Event aims to strengthen families’ faith lives


By Celine Klosterman

From the time of a child’s baptism, parents are told they’re to be the primary teachers of his or her faith.

Through an upcoming event, the Diocese of Davenport aims to help them fulfill that responsibility. “Strong Catholic Families: Strong Catholic Youth,” to be held at St. Mary Parish in Solon Oct. 28-29, will teach parish leaders how to train parents in forming children’s faith and explain why that training is important. Parents will have the opportunity to receive the training during the event.

Faith formation programs in parishes and schools are stronger when a family’s home life supports what Catholics learn in those programs, said Pat Finan, diocesan coordinator of faith formation and youth ministry. But some parents’ involvement is limited to what he called the “stop, drop and roll” model:  Stopping at a church or school, dropping off the kids and rolling off to run errands.

Finan noted some parents may not have grown up in a family that offered a model of faith, and Catholics today face more distractions than people did a generation ago. But if parents are given tools to support lessons their children learn in Catholic schools and parishes, families and the Church will benefit, he said.


The Solon event will communicate the reality of teens’ religious beliefs and explain how parents’ faith affects their children; examine the level of partnership between parents, schools and faith formation programs; listen to parents’ needs in the faith formation of children; seek new ways to begin forming young people in their Catholic faith; and illustrate strategies for families’ faith to grow.

The presenter will be Greg “Dobie” Moser, director of youth and young adult ministry in the Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio. “Dobie is just one of the outstanding minds in Catholic youth ministry,” Finan said. “He makes clear what we should be about as educators and parents,” and does so in a humble, funny and understandable way. “He understands what it’s like to raise kids as a parent and as a Catholic.”

Parish priests, directors of religious education, youth ministers, confirmation coordinators and other parish leaders are encouraged to attend the entire event. Moser will model training of parents Oct. 28; Catholic parents are welcome to take part for free.

To register for Oct. 28, Oct. 29 or both dates, visit www.davenportdiocese.org. Potential trainers should attend the entire event. For Oct. 29, the cost is $25 per person ($75 maximum per parish). Parents wishing to attend Oct. 28 only should e-mail Barb Butterworth at butterworthb@davenportdiocese.org. Please include your name, parish, phone number and e-mail address.

Registration deadline is Oct. 25.

Strong Catholic Families: Strong Catholic Youth details

• Thursday, Oct. 28: From 6:30-8:30 p.m., see a training of Catholic parents.

• Friday, Oct. 29: From 9 a.m. to noon, explore the benefits of this program for your parish or school. From 1-4 p.m., learn the skills needed to become a Strong Catholic Families/Strong Catholic Youth trainer.

Call Quality Inn Iowa City, (319) 354-2000 for an Oct. 28 special of $59 for a two-bed room. Mention the event.

The event is sponsored by the National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry and subsidized by the Annual Diocesan Appeal.

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