Can Evangelization Happen at a Parent Meeting?

Before you get too far into reading this post, I want to tell you there is no answer to that question here.  At least not yet.  However, there will be an answer in my next post two weeks from now.

Each year I have a few parent meetings.  There is usually one at the beginning of the year where I go over the plans for the year, the schedule, and meet new families.  And then there are the sacrament preparation meetings: one for Penance/Communion class and the other for the Confirmation class.

I don’t like these meetings.  I didn’t like attending them when I was a parent and I dislike holding them as the director of said programs.

Why?  Because the parents and I are at cross purposes before we even see each other.  Their interest in the meeting is to get the facts about the sacraments:  dates, times, dress, and photo information. And how long will the service be and do we have to come to the rehearsal?  And in the case of Penance and Communion, well, do we really need to talk about Penance at all? That’s not a big deal like First Communion.

I, of course, spend weeks thinking and praying and searching for all the right things to include in this meeting.  I look at it as a chance to share the faith, to give adults an update, to once and for all find the perfect blend of professing the truth with such love that everyone begins to go to Mass every Sunday and has a conversion experience.

Is it any wonder I have trouble planning the meeting?

The meeting is important since in many cases it’s the first time I am meeting the parents and probably the last time we will be together for this long a period of time.  But even more so, it’s an opportunity to reach out in love and invite people to take another look at their faith, at Jesus, and the Church.

How do I engage the parents so that they desire more?  First, I must stop thinking it is all up to me.  It is God who will invite them into a deeper relationship.  I need to allow him to use me.  Only then will evangelization be possible.

Copyright 2015, Deanna Bartalini

Deanna Bartalini

Deanna Bartalini

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She serves on the retreat team at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at, serves as the editor of the blog, and is a contributor there as well as at Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She is the author of “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” published by Our Sunday Visitor. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.

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