June-July 2017
News and Views for
    Catechetical and  
         RCIA Leaders 
Published by  
The Catechetical Office 
Archdiocese of New York  
This Month
For All in the Ministry
Family Catechesis
Webmaster's Column
New York Catholic Bible School

Save the Date 

Saturday, Aug. 5
Saturday, Oct. 14 
Catechetical Forum

Saturday, Oct. 28
Catechetical Forum

Of Special Note   


  NYC Public Schools Sex Education Mandate  


Columns & Quick Links


Dear Catechetical Leader,
I hope that you are beginning to relax and will have some summer time for prayer and well deserved rest. What a busy past few months these have been!

Annual Liturgy and Brunch -June 8
It was really so good to share the annual Liturgy and Brunch with so many of the directors/coordinators of religious education in June. Very special thanks to Bishop Walsh, who was the celebrant and homilist for the Mass. As always, his presence is a gift to us and a blessing. The beautiful liturgy was lovingly prepared by Sr. Teresita Morse, RJM. Her special touch always makes a great difference. A hundred thousand thanks to Sr. Teresita for another unforgettable celebration. Both Bishop Walsh and Sr. Teresita truly expressed the profound gratitude of Cardinal Dolan and of the staff of Catechetical Office to you for your witness and service.MORE 
The Forums are coming. Mark your calendar and start planning: Oct. 14 & 28.
Each year, the Catechetical Office brings you the Catechetical Forums, two days of enrichment and creativity designed to help you make make your religious education program inspiring, educational and appealing to children, youth and their families.
    The 2017 Forums will take place Saturday, Oct. 14 at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx and Saturday, Oct. 28 at Sacred Heart Parish in Monroe. Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan will join us for the Monroe opening Liturgy and Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, vicar for clergy, will be the celebrant in the Bronx.   Keynoters this year are the Rev. Dempsey Rosales Acosta, STD, chair of the Theology Department, University of St. Thomas in Houston (English/Spanish) for the Bronx, and Mrs. Diane Lampitt, vice president for product management at William H. Sadlier, Inc., (English) for Monroe.
   More details, including registration, will be available very soon. In the meantime, mark your calendar and tell your catechists to save the day as well.


We are mobile now. Get our fr ee app.
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.

Catch up daily with all our news and events 
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

Family Catechesis 
Saturday, August 5, 2017 
2nd Annual Professional Enrichment Day  
Fordham University Duane Library, Bronx  
One of the most important things religious educators can do is help to facilitate discussion of the faith among Catholics of all ages, as well as with those seeking full initiation in the Church. Handing on the faith is everyone's responsibility. But it requires having the knowledge of the faith, the language to impart the knowledge, and the confidence to do it.
   This is why the Catechetical Office invites parish directors and coordinators of religious education, Family Catechesis team members, RCIA parish coordinators and teams, pastors, pastoral associates, parish staff members and all interested adults to learn from some of the country's best experts in handing on the faith in the family.
   As Pope Francis says, the family is " the privileged place for transmitting the faith." Learn how you can enable families, especially parents, to develop the knowledge and confidence to fulfill their roles as first catechists of their children.
  Keynote speakers are (left) Kathy Hendricks of Sadlier Publisher Company (English) and (right) Sori Govin (Spanish) of RCL Benziger in Manhattan
   A complete list of speakers, along with information on registration, is available online.


By Jim Connell, Webmaster

The Church has been encouraging the use of technology among the ordained and laity for decades.  Paul VI in his 1975 Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Nuntiandi, wrote, "The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did not utilize these powerful means that human skill is daily rendering more perfect."  He wrote before email, texting, social media and the other technologies we take for granted even existed. Subsequent popes have reiterated this call.  So in what ways does the Church encourage us to use technology?  Basically in three ways: evangelization, education and communication.
The Church sees the Internet as a way to evangelize.  The new technologies are an opportunity for the Church to share the good news with women and men of good will.  Saint John Paul II wrote in the 1990 World Communications Day message, "It is clear that the Church must also avail herself of the new resources provided by human exploration in computer and satellite technology for her ever pressing task of evangelization."  The Internet is mission territory in which the Church must be present to proclaim the Gospel.
Secondly, the Church sees great potential in using technology in its educational/catechetical ministries.  This involves not simply using the available technologies in a classroom setting.  It also means teaching people to be media savvy, to form "a capacity for informed, discerning evaluation of content" (Ethics in Internet, 15).  In our catechetical outreach, we use technology to teach and catechize but also form people on how to be discerning regarding content on the Internet. 
Lastly, the Church encourages using technology to communicate both within the Church and with those outside.  The Pontifical Council for Communications quotes St. John Paul II, "Methods of facilitating communication and dialogue among her own members can strengthen the bonds of unity between them. Immediate access to information makes it possible for [the Church] to deepen her dialogue with the contemporary world" (The Church and Internet, 10).  We use technology to support each other as well as to dialogue with people of other faith traditions as well as those with no faith at all.
The Church encourages us to use all available technology to share the Good News, support one another and pass on the Gospel wherever we are.  Quite a challenge!
           of Religious Education  
Inaugural Collaborative Leadership Award
presented at annual Liturgy and Celebration
The Catechetical Office has established a new award for collaborative leadership to honor a team of pastor and director or coordinator of religious education, who give outstanding witness to the effectiveness of collaboration in forming children, youth and families in the faith and revitalizing the faith of the entire parish community. This award, called the Luke 10:1 Award for Collaborative Leadership, also highlights the chosen team to show other parishes that collaboration can and is being accomplished. The name comes from the Gospel passage, "The Lord appointed 72 others and sent them on ahead in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go." More

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.
New Class coming September on Staten Island. For more details... 
   ...Visit the Bible School website for more details on this program and 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.