August 4, 2017

A flier  is attached to promote this year's Catholic Night at the Springfield Cardinals. Come enjoy a night of baseball, $1 hotdogs, and cheer Bishop Rice on as he throws out the first pitch.

Saturday, Oct. 14 at Holy Trinity in Springfield
Sunday, Oct. 22 at St. Vincent de Paul in Cape Girardeau

Living as Missionary Disciples
Youth Ministry Leaders Conference
January 26-28, 2018

All those leading and helping with ministry to high school youth are invited to the 2018 Diocesan Youth Leaders Conference. The conference will be lead by Tony and Lynn Melendez. Click below for a complete flyer with information and registration form.

Retain Catechists and help them be more effective! 
40 Parishes and 22 Schools are well on their way to becoming certified.   Are the catechists and teachers at your parish or school enrolled?

Get Started and work on becoming certified this summer.  Need help? Call us! 
All the information you need is on our Website:
After the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis page opens, click on the image similar to this one to find information and forms for the new process.  

If you are unable to print this information, please contact Rick Barnhart at or Kim Brayman at   or (417) 866-0841 to request copies of the booklet or forms.
Digital Discipleship: 
Twitter, Instagram, and ... (Part III)

We live in the midst of an evolving Digital Culture with its own language and skills. It's almost like going to a foreign land where we may often feel like a "stranger." So, when others begin to say that they are using Twitter, Instagram, Snap Chat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Canva we look back at them with a blank look. Often we do not know what these tools are nor do we know how to use them.

Today, learning how to use any of these tools has become very simple. Your 18-year-old (or younger) grandchild, nephew, niece or neighbor use these tools on a regular basis. And if they don't, go to Google and/or YouTube and search for - "Name of Tool" Tutorial - for example: Twitter Tutorial, or Instagram Tutorial, etc. Normally, in a matter of 10 minutes you will be able to find and view one video that will introduce the tool to you.  To continue reading
   Catechist's Journey
Catechists as Missionary Disciple
Catechetical  Sunday , with its 2017 theme of "Living as Missionary Disciples," is a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on why we do the challenging work of catechesis. How do we live as missionary disciples? Mission When I hear the word missionary, I think of a priest sailing to some far away and foreign land to preach the Gospel, armed only with his crucifix and his conviction. We might think that the call to be. 

Save 10% this month on Search Institute posters with the code JULYPOSTERS.

Great for your classroom, program, or home, posters feature practical and positive ideas to  motivate  and  inspire  young people and adults alike. 

Bulletin Announcement  
Put this in your bulletin now!  Registering now for Cycle 6, 2017
Adult Faith Formation and Catechist Certification courses online!  

The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is a program of the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton. The VLCFF offers online adult religious education and faith formation courses in support of the Church's catechetical ministry. This means that you can deepen your faith at a time and place convenient to you via the internet.

The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau partners with the VLCFF to extend these opportunities to all the faithful in our diocese at $50.00 per course. Courses may be taken for undergraduate credit (for an additional fee) and  courses qualify for credit in our diocesan Catechist Formation Process.

Cycle 6  2017: 
Registration:  July 19 - August 30 
Course Schedule & Listings:  English   Spanish
Classes held: Sept. - Oct. 7
Sample Courses for Cycle 6 include :
  • Bible Basics**
  • Introduction to Catechesis**
  • Survey of Catholic Doctrine** 
  • Introduction to Practical Morality**
  • A Vision for Catholic Youth Ministry**
**Courses recommended for catechist certification by our diocese

You may apply for a diocesan Lay Endowment Grant for reimbursement upon successful completion of a course. This newsletter has more information about the grant.  
Diocesan Lay Endowment Grant


You may be eligible to apply for a Lay Endowment Grant to receive a reimbursement for course fees for the University of Dayton VLCFF.  Click the links below for more information. 

