Awaken Session Preview

Session 1 - Welcome

Remember, the people attending this program are coming from all sorts of different places in their lives and in their faith. Many of the people attending may not even be Catholic or Christian. Therefore, the goal of this session is pre-evangelization: to meet the participants where they’re at and to bring everyone onto the same page. Specifically, to awaken in their hearts the universal desire for God. To stir up in their souls the yearning of every human heart to be in relationship with the Lord. At the same time, you should also explicitly welcome them to the program and give them a heads-up about what they can expect in the coming weeks.


10 min - Facilitator welcome, introduction, and opening prayer

15 min - Pastor welcome and introduction

15 min - [Catechesis Video] Session 1 - Welcome

45 min - Small groups

5 min - Closing prayer and announcement

Catechesis Videos

Session 1 - Welcome - Fr. Keith Romke

Testimony Outline

Testimony Videos

Small Group Questions

  1. Everyone introduce themselves: name, occupation, and what do you like to do for fun or in your downtime?
  2. Choose at least one:
    What is your fondest childhood memory?
    What’s your favorite vacation or trip you’ve taken?
    What’s something funny or interesting about you that a lot of people don’t know?
  3. What brought you here to Awaken?
  4. What are you hoping to get out of this experience?
  5. What makes you happy? What brings you the most joy in life?
  6. Are you good with directions, or do you get lost a lot?
  7. Fr. Romke told an analogy about getting lost while running, and compared it to how we sometimes feel in life. Can you relate to this at all? How?
  8. What are the most beautiful things you’ve seen or experienced?
  9. Have you ever experienced something beautiful or wonderful and thought “There must be something behind it. Something more?” What was it and why did it have such an impact on you?

Leader's Guide

Preparation tasks

  • Ensure your Pastor has this session on his calendar so he can be present.
  • Send the Pastor Welcome and Introduction outline to your Pastor ahead of time so he can prepare.


  • Your personal goal for this session is to provide such a welcoming environment and experience that every participant wants to come back next week.
  • From the moment participants walk in, you and your volunteers should approach them with a friendly smile, introduce yourselves, and strike up a conversation.
  • This is also an opportunity to practice hospitality: offer them refreshments, show them where the bathrooms are, direct them to where they’ll be sitting, etc.
  • For an even richer welcoming experience, try to help participants begin conversations with each other.
  • It’s especially important at this first session that you have a volunteer dedicated to checking people in. This volunteer should be one of your best welcomers, very friendly, helpful, and social. Having this volunteer in place will free you and your other volunteers up to ensure that new participants are welcomed.

Facilitator welcome and introduction

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Introduce volunteers.
  • Welcome and encourage participants.

Pastor welcome and introduction

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Tell them why you’re so happy they’re participating in this program.
  • Stay open: mind and heart.
  • Assure them that you’re here for them if they need anything.

Supplies checklist

  • Signs for directing people to the meeting location
  • Refreshments (optional)
  • Check-in list
  • Podium or music stand
  • Microphone, if needed
  • Video presentation equipment (i.e. TV or projector)
  • Facilitator welcome and introduction outline
  • Pastor Welcome and Introduction outline
  • Small group discussion guide
  • Announcements: next session date

Setup checklist

  • If needed, post signs to direct participants to where the session is meeting.
  • Set up refreshments (optional).
  • Put a podium or music stand up front for the leader and Pastor.
  • Set up a TV or projector. Test the video before the session starts so you can troubleshoot, if needed.
  • Set up chairs.
  • Set up small group meeting areas (i.e. tables, separate rooms, etc.).
  • If you have a larger group, set up a microphone in the front of the room.
  • Meet with your volunteers shortly before the session begins. Review the agenda and pray with them.