December 2016

December 2016


The rush of Christmas is upon us . . . so frantic, so much fun, and so potentially joyous.

This will be a time when we see many parishioners that we do not see very often throughout the year. It is a time to be especially warm and welcoming. Having some brochures and fliers about follow-up activities in January is a great idea . . . especially for organizing programs to welcome “inactive Catholic” in your parish. Remember, we can always use the Pope Francis effect to our advantage as we welcome and invite in our communities!

In this issue we keep our focus on Young Adults, and the relationship of teen ministry to Young Adult ministry which Fr. Edens explores in the first article. I add a bit about statistics and their capacity to distort our picture of Young Adults in a white paper I submitted for the USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.We also have links to a video on the experience of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids with the powerful effects of The Journey, a webinar I presented on

We also have links to a video on the experience of the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids with the powerful effects of The Journey, a webinar I presented on personal encounter as a parish strategy, and a helpful overview from a Pew presentation on religious participation in the United States.

May the Lord Jesus bless you powerfully during this season and in the new year ahead!

Frank DeSiano, CSP

Young Adult Evangelization & Ministry

By Fr. Bill Edens, CSP

Michal H. is the Archdiocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult ministry. Whatever he invited me to do, I immediately agreed to. He is a wonderfully inspired and organized leader. He is a great role model for me. He selects his team members carefully. He is loyal to them and it is reciprocated. If he chooses you to be part of a team for some youth ministry event consider yourself blessed!

He invited me to be on the planning team and serve as chaplain on the Young Adult Retreat of the archdiocese, two years in a row. I learned a lot about how to talk to young adults and help them grow in their faith. There would always be the evening where we did the “Just Dance” computer game competition. The young adults really get into this, and can go for hours. They are so excited when we adult leaders join in the dance.

The other important element is to love Jesus and to unabashedly show that side of yourself. Young people want to be challenged to live a courageous life of faith. They love having role models.

It was important for me to do some work with teens because they are the future young adults. I needed to know where young adults come from. Michal H. invited me to be part of the planning team and be the chaplain for the Catholic Leadership Institute last summer, which trains teens for leadership in their parish.

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Previous Essays in this series

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Beyond the Numbers

A White Paper about Young Adult Ministry – Developed for the USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth to further the conversation on young adults in the Church today.

By Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

There hardly seems to be a week without another set of numbers about religion in general and Catholics in particular. The wonderful folks at Pew Research survey people all the time, assessing trends about many things, including religion. In the Catholic universe, CARA presents regular data about Catholics, and cohorts within the general Catholic population.

There are many paradoxical things about research into the religious lives of Young Adults. On the one hand, when one uses the category “attendance at Mass regularly,” the picture seems to be quite gloomy. A safe estimate is that only two out of ten Young Adults are involved in regular practice of a faith-whether Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or whatever. At the same time, in spite of this relative non-practice of faith, Catholics hold on to an identity which seems to endure even through relative absence at Mass on Sunday.

For us Catholics, for whom weekly attendance at Mass seems to be both the gold standard and the basic bottom line, this news is drastic. As a result, commentators can draw a rather dire picture of Catholicism among Young Adults . . . and project a dire picture into the future. The rise of the so-called “nones,” (those who answer “none” when asked about religious preference) gives us one more statistical vocabulary item to objectify and worry about. Even so, these dire pictures may be quite distortionary when it comes to describing where Young Adult Catholics are, and even more distortionary when it comes to thinking about what it means to minister to Young Adults.

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The Journey in Grand Rapids, Michigan

The Journey/El Camino is a three-part* small group resource designed to help Catholics today deepen their personal relationship with Christ. Through sharing, videos, and various forms of prayer, participants will reinforce each other as they explore different dimensions of Jesus and grow in their faith.

We have been getting so many calls/emails praising the program, I thought we had to document the program’s success on film. And who better to tell the story of The Journey than actual participants? A small film crew traveled to the Cathedral of Saint Andrew in Grand Rapids, Michigan to capture how the program fostered a sense of missionary discipleship and community within the small groups and parish at-large.

The crew interviewed multiple participants, group leaders, the Adult Faith Formation Director, and Rector Father Ganey. All of those captured on film had honest, life alternating experience with The Journey; but don’t just take my word for it. Click the video below to watch and see why Father Ganey said, “this easy to run program would be a bonanza for any parish.”

