語言

Franciscan at Home

Forming those who form others

Diocese of Covington

 

Welcome to the Diocese of Covington Landing Page. We are excited to partner with Franciscan University's Catechetical Institute to offer quality formation for not only our educators and catechists but also everyone in the diocese who wants to grow in their knowledge of the Faith. Below you will find established tracks that will help give you some direction as you explore the Catechetical Institute (Franciscan at Home).

 

Some workshops are offered in-person for collaborative learning at the Curia and Thomas Moore University. For workshop schedule and location, go to https://covdio.org/oce/.

 

All workshop participants are asked to complete a brief evaluation of each workshop upon completion. Your experience and satisfaction are highly valued. Diocesan workshop evaluations are located at https://covdio.org/oce/. Thank you in advance.

Learning Tracks

Mission (Parish Catechist Track)
Core 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. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

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, “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.

This workshop explores the most critical element in the graced work of passing on the faith — you. 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.

Scripture (Parish Catechist Track)
Core Workshops

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.

 

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 is at the heart of all that the Church “believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God” (RCIA 491).  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.

 

“The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life” (CCC 759).  A plan born in the Father’s heart: from the genesis of life itself, to the last prophet of the Jewish people, the grand sweep of salvation history is unfolded in the 46 books of the Old Testament.  The Covenants, the Commandments, and the promise of a Chosen One form the subject of this workshop, to give catechists a sense of the provident hand of God over our past, our present, and our eternal destiny.

 

“That which was from the beginning...that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you...” (1 John 1:1, 4).  The New Testament is the completion of the story of how the Father prepared the world for His Son, and the beginning of the story of the Church, His Body, His Kingdom, His Bride, His Ark to save a People He calls His own.  This sweeping drama of truth, centered upon He is who is Truth, forms the message of the good news that catechists are privileged to offer to each generation of souls.

 

Prayer (Parish Catechist Track)
Core Workshops

Pope Benedict XVI stated that, “the ancient tradition of Lectio Divina… will bring to the Church a new spiritual springtime.”  Come and experience the prayerful pondering of sacred Scripture in the timeless Lectio Divina in which the Holy Spirit makes a connection between the passage and one’s own life.  This way of praying with the Word of God incorporates the natural development of relationship, which derives from the way God has touched and drawn human hearts down through the ages.  During this workshop, you will learn the four stages of Lectio Divina, which will help prepare you to share in this rich treasure of prayer.

 

In order to pass on the truths of Faith in season and out, the catechist must be securely grounded in Christ. This workshop will consider the richness of the Catholic spiritual life as it pertains specifically to the life of the catechist. Prayer is not the “last ditch effort” of defense for us as catechists, but our first line of defense - the wings on which every effort should soar. Our society often has trouble recognizing that the invisible spiritual realities are in fact “more real,” and certainly more lasting, than the physical realities we touch, see, hear, and experience daily. A review of the spiritual tools of the trade is thus appropriate to help us as catechists joyfully incorporate prayer as our first, middle, and last act of the day, and of the teaching session, creating an environment for catechesis that is permeated by prayer.

Faith and Morals (Parish Catechist Track)
Core Workshops

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, VS, 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 have 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).

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.

The Christian moral life finds its foundation in the Ten Commandments.  Yet, they are often explained only as proscriptions or laws that have to be kept.  This workshop will present the Ten Commandments as prescriptions that profoundly inform and foster our living life in its fullness.  Building on the foundation of the Commandments, Jesus gave us the model of how to live the reality of Heaven here on Earth through the Beatitudes: a great challenge, but a reality each one of us is called to in God’s grace.  This workshop will discuss the blessed radicality of a life lived under the Commandments and the Beatitudes.

“Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself” (CCC 1861).  Failure or fidelity; rejection or restoration.  Each soul lives in a battle.  And each soul is yearned for by a Father that loves beyond all telling.  This workshop explores the destructive reality of our freedom, and the sublime possibilities of a human striving under grace.

