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Highlights from PCL Virtual Gatherings

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Updated Family Self-Check Poster (December 8, 2020)

Diocesan Memo: Newly Revised Diocesan Guidelines for Faith Formation during the Pandemic (November 6, 2020)

Fall 2020 Faith Formation Survey Findings (October 19, 2020)


Diocesan Memo: Considerations for Fall 2020 Faith Formation (July 28, 2020)

Maine Catholic Schools Reopening Plans (more detailed guidelines, especially for preschool children)

Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the week of August 31 - September 4

Virtual Learning Opportunity: MAGNIFY deep-dive into new Directory for Catechesis

Opportunity for Children and Teens: Annual diocesan Christmas Card Art Contest

Recording of 9/2 Virtual Gathering

Video: Naomi Shihab Nye's poem "Kindness" read by Emma Thompson

Video: Poet Naomi Shihab Nye's tells story behind "Kindness" poem and reads it


Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the week of August 24-28

Flyer of upcoming virtual gatherings and resources

Downloadable Poster: Self-Check before Leaving Home (#CareForSelf&Others)

Protocol (July 2020): Parish Do's/Don'ts if Confirm Covid19 Case

Video: "Evangelizing Mission of Catechesis" with Archbishop Emeritus Alfred Hughes (first in USCCB intro series on the new Directory for Catechesis)

Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the week of August 17-21

Press Release: Georgette Dionne joining OLFF staff starting Sept 8

Recording from 8/19 virtual gathering

Graphic: Qualities of Maturing Faith and Discipleship

Article: Twenty-first Century Adult Faith Formation by John Roberto

Website: Seasons of Adult Faith Formation an ecumenical network of adult faith formation experiences, programs, activites and  resources

Webinar: "Adult Faith Formation Practices with Maturing Adults" with Sr. Janet Schaeffler, OP


Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the week of August 10-14

Revised Sponsor Verification Form (use this form or on parish letter head that only asks for the info included on this form, no pastor verification required)

Recording of August 12 virtual gathering on Sacrament formation

"A Church without Sacraments?"

 

Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the week of August 2-7

Flyer of upcoming gatherings - including Faith Forum webinar on  August 18

Notes from August 5 virtual gathering (coming soon)

Flipped Classroom resources (from https://www.odysseyware.com/blog/using-classpace-flipped-classroom)

Flipped classroom model

Blooma Taxonomy in a flipped classroom

Flipped Classroom 101 https://www.edutopia.org/blog/flipped-learning-toolkit-common-hurdles-jon-bergmann

The Flipped Classroom: Overcoming Common Hurdles to Flipped classroom


Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the week of July 27-31

Diocesan Memo: Considerations for Fall 2020 Faith Formation (July 28, 2020)

Memo: 2020 Youth Convention Follow-Up (July 30)

Recording of July 29 virtual gathering (second half only - Sorry! resources shared or referenced are below)

  • Webpage with guidelines for celebrating sacrament during Covid19, includes example of a virtual rehearsal at a parish
  • "Virtual Catechesis: Three Cs of Success" video by Jared Dees  (additional resources at TheReligionTeacher.com )


Leading in Uncertainty: Click to view recording of July 22 Virtual Gathering


Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the week of June 22-25

  • Guidelines for celebrating Confirmation/First Eucharist with Children in parishes is available here. Join the Lifesize OLFF meeting room at 1pm Monday, June 29 to join Msgr Dubois, Shannon Fossett, and me for a Q&A session about implementing the guidelines in your parish.
  • The annual process for awarding grants from the Lay Continuing Education and Formation Endowment Fund is now open. Details and forms are available at https://portlanddiocese.org/olff/leadership/lay-continuing-ed-grants . Applications are due by July 20.
  • 2020 Virtual Youth Convention will be live from 10am-12n Sunday, July 26 with an option to access a recording for use in gathering with youth at a later date. Check out the website for details about the schedule, cost (free), registration, and downloadable promo materials. Contact Shawn Gregory with questions or to “register” your parish group
  • The Vatican just released a new Directory for Catechesis that will replace the GDC. Copies in English are anticipated to be available in mid-July. You can pre-order a copy at http://store.usccb.org/directory-for-catechesis-p/7-669.htm

