Languages

Franciscan at Home

Forming those who form others

Diocese of Joliet

Prerequisites for the Admission to the Diaconal Program

The following track of courses ensure a minimal catechetical competency before admittance to the diaconal program. They will need to be completed before the close of the admission process. Completion does not guarantee acceptance to the program, only satisfy an essential condition.

Each course consists of an hour video presentation broken down into small segments along with corresponding tasks. All work will be done online with mentors being assigned should you be admitted to the program.

Learning Tracks

Creedal Truths
Creedal Truths

The Blessed Trinity is the greatest of all mysteries: the One and Only God is a unity of Three Persons. The Trinity is also our final home, the goal of our life. This mystery, revealed in Jesus, sheds light on all other Christian mysteries. And it is the revelation that sheds light on all other Christian mysteries. Knowing that God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, is a unity of loving Persons, changes our understanding of everything. Many religions believe in gods, some believe in one God, but nothing compares to the Christian belief in one God as a communion of Persons, named for us by Jesus as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Many curriculums include the Trinity as only one doctrine among many. This workshop will help to show how to teach the centrality of the Trinity effectively, as the goal and fulfillment of the life of each Christian.

St. Francis de Sales once said, “Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow; the same everlasting Father Who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day.” Who is God the Father? What does God the Father have to do with my life? How do I come to know the Father? God the Father is the First Person of the Trinity: the Alpha and the Omega. The Catechism of the Catholic Church begins and ends with the Father. The Son became Man in order to show us the Father and lead us into relationship with Him. This workshop teaches us about Who the Father is, and how we relate to Him as His childrenThis workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

He is the Alpha and the Omega.  He is in all, before all, through all.  The primary and essential object of catechesis is, to use an expression dear to St. Paul, “the mystery of Christ.” (CT 5)  Therefore everyone who teaches the Catholic faith must be immersed in this mystery.  Using Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as well as recent ecclesial documents, this workshop will present the key doctrines that must be taught concerning Jesus Christ.  By examining Jesus’ actions in Scripture, His relationships, and His ways of teaching, we will help catechists unlock the mysteries of Christ, His Incarnation, Redemption, and Second Coming.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

 

How do we keep our focus on serving the Holy Spirit’s plan and empowerment, and not our own ways and human strength?  Pope Paul VI wrote, “techniques of evangelization are good, but even the most advanced ones could not replace the gentle action of the Spirit” (Evangelii Nuntandi 75).  No one responds to the gospel without first being drawn by the Holy Spirit, and no one can live the high calling of the Christian life without being empowered by the Holy Spirit. When we forget that outreach is a work of God, we burn-out. This workshop explores who the Holy Spirit is and His work in personal conversion and our accepting with joy the gift of the fullness of the Catholic Church.

Who am I? What is my nature? What has God created me for? Who has God created me for? The answers to these questions affect not only how I think about myself, but also how I think about those whom I catechize and how I encourage each of those whom I have the privilege of teaching to think about themselves. In this workshop we contemplate the unique answers that the Christian faith gives to these questions, answers that highlight the incredible dignity of every person. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

This workshop examines the place of the sacraments within God’s magnificent plan of love. More than simply Catholic rituals, the sacraments are God’s chosen channels of supernatural life, His plan for doing even more than saving us: “‘For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.’  ‘For the Son of God became man so that we might become God’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC, 460).  This workshop will explore this extraordinary truth, and the provision of God to grace His adopted sons and daughters for a life far beyond their own natural capacity.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

The Church is the Body of Christ on Earth. The Church Christ founded is His continued history on Earth. The graces entrusted to her make possible an explosion of sanctity in the human family. The revelation of truth entrusted to her makes possible our secure return to the Father’s arms. The mission entrusted to her engages all human endeavors, and transcends all human failings, so that God’s Spirit can go forth to fulfill Christ’s promise to “make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). This workshop will explore God’s magnificent convocation of souls that we call the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

This workshop will introduce participants to biblical catechesis through an ancient catechetical technique: the use of the Story of the Bible. The most important historical events of the Bible can be briefly described in one Story, connected by one common theme: union with God. The Story of the Bible portrays the drama of God’s love for every soul and the whole human race: how God created us to be united with Him in a relationship of love; how we lost union with God through the original sin; how Jesus re-united us with God in a relationship of love through His passion, death and Resurrection; and how the Holy Spirit fosters a continuing unfolding of those saving events in the life of Church, as the Lord’s Bride. Often in a catechetical setting we fall into the habit of teaching individual topics without reference to the greater context of salvation history. In order to draw others into the life of God and the Church we have to help them make this Story of the Bible their own. Everything that the Church teaches, her doctrines, disciplines, worship, and morality makes sense when delivered within the context of the Story of the Bible. The Story of the Bible tells us of our spiritual roots, our dignity, our destiny, and daily vocation to follow Jesus Christ, providing peace and authentic hope to those we seek to teach and evangelize.

 

The Church father St. Jerome said that, “To others grace was given in measure, but into Mary was poured the whole fullness.”  Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, Spouse of the Spirit, the Blessed Virgin has a profoundly unique place in the Mystical Body.  She is the first and pre-eminent member of the Church, the model par excellence of faith, hope, and love for all Christians.  She is the mirror-image of the Church’s unfailing holiness as virgin-spouse of the Word.  This workshop looks at what God revealed to the Church about our Lady, and how those truths form us under her Motherhood as faithful disciples.

This workshop offers a summary outline of the basic principles of Catholic morality and how our moral life is rooted, not merely in a code of ethics or a set of rules, but profoundly in the Person of Jesus. It discusses some of the major moral issues we face in our society today, and equips all who teach the faith — whether youth ministers, catechists, Catholic school teachers, and so on — with the tools to establish a sure foundation for right moral thinking, both in themselves and in those to whom they minister.

