Tuesday, January 27, 2015

RCIA is not School

Courtesy of Team RCIA

Many of our RCIA process are run like schools. We speak of holding classes and teaching a curriculum. We schedule topics and make lesson plans. But if you think back to your high school and college days, how many of those classes you took are having a direct impact on your life today?

Contrast that with some of the disciplines you learned when you were younger. My grandmother taught me to bake bread, which I still do today. Some people spent hundreds of hours learning a musical instrument that they still play. Former high school athletes pass on their well-honed skills to their children and grandchildren. None of these or similar disciplines were learned in classrooms. They were learned, and mastered, by mixing some flour and water and yeast and kneading the dough and failing and trying again, and again, and again until it was right.

In another document, the bishops of the world (not just the U.S.) described the “fundamental characteristics of initiatory catechesis” (RCIA catechesis). They said:

This comprehensive formation includes more than instructing: it is an apprenticeship of the entire Christian life. (General Directory for Catechesis, 67)

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Catechetical Sunday Theme and Artwork

The Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis is pleased to announce that the theme for Catechetical Sunday 2015 is: "Safeguarding the Dignity of Every Human Person." To allow dioceses and parishes to incorporate the theme and artwork in their planning, 13 jpeg images of clip art plus images of the entire poster Catechetical Sunday 2015 English and Spanish have been created. The new 2015 Catechetical Sunday site complete with articles, clip art, prayer cards, customizable catechist certificates, Commissioning service, and promotional information will be posted on the Catechetical Sunday website in April.
Copyright © 2015, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to duplicate this work without adaptation for non-commercial

Sunday, January 25, 2015

February Marriage Moments, courtesy of Susan Vogt

609. Feb. 2: (Ground Hog Day) In the spirit of the groundhog, develop your shadow side today. If you're shy, make an overture to someone in need. If you're not very affectionate, give your spouse an unexpected kiss or hug. If you're a work-a-holic, take some time off to play together. You get the idea.

610. Feb. 9: You have almost a week to think about how to celebrate Valentine's Day. (Luckily, it's before Lent so chocolate is a possibility. J) Better yet, choose one favor a day to surprise your beloved with. Your love is a daily act, not just one day a year.

611. Feb. 16: Lent begins this Wednesday. Sure, celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday but start thinking now of a meaningful Lenten practice. Why not choose at least one penance that you will both do. It can reinforce your decision and bond you in a common effort.

612. Feb. 23: "I establish my covenant with you." (Genesis 9:11) Although this passage refers to God's covenant with Noah to never again destroy all living creatures by a flood, your marriage covenant is likewise a life-giving promise. Choose a symbol (like a rainbow) to be a reminder of your promise to each other.

Parenting Pointers for February, courtesy of Susan Vogt

610. Feb. 6: February is Black History Month. No matter what our skin color, religion, or economic status we need to learn to get along with people who are different from us. As a family, learn about a race different from your own this month. (End here for non electronic media) Click here for ideas or try this Erasing Racism family activity.

611. Feb. 13: Next Wednesday is Ash Wednesday which begins Lent. But before Lent comes Tuesday, Feb. 17, Mardi Gras. I guess it is human nature to want to splurge before taking on a sacrifice. Decide a family penance for Lent, but plan a family treat for next Tuesday.

612. Feb. 20: " I establish my covenant with you." (Genesis 9:11) God's covenant with Noah was a solemn promise. Talk with your child(ren) today about what it means to make a promise. Is it ever OK to break a promise?

613. Feb. 27: "When your child marches to a different drummer, your main task is to support them when the culture may not." (Parenting Your Adult Child) This applies to gender identity, a special needs child, or simply one in crisis. Love them but don't pamper them.

Last Chance to Take Advantage of...

There will be a mini Faith Formation Day in the western part of the diocese on Saturday, January 31st from 10:00 am – 2:15 pm. The day will be held at Queen of Peace Parish and registration forms will be available as soon as I have speakers confirmed. Our Sunday Visitor will sponsor part of the day. Schedule for the day:
9:30 am Doors open
10:00 am Opening Prayer and short presentation
10:30 am Session I
Noon Lunch
12:45 pm Session II
2:15 pm Day closes

Registration now open on our website:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NCCL's New Episcopal Advisor

NCCL is pleased to announce that Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, has been appointed Episcopal Advisor to NCCL. Bishop Coyne is the latest in a distinguished line of Bishops who have served in this capacity. The appointment was made by Archbishop Leonard Blair, Archbishop of the Diocese of Hartford, who serves as the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis. Archbishop Blair served for the last six years as NCCL’s Episcopal Advisor.
Bishop Coyne, one of seven children of William and Rita Coyne, was born in 1958, in Woburn, MA. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1986. In addition to various assignments as a pastor for the Archdiocese of Boston, Bishop Coyne also served as professor of Sacred Liturgy and Homiletics at the diocesan seminary. He was ordained a Bishop in 2011 to serve as the Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. In addition to his strong theological and pastoral background, Bishop Coyne brings a wealth of experience in communications to his new role, including maintaining his own blog. Additional details regarding Bishop Coyne can be found by visiting the website of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sister Marie Celinie Joubert Award for Catechetical Excellence

The National Directory for Catechesis (NDC) calls for the recognition of excellence in catechesis. I am pleased to announce that the Diocese of St. Augustine will have an annual recognition of those involved in catechesis within schools and parishes who are exemplary in their mission of forming disciples. These annual awards will be determined by nominations submitted by pastors, DREs and school principals and are being named in honor of Sister Marie Celinie Joubert, one of the original 8 Sisters of St. Joseph invited by Bishop Agustin to teach the African American students. Sr. Celinie served in all areas of the diocese as both a teacher as well as a nurse. She was chosen because of her widespread service in all areas of the diocese. It is most appropriate that as we prepare for the 450th anniversary of the diocese, that we recognize those who have had a tremendous impact on the spread of the Catholic faith. Nomination packets will be mailed shortly.