This page last updated January 18, 2022 12:20pm
Guidance for Faith Formation during the Pandemic
NEW Diocesan Memo: Reminders and Tools for Winter 2022 Faith Formation during the Pandemic (January 11, 2022)
NEW Self Check Poster (January 11, 2022)
Procedure for Responding to a Covid19 case in faith formation/youth ministry (revised January 11, 2022)
Email to Priests: Masks strongly encouraged for all at Mass (August 12, 2021)
Diocesan Memo: Updated Guidelines for Faith Formation during the pandemic (September 8, 2021)
Diocesan Memo: Guidelines for Children and Youth Faith Formation during the pandemic (August 17, 2021)
Memo to Priests:
- Covid-19 protocol changes no 3 ((June 3 from Msgr Caron regarding returning to usual Mass practices)
- COVID-19 Protocol changes, no. 2 (June 1 from Msgr Caron regarding office prodecures, food at parish events, and clarifications/reminders)
- Faith Formation and the End of Maine's State of Civil Emergency (June 17, 2021)
- Updated Diocesan Guidelines for Faith Formation during the Pandemic (June 1, 2021)
Self Check Poster
NOTE: If children/teens are participating in Mass or another activity in the worship space during a parish program, please follow the masking and distancing guidelines for children and teen programs. You may follow the Sunday Mass guidance if Mass is the only activity taking place (masking and distancing is at parent/guardian discretion)
As you assess and plan, each parish needs to continue limiting on-site faith formation gatherings based on the resources and opportunities or limitations of their people and geographic area. To help in that I ask you to focus your faith formation efforts on these four priorities:
- Connections between adults, youth, and children in the parish
- Sacramental experience and formation
- Circle of Grace safe environment training
- Flexible, hybrid models for instruction/ongoing catechesis.
Recognize that everyone – including parish staff and volunteers – is likely weary from dealing with the pandemic, so think simple, meaningful, and realistic in what you offer to help people encounter Christ and grow in love and knowledge of him.
Fall 2020 Faith Formation Survey Findings (October 19, 2020)
Resources and recordings from past and future virtual gatherings are available at https://portlanddiocese.org/olff/highlights-pcl-virtual
Resources and Ideas for Leaders Curated by OLFF staff
|Sacramental Preparation||Webinars, Articles, etc.||Virtual Gathering Highlights||OLFF Newsletters|
Resources offered by USCCB Catholic Current or Coronavirus COVID-19 page
Diocesan Page on Response to Coronovirus
(includes links to livestream Mass, where confession available, etc.)
USCCB "Combatting Racism" resouces, including pastoral letter against racism "Open Wide Our Hearts" in english en español
Do all things with the love of Christ, giving God glory through lives working for justice and peace
Gathering together in a building for classes is only one way of providing catechesis and formation for people of all ages. In the midst of this health crisis we can draw on the rich traditions and practices of the Church to proclaim the Gospel in the current situation and in ways people can actually do in their homes. As parish catechetical leaders, we have the opportunity to help people recognize the experiences, skills, and resources they already have to help them deal with this situation and to be able to learn, share, and thrive with the help of God and each other.
"In the transmission of the faith, the Church does not rely on any single human method. Rather she uses God's own Methodology as the paradigm and, with that divine pedagogy as the reference point, chooses diverse methods that are in accord with the Gospel. [...] The situation of those to whom catechesis is addressed is not a peripheral concern in the proclamation of the Gospel -- rather, it is integral to its successful transmission"(National Directory of Catechesis, p95-96).
- Offer a non-anxious presence that witnesses authentic faith in the face of challenge. Make time to prepare a few options for connecting with parishioners and to manage your own feelings so you can listen to people with love and confidence in God.
- Ask learners to still use the time they usually would have met in a church/school building for the same learning, prayer, and sharing faith.
- Plan a way for catechists and learners to still connect as frequently as if you were gathered.
- Ask learners to make this a time to discern what is really essential in their lives and what gifts God has given them for the good of the whole community, especially their parish family
As always, the staff of the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation is available to assist you in your planning and support for parish faith formation. Judy, Shawn, Hannah, and Lori continue to search out resources that may be useful to you in this time and will be in regular communication to update you on health conditions and ways to provide faithful, effective, and engaging non-gathered faith formation.
"The transmission of the Gospel message through the Church has always been and will always be the work of the Trinity" (National Directory of Catechesis, p107).