Preface Workshops
Formation Workshops

The purpose of this workshop is to reconnect the deacon to his history and tradition, thereby enhancing his Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Christ the Servant. In an address to men ordained to the permanent diaconate, St. John Paul II expressed the call of the deacon beautifully when he said: “This is at the very heart of the diaconate to which you have been called: to be a servant of the mysteries of Christ and, at one and the same time, to be a servant of your brothers and sisters. That these two dimensions are inseparably joined together in one reality shows the important nature of the ministry which is yours by ordination” (1). This workshop dives into the heart of this vocation, the call to service in Christ’s Church. The first of two workshops on the theology of the diaconate, this provides a general overview of the diaconate, as it has been revealed in the Scriptures and by the Church Fathers, and traces its decline as a permanent office in the early Church.  

The purpose of this workshop is to reconnect the deacon to his history and tradition, thereby enhancing his Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Christ the Servant. In an address to men ordained to the permanent diaconate, St. John Paul II expressed the call of the deacon beautifully when he said: “This is at the very heart of the diaconate to which you have been called: to be a servant of the mysteries of Christ and, at one and the same time, to be a servant of your brothers and sisters. That these two dimensions are inseparably joined together in one reality shows the important nature of the ministry which is yours by ordination” (1). This workshop dives into the heart of this vocation, the call to service in Christ’s Church. The second of two workshops on the theology of the diaconate, this continues our exploration of the history of the diaconate with an overview of the restoration of the permanent diaconate in the Latin Church, as well as a look at the deacon's call to model his life and ministry after Christ the Servant.

The purpose of this workshop is to help the deacon understand, and more faithfully and fruitfully live out, his diaconal spirituality by considering the primacy of the interior life and recognizing the diaconal spirituality as one which is unique to this particular vocation. In an address to men ordained to the permanent diaconate, St. John Paul II emphasized the importance of the deacon’s intimacy with Christ for his life and ministry: “Sing to [the Lord] as servants, but also sing as friends of Christ, who has made known to you all that he has heard from the Father. It was not you who chose him, but he who chose you, to go forth and bear fruit — fruit that will last” (Address at a Meeting with Men Ordained to the Permanent Diaconate, 19 September 1987, 7). In this workshop we will explore how the deacon’s call to live and serve from his intimate communion with Christ the Servant can be accomplished through his abandonment to our Lord in each moment, his empathy for those he serves in ministry, his understanding of his unique place in the mystery of salvation through the Establishment Hypothesis, and, very importantly, through the RIM Dynamic — his Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Christ the Servant. This workshop can be taken as a stand-alone workshop, but it is intended to be taken after the deacon gains a more thorough understanding of the history of the diaconate and the deacon’s call to model His life and ministry after Christ the Servant through the workshops “Theology of the Diaconate I” and “Theology of the Diaconate II.” Because these three workshops are the foundation for all of the diaconal workshops, it is recommended to take them before starting the Deacon Track.

Parish Catechetical Leader
Formation Workshops

Although “Parish Catechetical Leader” can mean virtually anything in a given parish, there are specific skills that are particularly best suited for the ministers, who serve in these eclectic positions. This workshop discusses those skills and traits in detail and examines some of the major themes, underlying principles and recurring patterns found in the lives of successful leaders, who serve under pastors and deacons. In this respect, it can be used to enhance your own diaconal ministry or enrich those catechetical leaders under your care. May we be inspired to seek the harder road in the privileged vocation of leadership in God’s Church, so that He may be glorified and many souls lifted up. As St. Catherine of Siena in the voice of our Lord said, “I have set you as workers in your own and your neighbor’s souls, and in the mystic Body of Holy Church.  Take your tears and your sweat, drawn from the fountain of My Divine Love, and with them wash the face of My spouse the Church. I promise you, that by this means, Her beauty will be restored to Her.”

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and to relate how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Phd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop there will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

St. John Paul II tells us that, “Family catechesis . . . precedes, accompanies and enriches all other forms of catechesis” (Apostolic Exhortation “On Catechesis in Our Time,” Catechesi tradendae (CT) 68). These words challenge us to examine our thinking about how to pass on the Catholic faith to those we serve in schools and parishes through our diaconal ministry, and specifically to look at how to encourage the formation of the entire family.  In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) we read, “The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom” (2207). This workshop examines the primacy of the family in religious education and the importance of assisting families in their formation, so that together the parish or school community and families can work to bring about the well-formed and beautiful soul of each member. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and to relate how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic CerratoPhd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop there will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

This workshop is designed for deacons, who are being trained as Parish Catechetical Leaders (PCLs). It explains planning and implementing successful parish faith formation programs and discusses how the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults’ (RCIA) baptismal catechumenate format actually serves as the model for doing so. This may be surprising, but the format of the RCIA baptismal catechumenate is actually modeled by Jesus in His encounter with the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35), and since then has been followed by the Church to form disciples. The presenter precedes this teaching on the RCIA baptismal catechumenate with the 1997 General Directory for Catechesis’ (GDC) key conditions that need to be present in the parish before beginning faith formation programs and concludes with ways to assess the programs. Let's explore this method of applying the RCIA baptismal catechumenate to our parish formation programs, in order to best foster conversion and form disciples of our Lord Jesus, to make saints!

