May 25, 2015  
Volume IX, Number 21
  • Vigil Mass
  • Mass During the Day

  • Excerpts from Pope Francis' homily:

    "Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, programme and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences. This is also the case when it comes to God. Often we follow him, we accept him, but only up to a certain point. It is hard to abandon ourselves to him with complete trust, allowing the Holy Spirit to be the soul and guide of our lives in our every decision."


    Questions offered:

    Are we open to "God's surprises"? Or are we closed and fearful before the newness of the Holy Spirit? Do we have the courage to strike out along the new paths which God's newness sets before us, or do we resist, barricaded in transient structures which have lost their capacity for openness to what is new?



    In the Church, it is the Holy Spirit who creates harmony. One of Fathers of the Church has an expression which I love: the Holy Spirit himself is harmony - "Ipse harmonia est". Only the Spirit can awaken diversity, plurality and multiplicity, while at the same time building unity.


    Questions offered:

    So let us ask ourselves: Am I open to the harmony of the Holy Spirit, overcoming every form of exclusivity? Do I let myself be guided by him, living in the Church and with the Church?



    The older theologians used to say that the soul is a kind of sailboat, the Holy Spirit is the wind which fills its sails and drives it forward, and the gusts of wind are the gifts of the Spirit. Lacking his impulse and his grace, we do not go forward. The Holy Spirit draws us into the mystery of the living God and saves us from the threat of a Church which is gnostic and self-referential, closed in on herself; he impels us to open the doors and go forth to proclaim and bear witness to the good news of the Gospel, to communicate the joy of faith, the encounter with Christ. The Holy Spirit is the soul of mission.


    Let us ask ourselves: Do we tend to stay closed in on ourselves, on our group, or do we let the Holy Spirit open us to mission?

    Veni, Sancte Spiritus!

    The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
    "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations..."

    In light of Pope Francis' homily for Pentecost... where might you be called to make disciples beyond your own group, and with a missionary spirit? How might unity amongst others make disciples?
    Monday, May 25- St. Bede the Venerable
    Tuesday, May 26-   St. Philip Neri
    Wednesday, May 27-  St. Augustine of Canterbury
    Thursday, May 28-  Venerable Pierre Toussaint
    Friday, May 29-  St. Madeleine Sophie Barat

    Celebrating Oscar Romero
    Romero was once asked to explain that strange phrase, 'option for the poor'. He replied: " I offer you this by way of example. A building is on fire and you're watching it burn, standing and wondering if everyone is safe. Then someone tells you that your mother and your sister are inside that building. Your attitude changes completely. You're frantic; your mother and sister are burning and you'd do anything to rescue them even at the cost of getting charred. That's what it means to be truly committed. If we look at poverty from the outside, as if we're looking at a fire, that's not to opt for the poor, no matter how concerned we may be. We should get inside as if our own mother and sister were burning. Indeed it's Christ who is there, hungry and suffering."

    Welcome to NCCL's New President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer!

    Ken Ogorek, President.  Ken has worked at the diocesan level for 18 years, first inPittsburgh and now in Indianapolis.  He has been married for over 22 years and has 3 children ages 10 to 17.  Ken has published catechetical resources for adults as well as teens, and speaks regularly on Faith-related topics throughout the USA.  His most recent project is with the Evangelium Consulting Group (  Collaborating with parish catechetical leaders is usually the highlight of Ken's workweek.  He is a seasoned lay ecclesial minister who is eager to put his God-given leadership skills to use in service of His holy people. 

    Libi? Paez Howard, Vice President. Libia P?ez-Howard is Vicariate Catechetical Ministry Coordinator as wellas Coordinator of Leadership Formation in Spanish for the Archdiocese of Chicago.  Libia has served on the NCCL Federation of Catechesis with Hispanics board (including a term as president) and is currently a member of NCCL's Intercultural Committee.  Her five years on the NCCL Representative Council gave Libia many insights regarding our organization and the positive role we can play in catechetical renewal.  In her words, "Being part of NCCL and FCH has helped me to form ministerial connections and some personal relationships all over the country.

    Ellie Nelson, Secretary.  Ellie is the PCL Representative for the Province of Illinois and has served in the Diocese of Rockford since 1990. She is an experienced leader in evangelization, catechesis and family life ministries. Ellie has dedicated over 25 years of her professional career leading retreats for adults and women's groups. She is the co-founder of Light of the World Retreats-given all over the world. Serving on the Advisory Board for Light of the World Ministries (, she has a passion for witnessing the love and mercy that our Lord Jesus Christ can bring!  Ellie and her husband of 36 years, Terry, enjoy their 5 sons, one daughter-in-law and one granddaughter!

