Facilitator Background

This document explores our understanding of holiness, spirituality and the four cardinal virtues. • By Jim Merhaut

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Benedictine Spirituality

Background information for facilitators to deepen their understanding of Benedictine Spirituality. • By Leif Kehrwald

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Call & Vocation

Vocation is both specific and general. It is specific in the sense that God calls each of us in a unique way to share our gifts with the world. It is general in the sense that we are all called to be priest, prophet and king by virtue of our baptism. How we live our general vocation makes it specific. This resource gives background for facilitators to deepen their understanding of call and vocation. • By Mariette Martineau

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Divine Word Spirituality

A resource for facilitators to deepen their understanding of Divine Word Spirituality.

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Forgiveness & Reconciliation

Facilitator Background

After the great commandments to love God and your neighbor as yourself, forgiveness is probably the next great hallmark of Christianity. Yet, just as love is easy to say but hard to do, so are forgiveness and reconciliation. We teach our children to say, "I'm sorry," but it's too easy for those to be hollow words - even for adults. Here we explore principles and challenges that address the holy concept of forgiveness and reconciliation.

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Franciscan Spirituality

Background information for facilitators to deepen their understanding of Franciscan Spirituality. • By Kathie Amidei

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Ignatian Spirituality

Background information for facilitators to deepen their understanding of Ignatian Spirituality. • By Leif Kehrwald

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Lay Spirituality: Go in Peace

Background information for facilitators to deepen their understanding of Lay Spirituality. • By Jim Merhaut

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Praying into Sunday: Eucharistic Adoration

This essay will prepare those who are called to facilitate a learning session on Eucharistic adoration by providing historical and doctrinal content as well as material for reflection • By Jim Merhaut

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Proclaiming Hope

This article explores what it means to live lives that are guided by our Christian hope and to share that hope with others.

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Providence Spirituality

Background information for facilitators to deepen their understanding of Providence Spirituality. • By Jane Marie Osterholt SP

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Stewardship: Come Share the Master's Joy • Generations of Faith

This article explores stewardship basics and provides participants with a way to consider where they are on their own journey as Christian stewards. • By Mary Ann Otto

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Sacrament of Baptism • Generations of Faith

Facilitator Background

Overview of the theology of baptism as understood by the rite. Good for facilitator background or an adult education session.

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Easter Season • Generations of Faith

A reflection for facilitators to use in preparation for leading programs about Easter.

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Liturgy of the Hours

Facilitator Background

The Liturgy of the Hours (also known as the Divine Office or Breviary) is the richest single prayer resource of the Christian Church. It provides prayers, psalms and meditation for various times of the day to sanctify it. It has existed from the earliest times, to fulfill the Lord's command to pray without ceasing. Liturgy of the Hours, as a form of prayer, is not reserved exclusively for professed religious, but for all Christian believers.

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One Holy Catholic Apostolic

We profess in the Nicene Creed a Church that is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. The New Testament provides our basis for understanding what these four essential characteristics mean.

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Parts of the Mass

Background information on the Mass for leaders preparing to facilitate programs. • By Jim Merhaut

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Our Call to Worship

Facilitator Background

Worship is the way that we acknowledge and give thanks for what is most important in our lives. Prayer and worship link the physical world with the spiritual world. This is why we must place the highest priority on worshiping God with each other every week. We need to do it as best we can while remaining constantly aware that our worship is not perfect, and so we will change it from time to time to make it more perfect.

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Acts of the Apostles

This article explores the Acts of the Apostles and engages leaders in reflecting on our call to fellowship and mutual support as disciples. • By Leif Kehrwald

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Gospel of John

Background for facilitators to deepen their understanding of the Gospel of John.

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Gospel of Luke • Generations of Faith

Facilitator or adult learner guide to explore the Gospel of Luke, the central Gospel in Lectionary Cycle C.

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Gospel of Mark

Background for facilitators to deepen their understanding of the Gospel of Mark.

