I recently heard Fr. Anthony Gittins tell a story of one of his experiences. Fr. Gittins has worked with homeless women in Chicago for over thirty years. Often he cooks dinner once a week at the homeless shelter.
One evening, Rosie said to him, “Do you know what’s wrong with you, Tony? You never ask us what we want to eat.”
So, on his way out that evening, Fr. Gittins stopped and asked the women, “What do you want to eat next week when I come?”
They all clapped and Rosie immediately replied, “What we had tonight.”
Fr. Gittins was flabbergasted. What, then, was the big deal?
Seeing his perplexed face, Rose said, “You wonder why we’re not always grateful for all you do. If you’d give us the option to be involved, it makes all the difference. We have a part. We realize we are important.”
How much that says to us about our ministry with parents and families, our ministry in adult faith formation! Are they included in determining what we offer? Do we presume to know everything that families today, that adults today, need and desire?
There are multiple ways of “asking” the questions: “What do you want? What’s happening in your lives right now? How can the congregation be supportive of you?”
As faith formation leaders, what have you done to involve the participants in their own learning, in their own growth?
The Learning Exchange Blog is written by our team of Curators: