It’s a real gift to know you are CHOSEN.
My husband Tom and I taught Confirmation to 9th and 10th graders for over 10 years in our former parish. For our high school freshman and sophomores, sometimes “faith” was a tough sell. But our parish priest convinced us and honestly I believe it was his true genius to have a married couple teach teens together! We would spend time planning the sessions together and grew closer in the process. (And I mean that even when we respectfully disagreed on how to present! Dying to self was part of the deal for us both!)
Tom’s entire career has been in education of high schoolers, and I learned so much about how to “be” with them by watching him smile, talk to them with genuine interest and patiently wait for their attention. He had an ease of conversation with them, knew how to engage them, and was willing to be comfortable with unexpected changes. I had a real and comprehensive knowledge of the material and a love for teaching catechetics. The material was familiar, and so important to me, that having the chance to share it with my parish family was exciting.
Our Confirmation program was on a two year cycle. Our DRE and parish priest were very open to what programs we would use. Having studied a lot of Theology of the Body, we jumped at the chance to teach Ascension Press’ TOB for Teens. Then, when CHOSEN came out, we made another request and were given the go- ahead to make that the second year of our program.
Our youngest son was in the class for 2 years. He remembers the videos being so relatable. Real people. Real stories. Real good humor. Small group discussions gave the teens time to sort through the topics, and think through the themes. Ascension found a way to get the best speakers of our day, on film, to talk to millions. Those teens came to know that these speakers cared a lot about God, but even more, wanted their viewers who were preparing for Confirmation to find the peace and joy of that relationship too.
And so I celebrate with Ascension on their 5th anniversary! I celebrate the conversion of many young hearts to God and to His Church. I’m thankful that Tom and I were CHOSEN by God to teach it and I thank all at Ascension Press for helping teens know what a gift it is that they too have been CHOSEN- by God!
Read more about this exciting program and it’s great effect on the young people of our Church here….
Groundbreaking Confirmation Program Celebrates 5th Anniversary, Half a Million Teens’ Lives Touched
Ascension’s Chosen Program Has Formed Over Half a Million Teens and Looks Towards Bright Future Ahead of 5th Anniversary of the Program
West Chester, PA, May 21, 2019 – More than half a million teens have gone through Ascension’s Chosen program, and ahead of the 5th anniversary of the Confirmation program, Ascension and the creators of Chosen celebrate the inspiring achievements and success of the program.
Chosen stemmed out of a dire need in the Church for better catechesis and stronger faith formation, especially for those preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. More than half a million Catholics receive the sacrament of Confirmation every year, but when studies showed that nearly half of those would leave the faith within five years – nationally renowned speaker Chris Stefanick, professor Ron Bolster of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Ascension joined forces and decided to do something about it.
“We knew there needed to be a new program that would better prepare young Catholics, and Catholics of all ages going through the program, to live out their faith in the world – and would engage them and encourage them to take their faith deeper, “said Chris Stefanick, co-author of Chosen. “Because of my background working with young people and Ron Bolster’s experience teaching catechetics, we had a pretty good idea of what the program needed to look like, but we ended up spending an entire year working on the content, based on the RCIA model, and then another four years working with facilitators, presenters, writers, and media experts – to make sure that the program was the best it could be, before launching it in May 2014.”
A key to Chosen’s success in keeping teens engaged is the stunning video series featuring 12 leading Catholic presenters such as Jason Evert, Jackie Francois Angel, and Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers. They discuss the faith on location throughout the U.S. and internationally — including New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Nashville, Rome and Florence. Chosen: Your Journey Toward Confirmation includes the video series, a student workbook, and guides for leaders, parents, and sponsors, along with extensive online resources. In 5 years, Chosen has been adopted by thousands of parishes and dioceses and has had incredible results.
“Since its release in 2014, Chosen has touched the lives of 500,000 students, more than 200,000 parents, and almost 200,000 sponsors. It’s amazing what God does when you see a need, and you take a leap of faith to fill that need – incredible things happen,” Stefanick continued, “We are so proud of what Chosen is and what this program has accomplished in five short years. Ultimately, it’s beauty that draws the heart. And when people hear the Gospel in a language that they can understand, it changes their lives. We can’t wait to see how this program continues to touch people’s hearts and lives for many years to come.”
For more information on Chosen, please visit: https://newsroom.ascensionpress.com/chosen-your-journey-toward-confirmation-press-kit/
To request additional information on Chosen and/or to schedule an interview with one of the presenters, please contact Carrie Kline at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What people are saying about Chosen:
“Chosen speaks to youth in their language, from their culture, and with the enduring love of Jesus Christ. Chosen is a thoroughly Catholic confirmation program from the heart of the New Evangelization. Chris Stefanick and his collaborators have combined experience, wisdom, and the best tools of contemporary media to develop a compelling and comprehensive catechesis that strives to form lifelong disciples for Jesus Christ.”
– Most Reverend James D. Conley, Bishop of Lincoln
“Our catechists rave about bringing experts into the classroom through the videos so that their role is to focus on the candidates. I really think that the background webinar and the training videos are top notch [and] the downloadable resources will be a great time saver. Ascension always impresses me with their customer service. This time, with Chosen, it is over the top.”
– Christine Pershey, Director of Faith Formation, Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus, Joliet, IL
“Before I started Confirmation, my friends and I didn’t really know what we were doing or what the point was. And then after we did Chosen we began understanding everything—and now we’re all on fire. I actually understand my relationship with Jesus, which is really good right now.”
– Connor, Age 15
“I think the small groups really help me because I can talk about anything about my religion. I don’t have to feel so shut out when I ask questions about my faith because I know that they are just like me. They may not know the answers because they have the same questions that I do, but the teachers really help me figure out those answers.”
– Molly, Age 12