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and to relate how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Phd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate, page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Mentorship is integral to our diaconal ministry in the Catholic Church, as well as to life in the home. In ministry, we are privileged to be able to participate in the Blessed Trinity’s divine and loving mentorship of every soul. In His gracious plan of salvation, God, our heavenly Father provides for us to receive all the guidance we need for our journey to Him, for our everlasting homecoming. Through the sending of His own Son and Spirit, He not only teaches us the Way to Him but also gives Himself to us to be our companion on this royal highway. The Church, the Body of His Son, formed by the Spirit, mothers and mentors us on this journey, and it is within this Body that we — who through our ordination are configured to Christ the Servant — mentor those whom we serve. Our ministry, then, is a participation in Christ the Servant’s mentorship and is one of the ways in which God provides guidance and accompanies His children.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Called to Him.  Kept in Him.  Made new in Him.  God’s generosity and His fatherly love for His young sons and daughters are strikingly evident in the gift of these two sacraments to those newly arrived at the age of reason.  This workshop unfolds the Church’s guidance for parents and parishes in preparing souls for Confession and Communion.  By considering the role of both the home and the parochial settings, a balanced and effective formation can be achieved.  This pragmatic workshop also addresses common struggles and cultural issues that Catholic communities face in developing responsible and robust approaches to helping young souls be open to grace.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Effectively Confirming.  What the bishop gives sacramentally is always efficacious.  How do we support our confirmands and their families in this deeply challenging modern culture, so that what we give in our parishes and schools catechetically is also reliably effective?  How do we not only provide a program, but also a conversion process, so that participants do not experience the catechesis we give as a series of required hoops to jump through, but revelatory hope?  This workshop aims to explore some practical strategies that apply to this and other parish ministries.  It includes insights from Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium, as well as examines current trends relating to the age of Confirmation and the ordering of the sacraments of Christian initiation.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Youth Ministry Leader
Formation Workshops

What is good youth ministry in today’s Church? Every ministry to young people needs to have a clear mission and purpose, rooted in the larger mission of the Church, and needs to be able to identify clear values in the way that ministry is carried out. In this workshop, we look specifically at the essential components to a vibrant, effective approach to parish ministry for young people.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

The responsibility of passing on the faith to a young person begins first and foremost with his or her family, particularly the parents. St. John Paul II wrote that catechesis within the family has “a special character, which is in a sense irreplaceable” (Apostolic Exhortation "On Catechesis in Our Time" Catechesi tradendae 68). Though the teenage years are often characterized as a time of rebellion from the family, the “National Study of Youth and Religion” found that a young person is more likely than not to reflect the religiosity of his or her parents. Parents are the hinge points of successfully and consistently reaching most teens. It is, therefore, essential that those in youth ministry understand their role is to provide support, empower, and partner with families.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“[Adolescence] is characterized by the drive for independence, and at the same time by the fear of beginning to separate from the family context; this creates a continual to and fro between bursts of enthusiasm and setbacks. . . . It is therefore to be the concern of the community and the catechist to make room within themselves for grasping and accepting without judgment and with sincere educational passion this adolescent search for freedom, starting to channel it toward an open and daring life plan” (Directory for Catechesis 248). Adolescence can be a trying time, because it is a period involving monumental changes for a young person. It is beneficial to develop a holistic view of adolescence and what occurs during adolescent development, in order to speak to the heart of a young person and lead him or her closer to the Lord. Young people have the desire to do something daring and purposeful with their lives. We can help fulfill this desire by inviting them to follow Jesus. The goal of this workshop is to help deacons, who minister to teens and youth ministry teams, understand the development of teenagers — biological, cognitive, and social-emotional — in order to effectively minister to them.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“The most effective catechetical programs for adolescents are integrated into a comprehensive program of pastoral ministry for youth…” (National Directory for Catechesis (NDC), page 201).  The craft of passing on the faith is never a generic work. It is specifically attuned to those being drawn toward the Lord’s goodness. This workshop looks at the distinct features of adolescent catechesis, as discussed by the National Catechetical Directory, with practical examples of how to utilize them in a youth ministry setting.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Understanding universal catechetical principles, such as the primacy of relational ministry, are important for every type of formation and outreach; yet, these principles come to life in the context of each ministry’s unique demands. For youth ministry, though many elements of methodology are discussed in our other workshops, this workshop provides an opportunity to have specific questions answered about the ecclesial method applied to adolescents, retreat and semester planning, and effective ways to speak to groups of teens.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

In the Directory for Catechesis we read: “The Church today looks with greater attentiveness at the passage from the age of youth to that of adulthood. . . . New approaches to pastoral and catechetical action must therefore be conceived that would help the Christian community to interact with young adults, supporting them in their journey” (256). In order to effectively minister to adolescents and young adults, it is critical that we understand some of the facets of youth culture and how to enter into it, so that we might shed light on what is good, and call young people into relationship with Jesus Christ. This workshop will provide guidance for all who work with young people as to how to better understand the culture in which they’re growing up, relate to them through their culture, share the Gospel message with them effectively, and accompany them on their journey of faith.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Pastoral Caregiver
Formation Workshops

Flowing from the workshop called, “The Human Person,” this workshop addresses three of the major components of the human person and their relevance to the unfolding of God’s plan of loving kindness: 1) our creation in the image of God and His call to transformation by grace into His likeness; 2) our creation as male and female; and 3) the unity of body and soul in the human person. As we learn from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead.” (CCC 357)  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“Being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. And he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love. . .” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 357). The dignity of the human person dwells in relationship. It resides first and foremost in our relationship with Christ the Servant, Who created us in His image and calls us always to Himself, especially through the graces our ordination to be configured to Him. It resides, as well, in our relationships with others, who share in our humanity. Our ministries within the Church includes a call to relationship, and always a call to foster healthy and healing relationships. As we will learn in this workshop, certain communication skills underlie all healthy, healing relationships. Parish ministers are not therapists, but practicing these healthy ways of communicating encourages healthy relationships and can even foster healing amidst those they serve. Let us approach this workshop, then, ever mindful of the precious dignity of those our heavenly Father places in our path, and of the beautiful way in which each person we encounter holds within him or herself the astounding identity of being a child of God.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