Upcoming Virtual Gathering Opportunities Lifesize OLFF meeting room or call (877) 422-8614 meeting 982044#

  • Q&A on Confirmation/First Communion for Children: Monday, June 29  (1-2 pm)
  • OLFF Virtual Gatherings:
    • Tuesday, June 30  (1-2 pm)
    • Tuesday, July 7 (1-2 pm)
    • Thursday, July 9 (9:30-10:30 am)

Diocesan Faith Formation Updates for the Week of June 15-19

  • The June issue of the OLFF Newsletter is available here, including info about the Virtual Youth Convention on July 26, the dates for the 2020-2021 LFFA meetings, a compilation of links to ministry-related Covid19 guidelines.
  • Bishop Deeley has decided to have local priests celebrate all Confirmation/First Communions for children this year, even those he was scheduled to celebrate in the Fall. We are still working on the full guidelines and ritual guides for parishes with the intent of having those in your hands by the end of next week.  I will be hosting a virtual gathering about this on Monday, January 29 from 1-2pm. An invite will be included with the email with the formal guidelines.
  • There is still time for couples celebrating their 25th, 40th, or 50+ year wedding anniversary to register for the annual Silver and Gold Anniversary Mass which will be offered via livestream on Sunday, June 28 at 10am (Deadline is June 22).
  • The annual process for awarding grants from the Lay Continuing Education and Formation Endowment Fund is now open. Details and forms are available at https://portlanddiocese.org/olff/leadership/lay-continuing-ed-grants . Applications are due by July 20.

Diocesan Faith Formation Updates for Week of June 8 - 12

  • 2020 Virtual Youth Convention will be live from 10am-12n Sunday, July 26 with an option to access a recording for use in gathering with youth at a later date. Check out the website for details about the schedule, cost (free), registration, and downloadable promo materials. Contact Shawn Gregory with questions or to “register” your parish group
  • Bishop Deeley announced Thursday that parishes can begin planning for initiating the Elect and candidates for Full Communion as well as Catholic Teens and Adults who were already prepared to celebrate those Sacraments this Spring. We are still finalizing a few of the protocols for celebrating in the current situation so watch your email early next week for the final guidelines. The intent is that these celebrations take place by September 1. Confirmation/First Communion liturgies for children are still on hold until after Labor Day.
  • The annual process for awarding grants from the Lay Continuing Education and Formation Endowment Fund is now open. Details and forms are available at https://portlanddiocese.org/olff/leadership/lay-continuing-ed-grants . Applications are due by July 20.
  • National happenings of note:
    • Encourage learners ages 7-13 to take part in Catholic Extension’s “Summer of Stories” Creative Writing Program . The website has guides for writing and also offers a chance to submit a story by June 26th to be considered for making into a video.
    • June 19 marks “Juneteenth” the oldest national celebration of the ending of slavery in the United States. You can learn more about the significance of the Juneteenth celebration here or find resources to continue the work of overcoming racism and whatever devalues the life of any person here.
    • June 22-29 is national Religious Freedom Week: For the Good of All. The USCCB offers resource in English and Spanish for each day.

I echo Bishop Deeley’s Pentecost homily calling Catholics in Maine to action in confronting the sin of racism. You can find several resources to help address this for yourself and in your faith communities on the USCCB webpage Combatting Racism. The National Association of Family Life Ministers is also hosting a Facebook Live Stations of the Cross: Overcoming Racism at 3pm ET on June 5.

