Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The Silent (and Noisy) Retreat Draws to a Close

Well, IC has been calling every once in a while during her silent retreat. At least I think it's her. I answer the phone and note the Iowa area code on the caller ID, but there's nothing but silence on the other end . . . that and the faint sound of a cat, and the rustle of hand gestures. She really takes her silent retreats seriously.

She sent us roses the other day. See? (On cue now: "Awww....")

Hmm. A bunch of roses in the dead of winter. Where have I heard that one before? Could it be...? Nah.

God willing, IC should be back later this evening, which means I will be handing back the reins of The Ironic Catholic. I think as a welcome-back present I will let her be the judge of the saints limerick contest. An easy first post-retreat post.

Thanks for your hospitality during my sojourn here...it has been an amusing diversion from taking care of the kids.

Several of you have suggested that I start my own blog, which is awfully kind of you. I actually do have a blog -- a non-funny, family journal type blog written mostly for relatives, but feel free to check it out (might even catch a glimpse of IC sometime): it's called GraceWatch. Like Baywatch, except with swim diapers instead of speedos, and watching for grace rather than drowning people. I'm also home most of the day with the kids (primarily our three year old). Plus I'm deeply involved with an inter-parish lifelong faith formation committee that is trying to make the shift to lifelong, adult-centered, family-based faith formation -- a pretty major undertaking. And I'm developing a website for couples planning a Catholic wedding. Some 190,000 searches on "Catholic wedding" related terms every month on Google alone, and if you take a look at the top results, it's no wonder so many couples walk into parishes with major misconceptions. IC will let you know when that's ready for prime time, to get your feedback.

All of which is to say that I'd have to fit another project into my downtime between midnight and 6:30 a.m. However . . . if you say nice things about me to IC when she gets back, maybe she will let me guest blog again sometime soon!

- sic

1 comment:

Del said...

Howdy SIC! I've enjoyed this blog for months as a silent commentor... but I'm a fellow catechist enthusiast, so here's the bad news/good news:

We tried the "Whole Community Catechesis" thing in our parish. It failed miserably, with a revolt and boycott by parishioners, and got our DRE fired.

Here's what went wrong:
1) Lessons were held in the school cafeteria.
2) The DRE insisted on having a potluck dinner (for "building community"). It was a messy waste of time.
3) The lessons were absurdly shallow. Nothing new or useful to learn.
4) Toddlers were antsy, teens were bored to tears, parents were frazzled.
5) Marketing: Bulletin announces title and name of speaker, whom no one has heard of. This month's topic: "Sacrament of Reconciliation."

Meanwhile, a neighboring parish has an extremely successful program.
1) Main lesson is in the Church.
2) Lesson begins with Adoration and confessions at 6:00, lesson starts at 7:00.
3) Kids, teens, and adults are separated, and age-appropriate lessons are provided (so, it is three programs instead of one)
4) After closing prayer, adjourn to reserved room at neighboring bar-and-grill for fish fry.
5) Marketing: Broadcast email, including topic, blurb, name of speaker (typically one of the popular priests from the area), Introductory info and credentials (if the speaker is imported). This month's topic: "St. Ignatious, on Discernment of Spirits"

This program generates great excitement, and crowds.

The families with toddlers come for the end of prayer, and they don't stay late for the fish fry, but that's life with toddlers! They do appreciate the childcare during the lesson.

I sum it all up thus: "You can't build community around a potluck. But if you build community with prayer first, then you can have a successful potluck."

Send me an email, if you want to talk more. delteeter(at)hotmail(dot)com