In all of our interactions with others, especially amidst crises and conflicts, we are called to witness to Christ the Servant through St. John’s words: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). Facing crises and conflicts is part of our ministry, and by equipping ourselves and those we instruct to approach them from a Christian perspective, we can encounter each person involved as a beloved child of God. This workshop explores how we and those we serve can approach conflicts and crises in a manner that emulates Jesus’ approach to conflict. Whether the conflict is occurring in a personal relationship, or a professional or ministerial setting, following a Christ-centered approach can help each individual see Christ in each other and can lead them to work toward producing a fruitful and positive outcome for all involved. Looking to Christ’s example as one Who calmly, yet assertively, faced various conflicts and crises in His earthly ministry, we can understand that the first step toward engaging with others in a conflict or crisis situation begins with letting Christ lead the way.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of our ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and to relate how we live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic CerratoPhd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop there will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Empathic listening makes a profound impact on mentoring relationships and in the mentor’s ability to influence effectively someone seeking guidance. When mentors ask good questions, they demonstrate a sincere interest in getting to know those in their care. Such questions orient the relationship toward more authentic sharing, and thereby allows the Holy Spirit to foster spiritual progress and genuine openness to God’s will. This workshop is intended to complement the workshop “Building the Mentoring Relationship: Asking Good Questions.” Empathic listening is the counterpart skill that enables mentors to truly understand another person intellectually, as well as emotionally. In addition to addressing the meaning of empathy, we discuss how Jesus is the superlative model for this service to souls. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

An important part of being a mentor is getting to really know the person under your care. In this workshop, we explore various kinds of questions related to this work of discovery, and demonstrate which ones best accomplish the objective of authentically revealing that person’s thoughts and needs to productively and wisely build the mentoring relationship. Poor questions result in missed opportunities or weak rapport. Great questions truly serve to open up a soul and build strong mentorship. We especially emphasize the value of open-ended questions oriented toward drawing out a person’s life story.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

St. John Paul II stated that adult catechesis is “. . . the principal form of catechesis, because it is addressed to persons who have the greatest responsibilities and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form” (Apostolic Exhortation “On Catechesis in Our Time,” Catechesi tradendae 43). During His public ministry, Jesus invited men and women to follow Him and be His disciples. Through adult catechesis, we invite men and women to be Jesus’ disciples, and we accompany them on their journey of faith, so that they may come to believe more firmly, hope more ardently, and love more perfectly. This workshop offers practical insights on how to disciple adults, the need for pastoral accompaniment, and how to identify and sensitively address the needs that exist in every community.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Formation of a Deacon Catechist
Formation Workshops

This workshop sharpens your philosophical tools for teaching the faith. Philosophy, far from putting our lessons out of reach of our audience, actually appeals to the reason of those we teach; it helps us explain doctrine so that it “makes sense,” rather than just falling back on, “because I said so.” This workshop will provide examples of philosophically approaching the faith by exploring both a Catholic and a secular worldview, as well as what these two approaches mean for the human person, ultimately helping us prepare our learners to answer Jesus’ crucial question to His apostles and to each one of us, “Who do you say that I am?”    

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

St. John Paul II reminds us that, “According to Christian faith and the Church's teaching, ‘only the freedom which submits to the Truth leads the human person to his true good. The good of the person is to be in the Truth and to do the Truth’” (Encyclical Letter, “The Splendor of Truth,” Veritatis splendor 84). In this workshop, we explore not only what truth is and some of the different forms it takes, but also some of the obstacles we face in coming to know the truth and having confidence in our convictions. Objective truth does exist. We can make statements that describe the world as it really is. We are called to diligently seek out the truth, allowing God to open our minds and hearts, in order to ultimately find the authentic peace and joy that come with discovering the Person of Jesus Christ, Who is Truth Himself (see John 14:6).

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

This workshop will explore the necessary connection of catechesis to the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church in our work as catechists.  The liturgy comes from the “living memory” of the Church, that is, the Holy Spirit.  Through the Holy Spirit working in the liturgy, the truths of the faith are passed on, like a special family memory, from generation to generation, to the present day.  Each time we participate in the liturgy we receive the treasure of the Deposit of Faith.  But the liturgy is more than a family heirloom – it is reality, the place in which “Christ Jesus works in fullness for the transformation of human beings” (On Catechesis in Our Time,” Catechesi tradendae, (CT) 23).  As catechists, we have a call, the privilege of assuring that those we catechize understand and grow in appreciation for this encounter with God.  We bring others into God’s saving work in the liturgy, so they too can become transformed by He Who loves us fully.  We teach about the liturgy to pass on the magnificent inheritance of faith to the next generation, echoing the action of catechists from the centuries before us.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“[Jesus] said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ . . .” (John 21:17).  Imagine Jesus facing you, and speaking to you these words, with no distractions, no doubts of His reality, identity or knowledge. Imagine facing Him with no loss of memory on your part about your whole past, nothing less than your whole future to offer, no misinterpretation of the profoundness of the question, “Do you love me?” A breathtaking question. Conversion is about finding what you are seeking in the deepest part of yourself, and finding it superabundantly.  The result of true conversion is a rare combination: peace of soul and zeal of heart. This workshop explores how to support this work of the Holy Spirit, so that all catechesis is focused on conversion to Christ and to His Church, and continuing conversion becomes the norm for each Christian life.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Scripture converts.  It is an effective gift to God’s adoptive family, graced and imbued with His own life.  The place of the sacred page in our catechetical work is matchless, irreplaceably vital.  It is at the heart of all that the Church “. . . believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God” (Profession of Faith in the Rite of Reception of Baptized Christians).  This workshop will explore Sacred Scripture as a fundamental agent of conversion in the catechetical process, and will provide practical means to make Scripture much more than just “proof” texts for your teaching.  Learn how to identify the Scriptures that drive the Church’s doctrines and how to incorporate them into your catechesis as the preeminent unfolding of the Father’s love for His children.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

How do I know what to teach?  How do I know what is essential?  What can I not leave to chance that my students will get on their own?  Many catechists are never helped and trained to go beyond pre-written outlines.  They never discover how to take a piece of God’s Revelation, a doctrine, and break it down in a way that answers these critical questions.  This workshop explores how to identify the premise, essentials, common misunderstandings, related doctrines, and foundational Scriptures for the truths all catechists are called to pass on, so that each catechist can develop teachings that flow from his or her own deep grasp of the saving truths.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Pro-Life Outreach Leader
Formation Workshops

This workshop offers a summary outline of the basic principles of Catholic morality and how our moral life is rooted not merely in a code of ethics or a set of rules, but profoundly in the Person of Jesus. It discusses some of the major moral issues we face in our society today, and equips all who teach the faith — whether youth ministers, catechists, Catholic school teachers, and so on — with the tools to establish a sure foundation for right moral thinking, both in themselves and in those to whom they minister.

