January 2018
News and Views for
    Catechetical and  
         RCIA Leaders 
Published by  
The Catechetical Office
  Department of Youth Faith Formation 
Archdiocese of New York  
This Month
For All in the Ministry
Catechumenate (RCIA_
Catechist Formation
Adult Confirmation
Webmaster's Column
Guest Columnist
Regional News
New York Catholic Bible School

Save the Date 

Friday, March  9
Day of  
Professional Enrichment
St. Joseph Seminary 

Of Special Note   


  NYC Public Schools Sex Education Mandate  


Columns & Quick Links


Dear Director/Coordinator,                                               
    A blessed new year filled with an abundance of that peace and joy only Jesus can give.
    What a beginning weather-wise we've experienced... freezing weather, snow, wind, more snow.... Sometimes you probably don't even want to get up in the morning. It would be much easier to pull up the covers and just go back to sleep.  
   Do you ever take a minute to consciously think about why you are getting up ?  Of course, most of us have myriad responsibilities that await us, so we get up and begin the day as usual.  More 
For All in the Ministry
Retreat Day for Catholics who teach in public schools set for Feb. 3  
If you teach in a public school or you know another Catholic who does, note and share this date: 
 Saturday, February 3 
That is when the annual Retreat Day for Catholic teachers in public schools takes place at Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers Building.  Fr. Ugo Nacciarone, SJ. will be the speaker.   
Time: 9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Address: 55 Ryder Road, Ossining, NY 10562

Spread the word among your colleagues, parents and family members who teach in the public schools and invite them to register here for a day of spirituality and enlightenment.
Professional Enrichment Day, March 9. to focus on "Evangelization and Parish Leadership."
Rev. Frank DeSiano, CSP, to lead the day.
The second annual Professional Enrichment Day for clergy, seminarians, parish directors and coordinators of religious education, youth ministers, and RCIA teams will address "Evangelization and Parish Leadership," a key component of the NYS Bishops' document, The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium.
   The Church in its documents and in its pastoral letters call the Church and all its leaders to perceive all ministry through the lens of evangelization. The General and National Catechetical Directories speak clearly about evangelization as the mission of the Church and that catechesis is to be within this mission. We, as parish leaders, are to spare no effort in our ministry of evangelization and catechesis. We, as parish leaders,  are to collaborate to form communities of evangelizers, bringing the good news to all those we are called to serve.
   This day will give participants, a deeper awareness of the Church's call to evangelization as well and the skills necessary for its effectiveness in parish ministry.
   Directors and coordinators are urged to invite the clergy from their parishes. Registration is now open

Thanks from the Archdiocesan Society  
for the Propagation of the Faith  
At the 2017 Forums in the Bronx and Monroe, participants contributed a total $2,225 to the Archdiocesan Society for the Propagation of the Faith to support the Missionary Childhood Association. This sum is apart from the funds raised by the individual parish religious education programs throughout the year. Msgr. Marc Fillacchione, archdiocesan director, recently wrote to express his thanks. Here is his letter.  
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.

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
Catechumenate (RCIA) 
Rite of Election at Cathedral Sunday, Feb. 18
His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan has invited catechumens who have participated in their parish RCIA process and are ready to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist to join him at the Rite of Election in St. Patrick's Cathedral on the first Sunday of Lent, Feb. 18, at 2pm. Pastors have been notified through the December mailing from the Vicar General.
  Advance registration is required. The deadline is Monday, Feb. 5. Participating parishes also are asked to send a hospitality volunteer to assist at the rite. All details on the rite, including registration, are available at the RCIA website.  
Winter and Spring Institutes Scheduled 
RCIA Winter Institute     
New York Catholic Center (12th Floor)
1011 First Avenue, New York, NY 10022                
(between East 55th and East 56th Streets)                
Course : Methodology for the RCIA
Date Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10am - 4pm
RCIA Spring Institute
Regina Coeli Church (School Building)
2 Harvey Street, Hyde Park, NY12538               
Course: Methodology for the RCIA
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 10am - 4pm
These institutes offer opportunities for parish RCIA leaders, team members, and catechists to take the Catechist Formation course titled: Methodology for the Catechumente (RCIA) which covers the goals and history of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the order and the ministries needed for the Catechumenate, methods for evangelizing, and liturgical catechesis. Experiences of a Rite of Acceptance, Rite of Sending, Dismissal Catechesis, and a Scrutiny will be offered. The RCIA Winter/Spring Institutes are available at no charge to all participants. More details and registration information are here.
Annual Communion Breakfast scheduled for Feb. 24 at the Riverview   
The Fifth Annual Liturgy and Breakfast for the catechists of parish religious education will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Riverview in Hastings-on-Hudson. Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, vicar for clergy, will be the celebrant. Sr. Maureen Sullivan, OP, PhD, theolgian and author of The Road to Vatican II, will be the speaker, courtesy of William H. Sadlier, Inc., where she is now a consultant. The theme is "The Catechist as a Missionary Disciple."
  The price is  $20 per person and registration must be received in advance. The deadline is Feb. 14. No registrations will be accepted at the door. For more information, email Stephanie Gonzalez.
Adult Confirmation 
Classes set for sites in Manhattan, Ulster and Westchester 
The Archdiocesan Adult Confirmation Program is designed to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation adults (18 years or older) who have been baptized, received their First Holy Communion, and have attended either parish religious education classes or a Catholic school.     
     Often, due to circumstances beyond their control, people miss out on this sacrament. Catechetical and RCIA leaders often encounter parishioners, parents, friends or relatives who would like to be confirmed. Beginning in March, classes will be offered at the Catholic Center in Manhattan and Holy Family Church in New Rochelle. Classes at St. Joseph Church in New Paltz start in April. Schedules, requirements and other information, including dates and locations for the Confirmation Masses are available here.  

