Well, people, there’s been a long build-up to this and it has been somewhat hectic since I’ve been squeezing it in among everything else… But - finally! - I can let you know that the Confirmation programme I have written will be published and available to buy in early July 2014. It is being published by the wonderful people at Gracewing, and is named after this very blog – “Transformed in Christ”. It is a parish Confirmation programme for young people aged 12-16. You can read more about it at … drumroll … my brand new website - here! - http://www.transformedinchrist.com.
It has been a very long journey to get to this point, mainly because I have been doing it in my spare time. Originally, I wrote the programme for the candidates at Holy Ghost, Balham, and then, after years of piloting in other parishes, gathering feedback, and so much editing we must be on at least the 100th draft, we are there!
So, my blog too is moving over to this new site, and the old site will eventually disappear altogether. I will still be blogging on all areas of evangelisation, catechesis, discipleship… And if you’re a subscriber, you will move automatically to the new site. The conversation about good catechesis continues!
Now, I must tell you in a blushing kind of way, that I am quite proud of this little (well, it is actually quite big) Confirmation programme… I have seen the effects it has had on young people coming to a personal relationship with Christ and realising that the Gospel message was for them. I will never forget the look on one girl’s face when she heard the ‘God the Son – Gospel Message Talk’ in the evangelisation retreat one year (you can see this in the Catechist’s Guide). This was a girl who had been coming faithfully to Mass all her life, with a great Catholic family. But I realised at that moment that she had had a “penny-drop” moment – she realised this was for her. Her father told me after the retreat how she had come back full of joy – something had changed.
This is what evangelisation and catechesis with teenagers is all about. The programme consciously invites them into a life-giving, transforming relationship with the Lord every step of the way, and then it gives some comprehensive teaching to deepen the appropriation of the kerygma.
Many people have said it is unrealistic for a parish to undertake a programme with 22 sessions. I realise this is a big step for many parishes, and I have written some suggestions to those who have this question (as well as other questions) here.
Finally, I want to say how grateful I am to an amazingly long list of people named at the beginning of the Catechist’s Guide. Catechists and priests at Holy Ghost, those who have piloted it in their own parishes, those who have supported, encouraged and advised along the way. Thanks be to God for the communion of the Church! We never do anything worthwhile alone.
I want to thank in particular some real stars…
Kathy Kielty - who designed the programme and whose work you can see here. Kathy is a catechist at Holy Ghost, totally gets Confirmation catechesis, and it has been a great joy to work together on this project.
Simone Lia - who has contributed the illustrations for the programme and whose work you can see here. Simone’s work captures in a gentle yet honest way our relationship with God, and I am excited at this added dimension. Her illustrations are humorous yet powerful in communicating God’s love and therefore calling us to conversion.
Edward Morton - whose photography we have used throughout the programme and whose work you can see here. Eddy’s heart for evangelisation really comes across in these beautiful images.
So – please spread the word, like and share the Transformed in Christ Facebook page… Thank you! :)