“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it,” (St. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter “The Redeemer of Man,” Redemptor hominis 10). The love that we are meant to "participate intimately in" is the love of God. God first loves us (1 John 4:19), and this love enables us to love God above all things and to love our neighbor as ourselves. St. John Paul II offers a reflection and teaching on human love in the divine plan through his work called the Theology of the Body, a series of Wednesday General Audiences from 1979–1985. This workshop explores that work, and offers insights on our vocation to perfect love and its relationship to the vocation of marriage and family life. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

RCIA Leader
Formation Workshops

What is our purpose and goal as deacons in the Church serving in a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process?  To make new Catholics?  To spread the Gospel?  To run a good process?  Our purpose and goal must transcend the “how” of RCIA and begin with the “why.”  The restoration of the catechumenal process is a reflection of the Church’s wisdom in going back to a tried-and-true practice, in order to lovingly bring people into Her fold.  It is a restoration of grace for those who are seeking Christ and His one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.  This workshop inaugurates the necessary vision to develop excellent parish-based RCIA ministry, beginning with a call to trust the wisdom of Holy Mother Church in Her discernment to gift the modern world with a way of Christian initiation unparalleled in its beauty and power.  Only in the light of this trust and deep understanding of the RCIA process, as what the Church intends it to be implemented, does the full purpose and potential of the initiation journey become clear and attainable.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

It is into the great mystery of the Father’s saving love through Christ Jesus that all believers are called.  And it is this great mystery that all the institutions of the Church, each and every one of them, exist to serve. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) has no other purpose than the service of the holy mystery, the saving sacrament, of Christ present and active in His living Body.  Within modern liturgical renewal, the process of Christian initiation stands as one of the most important and successful renewals. Since its promulgation in 1972 and its elaboration under the auspices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1988, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults has been among the most pastorally effective features of Catholic life in the United States.  And yet, all is not well. The very fact that the challenge is conversion, the conforming of imperfect men and women to Christ, means that the process will never be perfect. Initiation is, after all, the beginning of a process, which has its ending in eternity. However, some problems are more concrete and, for that reason, can more readily be corrected.

In general, three models of RCIA are operative today in most Catholic parishes using the Rite. Each of the models conceives of, and practices, Christian initiation differently. This workshop describes these models, discussing their strengths and weaknesses in terms of catechetical, liturgical, and pastoral dimensions.  The result is clarity on how best the RCIA can serve the great work of immersing participants into Catholicism through a process of learning and interiorizing the Sacred Scriptures, Church doctrines, sacraments, prayers, moral traditions, spiritual readings and the rich communal culture of the Catholic Church, in order to serve the Father’s providential love in calling each soul to the living Body of Christ on Earth.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“. . . [T]he liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the font from which all her power flows” (Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium (SC) 10).  The liturgy proclaims, celebrates, and actualizes the Father’s loving plan for His People.  It is the place of our most important diaconal service. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), or catechumenal process, has three aspects: liturgical, catechetical, and pastoral, of which liturgical is prime. The Church has designed these aspects to promote deep, long-lasting conversion to Christ and a love for the Church.  This workshop will focus on the stages of the modern catechumenal process, which derives directly from the ancient order of catechumens, and the way liturgical graces build and crescendo through the four periods of the RCIA process to make possible the plan of goodness born in the Father’s Heart for each believer.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

This workshop explores adult catechesis within the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) baptismal catechumenate. Each period of the RCIA process has a distinctive catechetical objective in serving the Holy Spirit’s work of conversion, and so each period of the RCIA will have a different “feel” catechetically. The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults itself gives us the guidelines for what participants need to know, and what we need to teach, thereby allowing the catechetical aspect of Christian initiation to become teaching in the service of leading others into the Father’s eternal embrace, a love beyond all telling

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

The pastoral aspect of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) signifies the means by which we form and accompany souls, person-to-person, to a deeper Relationship with the Trinity through the Body of Christ. Many who do not stay with the Church after going through the RCIA process leave not for lack of knowledge, but for lack of care. The pastoral components are the people who participate, some intimately and others from a distance, in Jesus’ graced work of conversion and discipleship of souls. It is the surpassing calling of becoming a gift to other souls, and receiving others freely as a gift from the Lord. This workshop addresses how the pastoral aspect of the RCIA process leads us to be sacrificial witnesses — the Lord’s chosen means to authenticate faith and Relationship with the Trinity, to support conversion in lives, and through God’s saving message draw all people into the loving embrace of the Father and His People.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Mother Church, in Her wisdom, tells us that “. . . the entire community must help the candidates and the catechumens throughout the process of initiation” (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults 9). The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) team is an essential element in an effective RCIA process, because the RCIA team represents the Christian community and is often the first real “Catholic community” many participants encounter. The members of a well-formed RCIA team play a fundamental role in fostering the Holy Spirit’s work of conversion, through their personal witness to the faith and their commitment to fostering authentic relationships with those considering entering holy Mother Church. They support those in the RCIA process and accompany them on their journey of faith, modeling for them what the life of a Christian looks like. Most importantly, the RCIA team loves those who are in the RCIA process. This workshop delves into how to findform, and faithfully lead a team that can help create a strong environment for conversion.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Catechist Trainer
Formation Workshops

This workshop explores the most critical element in the graced work of passing on the faith —  you, the deacon. Because the content of the faith is a Person — the Person of Christ — the person of the catechist is pivotal for success. The vocation of the catechist is to be a witness of Christ’s goodness, of His zeal, of His ways, of Him — to be like the Master. “Whatever be the level of his responsibility in the Church, every catechist must constantly endeavor to transmit by his teaching and behavior the teaching and life of Jesus” (St. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation “On Catechesis in Our Time,” Catechesi tradendae (CT) 6). This calling is both joyfully thrilling, and jarringly daunting. It is a supernatural work, beyond our natural capacities. “Catechesis . . . is consequently a work of the Holy Spirit, a work that He alone can initiate and sustain in the Church.” (CT 72) And sustain in you. This foundational workshop offers inspiration, insight, and guidance to encourage catechists as they strive to live out their privileged vocation.