This workshop gives an overview of St. John Paul II’s magnificent “Theology of the Body” as a foundational Christian anthropology, while also showing its implications for sexuality, morality, and youth ministry. It explores excellent activities, assignments, and resources to use in the ministry situations. Participants in this workshop will ultimately learn ways of using the Theology of the Body to address some of the greatest concerns of today’s teenagers.

Pope Francis teaches us that, “Faith does not draw us away from the world or prove irrelevant to the concrete concerns of the men and women of our time. . . . Faith makes us appreciate the architecture of human relationships because it grasps their ultimate foundation and definitive destiny in God, in his love, and thus sheds light on the art of building; as such it becomes a service to the common good” (Encyclical Letter “On the Light of Faith,” Lumen fidei 51). In this workshop, we will be exploring how God wishes to form each and every one of us into the person He created us to be, through helping us love others and live for others, just as Christ Himself lived for us and loved us “to the end” (see John 13:1). Often misunderstood, the Church’s social teaching is not a partisan platform, an economic policy, or a political position, but rather is an integral part of proclaiming and living the Good News of Jesus Christ in community. We will present the social doctrines in this context and demonstrate how this aspect of Church teaching can help evangelize, console, and lovingly challenge us, as well as those we seek to teach.

“And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them . . . and [Jesus] said to them, ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. . . .’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them” (Mark 10:13–14, 16). Jesus desires that the little children come to Him. As parents, priests, catechists, and teachers, we can bring the children entrusted to our care to the Lord, so that He may bless them and fill them with His love. The goal of catechesis is participation in God’s life. It is critical that we learn how to effectively engage the young mind and heart of each child, encourage each child to respect and love the things of the faith, and help each child discover the wonderful love of a gentle Father. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of a child’s psyche from ages
3–6, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within children, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the heart of the Father.

“And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them . . . and [Jesus] said to them, ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. . . .’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them” (Mark 10:13–14, 16). Jesus desires for children to come to Him. As parents, priests, catechists, and teachers, we can bring the children entrusted to our care to the Lord, so that He may bless them and fill them with His love. The goal of catechesis is participation in God’s life. It is critical that we learn how to effectively engage the young mind and heart of each child, encourage each child to respect and love the things of the faith, and help each child discover the wonderful love of a gentle Father. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of a child’s psyche from ages 6–12, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within children, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the Heart of the Father.

St. Paul, when instructing a young St. Timothy, wrote, “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). We can imitate St. Paul by encouraging the young people entrusted to us to discover who the Lord has called them to be, respond to His invitation to follow Him, and become young men and young women of virtue. It is critical for us  as parents, priests, teachers, youth ministers, and catechists  to learn how to effectively engage the mind and heart of each young person, so that they may receive the full and abundant life that our loving Father offers them. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of an adolescent’s psyche from ages 12–18, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within adolescents, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the Heart of the Father.

Doctrine (Parish Catechist Track)
Core Workshops

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. Now it is up to us. It is our turn to hand on this jewel, unscathed. It is up to us to catechize, continuing 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. We will look at this important teaching tool for catechesis in this workshop, to discover how we, too, can effectively pass on the precious deposit of Christian teaching. And in learning how to do this, we are able to insert our own name into St. Paul’s exhortation, “O catechist, guard what has been entrusted to you.”

 

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.

Mother Church insists that catechesis that truly evangelizes hearts, and that meets souls in the place of greatest need, must be unshakably centered upon Him who is our beginning and our end – Jesus Christ.  We teach Jesus, and everything we teach, we teach in reference to Him, thus teaching Christo-centrically.  Come 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 personal witness to others whom God has called us to love.

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, His work in personal conversion, and our accepting with joy the gift of the fullness of the Catholic Church.

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.

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.

The Big Questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where am I going? Unless one is sleepwalking through life, these are burningly urgent and profoundly relevant questions. How our loving God comes to us at our last breath can unfold so much about those critical questions. We’ll correct common myths about the “Four Last Things,” provide suggestions for teaching these amazing truths, and speak into the powerful curiosity we all have about crossing that final threshold.

Sacraments (Parish Catechist Track)
Core Workshops

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.