Diocesan Faith Formation Updates  from the Week of June 1-4

  • Thanks to all who were part of the virtual gatherings in May. We learned a lot from one another and gleaned support and new ideas in the sharing. For June and July the OLFF staff will offer “Virtual Office Hours” on Tuesday afternoons (1-2pm) and Thursday mornings (9:30 – 10:30 am). We will start the time with prayer then spend time with one another talking about what is going on in parishes and how to support one another. Please drop in when you have questions, need a boost from our community of leaders, or have an idea to share. OLFF will still send out a weekly update email to summarize any significant diocesan developments, though will only be sending out calendar invites if there is an urgent need for the community to come together.
  • At the end of next week Shawn plans to open registration for the virtual 2020 Youth Convention on the morning of Sunday, July 26. Details about the conference schedule, cost, registration, and group gatherings will be shared at a meeting for leaders on Wednesday, June 10 starting at 6pm.
  • Last week I shared diocesan guidelines for resuming faith formation this summer. The CDC also has visual decision tree and considerations for youth sports that highlight health and safety considerations that inform diocesan guidance.
  • Bishop Deeley along with the USCCB are still awaiting guidance from the Vatican about how to safely anoint as an essential element of the Sacrament of Confirmation. This info is needed before we offer more guidance and timelines for resuming initiation than baptizing children.

 


 

Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the Week of May 25-28

+ Parishes have the option to resume on-site faith formation offerings at parishes in June. Please click for the current guidelines and protocols. These same consideration will likely be part of planning for fall programming as well. NOTE: Many people will still not feel comfortable gathering in groups so always plan for an alternative way for the essential learning, especially related to sacramental preparation. It is also okay for a parish to decide it is unable to provide on-site programming this summer.

+ Encourage couples celebrating their 25th, 40th or 50+ year wedding anniversary to register for the annual Silver and Gold Anniversary Mass which will be offered via livestream on Sunday, June 28 at 10am

+ The Youth Convention is moving to a virtual format. The CYLT is working out details for an engaging experience that will include livestream Mass with Bishop Deeley at 10am on July 26. More details coming soon.

+ OLFF staff will begin working from the Chancery a few days a week starting June 1. The building is still not open to the public.

+ The Chancery is operating on a summer schedule of working 10 hour days Monday-Thursday through Labor Day. This means the weekly email update will come on Thursdays throughout the summer.

+ Past weekly updates and tip sheets from virtual gatherings are available here

 

Virtual Opportunities during Week of June 1-4

  • Click to complete survey to help shape OLFF summer offerings (open until 10am June 2)
  • Wednesday, June 3 (1-1:45pm) Leader Check-in Time with OLFF (Lifesize OLFF room)
  • National resources
    • Tuesday, June 2 (2pm)  Renew International "Creation at the Crossroads"-Online Group Faith Sharing breaking open Laudato Si'”  Click to register
    • Wednesday, June 3 (2-3 pm) TeamRCIA Community Chat “Year-round Mystagogy” Click to register
    • On Demand webinar recordings from Ave Maria Press Professional Development
    • On Demand webinar recordings from National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM)
    • On Demand podcasts from Ascension Press

Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the Week of May 18-22

  • We are awaiting further guidance for the CDC and the state to determine if and when parishes can offer VBS or other faith formation groups at parish sites
  • The Youth Convention is moving to a virtual format. The CYLT is working out details for an engaging experience that will include livestream Mass with Bishop Deeley at 10am on July 26. More details coming soon.
  • The May edition of the OLFF Newsletter is available here
  • Diocesan offices closed Monday, May 25 for Memorial Day; OLFF staff begins summer schedule of working Monday-Thursday through Labor Day

Resources from Virtual Gathering Opportunities during Week of May 26-29


Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the Week of  May 11-15

+ The diocese relaunched the “Joy of the Family” initiative, a celebration of the gift and vocation of marriage and family. Each week from May 8 through mid-August a new set of prayers, readings, and activities will be posted online www.portlanddiocese.org/Rediscovering-Joy-Family and included in the weekly mailing from Dave Guthro (Communications Office)
+ Invite people to join in a Novena for Young Adults prayed May 22-30 by sharing this link https://portlanddiocese.org/olff/novena-young-adults or connecting through the Young Adult Catholics in Maine Facebook page
+ While Bishop Deeley is anticipating parishes reopening for public mass in June with 50 or fewer gathered, he is not yet allowing for other group gatherings, including faith formation or sacramental prep