    Jayne Mondoy, Treasurer.  Jayne has served the Diocese of Honolulu as Director of Religious Education since 2005.  She and husband Tim are parents of a young-adult daughter.  Under Jayne's leadership the diocese has produced award-winning videos on the sacraments, online learning groups, and is implementing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program.  Trained in the world of corporate finance as an executive in retail and merchant banking, she now applies these skills in a spirit of stewardship in support of our shared mission to catechize and evangelize.

    Diocesan Cluster New Wineskins
    Diocesan Cluster New Wineskins
    #NCCL2015 Conference Updates:
    • Handouts, White Papers, and Resources are available online! Click here.  
    • Check twitter, facebook and instagram for some glimpses of @NCCLOnline, including photos of all the wonderful recognitions celebrated.
      • Three Certified Lay Eccelesial Ministers: Elizabeth Girton, Sr. Mary Joyanne Sullivan, and Laura Weatherington.
      • New Wineskins Awards: Balitmore Parish Cluster received by Laura Weatherington and Diocesan Cluster received by Jayne Mondoy.
      • Sadlier Award: Kathy Hendricks
      • Distinguished Service Award: Deacon Frank Zolvinksi
      • Catechetical Award: Daughters of Saint Paul
       And a special thank you to the wonderful hospitality of the Diocese of Buffalo!
    Extension on Reading/Responding to Document on Adolescent Catechesis. New Deadline: June 5!

    As you may already know, NCCL is one of three founding members of the Partnership for Adolescent Catechesis (PAC). Formed in 2003, PAC is a unique collaboration of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL); with support of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).


    In 2013, PAC commissioned a national document to be written on the topic of Adolescent Catechesis. The document is titled: "The Joy of Adolescent Catechesis". All three organizations collaborating in this project have been asked to solicit feedback on each draft of the document in order to make it the finest product possible. The first draft of the document has been released and members of NCCL have a wonderful opportunity during these next three weeks to read the first draft (approximately 45 pages in length) and offer constructive feedback, which will then be considered by the writing team, comprised of members from all the partner organizations.


    If you are interested in adolescent catechesis, here is your opportunity to help shape the document which we believe will be an important resource for use in catechizing adolescents years to come! To discover how you can download, read and give feedback on this important national project: Download the Instructional Document here.


    Evangelization Committee Has A Special Invitation
    In this Easter Season of joy, the NCCL Evangelization Committee has resurrected a series of articles on the theme of evangelizing catechesis that were commissioned by NCCL back in 2000.  The articles cover a wide range of important aspects of catechetical ministry and were written by significant national figures.  The Evangelization Committee is looking for NCCL members to participate in a revisiting of this series and doing an updating on this most timely evangelizing catechesis theme.
    If you are open to the possibility of writing a current response to one of the articles in the series from 2000, you may access the titles and articles online now!  Please take a look and see which one you would like to write a current response for (from a 2015 perspective).  Then communicate your interest to Tom Quinlan, Evangelization Committee co-chair, at  These articles and responses will be added to the NCCL evangelization website's blog at  The length of contributions is a modest 300-500 words, so please consider participating in this initiative.  If you have questions on this, please feel free to contact Cathy Cornue ( or Tom Quinlan by email or chat with them during the conference in Buffalo.
    Professional Development Webinars for Parish Ministers 
    Unleashed for Ministry

    Presented by 
    Sonja Corbitt, Author of 
    Date: June 2, 2015
    Time: 3-4pm EDT
    Even with the profusion of modern resources and training in Catholic ministry and formation today, parish leaders continue to feel ineffective at overcoming the superficial lives of the people they lead.  Is there a "key" to effective ministry and leadership? What are some of the Holy Spirit's own methods of ministry, training, and formation?
    In this webinar, author Sonja Corbitt will offer surprising yet powerful tools that can help parish leaders emulate the Holy Spirit in influencing those they lead in exponential, eternal ways and teach others to do the same.
    NCCL Is Moving!
    NCCL is soon to have a new home in Washington D.C.  LEARN MORE! 
    Copyright ? 2015. All Rights Reserved.