Volume XII Issue XXXI, August 14, 2023

 Dear Erin,            

Catechetical (DRE) Leader Opening Mass and business meeting

Please find below the jotform link to register. Each parish should be sending a catechetical leader or delegate to this opening gathering.

We will be at Marywood in the chapel and then in the Wisdom Center.

9:30 am Mass with Bishop Pohlmeier

Light continental breakfast




Even more business

Jotform to RSVP by September 7th please

Catechetical Sunday is September 17, 2023

Catechetical Sunday is celebrated in the United States on the third Sunday of September to acknowledge and commission those who serve the parish and school community as catechists. In his Apostolic letter, Antiquum ministerum, Pope Francis describes the role of the catechist as: 

 “Catechists are called first to be expert in the pastoral service of transmitting the faith as it develops through its different stages from the initial proclamation of the kerygma to the instruction that presents our new life in Christ and prepares for the sacraments of Christian initiation, and then to the ongoing formation that can allow each person to give an accounting of the hope within them. At the same time, every catechist must be a witness to the faith, a teacher and mystagogue, a companion and pedagogue, who teaches for the Church. Only through prayer, study, and direct participation in the life of the community can they grow in this identity and the integrity and responsibility that it entails.

Annual Theme

Come to me all you who labor and are burdened”

“Vengan a Mí, todos que están cansados y cargados”

Commissioning of Catechists

We encourage using Catechetical Sunday to publicly commission and pray for those who will serve as catechists and teachers in the parish community. A commissioning rite is available to use at the Sunday Masses or in a special prayer service:

USCCB Commissioning Service English

 USCCB Commissioning Service Spanish

Catechetical Sunday also offers an opportunity to recall that all of the baptized have roles in handing on the faith in their daily life, families, work, and church involvement. 


The USCCB provides resources for parishes to use for the celebration of Catechetical Sunday: USCCB Resources

Liturgical Year Book Orders for Year B

It is that time of year again to begin thinking and preparing for the next liturgical year. Please find below the order form for various books that are tied to the liturgical year at the OCF’s discounted rates. 

Orders are due by August 25 for inclusion. Invoices will be provided when you receive your order. 

Liturgical Year B Orders

5th Annual Home School Mass and Dinner

Family registration is now open for the 5th Annual Blessing of Home School Families which includes Mass and a dinner.

Please see graphic above for information on time and location and the link below to register your family.

Jotform to register and volunteer

Save the date:

10th Annual Western Faith Formation Day on September 30

Save the date: 

39th Annual Faith Formation Day on October 14

Safe Environment ~ Circle of Grace

Training for new leaders and those who would like to have a refresher will be held via Zoom on:

Friday, August 18 at 11:00 am

Link is being sent around via email.. Let me know if you do not receive and you need it.

Thursday, September 28 at 11:00 am

Zoom links will be provided closer to those dates, but mark your calendars.

For school leaders, lessons will be posted on a closed website.

For parish leaders, a new flash drive and a closed website will be provided. Flash drives are being distributed. The new edition is purple.

Helping Special Needs and Autistic Students in Catechesis Masterclass with Father Matthew Schneider LIVE or watch on demand.

Join Sadlier Publishing for an educational and enriching Masterclass where you’ll gain insight into how students with special needs and autistic individuals learn and see the world of faith. Father Matthew Schneider, an autistic individual himself, will provide an inside look at students with an autistic mind and offer insight into how they learn, experience faith formation, and understand the Catholic faith.

August 16 Seeing Autism from the Inside

August 17 Practical Tips for Special Needs and Autistic Children

Master class registration Level III opportunity

Two Part Workshop on American Sign Language (ASL) for teachers/catechists and other parish ministers

Sr. Rita Baum, SSJ will be providing a 2 day workshop on American Sign Language, ASL, on

Saturday, September 16 from 9:00 am - noon

Saturday, September 23 from 9:00 am - noon

Sr. Rita is a Sister of St. Joseph who began using Sign in 1974 and became an interpreter in 1978 using these skills mainly in religious education classes and religion interpreting. These two workshops will include hymns and prayer as well as a broad vocabulary for basic communication.

