Why Set Up a CTS Reading Group?
Are you looking to get CTS booklets into the hands of more parishioners? Would you like to catechise your parishioners in a simple way, while fostering a sense of community in your parish?
A CTS Reading Group encourages catechesis and spiritual nourishment in an informal setting, while helping parishioners to connect with one another. It is a wonderful way for a parish to grow in faith together but doesn’t require expensive resources or trained catechists.
How to Set Up a CTS Reading Group
No matter your experience in catechesis or your role in the parish, starting a CTS Reading Group couldn’t be easier. All you need is a place to hold it, some willing participants, and a CTS booklet to read before you meet each time.
Follow our simple how-to guide below for everything you need to start:
Decide on a CTS title
Do your parishioners want to deepen their prayer life? Are they eager to learn more about their faith or the saints? Would they like to sink their teeth into Scripture? There are plenty of titles to choose from – see our recommendations below.
Advertise the group
Put up posters in the church, advertise in the bulletin, and ask the Parish Priest if you can talk about it at the end of Mass. Why not see if neighbouring parishes are happy for you to promote it there too? And of course – don’t forget to invite your friends!
When people get together to share food, the atmosphere becomes more relaxing and people feel at ease. The meal could be provided by the host or perhaps a potluck supper. For something more low-key, sandwiches could also work or even just tea and biscuits!
Talk about the book you’ve read
Reading CTS publications can be a communal activity in a Reading Group. What thoughts struck you while you were reading? How has reading the book impacted you? Hearing the reflections of others on the book may also, in turn, help you to grow in faith. If you’re the group leader, don’t forget to have some discussion points ready to help the group focus their thoughts if necessary, and to keep the discussion on track.
Make time for group prayer
At the end of the discussion, leave some time for prayer. You might want to encourage spontaneous prayer, or if people are not comfortable with that you can say an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. If your group is held at the parish, the Parish Priest may be able to come for the last 5 minutes (if he can’t make the rest of the group) and say a closing prayer and blessing. Whatever style of prayer you choose, praying together will help the group and its members to grow and flourish.