It's hard to believe that we are beginning the holy season of Lent. To tell you the truth, I am still putting away Christmas decorations. Yet here we are and, for the first time since the last century, 1945 to be precise, Valentine's Day and Ash Wednesday fell on the same day.
They seem like two unlikely celebrations with nothing in common. Valentine's Day gives us another opportunity to give and eat chocolates, give and receive flowers, and exchange all kinds of cards, gifts and expressions that say 'I love you" and "I care about you" to spouses, parents, other family members, friends...all those we hold dear.
For All in the Ministry
Professional Enrichment Day, March 9. to focus on "Evangelization and Parish Leadership."
Rev. Frank DeSiano, CSP, to lead the day.
The second annual Professional Enrichment Day for clergy, seminarians, parish directors and coordinators of religious education, youth ministers, and RCIA teams will address "Evangelization and Parish Leadership," a key component of the NYS Bishops' document, The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium.
The Church in its documents and in its pastoral letters calls the Church and all its leaders to perceive all ministry through the lens of evangelization. The
General and National Catechetical Directories speak clearly about evangelization as the mission of the Church and that catechesis is to be within this mission. We, as parish leaders, are to spare no effort in our ministry of evangelization and catechesis. We, as parish leaders, are to collaborate to form communities of evangelizers, bringing the good news to all those we are called to serve.
This day will give participants, a deeper awareness of the Church's call to evangelization as well and the skills necessary for its effectiveness in parish ministry.
Directors and coordinators are urged to invite the clergy from their parishes.
is now open.
Directors and coordinators of religious education, along with pastors and catechists, can have all the offerings and news of the Catchetical Office on their smartphones and tablets. The new Catechetical Office App, "Catechetical," available free at Google Play or the App Store, was created by the Catechetical Office webmaster, Jim Connell.
Have you checked out the Catechetical Office website today? There are all sorts of informative and enlightening webinars and other learning opportunities, plus up-to-date information on all things catechetical. Be sure to visit
Winter and Spring Institutes Scheduled
RCIA Winter Institute
New York Catholic Center (12th Floor)
1011 First Avenue, New York, NY 10022
(between East 55th and East 56th Streets)
Course : Methodology for the RCIA
Date Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10am - 4pm
RCIA Spring Institute
Regina Coeli Church (School Building)
2 Harvey Street, Hyde Park, NY12538
Course: Methodology for the RCIA
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10am - 4pm
These institutes offer opportunities for parish RCIA leaders, team members, and catechists to take the Catechist Formation course titled: Methodology for the Catechumente (RCIA) which covers the goals and history of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the order and the ministries needed for the Catechumenate, methods for evangelizing, and liturgical catechesis. Experiences of a Rite of Acceptance, Rite of Sending, Dismissal Catechesis, and a Scrutiny will be offered. The RCIA Winter/Spring Institutes are available at no charge to all participants. More details and registration information are
Annual Communion Breakfast scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Riverview
The Fifth Annual Liturgy and Breakfast for the catechists of parish religious education will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Riverview in Hastings-on-Hudson. Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, vicar for clergy, will be the celebrant. Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP, PhD, theolgian and author of The Road to Vatican II, will be the speaker, courtesy of William H. Sadlier, Inc., where she is now a consultant. The theme is "The Catechist as a Missionary Disciple."
The price is $20 per person and registration must be received in advance. The deadline is Feb. 20. No registrations will be accepted at the door. For more information, email Stephanie Gonzalez .
Classes set for sites in Manhattan, Ulster and Westchester
The Archdiocesan Adult Confirmation Program is designed to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation adults (18 years or older) who have been baptized, received their First Holy Communion, and have attended either parish religious education classes or a Catholic school.
Often, due to circumstances beyond their control, people miss out on this sacrament. Catechetical and RCIA leaders often encounter parishioners, parents, friends or relatives who would like to be confirmed. Beginning in March, classes will be offered at the Catholic Center in Manhattan and Holy Family Church in New Rochelle. Classes at St. Joseph Church in New Paltz start in April. Schedules, requirements and other information, including dates and locations for the Confirmation Masses are available here.
