Launch The "School Of Faith"
The mission of the School of Faith is to provide ongoing doctrinal and spiritual formation for Catholic school teachers through programs that stress the call to prayer, virtue and holiness of life. This formation not only benefits the teachers themselves, but also equips them to build a solid Catholic environment in our schools.
$346,424 Distributed to Date
Funds from the campaign allowed this program to launch in the 2013-14 school year in five of our urban schools. For 2014-15, it expanded to all urban schools and Columbus Catholic schools. More than 950 teachers and administrators in 36 schools are involved. Next year, all archdiocesan schools will participate.
Facilitated by qualified instructors, teachers, staff and administrators come together once a month for a half-day session to learn about the Catholic faith, discuss real-world challenges and focus on personal faith formation.
The campaign will fund three years of the program for every archdiocesan elementary and secondary school. After the initial three years, we will evaluate to confirm that it is worthy of continued funding.
Offer Advanced Training To
Catechists And Parish Ministers
To be a catechist is a blessed calling and one worthy of the Church's support and resources. The Archdiocese of Omaha offers faith formation and training to parish religious education directors, youth ministers, catechists and others interested in learning more about our faith.
$61,928 Distributed to Date
"We want to support everyone engaged in parish catechesis," said Bill Beckman, director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. "Leaders in adult Bible studies, parish staff and volunteers, all can make an effort to do this."
The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis is utilizing Ignite the Faith funds to support a variety of programs including:
Support Our Parish
Youth Ministry Programs
The archdiocese will partner with parishes to provide assistance for youth ministry programs, whether to launch new programs or enhance existing offerings and will focus on three areas:
$52,877 Distributed to Date
YDisciple is a new youth ministry initiative that addresses the need for more parishes to offer formal youth ministry programs. YDisciple is designed to call youth into deep and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ through a process of dynamic formation, mentoring from adult leaders, including parents, and small group relationships. Ten parishes – five rural and five urban – are currently participating in the pilot phase of YDisciple and another five to seven parishes will participate in fall 2015, said Jen Moser, Archdiocese of Omaha's coordinator of Youth Ministry.
One of the parishes involved in the pilot program is St. Mary in West Point. Parishioners Cassie and Andy Guenther heard about the program at a presentation and approached their pastor, Fr. Gerry Gonderinger, about implementing it at St. Mary. They got the go-ahead and were amazed by the success from the start.
Cassie said that the youth ministry program at their parish usually had about 30 students participating. But when the YDisciple program was launched in August 2014 more than 60 youth attended the kickoff and that number has remained steady. "The response has been overwhelming," said Cassie. "The kids and leaders are so committed. They want to be spiritually fed because they keep coming back week after week." Students are divided into small groups led by adult leaders – 22 volunteers from the parish – and meet weekly to deepen their faith. The YDisciple program provides a curriculum, videos and other resources to facilitate small-group discussion and activities.
Cassie said the Ignite the Faith funds helped pave the way for their parish to launch YDisciple, since it removed the barriers of cost. "We could focus on finding good adult leaders instead of raising money," she said.