March 2017
News and Views for
    Catechetical and
    RCIA Leaders 
Published by  
The Catechetical Office 
Archdiocese of New York 
This Month
For All in the Ministry
Special Religious Education
New York Catholic Bible School

Save the Date 

Sunday, May 14
Confirmation for Children & Youth with Special Needs

Saturday, June 17
NY Catholic Bible Summit

Saturday, Oct. 14
Catechetical Forum

Saturday, Oct. 28
Catechetical Forum

Of Special Note   


  NYC Public Schools Sex Education Mandate  


Columns & Quick Links


Dear Director/Coordinator,
      It's hard to believe that we are already beginning the Third Week of Lent. In most regions of the archdiocese, you are gathering for Fast Feasts or Lenten Days of Prayer.
        On Saturday, I had the joy of joining on Staten Island almost 100 directors/coordinators of religious education and catechists, directors/coordinators of the RCIA and team members, as well as other interested adults for a wonderful day given by a nationally known presenter, Dr. Carole Eipers of Sadlier Publishing. More 
For All in the Ministry
Register now for: 
Parish Leadership in a  
Changing Landscape
Friday, March 24, 2017
9:30 am - 3:00 pm
St. Joseph's Seminary 
presented by Julianne Stanz
Director of New Evangelization for the 
Diocese of Greenbay, Wisconsin  

Join Julianne Stanz of the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, for a discussion of "Missionary Discipleship and Pathways for Inspirational Leadership" as called for by the NYS Bishops in their document, The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium. Find at all the details and information on registration here.


Save these dates:  
Sunday, April 23  
Neophyte Mass 
For newly initiated Catholics and those who have completed their initiation in the Church. For more information, contact Oscar Cruz, director of the Catechumenate. 
Saturday, June 17
New York Catholic Bible Summit 
Registration opens in April at 
We are mobile now. Get our free app.
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.

Catch up daily with all our news and events 
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
Special Religious Education
Confirmation for Children/Youth with Disabilities scheduled for May 14 and new Catechetical Office committee formed.
On Sunday, May 14, Timothy Cardinal Dolan will confer the Sacrament Descent of Holy Spirit of Confirmation upon some very special Catholics at St. Patrick's Cathedral: children and youth with disabilities. They are special in many ways, not just because they have developmental and physical challenges but, more importantly, because they are ready for the sacrament and they represent the love and commitment to life of their parents, relatives, friends, and a dedicated new committee of men and women.

The Catechetical Office recently established the Special Religious Education Advisory Committee, led by Mrs. Linda Sgammato, chair, and Sr. Anne Ryan, PBVM, vice-chair. Both are former directors of special religious education for the Catechetical Office. The membership includes directors/coordinators of religious education and catechists with experience in catechizing children with disabilities and their families.

Assisting with visits to this year's confirmandi and their families is just one of the committee's responsibilities, according to Sr. Joan Curtin, CND, director of the Catechetical Office. "Throughout the year," Sr. Joan said, "the committee will be available to work with pastors and religious educators to provide resources and advocacy for children with disabilities and their families in their faith formation."

For more information, contact:


By Jim Connell, Webmaster
We are in the early weeks of the season of Lent and can all use a few ideas in order to deepen our Lenten practice.  Email lends itself to ways in which we can "offer it up" for Lent and develop a pattern of virtuous online living.  Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Practice patience: When you write important emails (and few aren't), allow at least some minutes of rest after you have finished it.  Check your tone.  Don't be verbose (see #3).  Use the spell check and catch any spelling and grammatical errors. If you provide a link, check it out to make sure it is works.
  2. Be discerning: when you reply to email, do not default to "Reply All," use "Reply" instead. Normally we only want to respond to the person who originated the email.  Use "Reply All" only in circumstances when everyone who received the original email needs to know your response.
  3. Practice simplicity: Less is better than more. Keep emails short. Amen!
  4. "Be ready to give an account" (1 Peter 3:15): when you forward emails, take the time to explain to the recipient why this would be of interest to them.  It helps the reader to have some context as to why this email may be of interest, enabling them to appreciate your kindness.
  5. Practice kindness: give people a heads up by writing good subject lines.  It helps your reader to prioritize their work.  Something important should have a subject line that conveys what it is that is important, such as: Important - Classes Cancelled or FYI - Holiday Schedule.
These are some examples where you can make email a Lenten discipline.  Are you practicing any technology-related Lenten disciplines?  I'd like to know! Email me at
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.
New Classes are always forming. 
   Visit the Bible School website for more details on this program and 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.