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Preparing to say goodbye to NA Forum

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Dear Catechumenal Colleagues,

I write to let you know that the North American Forum on the Catechumenate will be closing its doors at the end of June. Adequate words are hard to come by just now, but some words are necessary.

We have had to be realistic about the unprecedented drop in commitments for our formation institutes in 2013—less than half of the typical commitments by May of a given year. Despite our many operational changes and event adaptations of the past few years and even with several other enhanced revenue sources, it is not possible to continue responsibly with these institute losses. I am deeply grateful to the Board for its leadership in facing this reality head on and making the hard call to close the ministry we have all known as Forum. Board and Staff are putting their minds and hearts together for the task of bringing the present operations to a close with care and with grace. The quality of the way in which these final weeks are being tackled is a testament to the deep and abiding quality that has been Forum at its very best.

Even in the dying of this great work of the Catholic community of faith in our time there are palpable signs of the paschal story that beckons us on to something more. This something more is within us already, and I see it particularly in the generous remarks of so many of you as you express your own sadness at this passing and your hopes for what may yet be.  Together with you Forum has helped thousands of parish leaders embrace their own paschal journey anew as well as their ministry to help their communities learn to birth impassioned disciples of Jesus Christ. This beloved world needs nothing less, hungers for such healing folk in all its broken places.

To say that it has been a privilege to serve this great mission as executive director is less than true. This experience has helped to change my life. The journey we call paschal has only become more real as I have come to know and been graced to collaborated with so many of you. As we let go the present incarnation in Forum of this great mission of the Church, let us keep faith with the vision and discern together ways that mission will continue to live among us.

In Christ, sincerely and gratefully,


James M. Schellman

Executive Director

The North American Forum on the Catechumenate

McCormick Pavilion at Theological College

415 Michigan Ave. NE

Washington, DC 20017