Parish Faith Formation
The Diocese of Manchester, Parish Faith Formation, is committed to supporting life-long faith formation to our parishes, children, youth and families.
Through prayer, study, and professional development we invite people to a personal and intentional relationship with Jesus Christ.
Once again NET is coming to the Diocese of Manchester, and offering twenty possible retreat dates between October 23 and November 15. NET conducts junior high, senior high, Confirmation, and mixed-age retreats. They provide a variety of retreat themes, dramatic skits, and music, making every retreat a unique and Catholic experience. While the theme varies, the message is always the same: “In Jesus Christ, the son of God made man, who died and rose from the dead, salvation is offered to all, as a gift of God’s grace and mercy.” (Evangelization in the Modern World, Pope Paul VI) NET retreats are a great component to integrate into your existing Catholic youth program, Parish/School Programs, and Youth Nights.
If your parish or school would like to request a visit from the NET team, please submit a Retreat Interest Form by May 4th. The form is available online here.
The 50 Days of Easter
The Longest Liturgical Season in the Catholic Church
In western Christianity, the Easter Season, begins on Easter Sunday and lasts seven weeks, ending with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday.
The Catholic Church refers to the period from Easter Sunday through Divine Mercy Sunday as the Octave of Easter (8 days). It is an especially joyful time. Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, the Octave Day of Easter.
The Easter Season continues from Divine Mercy Sunday through Pentecost Sunday, sharing a full seven weeks of Easter Sunday!
The links below offer creative ways to continue our Easter Season celebration.
For Children & Family
Activities for the Easter Season
For Teens & Family
Lectio Divina for the Easter Season
For more projects that you and your family can do for Pentecost, check out the book Before and After Easter: Activities and Ideas for Lent to Pentecost by Debbie Trafton O’Neal.
How might you help your youth explore the themes of Pentecost and metaphors for the movement of the Spirit? Here are a few simple ideas to get you thinking:
- Balloons - Invite youth to blow up red balloons, but don't tie them. Use sharpies to write prayers on the balloons or perhaps gifts of the Spirit that they possess or that they see in the group. On cue, have everyone release their balloons and enjoy the moment of mayhem as they fly all over the room. Invite them to reflect on how this might be like the movement of God's Spirit.
- Paper airplanes - Invite youth to make their favorite paper airplanes and then go outdoors and let them fly! Reflect on how the different styles and flight paths of the airplanes can be like the diversity of gifts we possess and the way the Spirit works through them.
- Music - Invite youth into a moment of unplanned and unpredictable spontaneous music-making. If you have handbells or chimes, give each person one and have them begin to ring, working together until the sounds blend into something harmonious. Reflect on how this is like allowing the Spirit to work through the diversity of the gifts we have to share. (If you don't have bells on hand, get really creative and head to the church kitchen and grab pots, pans, wooden spoons, etc.).
- Wind - Cut strips of fabric and invite youth to use markers to decorate them with words and images representing the gifts that help them participate in Gods' mission of love and peace. Next, tie the strips of cloth to the grill on the front of a box fan and turn it on. As your new kinetic sculpture flutters away, reflect on how it represents the themes of Pentecost.
- Trust walk - Try an old fashioned trust walk by pairing up youth. One is blindfolded and leads the other on a random walk and then they switch places and walk back. Reflect on the experience and what it would mean for us to just trust the movement of God's Spirit in the work of the Church.
Restore, Renew Proclaim: the Hope that is Christ
The Diocese of Manchester has launched a new initiative for strengthening and renewing lifelong faith formation, known as “Restore, Renew, Proclaim the Hope that is Christ.”