Vatican Releases Important Online Questionnaire for Youth and Young Adults


From Catholic News Agency in Vatican City:

To involve young people in preparations for the Synod of Bishops on youth in 2018, the Vatican has released an online questionnaire to better understand the lives, attitudes and concerns of 16- to 29-year-olds around the world. The questionnaire - available in English, Spanish, French and Italian is open to any young person, regardless of faith or religious belief. Young people from all backgrounds are encouraged to take part in the questionnaire because every young person has "the right to be accompanied without exclusion," synod officials had said.

Catechetical Sunday 
September 17th 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,  as well as many of the religious education publishers, have resources available for your use in you parish. You may also contact the local sales rep for the books you use.  Many of these resources are free.

                  Click here for more information
Available to borrow from the diocesan library!

 Companions on the Journey-Mary and the Saints
The Effective DRE: A Theology Series

This booklet provides an outline of the origins of the devotions to Mary and the saints, the way in which saints are proclaimed today, and the place apparitions of Mary have in the context of the Church.

If you would like to borrow this from our Resource Library contact Kim Brayman at or (417) 866-0841.
Special Reminder from DeSales Catholic Bookstore in Springfield

Many of the resources listed in the Diocesan newsletter and many more wonderful Catholic products, can be found at DeSales Catholic Bookstore in Springfield. As the only Catholic bookstore in the diocese, we stock items we know parishes need including hosts, candles, annual publications and more. Additionally, we extend a 20% discount (on most items) to the Catholic Center offices, diocesan staff, parishes, parish staff, as well as the Springfield Catholic Schools, teachers and staff.
We work hard to keep basic resources in-stock and receive most publishers' new releases, including USCCB, Ascension Press, Catholic Book Publishing, Ignatius Press and most other Catholic publishers. Many people find the shipping charges from publishers to be quite high, especially for individual items.  We are able to ship at a discount due to our volume of shipping we do.

Please feel free to stop in and take a look at the store. We've expanded and added extensively to our inventory over the last two years. We are here Tuesday through Friday,  9:30am - 5:30pm and stay open until 7pm on Wednesdays. Saturdays in the summer we close at 2pm.  After Labor Day, we are open 9:30am - 5:30pm, Tuesday - Saturday, and Wednesdays until 7pm.

Catechetical Survey Responses are Greatly Appreciated!
We sincerely thank all those who have replied to our recent survey.  If you have not responded, please take time to do so today. Bishop Rice is especially interested to read your responses to the questions on the age of Confirmation. Here is a link to the survey which may be complete through Survey Monkey. (Get link from Katie)  Or you may download the printed form, fill it out, and mail it back to us.
Catholic Outreach to College Freshmen

T he Newman Connection collects information on graduating high school students and forwards them to the Catholic Newman Centers across the United States so they can welcome incoming Freshmen and connect them to the Catholic life on campus.
If parishes have not already forwarded your list to Newman Connection, please send the names of college-bound 2017 graduates along with the name of the college the will attend to the Katie Newton in the Office of Youth Ministry, Please submit the list by August 11th so the various colleges can be prepared to welcome our students.

Overview and Explanation of the National Dialogue

The XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on "Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment" Preparatory Document names the priority that "...the Church wants again to state her desire to encounter, accompany, and care for every young person, without exception."(Synod Preparatory Document,Part II, Introduction)

Furthermore it challenges the entire church to remember, "In the task of accompanying the younger generations, the Church accepts her call to collaboration in the joy of young people... Such a service is ultimately founded in prayer and in asking for the gift of the Spirit, Who guides and enlightens each and every one."  (Synod Preparatory Document,Part II, Section 4)

The hope of this National Dialogue echoes the hope of the V Encuentro process that "all Catholic leaders in the United States...become authentic and joyful missionary disciples by giving witness to God's love with a prophetic voice." (Introduction, V Encuentro Guide)

In light of this  priority challenge , and  hope , a national collaborative effort has begin between the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), the USCCB National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry, and the National Catholic Network de Pastoral Juvenil Hispana (LaRed) to engage the church in a  National Dialogue on Catholic Pastoral Ministry with Youth and Young Adults  with the intent to renew our ministry efforts with these members of our faith community.