By Jim Connell, Webmaster
Here's a suggestion for a New Year's resolution: use a strong password for you online accounts. A strong password is a good deterrent keeping your email, files, and money safe from hackers.  What is a strong password?  A strong password contains letters (at least one of them capitalized), numbers and special characters (e.g. #, %, &, etc.).  The longer the password, the stronger it is.  Using your name, your child's or pet's name, or, God forgive me, even "Jesus" as a password is not a good idea.  These are easy to crack, taking only seconds.  If you use the same password for multiple sites, then a hacker will have access to all your services (email, social, financial, etc.).  
Here's what you can do to help make your passwords secure:
  1. 1.       Forget the dictionary: common words make the worst passwords and are the first thing that hackers try.
  2. 2.       Never use the same password twice: use strong, separate passwords for each account: email, banking, social networking, work, etc.
  3. 3.       Come up with a passphrase: instead of a word, think phrase.   "Jesus" is not a good password, but the phrase, "Jesus is Lord" would take 9 million years to crack. (see  http://tinyurl.com/d2rwom7)
  4. 4.       Store your passwords securely: don't sticky-note your password to your computer or laptop, or store passwords on your computer.  Just as you don't store car keys in or on the car, don't store passwords in or on the computer. It's best to memorize them or use a password vault (see  https://identitysafe.norton.com).
If you need some help you can try Norton's password generator (http://tinyurl.com/d9qjtuv) which will create strong passwords for you.  By the way, the top three most frequently used bad passwords are "password,"  "123456" and "qwerty."  No wonder hackers have an easy time of it!
G uest columnist 
A Challenge for the New Year
By Sr. Patricia McCarthy, CND
Columnist, Rhode Island Catholic

  In the past week, the first week of 2018, two different sources gave us words of wisdom that can challenge all of us to the core of our moral sensibility. The two sources are separated by eighty years: Pope Francis and a three year old boy.
    On January 1st, Pope Francis said: "Let us nurture the seeds of peace as they grow and let us transform our cities into workshops of peace." More 
Regional News 
Staten Island Annual Day of Prayer
On Saturday, March 3, beginning at 9:30am, the Staten Island Regional Office will present its 26th Annual Day of Prayer on the theme, "Walking with Mary: Her Journey of Faith." All in the catechetical ministry and other interested adults are welcome.
   The presenter is John Collins, national religion consultant for William H. Sadlier, Inc., Publishers, which is sponsoring the day. Price, including lunch: $7.00. RSVP to Sr. Mary Crucifix, regional catechetical director for Staten Island, at 347-286-0508 .
Orange County Lenten Activities
The Orange County Regional Catechetical Office will sponsor a Fast/Feast on Friday evening, March 16, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. The guest speakser is Virginia Brown, LCSW.  Price: $17.00. a simple supper will be served in keeping with the season. RSVP by phone, 945-292-9100, or email, bkt4@verizon.net. Directors, coordinators, catechists and any interested parishioners are welcome.
Sullivan County Lenten Activities
The county Youth Group Living Stations will take place on Wednesday evening, March 21, at 6:00 pm at the Church of the Holy Cross in Callicoon. All are welcome.

Directors, coordinators, catechists and other interested adults are invited to the annual Sullivan County Fast/Feast, which will take place Friday evening. March 23, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Church of St. George in Jeffersonville. The price is $16.00 and includes a simple supper. Virginia Brown, LCSW, will be the guest speaker. RSVP to 845-292-9100, or bkt4@verizon.net

Manhattan and Central/Southern Westchester Regional Offices to host Confirmation Retreat
On Sunday, March 18, 450 Confirmation students from  10 Manhattan parishes and eight parishes from Central/Southern Westchester will gather at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains for a Confirmation Retreat. Array of Hope will coordinate the day with speakers and activities geared to this needs of this age group. 
   Most Rev. Gerald T. Walsh, vicar for clergy, will be the principal celebrant of the Mass, joined by pastors and parochial vicars from the participating parishes. Sr. Joan Curtin, CND, director of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office, will welcome the participants.
  For more information, contact Sr. Zelide Ceccagno, MSCS, regional director for Central/Southern Westchester, and Sr. Nancy Elizabeth Doran, SSC, Manhattan regional director.

Other regions are preparing Lenten observances within the context of their monthly regional meetings.
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. 

First-Year Class now forming in Orange County  
 Visit the Bible School website for more on this program and then 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. If you have any questions, contact Maureen McKew, the director.