Some of you are aware of this effort. One reader suggested it would be a valuable topic for a post. I confess I’m not even sure where to begin. But I’d like to start a series of posts on Generations of Faith, lensed through my participation as a staff member, a liturgist, and as a parent of a participating family at my parish.
As I offer these perspectives, I urge your own participation through the comment boxes. Do you use Generations of Faith in your own parish? Or perhaps something similar?
As I’ve attended various workshops and been involved in three years’ of implementation, GOF strikes me as a well-tested, well-organized effort to introduce something that has been missing from Catholic parish culture for the past several decades: the all-inclusive, intergenerational approach of old ethnic parishes and small-town communities.
I see this as a great effort to swim against the current of contemporary secular culture, and even against the drifting mainstream of Catholicism. Too many Catholic schools have bought into the culture of sport and elitism. Masses have become ghetto-ized into conflicting rather than cooperating specialty groups. Suburbanites have forsaken community involvement and personal commitment for a “You-will-service-us” approach with their large parish.
GOF would be one piece of the puzzle to restore something of a community orientation to parish life. As such, I cannot endorse the effort highly enough. Or recommend you and your parish address the issue in your own community in some significant way.
I think the tried-and-not-so-true religious ed courses of parish schools and “CCD” are pretty much spent themselves out. “CCD” worked when it was driven by a core of dedicated and insightful catechists. Parish school worked when they were part of the center (and not the center) of a Catholic culture that also included a generations-wide embrace of worship, social life, and “Catholic action,” or charity.
In this series, I’d like to explore opportunities within contemporary Catholicism. Obviously, my experience with large parishes will color my presentation. Just as obviously, I would like to point out where Catholic neo-conservatives might be missing the boat when they do not sign on with and endorse GOF. Lastly, I hope your commentary in the boxes will give me some needed corrective where my own limited experiences run up against reality as lived elsewhere.
Meanwhile, anybody else in commentsville doing GOF? And what would you like to see discussed in the days and posts ahead?