National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC)
NCYC will be November 15-19, 2017 in Indianapolis.  Many parishes from across the diocese are planning on joining us on our pilgrimage to Indianapolis!  Are you?

Remember that the next payment of $200 per person is due August 16th!! (all payments are non-refundable but are transferable). Total cost for the trip is $600 per person.  More details can be found on the Youth Ministry page of the Diocesan website:

If you need help with budgeting or planning for your group, please don't hesitate to ask.

Accompanying Youth And Young Adults On Their Journey As Missionary Disciples.

There is a deep hunger in youth and young adults-a hunger for love, for truth, for meaning, for belonging, and for purpose that the culture cannot satisfy.  This hunger is satisfied in friendship with Jesus Christ-a friendship that leads to community in his Church and to fruitful sharing of love and care with those in need.  Another way to describe this friendship is the invitation to become a missionary disciple of and for Jesus Christ. Youth and young adults begin their discipleship journey in baptism and continue on that journey when they come to love Christ and follow His ways. They become missionary disciples when they seek to witness and serve those most in need, beginning with those closest to them.  Our engagement with youth and young adults should help young disciples encounter Christ. Accompany them, promote belonging in the parish community, and lead them to missionary witness.
Want to become a better evangelist and spiritual leader at home and in your community?

Have a strong marriage.

This video from season two of our popular Catholics Come Home TV show offers some tips to help you strengthen your marriage, which has a huge impact on your spiritual leadership and on the whole Church!

Need a few more resources to help you have a stronger marriage?
Rachel's Vineyard plans Kansas City weekend retreat for those who suffer from abortion decision
Our next retreat will be held on the weekend of Sept. 22-24, 2017 in the Kansas City area. In order to protect the confidentiality of those attending, the location is told only to those planning to come to the retreat. The retreats are open to all who suffer from an abortion decision, not just women. Men also suffer from the loss of fatherhood, grandparents mourn the loss of grandchildren, and those who have supported someone in their abortion decision often face later regret. You will find a letter of invitation  here and a testimonial of a pastor's experience here. For more information, contact  (816) 679-4973 or visit + +

 Jointly, From the Offices of Social Ministry and Evangelization . . . . 

Celebrating the Sacrament with PERSONS of DISABILITIES

It is essential that all forms of the liturgy be completely accessible to persons with disabilities, since these forms are the essence of the spiritual tie that binds the Christian community together. To exclude members of the parish from these celebrations of the life of the Church, even by passive omission, is to deny the reality of that community. Accessibility involves far more than physical alterations to parish buildings. Realistic provision must be made for Catholics with disabilities to participate fully in the Eucharist and other liturgical celebrations."  2017 Revision of Guidelines for the Celebration of Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities.   The full document can be found at. Click here
I was pleased to attend the Annual Conference of the National Federation of the Blind in Orlando earlier this month. XSB Board member Carl Jacobsen is the President of NFB of New York State and his wife Mindy is President of the New York City chapter. I'd like to thank them for their guidance and graciousness to me in Orlando and since starting at XSB. At the conference I was fortunate to meet many wonderful people and learn about many issues affecting blind people. 

Xavier Society for the Blind has a proud history of 'serving God and the Blind since 1900.' Over that period of time we have made many changes with regard to how we operate: location, use of volunteers, technology, adding and eliminating products, services and offerings, and adapting to changing standards, to name a few.

As many of our patrons probably already know, the Braille Authority of North America has adopted Unified English Braille (UEB) to replace English Braille American Edition in the United States. Implementation of this change began in 2016 for many organizations. Xavier Society for the Blind has continued to produce documents in English Braille American Edition, but eventually will transition to UEB. We have no firm deadlines at the moment for this transition, but we will begin the planning process over the coming months and will inform our patrons as our plans are developed. We hope to find the right balance between meeting the needs for our existing patrons and responding to changing standards to ensure that we will continue to serve the blind and visually impaired well into the future.