Resources from Virtual Gathering Opportunities during Week of May 18-22

+ Monday, May 18: Ministry Focus Group on Summer Offerings  Notes

+ Wednesday, May 20 (2-3:15pm): Tech Tutorial: Storytelling using YouTube; Focus Topic: Revisiting evangelization
   o Suggested reading: article “Your Brain on Storytelling;” General Directory for Catechesis Part One; Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization) especially #44-47, 54; Living as Missionary Disciples, p9-19; selected quotes from Christus vivit; article “Five Circles of Evangelization
   o Suggested media: Word on Fire video “Effective Catechesis” focusing on evangelization; video “Outreach to the Unaffiliated


Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the Week of May 4-8

+ Totus Tuus program cancelled for summer 2020 with plans to be back in 2021
+ Diocese issued guidance for how to safely baptize children during the Covid-19 outbreak
+ Novena for Young Adults is in development; prayers and registration ready next week to begin novena on May 22 and end on Pentecost
+ NCCL is offering their national conference for catechetical leaders Witness 2020 virtually May 13-15 and May 19-21; click for details (only $75 to participate)
+The National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers is offering free membership through October 1. Email nacflm@gmail.com for information

Resourcese Virtual Gathering Opportunities during Week of May 11-15
+ Monday, May 11 (1-2pm): Ministry Focus Group on RCIA Notes (coming soon)
+ Wednesday, May 13 (2-3:15pm): Tech Tutorial: Social Networking Using Facebook; Focus Topic: Revisiting partnering with parents
   o Suggested reading: General Directory for Catechesis #221, 226-227, 255; Familiaris Consortio (The Church at the Service of the Family) especially #52-53; Amoris Laetitia (On Love in the Family); draft Diocese of Portland Social Media Guidelines
   o Suggested media: recording of media conference introducing Amoris Laetitia – the Joy of Love; NFCYM video Message of Hope: Transformation and Renewal;  Strong Catholic Families, Strong Catholic Youth recorded webinar “What Can We Do With Our Families?” (you will need to enter name/email address to watch the recording), NFCYM recorded webinar “Ministry Amidst a Crisis COVID 19 and Ministering to and with the Young Church and Their Families


Diocesan Faith Formation Updates from the Week of April 27-May 1

+ Bishop Deeley created a video message for children whose confirmation/first communion celebrations are postponed click to view the message. The message includes suggestions for what families/parishes might do to help them continue to prepare over the summer.
+ The tip sheet for Video Conferencing with Lifesize is available below
+ Judy Michaud retired April 30 after serving as a catechetical leader on the parish, region, and diocesan levels for 23 years. We are thankful for her faithful and joyful presence and will miss her on the OLFF team. The hiring for a new team member is currently on hold due to the coronavirus crisis.

Resources from Virtual Gathering Opportunities during Week of May 4-8

+ Monday, May 4 (1-2pm): Ministry Focus Group on connecting with Young Adults

+ Wednesday, May 6 (2-3:15pm): Tech Tutorial: Active listening using Microsoft Teams; Focus Topic: Navigating “what’s next” – the pastoral care of helping people deal with pandemic and grieving different kinds of loss
     o Suggested reading: Harvard Business Review article “That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief
     o Suggested media: Ave Maria Press webinar recording “Tending to Grieving Hearts: Insights on Listening Well”, NFCYM webinar recording “Stress Management Tips for Teens and Parents during COVID-19 w/Gabriella Silva” and related handout “Stress Management Tips
     o From Tech Tutorial: Active Listening Infographic and video "Improve your listening skills with active listening" from MindTools; Microsoft Teams Quick Start Guide

 


 

Resources shared:
Video Conference Etiquette https://www.staplesconnect.com/articles/2020/04/20/video-conference-etiq...

