May 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
Guest Columnist
New York Catholic Bible School

Save the Date 

Saturday, June 17
NY Catholic Bible Summit

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 Director/Coordinator,
     Last Saturday, I attended the funeral of one of our colleagues on Staten Island. Patricia Campbell. She was the coordinator of religious education for St. Sylvester's parish. Pat died after suffering severe injuries in a car accident; she lingered for several weeks. Despite her severe injuries, she continued to "direct" the program from her bed, giving her husband, her assistant and the pastor directions! In his homily, the pastor singled out three outstanding qualities of Pat: her spirit of gratitude for her call to this scared ministry, her humility knowing it was God's work and that she was serving in Jesus' name, and her passion for the religious education of the children. MORE
For All in Ministry
Saturday, June 17
New York Catholic Bible Summit 
Join us at Cathedral High School in the New York Catholic Center for the annual New York Catholic Bible School, sponsored by the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office and American Bible Society. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, will be the principal celebrant of the opening Mass. Thomas Cardinal Collins of
Archbishop Pierre
Toronto, Canada, will be the English keynoter; Carlos Cardinal Osoro Sierra of Madrid, Spain, will give the Spanish keynoter.
    In addition to two full tracks of workshops  in English and Spanish on the theme, "Missionary Disciples: Bringing God's Word to the Entire World,' there will be special addresses by Roy Peterson, president of American Bible Society, and by Cary Summers, president of the soon-to-open Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. Details on all speakers and workshops, along with registration are available here.    
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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

Chaplet of Divine Mercy
Divine Mercy Sunday is next Sunday. Those who would like to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy can find it at Relevant Radio.
Family Catechesis 
Saturday, August 5, 2017 
2nd Annual Professional Enrichment Day  
Fordham University Duane Library, Bronx 
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 the children.
  Keynote speakers are Kathy Hendricks of Sadlier Publisher Company (English) and 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

Did you know I often hear confessions?  Well, not of the sacramental type.  I hear from catechetical leaders who confess that they are unfamiliar with much that has been going on in technology and sadly have no inclination to learn, or to learn anything further.  What do I say to that?  Say three Hail Mary's?  I can understand where they are coming from.  The world has been changing swiftly, especially in the use of technology.  There's a lot of jargon and strange sounding names to keep abreast of: wiki, emoji, spam, hashtag, Flickr and more.  Then there are the constant updates that move things around just enough to elicit frustration.  That said, here's how I respond.
On a personal level, I find that keeping up with technology helps keep my mind ever adapting and flexible.  I know if I fail to keep up, there will come a point in my personal life when I will not be able to perform basic tasks.  Although online banking, billing and shopping are optional today, what happens when these options become obligatory?   Research shows that it is much easier to learn when we are young, but harder as we age, especially when we have not kept up.  So if you think that things are going to more or less remain the same, and you won't be personally affected by the changing technology, please think again.  Not keeping up will affect your life!
On a ministry level, keeping up with technology is good because as the world changes, I need to change with it for the sake of the gospel.  If I don't, I fail to reach people.  As the children, parents and adults in our programs use technology, I need to be there as well.  Failure to reach people where they are, which is what a good evangelizer does, makes me an ineffective catechetical leader.  Social media, multimedia presentations, videos, online presentations and many more technologies need to be a part of my catechetical outreach strategy. 
We can pine for the old days, or we can accept the challenge that God puts before us.  It's not easy, but handing on the faith is important, and all of us must rise to God's call.  Now you can pray those three Hail Mary's.

From Sr. Patricia McCarthy, CND  
With permission from The Rhode Island Catholic , we are able to bring you columns from Sr. Patricia McCarthy, CND, author and advocate for peace and justice.

Choosing between bitterness and commitment
Catholic Churches, especially in the former predominantly Catholic areas in the northeast, are closing or merging and have been doing so for the past decade. Some dioceses and some pastors are doing a better job of keeping parishioners informed than others, but the approach of those involved does not change the reality. We have more churches than we need for the number of practicing Catholics. So, demographics is the primary driving force behind the decisions. People understand this. 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.