The Directory for Catechesis gives the context for the deacon to be in relation to his bishop and priests by outlining the role of bishops as “. . . the first preacher of the Gospel . . . and the one primarily responsible for catechesis in the diocese . . .” (114). It continues by recognizing the role of the priest as “. . . the bishop’s first co-worker . . . coordinating and directing the catechetical activity of the community . . .” (115). Similarly, the deacon’s role in catechesis involves proclaiming the Gospel in the liturgy and giving attention to catechesis of the faithful in “all stages of Christian living” (117).

Within this hierarchical context and in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant, we will focus on living this role in catechesis through your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Phd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son . . .” (Hebrews 1:1–2). Revelation means to pull back the veil. It is God’s method of manifesting a bit of Himself, allowing us time to absorb it and respond, before He shows a bit more; and the process repeats. Because the work of catechesis is oriented toward conversion, the catechist needs to understand clearly how a person gets faith and grows in faith. This workshop delves in the sacred pattern of God’s methodology — how He reaches out to us, and how He calls us and enables us to freely respond.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of our ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and to relate how we live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Phd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“The diaconate is conferred through a special outpouring of the Spirit (ordination), which brings about in the one who receives it a specific conformation to Christ, Lord and Servant of all.” (Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons (Basic Norms) 5) Our lives are centered on Christ the Servant and expressed in service to liturgy, the Word and our missions. Our catechetical mission is unique in all teaching, because it is not imparting a subject matter, but a Person. “. . . [A]t the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, ‘the only Son from the Father . . .’” (“On Catechesis in Our Time,” Catechesi tradendae (CT) 5) We teach Jesus, and everything we teach, we teach in reference to Him, thus teaching Christocentrically (see CT 6).  This workshop will explore how to unfold the life-giving truths of our faith with Jesus placed clearly at the center of all things: our teaching content, our teaching methods, and our own diaconal witness to others, whom God has called us to serve in love.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Knowing and understanding Scripture is essential in the life of a catechist. This workshop will explore how God’s Word, transmitted in Sacred Scripture, grounds and deepens our relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. In Scripture, we see the sweeping Plan of God, the history of salvation unfolded. We hear His stunning and steadfast invitation to communion with Him. Sacred Scripture ought to permeate all forms of catechesis, as well as our personal lives as deacon catechists. Through creating lesson plans saturated with the Scriptures, we foster a profound encounter with the Divine — love and challenge, wisdom and hope, forgiveness and mercy, and the means to know God and to know ourselves. By breaking open the Scriptures in each catechetical session, we unlock the mystery of Christ, revealing to those we teach the One they desire to know, fostering life-changing intimacy with God.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Throughout the generations, the Word of God has been handed on as a precious jewel. The Church has guarded this Deposit of Faith, so that the saving message of hope might shine out for all to see. As deacons, we continue the unbroken chain of passing on the faith throughout the ages. The term catechesis comes from two Greek words meaning, “to echo down,” reflecting the call to us to “echo down,” to hand on, the whole of the faith in its saving fullness. This Deposit of Faith is summed up for our times in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC). In this workshop, we will focus on how in our catechesis this important teaching tool effectively passes on the precious deposit of the Catholic faith. And in teaching our catechists how to do this, we and they are able to insert our own names into St. Paul’s exhortation, “O catechist, guard what has been entrusted to you.”

“. . . [T]he content of catechesis cannot be indifferently subjected to any method.” (General Directory for Catechesis 149) Every good catechist seeks in some organized fashion to give growth to the seed of faith, to nourish hope, and to develop a deeper love for God and neighbor. In this workshop, we will explore a method that is highly suited to the goals of catechesis, and flows from a study of how the Church’s many catechetical saints sought to pass on the beauty, truth, and goodness of Christ’s saving Revelation.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Regarding other resources, our presenter, Dr. James Pauley, has written on the subject of the Ecclesial Method in his book An Evangelizing Catechesis: Teaching from Your Encounter with Christ. For a presentation specialized for youth, please see “Segment Three: The Ecclesial Method” of our workshop, “Methods and Practical Skills for Youth Ministry.” An additional workshop is “Going Deeper with the Ecclesial Method.”

Adult Formation Leader
Formation Workshops

Who am I? What is my nature? What has God created me for? Who has God created me for? The answers to these questions affect not only how I think about myself, but also how I think about those whom I catechize and how I encourage each of those whom I have the privilege of teaching to think about themselves. In this workshop, we contemplate the unique answers that the Christian faith gives to these questions, answers that highlight the incredible dignity of every person found in the Trinity — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of our ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and to relate how we live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Phd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

The General Directory of Catechesis says that, “Catechesis for adults, since it deals with persons who are capable of an adherence that is fully responsible, must be considered the chief form of catechesis” (GDC 59).  Is this what most adult Catholics understand?  Do most parishes orient sufficient resources to this endeavor?  Do the methods employed in parishes reflect the best possible principles for adult learning, which differ from methodology employed for children and adolescents?  This workshop will explore techniques to evangelize, catechize, and form faith in adults most effectively, given that the principle places of adult formation are in the family and in the parish.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“That which was from the beginning . . . that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you…” (1 John 1:1, 3). St. John Paul II proclaimed that, “The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ . . .” (Apostolic Exhortation "On Catechesis in Our Time," Catechesi tradendae 5). The work of catechesis is not just “education,” but “intimacy with Jesus Christ.” God wants to make Himself known, to communicate His own divine life to us and make us capable of responding to Him. God gradually “pulls back the veil” (See 2 Corinthians 3:14–16) by words and deeds, but especially in Jesus Christ, the Mediator and fullness of all Revelation. By His Revelation, God has answered all the questions of the human condition. God wants all to be saved, so He arranged that His Revelation remain in its entirety and be transmitted to all generations. This workshop focuses on the apostolic work of passing on the truths of the faith in an organic and systematic way. This is done to make disciples of Christ and to initiate them into the fullness of Christian life through an encounter with the communion of believers and with Christ the Teacher. “‘The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends.’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 25)