Mother Church teaches us about the great significance of the Sacrament of Baptism by saying, “Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission . . .” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC, 1213). It is through the gift of Baptism that Christ’s work of salvation is applied personally to each one of us. Through Baptism, we are cleansed from our sins and share in God’s divine life. In this workshop, we will deepen our understanding of and appreciation for the Sacrament of Baptism. We will do this by exploring how Jesus instituted Baptism, reflecting on the effects of the sacrament and the obligations it imparts to us, learning more about the importance of the theological virtues in the Christian life, and pondering how we participate in Christ’s priestly, prophetic, and kingly ministry through Baptism. This workshop is applicable to all of us, because we all have room to grow in our understanding of and appreciation for this ever-important sacrament. 

Called to Him.  Kept in Him.  Made new in Him.  God’s generosity and His fatherly love for His young daughters and sons 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.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

The holy Eucharist is the greatest of all gifts, because here Jesus offers His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity to us. Through the Eucharist, we are able to receive the living God and be transformed by His divine life dwelling within us. Mother Church teaches us that “The Eucharist is therefore ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324, quoting the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution “On the Church,” Lumen gentium 11). Our lives flow from the Eucharist and lead back to the Eucharist, so that we may be filled with God’s life, sent into the world to proclaim the Good News, and be strengthened and refreshed. This workshop will help you, whether you are a priest, parent, parish catechetical leader, catechist, teacher, youth minister, and so on, to better understand the Eucharist and its unique importance in your life.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

During the Last Supper, Jesus promised that He would send us the Holy Spirit. Jesus, in union with the Father, sent the Holy Spirit, and the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon the Church at Pentecost. Likewise, the Holy Spirit falls upon each of us at Confirmation. Mother Church teaches us that the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary to complete the grace we have received at Baptism. She also tells us that “By the sacrament of Confirmation [we who have been baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are endowed with the special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence [we] are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread the faith by word and deed” (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution “On the Church,” Lumen gentium 11). Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit to be authentic and faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the faith by our words and deeds. In this workshop, we will learn more about the richness of the Sacrament of Confirmation through reflecting on the Scriptural roots, effects, and outward signs of it. This workshop can be beneficial for all — pastors, parents, parish catechetical leaders, catechists, youth ministers, teachers, and so on — who would like to learn more about the Sacrament of Confirmation. 

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.

Method (Parish Catechist Track)
Core Workshops

The goal of catechesis is participation in God’s life. It is critical that catechists learn how to effectively engage the young mind and heart of each child, encourage each child to respect and love the things of the faith, and help each child discover the wonderful love of a gentle Father. This very basic workshop focuses on the most fundamental catechetical methodologies that will enable the catechist of children to facilitate intimacy with God and fidelity to the Church. Methods and techniques will be demonstrated that encourage children to grow in wonder and awe, as they deepen their love for God and His truths. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

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.

“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. 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 Gospel and aids the process of continual conversion for ourselves and others.

Mission (Catholic Schools Track)
Core 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. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

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, “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.

A Catholic school has the mission to be a communion of persons that seeks to give a sacred gift. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone summarized our Catholic vision in this way: “In Catholic schools we teach virtue and truth, and we hold out holiness as the Christian vocation of all students. The core mission of the Catholic Church is to provide an integrated education to young men and women, that is, knowledge and virtue combined. The connections between the two are provided by Catholic practice and teachings. We believe this is the formula for forming outstanding disciples of Jesus Christ” (Address to San Francisco Catholic High School Teachers Convocation, February 6, 2015).  This workshop aims to develop an understanding of this mission in light of the critical role of each teacher, since, “The nobility of the task to which teachers are called demands that, in imitation of Christ, the only Teacher, they reveal the Christian message not only by word but also by every gesture of their behavior. This is what makes the difference between a school whose education is permeated by the Christian spirit and one in which religion is only regarded as an academic subject like any other” (The Catholic School, Sacred Congregation for Catholic Education 43).

Scripture (Catholic Schools Track)
Core Workshops

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.

 

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 is at the heart of all that the Church “believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God” (RCIA 491).  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.