Lifesize Video Conferencing Tips pdf

Video Conferencing Privacy helps web-article

Virtual Gathering Opportunities during Week of April 27-May 1 (Lifesize OLFF meeting room)


Reflection guide for April 8 Holy Week Mini Retreat


April 1 & 2, 2020

Click to view full video of April 1 gathering with Bishop Deeley.
Be sure to watch Bishop Deeley's opening remarks and the segment from 47:00-51:00 where he responds to a question about why God would allow something like this pandemic to happen.

OLFF Updates

3 Key Points about Faith Formation from Home
+ Supporting regular people living their faith in casual settings (not trying to duplicate same instruction that happens in parish settings)
    - About atmosphere and practices in the home that lay foundations of faith, for example Please, Thank you, I’m sorry (Pope Francis)
    - Encourage people to reach out, share with others
+ Pray in some way every day
    - Pray as you can, not as you can’t (traditional prayers before complex devotions; listen in silence; specific times)
    - Pray as a family/home – meals, night blessing, livestream Sunday Mass
    - Let children/others see you pray on your own
+Talk about faith
   - Read the bible
   - Put faith objects in prominent place to invite conversation
   - Explore faith-related questions or interests

Adult/child ratio in virtual faith formation or youth ministry settings
+ Same guidelines as in physical church spaces with attention to safety when online
+ parents/guardians aware of interaction and purpose
+ 2 adults present/available to the gathering
+ limit access to groups with unique login info and/or password(avoid using Zoom if possible)
+ record live sessions
+ consider using Circle of Grace lessons on cyber safety & related Virtus bulletins

Wrote Child-friendly Acts of Spiritual Communion for example
child's act of spiritual communion

Confirmation/ First Communion Prep and Celebrations
+ Memo and celebration notes going out from Msgr Dubois this week
+ Focus on activities in Sacrament Prep Parent Handbooks
+ Hold Spring schedule “lightly” – reassure families will not delay celebration longer than necessary for health & safety

 

From April 2 LFFA Webinar on Blended Learning

What is Blended Learning? 

  • Blended learning includes text as well as digital resources that are integral to the learning and the program. Blended learning incorporates a connected set of tools to make the lesson run as smoothly as possible.
  • Blended learning realizes that there are many different places in which learning can happen and using them to enhance learning and do formation
    • For example students can watch a video from home and the catechist can touch upon it at the next gathered session.
  • Blended learning is about the individual learner, while also engaging the parent and the school.
  • Blended learning provides the learners with the opportunity to witness to their faith and to echo what they see and learn in their faith formation classes.

Free Resources available from Sadlier

  • Links posted on https://portlanddiocese.org/sites/default/files/files/SadlierConnect_How_to_%20Flyer%20English.pdf
  • Sadlier is making their resources free until the end of the school year.Click on the above link to learn more.
  • Some cool resources include:
    • E-books (We Believe Books)
    • Saddlier Connect for Families Webinar
    • Saddlier Connect for Catechists and Leaders Webinar
    • This Weeks Liturgy (daily Mass readings taken from the USCCB)
      • Also includes different activities for primary and upper level grades
    • Lives of the Saints
      • Features segments such as what the world was like during the saints time, who is he/she, and what he/she means to us today?
    • Gather in My Name
      • Provides intergenerational events/handouts
    • Catholic Identity Links
      • Provides a list of 52 Virtues/Values of Disciples
        • Parents can choose a virtue of the week to talk about at home
        • Parents can hang up a virtue poster on the fridge
      • The 52 Virtues/Values of Disciples is available in Spanish.