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“[Jesus] said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ . . .” (John 21:17).  Imagine Jesus facing you, and speaking to you these words, with no distractions, no doubts of His reality, identity or knowledge. Imagine facing Him with no loss of memory on your part about your whole past, nothing less than your whole future to offer, no misinterpretation of the profoundness of the question, “Do you love me?” A breathtaking question. Conversion is about finding what you are seeking in the deepest part of yourself, and finding it superabundantly.  The result of true conversion is a rare combination: peace of soul and zeal of heart. This workshop explores how to support this work of the Holy Spirit, so that all catechesis is focused on conversion to Christ and to His Church, and continuing conversion becomes the norm for each Christian life.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. . . . They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?’” (Luke 24:27, 32). The hearts of the disciples burned within them as Jesus opened the Scriptures to them. The hearts of those entrusted to us can also burn with a desire and hunger for the Lord through the catechesis they receive. Echoing the Mystery: Unlocking the Deposit of Faith in Catechesis is an incredible resource that stems from the heart of a true catechist. Barbara Morgan became a catechist at the age of fourteen, and spent the majority of her life teaching the faith, and forming others to be catechists. The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Michigan collaborated with Barbara Morgan in order to develop this resource. This workshop offers a walkthrough of this uniquely beneficial resource that helps us teach in such a way that the hearts of those entrusted to us may burn within them. This guide for unlocking the Deposit of Faith can be a resource to all in the catechetical field, be they priests, parents, teachers, parish catechists, youth ministers, and so on. 

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“Through the liturgy Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in, with, and through his Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1069). Through the liturgy, the grace that flows from Jesus’ saving work is made available to us so that we may grow in intimacy and communion with the Blessed Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the sacred liturgy we are reminded of all God’s blessings, from creation to the cross to our re-creation in sacramental grace. God initiates, we respond, and we will continue responding until Jesus comes again. This workshop offers us an opportunity to learn how the liturgy is an encounter with the Holy Trinity and the primary means for us to live in right relationship with our Lord. 

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Evangelization Outreach Leader
Formation Workshops

“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself.  Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for: ‘The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God.’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 27, quoting Second Vatican Council Pastoral Constitution “On the Church in the Modern World,” Gaudium et spes (GS)19). The basic proclamation of the Good News of Jesus’ saving life, death and Resurrection, known as the kerygma, is about giving the gift of belonging  the call to a life within a Love beyond all telling. This workshop lays out the essential elements of this most important story, enabling those who teach, share, and witness to more effectively unfold its surpassing beauty to other souls. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of our ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and to relate how we live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Phd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“. . . thus says the Lord . . . ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine’” (Isaiah 43:1). Through the saving life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been redeemed and called to know a sense of our belonging to the Blessed Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This proclamation of the Good News of the Gospel, the kerygma, is the message we are called to share with all those we catechize, and the great story of God’s loving plan for our salvation and what He calls us to be. In order to proclaim the kerygma to any audience in a way that can be heard and inculcated — such that they desire to run to their Savior and return His love — it is important for us to understand the content of the kerygma, its different formulations, and the context in which we will be sharing it. This workshop will explore the essence of the kerygma and ways to effectively share it with the particular audience we have in front of us.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of our ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and to relate how we live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Phd, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“The Word of God became man, a concrete man, in space and time and rooted in a specific culture . . .” (General Directory for Catechesis 109). Jesus provides for us the example of living in a particular culture and engaging the good things of the culture to aid individuals in the process of conversion, and rejecting those things in a culture which hinder conversion. Each of us finds ourselves living and interacting within a variety of cultures — family culture, workplace culture, modern culture, and so on — each of which possesses certain aids and barriers to our continual turning from sin and turning toward God. This workshop will guide us in thinking about some of the obstacles to conversion present in our current culture, as well as some of the true, good, and beautiful gifts our culture has to offer, which reflect these three attributes of the Trinity — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We will explore Mother Church's vision for engaging the good things our culture has to offer in a way that fosters love for the Good News of the Gospel and aids the process of continual conversion for ourselves and others.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

The ministry of catechesis and the ministry of spiritual formation are ordinarily somewhat separate in people’s understanding. Yet in the Church’s mind, they relate naturally and necessarily. In the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) we read, “Truly, to help a person to encounter God, which is the task of the catechist, means to emphasize above all the relationship that the person has with God so that he can make it his own and allow himself to be guided by God. . . . The catechist is essentially a mediator. He facilitates communication between the people and the mystery of God, between subjects amongst themselves, as well as with the community” (139, 156). This workshop explores what it means to be guided — an intentional docility and trust in the Church's ability to lead us to spiritual growth, to peace with God, to sanctity. Building upon this, we, then, examine the fundamentals of what it means for you to guide another soul in a catechetical context, so that you can more intentionally seek to be all that the catechetical vocation is graced to become. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“For [the Lord] will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday” (Psalm 91:3–6). In our daily lives — in our ministries, our families, our work, and so on — the spiritual battle is playing out, as we find ourselves tempted to distrust our Lord, or to turn from His ways, or to lose hope in His deep and personal love for us. Yet, we do not battle the temptations of the Evil One alone. Jesus has conquered the world, the flesh, and the devil for us, and He invites us to engage in spiritual combat with Him, in order to restore ourselves and all creation to the fullness God intends for us. This workshop will help us understand what spiritual combat is, within the context of Christ’s victory over the devil, and how to engage in it in our daily lives as members of the Body of Christ.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

