The best Catholic resources for reaching young adults

Buddy Up: Daily Lenten Practice and Community Building

By | Lent | Posted on January 6, 2012

Comments: 2

Buddy Up: Daily Lenten Practice and Community Building Rob DeFrancesco, editor of The Catholic Sun in Phoenix, "tweets" during the keynote address at a Catholic Media Convention. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Description: Create community and observe Lent through a “virtual” retreat in everyday life. Daily Lenten reflections tweeted by the leader are the starting point for online sharing between pairs of young adults.

Get Ready

  • Prep Time: About four hours: It might take a few hours to manage the logistics of setting up the Twitter account, creating buddy pairs, and distributing contact info to the partners. You’ll want to set aside some quiet time to compose your 40 reflections (up to two hours). Daily reflections can be posted to Twitter in minutes. If you find more of your young adults use Facebook than Twitter that might be a better option for publishing your reflections.
  • Volunteers Needed: If you are not familiar with Twitter, find yourself a technology buddy. The task of posting the daily reflections could be divided among a team of program leaders.
  • Ideal Group Size: This program could work well with only a few pairs of Lent buddies, or as many as you could manage (six pairs-60 pairs). After the initial task of pairing up the buddies, the amount of work is the same no matter what size the group is.
  • Who is this for? Especially useful for staying connected with young adults away from the parish community at college, but it can also be a community builder for more local young singles, couples, and parents, too.
  • Publicize the Program: Well ahead of time announce Buddy Up in the bulletin and on any social networking tools you already use. Send an invitation e-mail to all young adults in your group and then more detailed instructions using some of the suggestions below. In your introduction e-mail saying something like: This Lent we will “Buddy Up” in Lenten pairs to encourage each other on our Lenten journey. As part of Buddy Up you will be partnered with another young adult and asked to share daily words of encouragement and a Lenten check-in. You can also follow us on Twitter and receive daily reflections and thoughts of the day to inspire your Lenten Journey.

Prayer for Program Planner: God, as we travel with you these 40 days, be present in our connections to each other across time and space. Help us to notice your presence even amid our daily busy-ness. You are here, in our real world. Amen.

Community Building: This program creates a virtual Lenten “retreat” community through a daily “tweet” of a reflection or thought for the day by the program leader. Also, each participant is connected to a Lenten buddy with whom s/he will exchange a daily text or phone call.

About the Author

Anne Kidera Gallagher

Anne Kidera Gallagher is the coordinator of youth ministry at the Church of the Transfiguration in the Diocese of Rochester, New York. She holds a BA in English and Writing from Loyola College in Maryland and an MA in Pastoral Studies from St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry. Anne and her husband are the proud and busy parents of two small children.

don’t wait, subscribe today!