We have exciting news to share! Your action is needed in order to continue to be connected to the Catholic Strengths and Engagement Community.

CSEC is Moving!

CSEC is moving from the Connected Community platform we have used for the past four years. The original purpose of the Catholic Strengths and Engagement Community is to provide networking and sharing opportunities for parish and diocesan leaders who wish to build engagement and foster strengths development. We have heard many of you express your frustrations with the complexity of the site, and found that the cost of the platform ($5500/annually) was prohibitive, particularly when most members said they did not use the site well or at all.

With the help of Kirsten Hangas, CSEC now has a Facebook group page, found here:

The Facebook group will be our primary place for sharing, asking questions, and networking. You may share documents, video links, and PowerPoint slide decks as you have in the past, with the ease of connecting to the group within your already existing (or new) Facebook feed. Documents that are shared on the Facebook group page will also be stored and organized in a searchable manner for later use. (See below for more details.) Please consider putting your Clifton StrengthsFinder Top 5 in your profile on Facebook if you have not already done so. This helps us know one another better and spreads the word about Strengths to those who are not already aware of this wonderful tool for discovering and developing our God-given talents.

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Last evening we had a Wine & Cheese for several of our Parishioners that had gone through a Living Your Strengths Seminar and done the Journey. We wanted to bring people together to see how they are living out any calling they discovered in The Journey and how the interaction with others has changed since they took the Strengths Assessment. It was a wonderful evening, lots of really great sharing and stories!

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Stephanie Moore, Scott Bader and I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Los Angeles Religous Education Congress this weekend. We enjoyed great conversations with so many parish and diocesan leaders -- some who are already connected to CSEC, and some who are just becoming connected to this community. Many of the current CSEC members expressed their gratitude for all that our community offers, and then asked, "What are you working on?" Let us simply share there is much in the works! Our first CSEC Institute courses were well-received and participants have offered their ideas for future training. Be assured we will continue to connect you with ongoing thought development and best practices for enagement and strengths development through CSEC Live and this Connected Community! We have ideas about ways to enhance how you connect with one another, and would love to hear from you if you have thought about these things as well.
This community is yours! One of the things that makes this community stand out is the way members share their experiences, questions, insights and hopes. We hope that you will continue to offer your passion for building a more engaging, strengthened Church
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On Saturday the 25th I saw on Fox News they showed the top 5 strengths by generation. By the time retrieved my remote to copy the news article ,that segment was over. Did anyone lose see that news item and copied the results, could you please send it to me
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Today at mass a remarkable thing happened that I wanted to share with all of you....

Five years ago, our parish, St. Anne embarked down the path of "Growing an Engaged Church"...and a result, a commission was formed to look at the results of our ME25 survey scorecard and to address some of the items of engagement.  From that group a few tangible items emerged...One, a St. Anne Covenant that clearly defined the "What do I get?"  "What do I give?" under the four pillars of Worship, Connect, Grow and Serve and a newly formed St. Anne mission statement that states "We are a Christ-centered community called to Worship, Connect, Grow and Serve"... I'm sure we are not unlike many parishes who wonder whether these covenants or mission statements really do make an impact or if anyone is really "listening" when they are introduced.

This morning, as part of the announcements, one of our amazing teens made a presentation to our congregation on a mission she is personally taking up during the next couple months...She started her speech with, "I know here at St. Anne we are called to Worship, Connect, Grow and Serve and I've decided I want to serve"... She then explained her mission was to bring warm blankets to all the homeless in our surrounding areas and was asking for the congregations help in supplying the blankets.  
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Hello Everyone!

We have recently switched our virtual platform and therefore all the direct links to our PAST CSEC Live and Toolbox are no longer active...We have downloaded the files and uploaded them in the Community Library.  You can download them all to your individual desktops.  

In order to play these recordings, you will need to download the WebEx media player. When you attempt to listen to the recording it should prompt you to download the player. Or go to this site and download the right player for your PC or Mac

We are looking forward to new CSEC Live and Toolbox session coming SOON!  We have some exciting speakers lined up...If you would like to offer something on CSEC Live or Toolbox please do not hesitate to reach out to us!  You can email me directly at

Thank you all again!

Many Blessings,

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This idea was inspired by a suggestion from a Living Your Strengths small group graduate who completed our feed back form at the end of the four week session.  He thought it would be a good idea for those who share the same strength to meet, share stories, experiences, and concerns. In addition, we explore the shadow side of their shared strength and discuss how to lean on their other strengths when their shared strength is being taxed.  We have completed four sessions to date.  It has been a wonderful follow up to the small group sessions.  It also allows parishioners a chance to meet others that share their strength who may not have been in their small group session.  We have been holding these "Same Strength" sessions once a month on a weekday in the evening from 7pm-9pm.  The response has been very positive. 
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Hello Everyone,

Here is the recording for today's CSEC Toolbox session with Curt Liesveld.  Great session with both a virtual and live audience where Curt was conducting a Strengths certification course for St. Matthew Parish in Charolette, NC. 

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Hello Everyone,

Here is the link to our latest CSEC Live! session with Fr. James Mallon!  What a wonderful session with so many great reviews.  

Fr. James shares some wonderful examples of the great work they are doing at his parish St. Benedict in Nova Scotia.  He shares some wonderful videos as well. 

Belonging and the New Evangelization-20130320 1534-1 
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Hi Everyone,

We know from Gallup research that the #2 item to build engagement is: "In my parish my spiritual needs are met."

