Parish Programs

Scripture, read and prayed, on a sustained, daily basis, has the power to transform the human heart and convert the human person to Jesus Christ. One proven method to grow in faith is through the practice of Lectio Divina (Sacred Reading).

Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the faithful: “I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of ‘lectio divina’: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart” (c.f. Dei Verbum, n. 25).

We encourage you to personally invite and gather a small group of friends (in your home or a welcoming place) each week to discuss the Sunday readings. We invite you to use Sharing in Faith: Growing in Holiness, a method of lectio divina created for R.C.I.A. and small faith-sharing groups from the Archdiocese of Dubuque Office of Worship:

Listed below are programs suitable for parish use. Feel free to contact the Office of Adult Faith Formation for more information or check the Archdiocesan Education Resource Center for the following resources or additional resources to suit your particular need:

Pope Francis and the Joy of the Gospel: Rediscovering the Heart of the Disciple by Dr. Edward Sri: “It unpacks The Joy of the Gospel, making it accessible and actionable. In these brief reflections, Sri explores Pope Francis’ call to be “missionary disciples”-Christians who walk ever more closely in discipleship with the Lord and who have a profound sense of mission in the world. Great for use by individuals or groups, each chapter concludes with questions for reflection or discussion, moving readers into a renewed personal relationship with Christ and a deepened commitment to the Church’s mission.”

The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) with Study Guide by the Word Among Us: “Your parish or small group can be ready to take up Pope Francis’ challenge by meeting together to study and discuss this groundbreaking document. The study guide included in our edition contains 41 questions, broken down by chapter, so it will provide plenty of stimulation for reflection and discussion.”

Arise Together in Christ by RENEW International: “ARISE Together in Christ is a three-year, parish-centered process of spiritual renewal and evangelization that enables people to deepen their faith, develop a closer relationship with Christ, grow in community, and reach out in service to others. It emphasizes people living in good relationship with one another, as they make concrete applications of the gospel to their life situations.” (RENEW also offers Advent and Lenten programs, plus Theology on Tap).

Awakening Faith; Seeking Christ; Living the Eucharist: Paulist Evangelization Ministries: On behalf of the wider Church and the Paulist Fathers, the mission of Paulist Evangelization Ministries is to develop effective methods for inviting people to believe in Jesus Christ as Catholics or to become active again in the Catholic faith, and to equip Catholics with the tools to further this invitation.”

Believe; Signs and Wonders; Connection to Christ, the Way by Evangelical Catholic: Forming Disciples. Training Leaders: “The Evangelical Catholic Ministry Model is comprised of Small Groups, Large Groups, One-on-One Groups, and Discipleship Training Groups. The 4 Gs each have their own unique character and set of strengths. Together, they create a web of opportunity, in which members of your community can be evangelized, established and equipped by skilled workers.”

Catholicism; Priest, Prophet, King; Conversion, Following the Call of Christ: Rev. Robert Barron. “Fr. Barron’s DVDs are used as powerful faith formation tools in universities, schools, churches and homes around the country. The series includes Seven Deadly Sins, Seven Lively VirtuesConversion: Following the Call of Christ; and Untold Blessing: Three Paths to Holiness.”

Dynamic Catholic Parish Book Program: Parishes have the opportunity to purchase Catholic books at a bulk rate of two or three dollars per book. As a means of the New Evangelization, parishes are encouraged to give these books after Christmas, Easter, or Ash Wednesday Masses.

Good News People: Faith, Hope, and Love in Action: “The GoodNewsPeople program is a dynamic parish-wide faith formation program of JustFaith Ministries that offers a way to promote the New Evangelization. Through an engaging small-group process of prayer, reflection, and action, GoodNewsPeople explores and deepens our call to discipleshipGoodNewsPeople is a fourteen-session program (seven sessions, break, seven sessions) designed for multiple small groups within a parish.”

Life After Sunday: “Life After Sunday (an online offering) can help provoke a new sense of wonder and friendship in small groups. ‘The Christian life has this joyfulness of spirit, a joyfulness of heart,” says Pope Francis. “This is why when we desire to have a little party of our own which is not a great feast, it does not do. Jesus is the bridegroom…who gives his life for the Church. May the Lord give us, to all of us, the grace always to have this joy, as if we were attending a wedding’” (Homily, Sept. 6, 2013).

Oremus: A Catholic Guide to Prayer by Fr. Mark Toups: “In this eight-part DVD series, Fr. Mark Toups guides you through the simple, yet profound steps to an effective and fruitful prayer life. You will discover how God speaks to you, even in the smallest encounters. Following the Tradition of the Catholic Church and the wisdom of the saints, you will learn how to express yourself to God in prayer, and how to hear his voice.”

Ten Gifts of the Catholic Faith: Archdiocese of Dubuque: Ten faith formation sessions, based on witnesses from men, women, and teens around the Archdiocese of Dubuque, are available online for small or large group presentation and discussion. What’s your favorite gift? Who did you recognize in the witness videos?

That Man is You!: Becoming a Man after God’s Own Heart, Men’s Program: “That Man is You! is an interactive, multimedia men’s program focused upon the development of authentic male leadership. Over the course of three years, That Man is You! successively considers men in their relationship to God, to their spouse and to their children.”

The Holy Year of Mercy: A Faith-Sharing Guide with Reflections by Pope Francis by Word Among Us: Eight sessions with questions for reflection and discussion, plus an action step that can be used to grow in the practice and understanding of God s mercy.” Order in paperback or Kindle:

The Journey Part I: My Encounter with Jesus: New Six Week Faith-Sharing Program by Paulist Evangelization Ministries: “Through the six sessions of The Journey parishioners and their friends can refresh and renew their intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. The sessions, lasting 90 minutes, are user-friendly and easily evoke a sense of spirituality and prayer.”  Available in Spanish.

The Wild Goose: This stunningly beautiful video series reflects on the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Fr. Dave Pivonka, a Franciscan of the Sacred Heart, engages the viewer as he speaks passionately about the Holy Spirit, “who can’t be tamed.” All videos and discussion guides are available online, at no cost, or may be purchased as a DVD set.  It may be used alone in the comfort of your own home, or when gathering as a small group.

Walking with Purpose: Enabling Women to know Christ through Scripture, Women’s Program by Lisa Brenninkmeyer: “Walking with Purpose aims to bring women to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ by offering personal study and small group discussion that link our everyday challenges and struggles with the solutions given to us through the teachings of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church.”

Walking Toward Eternity by Jeff Cavins: “Walking Toward Eternity combines devotional reading of Scripture (lectio divina), personal journaling, group discussion, video commentary, personal witness, and prayer. All of these components serve to illustrate what it means to be a Christian. You will discover how to live out your faith by turning to Scripture and the teachings of the Church, learning practical steps for living a life of holiness and virtue.”