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Letter to the Hebrews

This document provides doctrinal content and facilitator guidance for those who will teach learning sessions on the Letter to the Hebrews. • By Margaret Nutting Ralph, Ph.D.

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O Antiphons

Facilitator background or adult learning resource for the O Antiphons.

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Pentateuch • Generations of Faith

Background for facilitators to deepen their understanding of the Pentateuch. • By Gladys Pozza

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Prophets of the Old Testament

Background for facilitators to deepen their understanding of the Old Testament prophets. • By Jim Merhaut

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Reading the Bible • Generations of Faith

Background information for facilitators to deepen their understanding of reading the Bible.

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Reading the Bible • Generations of Faith

Does the Bible Tell Us So?

An insightful and helpful article for your catechetical leaders. This article discusses the Catholic approach to understanding Scripture, called the contextualist approach. • By Margaret Nutting Ralph

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The Great Stories: Historical Books of the Bible

Doctrinal content and facilitator guidance for those leading learning sessions on the Historical Books of the Bible. • By Margaret Nutting Ralph, Ph.D.

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The Ten Commandments

God Teaches Us How to Live

Use this resource to prepare to lead sessions on the Ten Commandments. • By Jim Merhaut

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Wisdom Literature

Background for facilitators to deepen their understanding of Wisdom Literature.

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Introduction • Celebrate Family

An introduction to Celebrate Family resources and how to use them in your parish.

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Family Movie Night Resource • Faith Festivals

Leader Guide

By Tom East

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Connecting with Families

Winter

This resource provides simple ideas and ways to help families connect faith with everyday life throughout the winter. • By Christina Semmel

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Connecting with Families • FamilyFaith@Home

Fall

This resource provides simple ideas for helping families connect faith with everyday life throughout the fall. • By Christina Semmel

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Creed

Facilitator Background

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Intro to Church Year

Facilitator Background

This facilitator background explores the structure and theology of the church year.

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Justice Learning

Leader Article

There are so many options out there now for a mission trip or service trip that we might get discouraged trying to figure out what is best for our parish or school. Having tried several, I offer some suggestions on what would make this a powerful experience that will strengthen your catechetical efforts and build a foundation for young people in your setting. • By Jane Angha

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Moral Decision-Making • Generations of Faith

Background to assist teachers and catechists teaching moral decision-making.

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Engaging the Community in Celebrating Mission Sunday • Generations of Faith

Ideas to engage parish members in the international celebration of World Mission Sunday.

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Mission Sunday • Generations of Faith

This is information on Mission Sunday for faciliators and other interested learners that explores Mission Sunday through the adult learning process of engage, reflect, explore, apply.

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Early Church History • Generations of Faith

Our Early Roots

Facilitators will explore the leadership, decision making, and identity development of the early Church.

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Reflecting on the Triduum • Generations of Faith

Background for facilitators to deepen their understanding of the Triduum.

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Seasons of Our Church • Generations of Faith

The Liturgical Year

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Leader Guide • Parent Learning Centers

Learn how to structure and facilitate parent learning center sessions. • By Bill Huebsch

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Leader Guide • Whole Community Catechesis

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Leader Guide (Spanish) • Whole Community Catechesis

Guía General del Líder

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The Feasts of All Souls and All Saints • Generations of Faith

Background for facilitators to guide you in reacquainting yourself with some well-known Saints, identifying the qualities and criteria define a Saint, and exploring the theology of All Souls' and All Saints'.

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Introduction to the Liturgical Year • Generations of Faith

Background for facilitators to deepen their understanding of the liturgical year.

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Lectionary Cycle B • Generations of Faith

Background on Lectionary Cycle B for facilitators. • By leif kehrwald

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Reconciling with God & Neighbor • Generations of Faith

Background information for facilitators of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. • By Joan Weber

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Solidarity • Generations of Faith

Background information for facilitators on Catholic Social Teaching and the concept of solidarity.

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Introduction to Justice • Generations of Faith

This learning session is designed to provide you with an overview of justice from a Catholic perspective, including an overview of Catholic Social Teaching.

