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January 2, 2013     

Make the Most of the New Year . . . and Lent

We’re not even out of the Christmas season yet, and Lent is knocking at the door. (Ash Wednesday is 2/13.) Get your new year off to a good start by making plans for a meaningful Lent—for you and your parish.

Mid-Atlantic Congress
Plan to attend the second annual Mid-Atlantic Congress (MAC) in Baltimore, March 7–9!
Stop by Booth 605 to check out our great new products, especially for the New Evangelization.
We hope to see you there!


Fast, Pray, Give
by Joan McKamey

We can count on people to do things during Lent that they can’t manage long term or at other times of the year. Organizing small groups that meet throughout the six weeks of Lent is a great way to give people meaningful Lenten enrichment in the context of community.

Fast, Pray, Give is a print and DVD program for small groups that invites participants to look at Lent through the lens of discipleship. It encourages us to adopt practices that bring us more fully into an appreciation of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every week, it offers
  • Quotes from Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Inspiration about each topic (What Is Lent? Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving, Conversion, Discipleship)
  • Questions for reflection and discussion
  • A saint for the week
  • A Lenten practice
  • A prayer
The 30-minute DVD offers
additional content on Lent, brief presentations on the Year A readings for the Sundays of Lent, and a leader’s guide. Each small group will need a copy of the DVD (reasonably priced at $9.99) and a copy of the book for each participant (use our parish bulk discount). Be sure to order enough books to make them available to individuals who are unable to participate in a small group.  Fast, Pray, Give is an ideal resource for the RCIA. It can also be used for Lenten retreats and Confirmation classes, as well as for staff and ministry enrichment in the parish.


Ten Commandments and St. Therese of Lisieux
by Joan McKamey

Some other new products for Lent include
Ten: How the Commandments Can Change Your Life by Mary Elizabeth Sperry takes a new look at the Ten Commandments in the light of the habits we need to live in right relationship with God, self, others, and things, such as
    • Creating priorities
    • Giving respect
    • Recognizing dignity
    • Living gratitude
    • Upholding honesty and fidelity
Ten shows us how the Commandments give us the tools to lead a balanced life full of love and true joy. This book is available in both print and audiobook formats. Listen to a sample from the audiobook (Windows Media).

Walk the ‘Little Way’ through Lent with St. Therese of Lisieux using our Lenten day-by-day issue of Catholic Update (C0213).

An examination of conscience based on the Ten Commandments and Sperry’s book will be the March issue of Catholic Update (C0313), available mid- to late-February.


What Is Lent?
by Angela Glassmeyer

What’s the first thing most people think of when they hear the word Lent? What will I give up? Which days am I supposed to fast? What does fasting mean? For as many people in your parish who know what Lent is really about, there are at least as many who likely don’t know—or at least don’t know as much as they should.

This special edition of Catholic Update discusses the three pillars of Lent and gives other basic information about Lent, such as the significance of the forty days. It also includes an explanation of the Stations of the Cross and some suggestions for families during Lent. Check it out here.

We offer several other newsletters that work well as handouts for parishioners. Here are a few:



Faith Formation Forum

Share your ideas on faith formation at our online bulletin board, Faith Formation Forum. Our editors will screen and post your thoughts, and you can learn from others' ideas. Submit your ideas by clicking here.


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Faith Formation Update
is your bridge to a community of readers who share your passion for catechesis. For our part, we offer monthly encouragement, ideas, and resources to assist you in your catechetical ministry. We are honored to serve you in this e-newsletter and hope you find it useful. God bless you in your important ministry of sharing the Good News!

Angela Glassmeyer and Joan McKamey (Find out more about us by clicking here.)

We invite you to share your ideas and questions on our Faith Formation Forum; click here, or on the link at the end of each segment to leave your comments.
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