Read an Excerpt
Part One: Welcome to Finding God for Junior High
Using This Guide
Young people in junior high—grades seven and eight—are beginning to sense that they are different. They no longer want to be treated like children. They want to take on more ownership in the process of their faith formation. Junior high catechists and teachers, likewise, continually voice their desire to offer young people something that will address their growing needs. Finding God for junior high offers something different. This Director Guide provides you with the support and resources you need to effectively implement and coordinate this junior high program, whether you are using it in a parish catechetical setting, a school setting, or both.
Part One “Welcome to Finding God for Junior High” helps you understand the vision of the program and your role as its director. A complete description of the vision and components of Finding God for junior high is contained in the Program Overview section of the Catechist Guide. After you have read the Program Overview, return to Part One of this guide. Both sections will help you understand how you can effectively facilitate the program.
Part Two “Introducing Catechists to Finding God for Junior High” has the resources you need to provide your catechists with an informative and practical orientation to this program. For your convenience, Part Two includes reduced pages from the Catechist Guide, with wraparound notes to help you explain the program and its components during this orientation.
Part Three “Introducing Parents to Finding God for Junior High” will help you introduce the program to parents and guardians so that they can become familiar with its vision, components, structure, and style. The orientation session is designed as a two-hour session in which you will walk the parents through the program. An optional PowerPoint presentation is available on the Finding God Web site (FindingGod.org) to assist you with the orientation. For your convenience, Part Three includes scripting for you to use in describing the corresponding PowerPoint slides.
Part Four “Through the Year with Finding God for Junior High” has the resources you need to guide catechists and parents through the five units of Finding God. Part Four will assist you in facilitating catechist planning meetings for each unit, should you choose to do so.
Part Five “Models for Implementing Finding God for Junior High” contains calendars for using the program in nine different catechetical models.
Your Role as Director of Finding God for Junior High
When you were baptized, you were entrusted with the light of Christ. Many people have nurtured your faith. Now you are in the position of doing the same for others.
All those who direct parish or school catechetical programs face the challenge of providing leadership, support, and resources for those in crucial roles in the faith formation program. Finding God for junior high recognizes and affirms these crucial roles in the faith formation of young people: parents, families, catechists, and the parish faith community.
Becoming Familiar with Finding God for Junior High
Because parents, families, catechists, and the parish at large will look to you for direction, it is crucial for you to be completely familiar with the Finding God for junior high program.
The best place to begin familiarizing yourself is the Catechist Guide. It includes an informative introductory section called Program Overview. This section will provide you with a solid grasp of the vision, components, and features of Finding God for junior high. Before going any further, take time to go through the Program Overview section thoroughly (pages PO6 through PO41). This overview will provide you with an understanding of the following:
- the vision of the Finding God for junior high program
- components for adult faith formation and young people’s faith formation
- scope and sequence for grades 7 and 8 (also included in this guide)
- features of the Young People’s Book
- features of the Catechist Guide
- the catechetical process used in every session
- additional young people’s and catechists’ resources
Working with Catechists
Catechists facilitate the process of forming people in the faith. This guide provides you with the following to help you assist catechists in using Finding God for junior high effectively:
- information about FindingGod.org, where catechists can find resource articles, planning hints, extra activities, expert catechetical advice in response to write-in questions, and discussion boards (see page 14)
- resources for hosting a catechist formation and planning session for each of the five units (see page 56). Convenient charts provide unit-by-unit grade-level overviews that include that content that will be taught and the resources and materials needed.
- an in-service workshop to orient catechists to the Finding God for junior high program (see page 15) and, more importantly, to the Catechist Guide
The Catechist Guide provides all the support that a catechist will need to feel confident. Here are the features of the Catechist Guide that you can use to support catechists:
- Program Overview—This section of the Catechist Guide provides catechists with an informative overview of the Finding God for junior high program (see Catechist Guide, pages PO6 through PO41).
- The Effective Catechist—This section outlines the qualities and skills needed to be a more effective catechist (see Catechist Guide, pages EC1 through EC20).
- Catechist Preparation Pages—Each chapter begins with six pages to help the catechist prepare. These pages include a 3-Minute Retreat, background information on the Scripture and Tradition that serve as the basis of the content, an overview of the Active-Learning and Community-Building activity for the chapter, and a convenient Get-Ready Guide that identifies the chapter title and theme, suggested actions to take before the session, an outline of the chapter content with outcomes for each step of the catechetical process, and a list of required and optional materials.
The Catechist Guide gives catechists the language of the Catholic faith and nurtures the catechists’ personal spirituality and knowledge. The Catechist Guide is easy to use and abundant in resources, providing support for both new and experienced catechists.
Working with Parents, Families, and Adults
For more than 30 years, Church documents related to catechesis have been calling attention to the primacy of adult catechesis. Finding God for junior high offers an effective approach to parent and adult faith formation. The program addresses adults respectfully and engages them in ongoing personal and family faith development.
This Director Guide provides information about a variety of resources to assist parents and families:
- Orientation meeting for parents—This meeting will help you thoroughly and invitingly introduce parents to all the components of the Finding God for junior high program (see page 35).
- Parent Newsletters (five per year)—The Finding God Parent Newsletters, written by Tom McGrath, offer adults inspiration and motivation for personal and family faith formation (also available in Spanish).
- A Parent Guide to Prayer—This guide contains all the prayers in the program as well as guidance on the practice of prayer.