 

“The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life” (CCC 759).  A plan born in the Father’s heart: from the genesis of life itself, to the last prophet of the Jewish people, the grand sweep of salvation history is unfolded in the 46 books of the Old Testament.  The Covenants, the Commandments, and the promise of a Chosen One form the subject of this workshop, to give catechists a sense of the provident hand of God over our past, our present, and our eternal destiny.

 

“That which was from the beginning...that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you...” (1 John 1:1, 4).  The New Testament is the completion of the story of how the Father prepared the world for His Son, and the beginning of the story of the Church, His Body, His Kingdom, His Bride, His Ark to save a People He calls His own.  This sweeping drama of truth, centered upon He is who is Truth, forms the message of the good news that catechists are privileged to offer to each generation of souls.

 

Prayer (Catholic Schools Track)
Core Workshops

Pope Benedict XVI stated that, “the ancient tradition of Lectio Divina… will bring to the Church a new spiritual springtime.”  Come and experience the prayerful pondering of sacred Scripture in the timeless Lectio Divina in which the Holy Spirit makes a connection between the passage and one’s own life.  This way of praying with the Word of God incorporates the natural development of relationship, which derives from the way God has touched and drawn human hearts down through the ages.  During this workshop, you will learn the four stages of Lectio Divina, which will help prepare you to share in this rich treasure of prayer.

 

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 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.

 

Faith and Morals (Catholic Schools Track)
Core Workshops

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, VS, 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 have 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).

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.

The Christian moral life finds its foundation in the Ten Commandments.  Yet, they are often explained only as proscriptions or laws that have to be kept.  This workshop will present the Ten Commandments as prescriptions that profoundly inform and foster our living life in its fullness.  Building on the foundation of the Commandments, Jesus gave us the model of how to live the reality of Heaven here on Earth through the Beatitudes: a great challenge, but a reality each one of us is called to in God’s grace.  This workshop will discuss the blessed radicality of a life lived under the Commandments and the Beatitudes.

“Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself” (CCC 1861).  Failure or fidelity; rejection or restoration.  Each soul lives in a battle.  And each soul is yearned for by a Father that loves beyond all telling.  This workshop explores the destructive reality of our freedom, and the sublime possibilities of a human striving under grace.

This workshop gives an overview of St. John Paul II’s magnificent “Theology of the Body” as a foundational Christian anthropology, while also showing its implications for sexuality, morality, and youth ministry. It explores excellent activities, assignments, and resources to use in the ministry situations. Participants in this workshop will ultimately learn ways of using the Theology of the Body to address some of the greatest concerns of today’s teenagers.

Pope Francis teaches us that, “Faith does not draw us away from the world or prove irrelevant to the concrete concerns of the men and women of our time. . . . Faith makes us appreciate the architecture of human relationships because it grasps their ultimate foundation and definitive destiny in God, in his love, and thus sheds light on the art of building; as such it becomes a service to the common good” (Encyclical Letter “On the Light of Faith,” Lumen fidei 51). In this workshop, we will be exploring how God wishes to form each and every one of us into the person He created us to be, through helping us love others and live for others, just as Christ Himself lived for us and loved us “to the end” (see John 13:1). Often misunderstood, the Church’s social teaching is not a partisan platform, an economic policy, or a political position, but rather is an integral part of proclaiming and living the Good News of Jesus Christ in community. We will present the social doctrines in this context and demonstrate how this aspect of Church teaching can help evangelize, console, and lovingly challenge us, as well as those we seek to teach.

“And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them . . . and [Jesus] said to them, ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. . . .’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them” (Mark 10:13–14, 16). Jesus desires that the little children come to Him. As parents, priests, catechists, and teachers, we can bring the children entrusted to our care to the Lord, so that He may bless them and fill them with His love. The goal of catechesis is participation in God’s life. It is critical that we learn how to effectively engage the young mind and heart of each child, encourage each child to respect and love the things of the faith, and help each child discover the wonderful love of a gentle Father. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of a child’s psyche from ages
3–6, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within children, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the heart of the Father.