It’s easy to use too! Parishes can mix and match the components of The Journey to best fit their needs:

  • Faith-sharing small group materials for adults in English and Spanish
  • Small group materials for teens in English
  • Daily Devotional for participants and parish-wide use
  • Weekly Bulletin Inserts to unite the whole parish
  • Prayer Cards with The Journey prayer
  • The Parish Manual and Leader Guide make it easy for any parish to implement The Journey!
  • This program can be used anywhere, anytime, and for anyone.

I hope you will find this new resource to be an important tool in helping Catholics grow deeper in their faith, and promoting a culture of encounter in our parishes. Watch the video below and click here to learn more about The Journey.

In Christ,

Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

* Part 2 available Winter 2017; Part 3 available Spring 2017.

The Journey in Grand Rapids, MichiganGRVideo
Watch The Journey Experience in Grand Rapids video!
Watch The Journey Experience in Grand Rapids video!

Bring The Journey to your parish today!
Click Here to order your Parish Preview Pack or
call 1.800.435.7116 to place your order over the phone!

Webinar Recordings
Personal Encounter: A New Strategy for Parishes

From December 6th, 2016

“Encounter” has become a key word in evangelization. How can this idea help sharpen and strengthen our ministry as parish communities?

In this webinar, Fr. Frank DeSiano helps us all explore the many dimensions of encounter and how these can be amplified in our parish both for renewal…and also for stronger outreach to the large numbers of people on the periphery of our parish life. Fr. DeSiano combines larger pastoral ideas with practical approaches.

If the U.S. had 100 people: Charting Americans’ religious affiliations

From the Pew Research Center 

As of 2014, there were roughly 245 million adults in the United States, including 173 million Christians and 56 million people without a religious affiliation. These are big numbers that, along with many others in the religious demographic pie, can at times make it difficult to fully understand the American religious landscape.

But what if we looked at this big picture a little differently? What if we imagined the U.S. as a small town, population 100, instead of a continent-spanning nation with hundreds of millions of people? Doing so presents an interesting thought experiment because it allows us to see basic data about the U.S. and its people in a fresh, simple and illuminating way.

The following five charts use data from the 2014 Religious Landscape Study to create a religious demographic profile of the U.S. if the country were made up of exactly 100 adults.

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It’s not too late to bring Living the Eucharist to your Parish for Lent 2017

Reignite faith. Build community. Empower disciples. Bring Living the Eucharist to your parish this Lent – it’s powerful, it’s proven, and it’s affordable for almost every parish.

Start by saving $10 on your Living the Eucharist Parish Starter Kit for Lent 2017. It has everything you need to plan and implement Living the Eucharist this coming Lent.

Learn more about Living the Eucharist here.

Costs as low as $1 per participant.

Living the Eucharist is affordable for almost any parish. In addition to the savings offer, many parishes reduce their costs by asking for small donations from participants. For example, a donation of just $1 per participant per week during Lent ($6 total), can reduce parish costs for small group materials to as little as $100 for 100 adult participants ($1 each)! Learn more about pricing options here.


Order Online here or call 800-435-7116 to place your order over the phone.

New resource for young adult ministry

Young Adults and the Church…

It’s a huge topic of discussion, and also a source of great frustration. Parishes want to reach out, but they don’t know the best way, and they don’t have a model.

The new book, 20s/30s Ministry: A Guide for Parishes, is just the tool you need. Practical, specific, clarifying – this book can guide a parish into beginning and growing a ministry to young adults. Written in the direct, knowing, and clear style of Fr. Nicholas Lombardo, OP, from his own broad experience in Young Adult Ministry, this book can help parishes zero in on basic approaches to this ministry that will work.

Doing this ministry is absolutely necessary today and we hope this book, Co-published with Paulist Press, will help you and your parish as you grow your young adult groups!

Order Here for just $14.95

We have a new look!

You may have noticed our new logo being used recently. The logo is based on the new Paulist Father’s logo, which uses the Paulist “P” as a speech bubble with the Holy Spirit represented as a dove. For our new logo we incorporate this “P” and added the flame for the Holy Spirit in keeping with our current logo.  


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