March 25, 2020

Themes from all three gatherings

  • Mass and Faith Formation are still happening.  They are just happening differently than we are used to and that is ok. 
  • Keep whatever you are sending home simple.  This is a stressful time for all of us, and especially for parents who may be working. 
  • Gently coax people into tuning into the livestream Masses at the time that they are being held and not just watch a recording at some other time.
  • Remind families to do the things that a domestic Church should do.  Pray together and remember sacrifice of the Cross
  • Place an emphasis on the value of family
  • There seems to be a new appreciation for what catechists do.
  • Encourage people, if they can, to give financially. If they cannot give monetarily ask them to pray for the well-being of their parish, for those who have Covid 19 and an end to Covid 19.
  • As Christians we know there is resurrection and there is hope! There is so much good happening in the Church in Maine despite these challenging circumstances

OLFF Updates

  • Gathered Faith Formation is suspended until after April 27th since public and Catholic schools are keeping their buildings closed until at least then. 
  • The Light is On You campaign is cancelled. 
  • Holy Week celebrations will be private with the Chrism Mass postponed to a future date yet to be determined; A list of resources to help you make the most of Holy Week  and how to engage in the liturgies will be provided shortly.
  • Governor Mills recommends that anyone who can do their work remotely should do; employees should discuss with their supervisor or pastor to determine possibilities
  • Roy Petitfils made a special video message for the youth of Maine
  • Project YM is hosting virtual events for Teens on Sundays at 8pm.  Parishes must register for teens to participate
  • As of right now the Diocese of Portland Maine is still planning on attending the Faith Forum in August.  However, our attendance will depend on how things play out with Covid 19. 
  • Send any resources to share to Lori or pictures of what you/parish families are doing to Dave Guthro.  Resources will be uploaded to the OLFF Covid 19 resource webpage https://portlanddiocese.org/olff/covid19-home-leaders

Examples shared of what parishes around the Diocese are doing

Parish of the Holy Eucharist

  • calling faith formation families and those who need calls to check in and see how they are doing in faith formation. Georgette Dionne shared a phone script to help start conversation
  • sending the family formation weekly lessons and the reflection questions home to families for them to discuss 
  • a mother and daughter duo decided on their own to record themselves praying a Children’s Version of the Stations of the Cross

Prince of Peace

  • livestreaming daily Mass and Stations of the Cross
  • livestreaming roundtable discussions with parish priests and allowing parishioners to join and make suggestions

St.Paul the Apostle

  • livestreaming March 26 Lenten evening of reflection.
  • Using video to connect with families

Bates College Campus Ministry considering “Pine Sunday” instead of Palm Sunday.

Notre Dame Du Mont Carmel

  • Sent home coloring sheets that people can post in their window as a reminder of their Catholic faith
  • Mailed a letter to homes reminding families about the importance of prayer within families and how important it is to acknowledge God especially during this Lenten season, and also emphasized the fact that Fr. Alex and Fr. Jim are livestreaming daily Mass.

St. Mary, Houlton hosting a parent check in using Lifesize for a virtual meeting

Good Shepherd

  • calling parishioners that they know asking if/how they can pray for and with them and checking in.  Then they will call the people they do not know and establish a friendship with them and check in on them too.
  • Reaching out to the Young Families group to meet virtually, including families who have moved away from Maine.
  • Fr. Morin creating list of fun things to do during Quarantine as well as livestreaming Mass and Adoration

Corpus Christi

OTHER TOPICS DISCUSSED

Sacraments/RCIA, Triduum and the Easter season

  • Celebration of Initiation Sacrament will resume once it is safe to resume public celebrations of Mass, with the exception of a candidate in immediate danger of death (schedule is TBD based on conditions in the state)
  • Bishop Deeley has issued a dispensation from needing to celebrate the Scrutinies for this year due to the Covid 19 outbreaks. You can still invite the Elect to reflect on all three of the scrutinies with their godparents or catechists or as a virtual group. Team RCIA offers some ideas
  • Sacramental preparation is extended
  • gives a natural opportunity to gathering after the celebration to do mystagogy rather than doing all formation “up front”
  • Take time to reflect on the symbols and gifts of the sacrament(s) they are preparing to receive
  • parents can show a film on the Sacraments and can discuss key talking points
  • Highlight those aspects of family life that correlate with the Sacrament the person will be receiving
  • Remind candidates and families that learning about the faith and the fullness of the Sacraments is a lifelong journey
  • Emphasize activities families can do together to celebrate Holy Week such as a foot washing service with a brief about service, share a nice meal on Holy Thursday to connect the family to the Last Supper, place a Crucifix in a place of prominence on Good Friday, make additional sacrifices etc. 

