April-May 2019
News and Views for
    Catechetical Leaders  
Published by  
The Catechetical Office 
  Department of Youth Faith Formation 
Archdiocese of New York  
This Month
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Special Confirmation
Webmaster's Column
All in Ministry
Guest Columnist

Save the Date 

The Forums
Oct. 5: Bronx
October 26: Monroe 

Of Special Note   


  NYC Public Schools Sex Education Mandate  


Columns & Quick Links

Dear Director/Coordinator,
The peace of the Risen Lord be yours in abundance.
     I hope that your Holy Week and Easter Services provided you with time for reflection and renewal as you journeyed with Jesus through his suffering and death to new life through his resurrection. We can never fully comprehend the meaning of all this either for ourselves or for our world. One thing we do know for sure is that "Nothing was ever the same." More 
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Summer intensives scheduled for July
Once again. Mt. St. Francis Retreat Center will host summer intensive formation for catechists of the Good Shepherd. Level 3, Part 1 formation will take place July 7-17 and Level 2, Part 1, is scheduled for August 9-16.  For more information, check the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd webpage. Full information on Level 3, Part 1 registration is available now and information on Level 2, Part 1 will be posted shortly.  
Special Religious Education
55 Youth with Disabilities confirmed by the Cardinal at St. Patrick's Cathedral
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan conferred the Sacrament of
Cd. Dolan confirms Allan K. Sanchez
Confirmation upon a group of 55 young persons with disabilities on April 28, 2019, at the 10:15 A.M. Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.  Although it is usually recommended persons with disabilities be integrated into their parish ceremonies, this is a special opportunity for the Archdiocese to recognize in a particular way young people with special needs.
    For all present in the Cathedral, including several hundred New York City fire fighters, it was a reminder of the unique gift each individual is in the Church community.
    The celebration of Confirmation for Youth with Disabilities was established more than 30 years ago by the late John Cardinal O'Connor, archbishop of New York from 1984 to his death in 2000. As a young priest, Cardinal O'Connor had prepared children with Downs Syndrome for First Communion. Children with developmental and physical disabilities remained close to his heart throughout his life.

By Jim Connell, Webmaster
In The Mindful Catholic, Dr. Greg Bottaro makes a good case for keeping our minds on what we do and gives pointers on how to be present to what we are doing.  Dr. Bottaro challenged me in using "mindfulness" when writing emails.  Here are a few suggestions:
  1. 1. Practice patience. When writing emails, allow yourself to mindfully check it over before sending.  Check your tone, spelling and grammar. If you provide a link, check it to make sure it works.  If you refer to an attachment, make sure it is attached.
  2. Be discerning. When replying 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 the email would be of interest to them as it helps the reader to have some context.
  5. Practice kindness.  Writing good subject lines helps the recipient to prioritize.  Something important should have a subject line that conveys that it is important, such as "Important - Classes Cancelled" or "FYI - Holiday Schedule."  Also, practice kindness by using an automatic out of office reply when you are away for a day or more so people know they will not receive a prompt reply.
These are just some examples of how you can make email a mindful discipline.  We always say that we can encounter God's Spirit anywhere.  Why shouldn't people receive the spirit of patience, discernment, simplicity, forthrightness, and kindness in each email?
For All in Ministry  

The Forums: Save the dates now.
Yes, yes. The Forums for Catechesis and Youth Ministry appear way off. However, in our ministry time flies at supersonic speed, so please mark your calendars and remind your catechists and pastor to do likewise.

October 5:   Cardinal Spellman High School, Bronx
October 26: Sacred Heart, Monroe

Directors and coordinators of religious education, along with pastors and catechists, can have all the offerings and news of the Catechetical Office on their smartphones and tablets. The Catechetical Office App, "Catechetical," available free at Google Play or the App Store, was created by the Catechetical Office webmaster, Jim Connell.

Visit our website 
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 www.nyfaithformation.org
Guest Columnist
A litany for our mothers 
Sr. Patricia McCarthy, CND, columnist for Rhode Island Catholic, has created a wonderful litany for all mothers. It's an appropriate prayer for this month, when we honor the Mother of God.
   Read it, pray it here.