The OCF is hosting this event. A free will offering of $5 will be accepted.

Jotform to register

University of Dayton Online courses

The OCF maintains a relationship with VLCFF so that anyone in the Diocese of St. Augustine can take advantage of the vast array of classes offered during their 7 cycles during the year. These 5-6 week courses, due to our partnership are at greatly reduced rates, as reasonable as $30-$35.

One of the most beneficial for us has been the Certificate in Special Needs, which now has two levels to better serve parishes. Scholarship monies are available for those who want to pursue these certificates. The form to apply is below. All costs of the certificate are reimbursed upon completion of the program. (~$700 per certificate)

Level I Courses

  1. Disabilities in Parish Life: An Overview (SN-1)
  2. Fundamentals in Deaf Faith Formation (SN-2)
  3. Creative Methodologies: ADHD in Parish Life - Pastoral Implications (SN-3)
  4. Autism in Faith Formation (SN-4)
  5. Faith Formation for Adults with Special Needs (SN-5)

Level II Courses

  1. Veteran and Military Family Outreach
  2. Bioethical Issues Including Care for the Aging and Support for Families
  3. Disabilities Ministry across the Life Span: Prenatal Diagnosis – End of Life Care
  4. Chronic Illness: Mental Illness, Grief, Trauma Supports, Counselling
  5. Moral Injury: Co-Occurring Disorders, When our Pain Blocks God's Joy

VLCFF~Scholarship for Special Needs Certificate

Special Needs Resources for Faith Formation

USCCB Guidelines for the Celebration of Sacraments with People with Disabilities

Making Inclusion Work in Religious Education (Sadlier) Blog entry with tips as well as a parent survey. This blog is available in Spanish and English.

Inclusion and Access Document (DOSA)

RDLbenziger booklet on special needs adaptations

Loyola Press Special Needs Adaptive materials

Hands of Grace the Catholic Sacraments (Ascension Press)

Religious Sign App in ASL for Families

Teaching Tools for special Needs Children (Diocese of Des Moines)

Welcoming All Who Come to Our Doors

Diocesan training series for those who work in OCIA ministry

While we await the publication of the updated OCIA, the OCF will still offer part 1 of our series, "Welcoming All Who Come to Our Doors." This general overview of the process with an emphasis on the initial steps in OCIA. This offering will be on Saturday, August 19 from 9;30 am to 12:30 pm.

It will be at the Catholic Center in the Hurley Auditorium. Registration is open.

Jotform to register

OCIA with Children: An Overview with Pastoral Suggestions and Best Practice Sharing

Sunday, September 10, 2023

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Catholic Center Hurley Auditorium

Jotform to register

Basic Certification (Level I)

Registration is now open for the second weekend to be held at Epiphany Parish in Lake City on August 27-27, 2023.

August 26 Scripture and Church

August 27 Liturgy/Sacraments/Basic Beliefs

Jotform to register for the offerings at Epiphany Registration link through jotform

Level I at St. Francis of Assisi Mission in Yulee.

Registration is now open

September 9 Scripture and Church

September 10 Faith Development and Catechetical/Legal

September 23 Role of the Catechists and Practical Skills

September 24 Liturgy and Sacraments and Basic Beliefs

Jotform to register

Standard Certification (Level II)

Three ways to achieve, all online:

  1. Searchlight Virtual School
  2. University of Dayton VLCFF
  3. Notre Dame STEP Program (password now must be used: staugustine)

Standard Certification Information

Continuing Formation (Level III) Opportunities

The big question for catechetical leaders is how can the vision and practices of the Directory for Catechesis guide catechetical ministry in parishes across the United States. This is the focus of the 2023 NCCL Convocations being held regionally across the United States. We are going to explore how the catechetical vision of the Directory and the practices that flow from that vision can transform catechesis with all ages and generations in a parish community.

Draft # 2 of the Convocation (a sneak peek, we are still working on it)

Our regional gathering will be at:

October 24-25: Tampa: Franciscan Center


Information and registration

Visit our office website