How Parishes can participate
The cornerstone of this program is the parish. Encourage the parish staff—the pastor, director of religious education, coordinator of youth ministry, director of evangelization, deacon—to share information about the CatholicsRead program with parishioners.
- Host a book club that focuses on one of the Bible choices. Identify 3-4 other titles that parishioners can choose from. Meet on a regular basis and discuss the biblical text as a large group, then divide into smaller groups to discuss the individual titles.
- Plan a multi-week program that focuses on one of the titles and Scripture texts during Advent, Lent, or summer.
- Encourage small faith communities to choose a title for each of the Scripture texts during the year as the source of their reflection for three 4-6 week periods.
- Let the teen leaders of the parish choose a title per month. Set up a graffiti board in the youth ministry room or parish school of religion and let them write comments for the parish to read. Let the CatholicsRead program help improve their biblical literacy as they lead the parish in sharing their insights on the Scripture and a chosen title.
- Invite the pastor to host a reading group so that the reflections from the Scripture and the book can help in his homily preparations.
- Purchase a variety of the recommended titles. Read them to the shut-ins or elderly of the parish or to those living in Catholic nursing homes in the area.
- Donate one book from each category to the parish library.
- Purchase a quantity of one of the lesser expensive titles and use it as an evangelization tool in the parish community. Go door-to-door to meet the neighbors by delivering the book as a gift.
- Continue the phenomenon of people in a city or town reading a particular book by starting a parish-wide program (i.e., “St. John the Evangelist Reads!”) by encouraging members to participate in CatholicsRead. Organize discussion groups around program titles after Mass or on an evening during the week.
- Make arrangements with your local Catholic booksellers to offer a special discount to parishes in your area for placing significant orders on books featured in CatholicsRead.
- Co-sponsor a talk and signing party for selected authors whose works are featured in CatholicsRead. Work with your local bookstore and publishers to arrange to get the author to the party.
How individuals can participate
- Make a reading commitment for the year—a book a month, one book per Scripture.
- Invite a group of friends to read the same book and share your reflections online.
- Read the selected Scripture and choose the one that resonates most strongly. Buy and read a few of the recommended titles for that book. Then purchase the same titles for your friends and family as Christmas presents.
- Use the Scripture and one of the recommended titles as guides for your daily journaling or reflection.
- Make the daily readings from the Lectionary part of your daily devotion or spiritual reading. Accompany that with a title selected from one of the participating publishers.