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Called to Serve • Generations of Faith

This self-directed session will lead individuals in reflecting on the role that service plays in our lives.

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Life & Dignity • Generations of Faith

Individuals will be guided in a reflection on the life and dignity of the human person.

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Option for the Poor • Generations of Faith

Individuals will be guided through a reflection on God's special concern for the poor and vulnerable.

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Rights & Responsibilities • Generations of Faith

Individuals will be guided in a reflection on our call to protect the rights of all and take responsibility for others.

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Christian Morality • Generations of Faith

This resource will guide leaders in self-reflection on Christian morality.

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Pathways to God: Prayer Forms • Generations of Faith

Background information on prayer and different ways to pray for facilitators to deepen their understanding of prayer.

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Introduction to the New Testament • Generations of Faith

A guide for facilitators or individuals to explore the nine themes of the New Testament.

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The Synoptic Gospels • Generations of Faith

Facilitators and individuals will be guided through a deep reflection on the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark & Luke.

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Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew • Generations of Faith

Facilitators or individuals will be guided through a reflection on the Gospel of Matthew and its themes.

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Call to Family, Community & Participation • Generations of Faith

This session invites you to engage in learning about the call to family, community and participation. It also offers tips for sharing the meaning and application of this principle with others.

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Praying with Many Cultures • Generations of Faith

This session engages the facilitator in learning the importance of being in solidarity with our brothers and sisters across the globe through prayer.

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Dignity of Work • Generations of Faith

This learning session is designed to give you an overview of the Catholic Church's position and its social teachings on work and workers' rights.

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Divine Revelation • Generations of Faith

This learning session focuses on God's self-communication, out of love, of the divine nature, and of our status as God's friends. God moves among us and speaks and acts in human history. We are invited into God's company.

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St. Kateri Tekakwitha • First Steps for Families

Leader background for teaching about St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

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The Writings of Saint Paul • Generations of Faith

Facilitators can use this background on St. Paul to prepare for teaching about him and his writings.

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Intro to Old Testament • Generations of Faith

Facilitator background on the great stories of the Old Testament and oral tradition.

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Becoming Missionary Disciples • Generations of Faith

Facilitator background for leading sessions on Becoming a Missionary Disciple. • By Joan Weber

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Mother Mary: Cultural Traditions • Generations of Faith

This learning session focuses on some of the cultural expressions of Mary, the Mother of God.

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We Believe • Generations of Faith

This learning session focuses on the Creed. The Christian profession of faith is a response to God's revelation to the world made known through the mission of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit.

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Discipleship in Matthew

An article for facilitators about how discipleship is presented in the Gospel of Matthew.

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The Synoptic Problem • Generations of Faith

An article for facilitators to better understand the Synoptic problem.

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Community Building Tip Sheet • Generations of Faith

Things to think about when facilitating community building activities.

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6-year Cycle • Generations of Faith

A sample of a 6-year approach to intergenerational learning.

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A Child Shall Lead Them • Generations of Faith

A plan for starting or improving a pre-school faith formation program in your parish.

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Dimensions of Church Life • Generations of Faith

A diagram of parish faith formation.

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Faith Festival Intro & Sample Activity • Faith Festivals

An overview of Faith Festivals and a sample all-ages activity. • By Jim Merhaut

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First Steps for Families Intro • First Steps for Families

Overview of the First Steps program.

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First Steps for Families Templates • First Steps for Families

Templates for planning parent drop-in sessions and home activities.

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Movie Night

Overview on how to host a movie night for your parish. • By Cheryl Tholcke

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Letter to the Romans

Background for facilitators preparing to lead a session on Paul's Letter to the Romans. • By Margaret Nutting-Ralph

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For the Director • FIRE

An overview of the program for church leaders. This resource offers guidance on how to start a FIRE program in your church and includes the Pilot Group Sessions which are used to train your leadership team. • By Kathleen O'Connell Chesto

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