By Jim Connell, Webmaster
It is not often that something is free and also of value. The Archdiocese, however, has made available three valuable technology tools which are free to our parishes and religious education programs: eCatholic, Flocknote and FORMED.
eCatholic is a website builder. They offer the resources to create a website that is easy to use and update. The webpages are mobile responsive (that means they look good on a tablet or phone). They have great customer service. I should know as the Catechetical Office website uses eCatholic. eCatholic would make it easy for a religious education program and the RCIA to have some pages on the parish website for general information program resources and contact purposes. (See
Flocknote is a communication tool. This was created with churches in mind (hence, the "flock"). Using this tool, you can communicate directly to all or specific parish groups, such as RCIA candidates or parents of those preparing for first Eucharist. The benefit is that you are able to contact them in the manner they prefer, such as email, text or phone message. It is a powerful tool that keeps communication going among constituents. (See
FORMED has been advertised as the "Catholic Netflix." When you subscribe, you get access to Catholic study programs, movies, audio presentations, and eBooks - all kinds of resources about the Catholic Faith. There are resources and guides for leaders to help optimize its use in the parish. All the resources are available by downloading or streaming. (See
Give yourself a ministry upgrade and try out one or more of these free tools. It's a worthwhile investment of your time and it's free!
Fast from Violence
By Sr. Patricia McCarthy, CND
Columnist, Rhode Island Catholic
The insidious nature of violence on a daily basis is that we get used to it. We often don't even notice it. Domestic violence, child abuse, violence in sports and language, the violence of poverty, street crime, racism and even war become background to our daily existence. Until someone we love or know is immediately involved we live with the violence as the natural way of life. Violence is neither natural nor necessary. Our tolerance of violence has been highly developed through intense exposure to it. The start of changing our reality to a more peaceful one is to stop tolerating violence, to stop accepting it as a necessary reality in our lives. MORE.
Staten Island Annual Day of Prayer
On Saturday, March 3, beginning at 9:30am, the Staten Island Regional Office will present its 26th Annual Day of Prayer on the theme, "Walking with Mary: Her Journey of Faith." All in the catechetical ministry and other interested adults are welcome.
The presenter is John Collins, national religion consultant for William H. Sadlier, Inc., Publishers, which is sponsoring the day. Price, including lunch: $7.00. RSVP to Sr. Mary Crucifix, regional catechetical director for Staten Island, at 347-286-0508
Orange County Lenten Activities
The Orange County Regional Catechetical Office will sponsor a Fast/Feast on Friday evening, March 16, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The guest speakser is Virginia Brown, LCSW. Price: $17.00. a simple supper will be served in keeping with the season. RSVP by phone, 945-292-9100, or email, email@example.com. Directors, coordinators, catechists and any interested parishioners are welcome.
Sullivan County Lenten Activities
The county Youth Group Living Stations will take place on Wednesday evening, March 21, at 6:00 pm at the Church of the Holy Cross in Callicoon. All are welcome.
Directors, coordinators, catechists and other interested adults are invited to the annual Sullivan County Fast/Feast, which will take place Friday evening. March 23, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Church of St. George in Jeffersonville. The price is $16.00 and includes a simple supper. Virginia Brown, LCSW, will be the guest speaker. RSVP to 845-292-9100, or
Manhattan and Central/Southern Westchester Regional Offices to host Confirmation Retreat
On Sunday, March 18, 450 Confirmation students from 10 Manhattan parishes and eight parishes from Central/Southern Westchester will gather at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains for a Confirmation Retreat.
Array of Hope will coordinate the day with speakers and activities geared to this needs of this age group.
Most Rev. Gerald T. Walsh, vicar for clergy, will be the principal celebrant of the Mass, joined by pastors and parochial vicars from the participating parishes. Sr. Joan Curtin, CND, director of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office, will welcome the participants.
Other regions are preparing Lenten observances within the context of their monthly regional meetings.
New York Catholic Bible School
The New York Catholic Bible School, which is part of the Catechist Formation program, provides Levels 3 and 4 Catechist Certification.
If you are a catechist who has completed Levels 1 and 2 OR you are a director or coordinator of religious education and have completed the Catechetical Leadership Program, you are eligible for a significant discount. Your tuition will be $50 per trimester, three trimesters a year. There is no registration fee.
Note that the Bible School welcomes all adults, not just those in the catechetical ministry. For these persons, there is an annual registration fee of $35; tuition is $150 per trimester.
First-Year Class now forming in Orange County
Bible School website
for more on this program and then complete either an "I'm Interested" or "I'm Ready to Apply" form on line. Be sure to indicate the locale in which you are interested. If you have any questions, contact
, the director.