Summer Outreach: Finding and Inviting The Marginal and Unaffiliated Families in Your Area - Tom Quinlan, Diocese of Joliet
If there ever was a time that we could sit back and assume that everyone with children of catechetical age will find a local Catholic parish and get their children into the religious education program, that time is long past. Today, we have to be intentional, strategic and, yes, aggressive in our outreach to Catholic families and, indeed, all in our community.
I encourage you, the parish catechetical leader, to look at the summer as prime time to take practical action steps to raise awareness to the catechetical program you oversee and to connect relationally with parents. Here are some practical things you can do:
Summer really is a time for outreach. The plan for having strong participation in your religious education program should begin in earnest in the spring. But summer is key to bringing back those “iffy” families and bringing in those disconnected families.
Please consider how you can take practical steps in June and July to strengthen your program’s numbers for next year. You work very hard to build and guide a fine catechetical program. Having more families participating in it will be a blessing in so many ways. Our marginal families are the very people Jesus requires us to love back into the Body of Christ. And you (and those you involve and empower) are in a position to do just that!