St. John Paul II stated that adult catechesis is “. . . the principal form of catechesis, because it is addressed to persons who have the greatest responsibilities and the capacity to live the Christian message in its fully developed form” (Apostolic Exhortation “On Catechesis in Our Time,” Catechesi tradendae 43). During His public ministry, Jesus invited men and women to follow Him and be His disciples. Through adult catechesis, we invite men and women to be Jesus’ disciples, and we accompany them on their journey of faith, so that they may come to believe more firmly, hope more ardently, and love more perfectly. This workshop offers practical insights on how to disciple adults, the need for pastoral accompaniment, and how to identify and sensitively address the needs that exist in every community.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Parent/Family Formation Leader
Formation Workshops

Recognizing that “. . . [t]he future of the world and of the Church passes through the family,” St. John Paul II exhorts the Christian family to “become what you are” in his Apostolic Exhortation, "On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World," Familiaris consortio, paragraphs 75, italics our emphasis and 17. The Christian family is a community that lies at the heart of formation, education, and evangelization. This workshop walks us through the Church’s pastoral document from the saint, who is often called the “Pope of the family,” systematically examining the tasks facing the Christian family in both its natural and supernatural roles. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. . . . In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith” (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1655, 1656). Jesus’ entrance into a family places a particular emphasis on family life. Parents are the primary educators of their children, and Christian families are primary centers of "radiant faith." The Christian family is the domestic church, because it is in the family that parents and children pray, sacrifice, worship, live charity, and offer witness of holy lives. This workshop teaches what the domestic church is and how God saves us in and through the family and the community that God has given to us.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Service to families is a large part of diaconal ministry. This workshop is designed first for your benefit. Whether married or not, this workshop is easily incorporated into your family ministry or in training your team for family ministry. In this diakonia of charity, the transformation of married couples and families through God’s love is by Christ the Servant giving Himself through us.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read, “The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father’s work of creation” (2205). Thus, the family reveals to us something about Who God is and how we are called to live as His beloved sons and daughters. This is the theology of the family, which we will explore in this workshop. Through the human family, we have the beautiful and unique opportunity to bring into the world and raise images of God, for we are all created in our Lord’s image, to be formed into His likeness and destined for eternity with Him in Heaven. The theology of the family does, indeed, present us with a lofty ideal, especially given that every family, due to the effects of the Fall, is wounded and broken by sin in different ways. However, as we’ll see in this workshop, God’s vision of the family is indeed worth discovering and pursuing, and we can seek to live it out even in the smallest of tasks of our daily lives as well as sharing our beautiful call as families with everyone we encounter. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

Service to families is a large part of diaconal ministry. This workshop is designed first for personal formation. Whether married or not, this workshop is easily incorporated into your family ministry or in training your team for family ministry. In this diakonia of charity, the transformation of families through God’s love is by Christ the Servant giving Himself through us. “. . . [I]n the Servant Mysteries, the deacon . . . is filled with a love that’s not his own, given a vision that’s not his own, and provided a strength that’s not his own. . . . This approach means not only bringing Christ the Servant to those we meet, but seeing Christ the Servant in those very same people.” (Encountering Christ the Servant, page 98)

Guiding children in the ways of the faith, leading them into a relationship of love with the Blessed Trinity is a ministry to which deacons are called in various capacities. For all of us with children in our care, the question arises: How do we reach each individual child with the truth, and lead him or her in a way that will help inspire a lifelong relationship with Jesus? This workshop will provide an opportunity for you to consider your own relationship with God — since we cannot effectively hand on a relationship with our heavenly Father to others if we, ourselves, are not grounded in such a relationship — and provide you with ways of getting to know the children in your care more deeply, so that you might better understand how God can work through you to form their minds, hearts, and souls into those of saintsThis workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves” (Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World, Gaudete et exsultate 14). The Second Vatican Council reminds us that there is a universal call to holiness, which means that God calls every person to be in relationship with Him, and He calls each of us to be holy as He is holy (Dogmatic Constitution “On the Church,” Lumen gentium, “Chapter V – The Universal Call to Holiness in the Church, 39-44; see Leviticus 11:45, 1 Peter 1:15–16). Holiness is to be lived out in one’s particular state in life, and thus, for parents, it is to be attained in both their spousal and parental vocations, through the help of God’s grace. This workshop offers reflections on the lives of a few parent saints, whose witness and ways of life inspire us to be holy parents, as we seek to do God’s will in the particular circumstances of our own family life. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

“Parents are the primary educators [of their children] in the faith” (General Directory for Catechesis 255). Therefore, “[f]amily catechesis . . . precedes, accompanies and enriches all other forms of catechesis” (St. John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation "On Catechesis in Our Time," Catechesi tradendae 68). Since the family is essential in your diaconal ministry and in the work of catechesis, this workshop discusses how to center a parish’s ministry around family catechesis, which aids the family by providing the needed education, encouragement, and accompaniment. This workshop is primarily directed toward incorporating a more family-centered model of formation in your parish. It can also be helpful in training parents, catechists, and so on, who wish to understand some of the key principles for implementing family catechesis, or who simply desire to grow in their spiritual lives in such a way as to lead their own families closer to Christ. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

We are delighted to present this topic in light of your ordination, configuring you to Christ the Servant and as you continue to think through how you live this in your Relationship to, Identity in, and Mission with Jesus (RIM). RIM provides “. . . a way of describing diaconal spirituality and, equally importantly, form the necessary bridge between the deacon’s interior and exterior lives” (Deacon Dominic Cerrato, PhD, Encountering Christ the Servant: A Spirituality of the Diaconate (Encountering Christ the Servant), page 113). For a full presentation on RIM, see the pre-requisite workshop Spirituality of the Diaconate. At the end of this workshop will be an opportunity to reflect on RIM in your life, vocation and mission.

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