2017 Codes of Conduct

Each year, all Clergy, Teachers, Employees and Volunteers (who work with children) within the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau are asked to review and sign the Code of Conduct and complete the  Background Questionnaire.  The 2017-18 Code of Conduct is now available through the Virtus website and the Diocese web page  by clicking here..  It has been changed some, specifically with references to the Guidelines for the Use of Technology, Email and Social Media, which can be found in the 2017 Safe Environment Procedures, also on the Diocesan web page:
These are due annually and should be maintained at your Parish or School by the Safe Environment Coordinator and may also be sent to the Director, Child and Youth Protection at the Catholic Center.  
Thank you all for the continued support of this mission and Ministry.  Should you have any questions please contact Bill Holtmeyer or Rosie Francka  or (417) 866-0841.

List of Upcoming VIRTUS Trainings

Praesidium's Tip of the Month
Preventing False Allegations of Abuse

Fortunately, false allegations are rare. But, in today's climate, anxiety about false allegations can paralyze those who work closely with children. Don't let the fear of false allegations interfere with your mission to work with children. Following these simple rules can establish healthy boundaries to help prevent false allegations: 


  1. Follow your organization's code of conduct. The guidelines set by your organization are designed to keep everyone safe. If you follow the rules, you are less likely to be falsely accused, and you will be in a better position to defend yourself. Additionally, do not decide for yourself whether a policy is good or bad. If there is a rule then there is a reason. If you do not understand why a policy is in place, ask your supervisor to explain.
  2. Keep boundaries with kids clear. It is your responsibility to set limits with children in your organization. Youth in your organization are not your friends or equal, so it is important to draw clear lines of interaction. Here are a few rules you can follow:

    Do not discuss personal details with children.
    Do not take kids to your home.
    Do not use inappropriate or suggestive language with children.
    Maintain appropriate physical interaction (side-hugs, no sitting on laps, no wrestling or tickling, etc.)
  3. Avoid one-on-one situations through effective supervision. Generally, you should always have two adults on duty or in eyesight of each other to keep children safe from abuse and staff safe from false accusations. If you find yourself alone with a child, move to an area where adults, children, or people passing by can see you. Also, never go into a bathroom with a child alone. Instead, take two kids and stand outside the bathroom. Some programs within your organization may require one-on-one mentoring. To keep these activities safe, avoid physical contact, only go to authorized destinations, report activities and whereabouts to supervisors, and use appropriate language.
  4. Give feedback and be open to receiving it. Do not hesitate to point out when someone is engaging in risky behaviors - he or she may not be aware of it. Also, be grateful when others do the same for you.
  5. Apply your boundary skills in all forms of communication. Often, people are careless with their boundaries online. Written content can be misinterpreted, and intent is almost impossible to prove. Assume everything you say online or via text message is being viewed by the child's parent and/or your supervisor.
  6. Notify others of unusual circumstances. While we work hard to avoid risk situations, sometimes it happens. Letting your supervisor know can help protect you, and it can help identify where more staff is needed.
Only a small percentage of allegations turn out to be false, but they can still damage a reputation, end a career, hurt an organization's image, and cost thousands of dollars in legal fees. Praesidium can provide training and help you put the proper policies in place to help prevent false allegations from occurring and to protect the children and staff in your organization.

If you have any questions Please contact The Office of Child and Youth Protection.
Contact Us:
Office of Evangelization, Catechesis,  and
 Youth Formation
Director: Lynn Melendez
Assoc. Director: RickBarnhart
Assistant: Kim Brayman
Assistant: Katie Newton
Office of Child and Youth Protection
Director: William Holtmeyer
Assistant: Rosie Francka

The Catholic Center is now using this email system powered Constant Contact.  It has made it much easier for us to maintain email lists, and assure that your information remains private.  Within this system, the staff at The Catholic Center manages various email lists to ensure each person receives correspondence most relevant to them. Please do not "opt-out" or "unsubscribe" from this email. If you no longer desire to receive email from this particular office, please reply and let the sender know. They will remove you from that specific list. If you do "opt-out" or "unsubscribe," you will no longer receive ANY group correspondence from any of the offices at The Catholic Center.