Confession: Priest are being creative in offer safe opportunities for the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation such as drive-thru confessionals or spaces in a church parking lot

Reaching Out to College Students or Young Adults

  • Emphasize attending livestreamed Masses at the time that they are actually happening.
  • Reaching out to them with daily emails checking in on them.
  • Providing them with resources for prayer
  • Perhaps sending them a faith-based podcast (Ruah storytellers podcast)
  • Inviting them to a livestreamed liturgy of the Hours
  • Make yourself available to them such as through ongoing group chat or  Zoom meetings to pray the Divine Mercy and catch up, play a quarantine game like “make a quarantine playlist”
  • If you see/hear that they need resources connect them with parish social ministry

Technology/Resources

  • You can set up Lifesize using the parish account from home; meeting capacity of 100 members per meeting.  The drawback to this is that you are not able to see everyone in the conference. 
  • Check out Roy Petitfils’ NFCYM webinar on accompanying families with teenagers while Social Distancing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40eszoI2sSQ&feature=youtu.be)
  • Pope Francis will be doing a Urbi et Orbi Blessing on Friday, March 27, at 1pm (EST).  Invite people to participate
  • Field Hospital Catechesis book by Nick Wagner

 


March 18, 2020

Thank you to the 30+ people who gathered on Wednesday and all those who expressed a desire to meet but could not. Your commitment to serve the parishes in Maine and ability to see hope in the midst of challenge are inspirational! At the end of this email you will find highlights from the virtual gatherings. Three key messages from the OLFF are:

  1. In this early stage of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic’s  impact on parish life, be gentle with yourself and families. Breathe. Ground yourself in Christ. Take a few days to adjust to the situation. Our work is important while also not carrying the same urgency now that mass and all parish gatherings are suspended.
  2. We continue to support one another, making ourselves available to you as individuals and as a group. We created a resource page for you at https://portlanddiocese.org/olff/covid19-home-leaders. We will also continue to host virtual gatherings on Wednesdays. Next Monday I will send out the invites for the recurring meetings. Join in whenever it works for you.
  3. Most of the Chancery staff is now working from home for at least the next two weeks. We can still reach us through email and voicemail. We suggest that you keep Microsoft TEAMS open during your working hours to make it easier to make audio or video calls to OLFF staff, especially if you want help working through a complex situation or simply want some real-time human interaction.

Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us!
Lori Dahlhoff, EdD, Director of Lifelong Faith Formation

Highlights from Sharing in the March 18 Virtual PCLs Gatherings

+ Remember this is new for everyone! We are all learning so expect things to not go smoothly right away; be patient with the mistakes; be forgiving of one another as we try out different ways of being present to one another as the Body of Christ

+ Resist the urge to fill up all the newly un-committed time with other activities. Being forced to stop our usual busy lives can be a time to wait on God and listen without other distractions.

+ Help families claim their natural abilities to love, care, and share as the “domestic church,” especially since we cannot gather in parish buildings right now

+ Offer non-screen or digital-free activities for kids since many are already receiving there day school that way

+ Reach out to one another to bounce off ideas for connecting with families and taking care of our neighbors

+ Recognize that it may be 8 to 20 weeks before we can resume former ways of gathering for Mass, fellowship, or learning. Individuals and families are going to need different kids of support and resources the longer social distancing involves closed schools, churches, and businesses

+ Those with a portlanddiocese.org email address already have access to video conferencing tools through TEAMS and Lifesize. Please reach out to Lori or to Michael Moore if you would like help in setting up accounts or practicing with these tools.

+ Email the OLFF with the creative ways you are connecting and serving parishioners. We will share them through the resource page https://portlanddiocese.org/olff/covid19-home-leaders