Volume XII Issue XXX, August 7,2023

 Dear Erin,            

Annual Catechetical Leader Day of Reflection~ August 8, 2023

See you tomorrow morning!

Save and share this date for the 5th Annual Homeschool Family Mass and Dinner:

Monday, September 18 5:30 pm at

Holy Family Parish, Jacksonville

Gaining and Maintaining Good Catechists

It's that time of the year again to be seeking the best people to "echo" the faith to people of our parish communities. While sometimes the temptation is to find a willing, warm body, the reality is that this important role in the Church's Mission is reserved for a specific group of people with specific skills sets.

Here are some good articles to help you as you discern who might fill this vocation and how might you maintain them.

Calling Forth Catechists (Joe Paprocki)

Finding Catechists with GIFTS (Julianne Stanz)

Acknowledging, Advocating, and Affirming the Vocation of the Catechist (Me)

Looking for OCIA Catechists (NIck Wagner ---Team RCIA)

Administering Confirmation to Youth document:



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

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

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.

Please note for your planning that the Circle of Grace lessons are an integral part of your religion curriculum and should be done in the very beginning of the year as strongly recommended in the training by the Archdiocese of Omaha.

We have set a deadline of December 15 for completion of these essential lessons here in the Diocese of St. Augustine. If you location is unable to meet this deadline, a request for extension can be asked of your diocesan leader.

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 RCIA 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 RCIA. 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

Because you have asked, a workshop on RCIA with children will be held on Sunday, September 10. Details available shortly. If you would like to host, let me know. This will be an afternoon event.

Basic Certification (Level I)

Registration is now open for the all in two weekends to be held at Epiphany Parish in Lake City on the weekends of August 27-27, 2023.

Registration for this coming weekend is closed.

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 OCF Maintains partnerships with several organizations and Institutions that provide formational opportunities in a variety of areas.

We just renewed our relationship with 2 universities that provide continuing formation:

The University of Notre Dame and its Satellite Theology department through the McGrath Insitute for Church Life ~ classes are 20% off for anyone in DOSA:

Link to STEP

The University of Dayton Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation. Classes here are about 50% off depending on the length of class.

VLCFF link to page

Some other organizations we support and are affiliated with:

NCPD (National Catholic Partnership on Disabilities)

NCPD homepage

The Xavier Society for the Blind: they provide missals and a variety of textbooks in Braille or in audio for those we need them. Xavier Society for the Blind

NCCL ( National Community of Catechetical Leaders)


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


The OCF is offering scholarship money for the October 24-25 event in Tampa.

To apply for the $300 scholarship monies, please complete the form below and return by August 1 to the Office of Christian Formation. Monies will be distributed after the Convocation.

Scholarship Application

There are only 40 rooms available at the retreat

center, but there will be hotels on standby for guests.

Information and registration

Visit our office website