Community Building

Fish-Fry-2013-300x199.jpgOn this page we have a list of Community Building Actions that have been sent to CFM USA done by members of our local action (parish) groups:

CFM Social Activities
Mike Glazzy from St. Joan of Arc in San Ramon, CA

The CFM ministry at St. Joan of Arc is currently comprised of 32 families split into five small groups. We meet in small groups usually twice a month. The meeting dates are decided by the small group and at least one member of each family is expected to attend each of the meetings. The adults meet once a month, using a chapter from the CFM booklet as the basis for the meeting. Sometimes the adults meet in one room and the kids play together in another room. This is especially common for families with small children. Most months we also have a small group social that includes the children as well as the adults. Each group chooses how and where it will meet, and what they will do for the socials. We’ve had picnics, trips to the beach or ballgame, trips up to the mountain to go sledding, backyard pool parties or BBQs, and concerts in the park among many other activities.

About every other month, all of the small groups get together and the entire CFM group has a large social. Some of the things we’ve done at these large group socials include:

  • making food baskets at Thanksgiving
  • a Mardi Gras party right before Lent
  • a Hoe Down
  • Swingo Bingo (a theme-based bingo game with white elephant prizes)
  • a four day summer camping trip
  • a Lenten soup dinner with recital of the Rosary
  • an evening of bunco for the adults
  • a summer luau celebrating the sacraments achieved by the CFM kids over the past year
  • a black tie optional Christmas party for the adults that’s always very popular

There is also a teen group, called CTM (Christian Teen Movement) that meets one evening a month. It’s more of a social time than the religious education programs provided by the parish, although there’s always a lesson of some sort at the beginning of the meeting. All the CFM families with a teen take turns hosting the CTM group and there are a number of books available providing ideas for lessons and activities.

Our main methods of recruiting new families to CFM is both through the “Ministry Sunday” that is held every May at St. Joan’s and the two or three “donut Sundays” that CFM hosts throughout the year. The Ministry Sunday is a means that the parish uses to encourage parishioners to become involved with one of the numerous ministries at St. Joan’s. Each ministry is encouraged to man a table, passing out literature and talking with prospective members. Donut Sundays are after mass socials where donuts, coffee and juice are served. We pass out CFM flyers and encourage people to join while they eat their donuts!

When you first join CFM at St. Joan’s you form a small group with other new CFM families and you meet for 6 months. Most groups are formed in January or February. This is a time to get acclimated to the CFM philosophy, and to get to know a few families at the parish. In September all families who decide to renew their commitment to CFM are randomly placed into new groups that will meet for the next year. Even our newest members are usually in a group where they know at least one other couple. It’s a great way to get to know other families in the parish – both the adults and the kids!

Celebrate Your WeddingDancing1.jpg
Kathy Maisonneuve from St. Lucy in St. Clair Shores, MI

In February, 2002, one of St. Lucy's CFM small group leaders, Chuck and Theresa Kay orchestrated a "Celebrate Your Wedding" meeting. The Kayes live on Harsens Island, Mich. and invited the couples in our small group. (St. Lucy's has three groups this year) over for dinner and an evening of reflection on our marriages. Besides a dish to pass for the pot luck dinner, each couple was to bring pictures of their wedding memorabilia of their courtship and wedding. The Observe questions included: Where did you meet your mate? What drew you to your partner? How have the two of you grown in love? How has God influenced your marriage? Everyone brought their wedding albums, pictures, and memories to share. One couple even found their wedding candle from 23 years ago which was lit throughout dinner and well into the evening. Following the sharing was a small prayer service for the group and all CFM marriages, The celebration ended with a candlelight dance in the front room to music played from an old 78 rpm record on a victrola. It was quite an experience. Each couple said that they grew closer to their mate not only during the course of the evening, but also through the gathering of materials for the celebration-looking through the wedding albums and remembering their courtship.

Advent Potluck and Service
Linda McClure at Holy Trinity in Bloomington, IL

"We had an advent prayer service and potluck in late November. Our associate pastor came and blessed everyone's advent wreath."

Events for Men, Women and Children
Tom and Laura Toussaint, at Holy Family parish in Inverness, IL

Their group has developed community spirit through having special men's and women's events in addition to their regular meetings. They also had two meetings this year that included children. Tom wrote a meeting on prayer that is posted on the CFM website. He also adapted the meeting on prejudice in "Evidence of Faith" to include children.

Christmas Progressive Dinner
Terri Cameron of Assumption Parish in Woodridge, NJ

"We held a progressive dinner in December as a Christmas celebration, but it would make a great end of the year event also. Different families hosted the appetizer, main course and dessert portions of the dinner. Those families not hosting at their homes assisted the host families in the preparation of the food. Everyone had a great time. The kids particularly enjoyed moving from home to home for the next course of the meal. I would recommend this event to other groups."

CFM Trip to a Resort
Holy Family in Inverness, IL

Their CFM group has made arrangements to visit a resort in the Wisconsin Dells the weekend following Labor Day. This event will be a first for the group, but they anticipate it will help building up the community spirit among the members.


July 4 and Thanksgiving Parties
Mary Gifford of St. Augustine in Kendall Park, NJ

They have two standard social activities each year--a party on July 4 at Marlene and Joe Scanlon's house and a Thanksgiving banquet held the Sunday before the actual holiday.

Hike and Breakfast in the Woodsdads.jpg
Gayle Wall of St Thomas More CFM group, Glendale AZ

The group held the annual CFM Hike and Breakfast at the Cave Creek Recreation Area on Feb 23rd. The group met at the Recreation Center and formed groups for three different hikes - one was a little over a mile, the other was about 2.5 miles and the third was over 4 miles. After completing the hikes, we all returned to the pavilion for fresh cooked omelets to order, fruit, muffins and juice. This is the third year we have done this hike/breakfast and everyone loves it! The hike/breakfast is a great opportunity for members of the four different CFM meeting groups to get together and socialize. We have a Social Committee and hold five social events each year." Over 96 CFM members participated. One participant was 84-year-old grandmother of one member who was visiting. She hiked almost three miles up and around the mountain trail! Member Cheryl Stuck adds, "The day was beautiful, the trails were great, but one of the best things about the day was the special-order omelette waiting after hiking the Overton Trail!!" "There is nothing like camp-stove cooked food out in God's awesome country shared in love and fellowship with our friends and family."

Various Family Social Events
Suze St. John at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Redondo Beach, CA

Sponsored a nature hike in Long Beach; an Easter egg hunt and BBQ at Wilderness Park in Redondo Beach.; Malaga Cove tide pool hike in Rancho Palos Verdes and camping trips are planned for the summer months in Ojai and Malibu.

Various Family Social Events
Gaye Wall from St. Thomas More parish, Glendale, AZ

"Since we have four separate CFM groups which are re-formed each year through a hat pull, our members look forward to frequent social events to get together and socialize with people that they no longer see at their formal CFM meetings." Last year our events included a hayride and picnic, a progressive dinner at Christmas time, a hike in the mountains with omelets to order for breakfast after the hike, a road rally and a camping trip."

Back to Top

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.