This year, at St. Rose of Lima in Newtown, we participated in the Dynamic Catholic Book Program, distributing copies of Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly to all the people attending Ash Wednesday services and Easter Masses.
This post is just a quick recap of our experience from my viewpoint as coordinator of the program.
It first must be said that the Dynamic Catholic Institute team is friendly, helpful and responsive, which makes a program like this much easier to implement.
Because I was a bit intimidated by the process of distributing a couple thousand books, we decided to split the program into two (Ash Wednesday and Easter) instead of doing the whole distribution at one time (like at Christmas or Easter Masses).
We started by ordering 1000 books from Dynamic Catholic for Ash Wednesday. They were delivered a week ahead of time. We solicited volunteers by sending out emails to our parish ministries and our religious education family lists. We got a lot of volunteers, especially teens needing community service hours.
Before Ash Wednesday services we unpacked books and stacked as many as possible at the doors of the church. We also used the book distribution as a way to gather email addresses of parishioners (to save money on communications) and enclosed in each book a postcard that asked for name and email address to update our parish database.
During services on Ash Wednesday we distributed almost all of the 1000 books. According to Dynamic Catholic you should order books for 75% of your registered parishioners. We ordered slightly less than that in total. We repeated the process for Easter weekend and ordered 1500 books which were delivered the week before Easter.
Just a note for anyone considering coordinating a program like this… it’s a bit harder to get volunteers on Easter than it is for Ash Wednesday, so be prepared to pray and humbly beg for help. 🙂
Over Easter weekend, we distributed another 900 books. I think we would have distributed more, except that many parishioners have a copy of this book because they attended the Passion and Purpose Retreat with Matthew that we hosted in January 2011. We will use the extra books to give to families entering their children into our first grade religious education program, since many of them are Rediscovering Catholicism as they enroll their children into the First Holy Communion preparation program.
We also started a book study of Rediscover Catholicism as way to encourage people to read the book and have a forum to discuss it. Here is a link to the study guide in PDF format: http://askjo.co/rediscover-catholicism-sg This is a reformatted version of what’s available from Dynamic Catholic because I wanted it to be able to print in booklet format.
So, are you ready to become an evangelist in your parish and participate in the Dynamic Catholic Book Program? Or have you done so already and have advice to share? Please comment below.
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