We know from the Pew research that the reason 25% of Catholics have left the church is that their spirituall needs were not being met.

Here's a chance to help take this to the next level! Leisa Anslinger has developed a survey for people to describe how their spiritual needs ARE BEING MET!

Click on this link to take the survey and to get materials to help others do so as well. We could make a huge impact on solving this problem through our CSEC contacts.

Fr. Bill Hanson
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People often ask how to help people make the connection between their talent themes and their lives, in growth, spirituality, and prayer. 

See what Baylor University is doing here:

Not only are there some great testimonials and good information, but perhaps inspiration for creativity for our own ministry, websites, bulletins and communication?

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I told my pastor I would peruse the Sunday readings for possible stewardship and engagement connections. In a quick review of the readings between now and the beginning of Lent, here are the connections I found:

Dec. 16: "Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none." -- Gratitude and generosity

Dec. 23: "Behold, I come to do your will" with it's tie to Mary -- the steward is willing to give his/her life to God in trust, as God gives us all (including our lives) in trust

Dec. 30: Feast of the Holy Family: Our parish is a family of faith. When we grow together within our parish, it helps us to live our lives of faith in our families, and vice versa
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Hello Everyone,

We had another great CSEC Live! session with Fr. Ron Schmit, Pastor of St. Anne Church in Byron, CA.  In this session, he shares foundational insight and knowledge pre and post Vatican II and how it has shaped who we are as Church and our role as lay Catholics.  He also shares how this has influenced the engagement and strengths initiatives at his parish.

Here is the recording.... Enjoy! 
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Hello Everyone,

Here is the recording from our wonderful CSEC Live! session today with Rick Krivanka and Tony Fleo.  "Discover Abundant Life, Strengths and Hope Using Appreciative Inquiry"... It was truly a fantastic session with a lot of practical tips and wonderful quotes...

Rick has also generously agreed to share his slide deck with our CSEC membership.  I will be posting in the Community Library... 
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It was great to see so many CSEC members at the International Catholic Stewardship Council (ICSC) conference.  We were so thankful for not only the opportunity to present to a "standing room only" crowd but have the opportunity to share with hundreds of Pastoral leaders the ways in which CSEC is ready to help them in their Engagement and Stewardship efforts.  It was great to have our first ever CSEC exhibit table at a conference and it provided a unique opportunity to spread the message of engagement and strengths on both days of the ICSC.   We look forward to seeing those of you who will be at the ParishSOFT conference in October. Please visit our exhibit booth there.  

Thank you again for all you do!  It was great to hear stories of how you are fostering wonderful life in ministry through building engagement and developing strengths.  A special shout-out to CSEC member parishes and dioceses from St. Clement in Chicago, St. Bernadette in Halifax, Nova Scotia,  St. Francis of Assisi in Raleigh, North Carolina, Archdiocese of Seattle, Pax Christi in Eden Prairie, Minnesota and the Diocese of Orange who were all awarded recognition for their outstanding efforts toward forming people as disciples and stewards.  
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What's next? It seems many who are fostering strengths in their parishes reach a point where they wonder "what's next?" So do some who have participated in a strengths group process or seminar -- "I have discovered my talent themes through the strengths process, now what?"

That is what has led St. Margaret of York in Loveland, Ohio to offer a REFIRE Strengths night next week. We have invited everyone who has previously participated in strengths to join us for a brief evening. We'll enjoy some conversation about our experience of our talents, take a brief look at strengths development, and share with participants our plan for strengths at our parish for the future, hearing their ideas and thoughts and learning from their experience for our future.

We decided that with the theme of re-firing strengths, we needed some environmental element that would reinforce the idea of fire, so we have created these candles for the tables: 

Have you re-fired strengths at your parish? What did you do? How is it going?
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Hello Everyone,

We had a great session today with Sherry Weddell, Co-founder of the Catherine of Siena Institute and author of the book, "Forming Intentional Disciples, The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus".  

Sherry highlights the current landscape of Catholicism and the process of forming Intentional Disciples through "threshold conversations".  You will also hear comments from a number of individuals who have implemented both the Strengths process in their parishes along with the Called and Gifted process.  

We will be posting a number of testimonials of individuals who have found using both the StrengthsFinder assessment along with the Called and Gifted Spiritual Gifts assessment has added greater clarity on how they have been uniquely formed and called to bring Christ to the world.  Incredibly inspiring!  

We'd love to hear your stories as well!  Here is the recording:  
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Today is St. Ignatius of Loyola’s feast day and he should truly be the patron saint of Catholic Stewardship.  After so many attempts to educate people about real stewardship, the kind that does not really speak so much to tithing and volunteerism, but calls us to a mature discipleship of total self-giving, St. Ignatius gives us the key in his spirituality and theology.  In his words you hear the call of the US Bishops to respond to the call of Christ, regardless of the cost.

In Ignatius’ Suscipe, he prays, 

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Hello Everyone!

Here is the recording of our last CSEC Live! session with Al Winseman, Gallup "Growing an Engaged Church" and Monsignor Bill Hanson, Pastor, St. Gerard Majella.  We were thrilled with the turnout of this session with over 100 in attendance.  Thank you to all of you who were able to attend.  For those unable, here is the recording....

In this CSEC Live! session you will hear them share some of the foundational and groundbreaking research on engagement with lots of wonderful, relevant and humorous examples.

A HUGE thank you to Al and Fr. Bill for sharing all of your wonderful wisdom and experiences!
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