“And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them . . . and [Jesus] said to them, ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. . . .’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them” (Mark 10:13–14, 16). Jesus desires for children to come to Him. As parents, priests, catechists, and teachers, we can bring the children entrusted to our care to the Lord, so that He may bless them and fill them with His love. The goal of catechesis is participation in God’s life. It is critical that we learn how to effectively engage the young mind and heart of each child, encourage each child to respect and love the things of the faith, and help each child discover the wonderful love of a gentle Father. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of a child’s psyche from ages 6–12, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within children, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the Heart of the Father.

St. Paul, when instructing a young St. Timothy, wrote, “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). We can imitate St. Paul by encouraging the young people entrusted to us to discover who the Lord has called them to be, respond to His invitation to follow Him, and become young men and young women of virtue. It is critical for us  as parents, priests, teachers, youth ministers, and catechists  to learn how to effectively engage the mind and heart of each young person, so that they may receive the full and abundant life that our loving Father offers them. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of an adolescent’s psyche from ages 12–18, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within adolescents, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the Heart of the Father.

Doctrine (Catholic Schools Track)
Core Workshops

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. Now it is up to us. It is our turn to hand on this jewel, unscathed. It is up to us to catechize, continuing 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. We will look at this important teaching tool for catechesis in this workshop, to discover how we, too, can effectively pass on the precious deposit of Christian teaching. And in learning how to do this, we are able to insert our own name into St. Paul’s exhortation, “O catechist, guard what has been entrusted to you.”

 

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.

Mother Church insists that catechesis that truly evangelizes hearts, and that meets souls in the place of greatest need, must be unshakably centered upon Him who is our beginning and our end – Jesus Christ.  We teach Jesus, and everything we teach, we teach in reference to Him, thus teaching Christo-centrically.  Come 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 personal witness to others whom God has called us to love.

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, His work in personal conversion, and our accepting with joy the gift of the fullness of the Catholic Church.

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.

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.

The Big Questions: Why am I here? What is my purpose? Where am I going? Unless one is sleepwalking through life, these are burningly urgent and profoundly relevant questions. How our loving God comes to us at our last breath can unfold so much about those critical questions. We’ll correct common myths about the “Four Last Things,” provide suggestions for teaching these amazing truths, and speak into the powerful curiosity we all have about crossing that final threshold.

Sacraments (Catholic Schools Track)
Core Workshops

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.

Mother Church teaches us about the great significance of the Sacrament of Baptism by saying, “Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission . . .” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC, 1213). It is through the gift of Baptism that Christ’s work of salvation is applied personally to each one of us. Through Baptism, we are cleansed from our sins and share in God’s divine life. In this workshop, we will deepen our understanding of and appreciation for the Sacrament of Baptism. We will do this by exploring how Jesus instituted Baptism, reflecting on the effects of the sacrament and the obligations it imparts to us, learning more about the importance of the theological virtues in the Christian life, and pondering how we participate in Christ’s priestly, prophetic, and kingly ministry through Baptism. This workshop is applicable to all of us, because we all have room to grow in our understanding of and appreciation for this ever-important sacrament. 

Called to Him.  Kept in Him.  Made new in Him.  God’s generosity and His fatherly love for His young daughters and sons 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.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

The holy Eucharist is the greatest of all gifts, because here Jesus offers His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity to us. Through the Eucharist, we are able to receive the living God and be transformed by His divine life dwelling within us. Mother Church teaches us that “The Eucharist is therefore ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324, quoting the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution “On the Church,” Lumen gentium 11). Our lives flow from the Eucharist and lead back to the Eucharist, so that we may be filled with God’s life, sent into the world to proclaim the Good News, and be strengthened and refreshed. This workshop will help you, whether you are a priest, parent, parish catechetical leader, catechist, teacher, youth minister, and so on, to better understand the Eucharist and its unique importance in your life.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

During the Last Supper, Jesus promised that He would send us the Holy Spirit. Jesus, in union with the Father, sent the Holy Spirit, and the power of the Holy Spirit fell upon the Church at Pentecost. Likewise, the Holy Spirit falls upon each of us at Confirmation. Mother Church teaches us that the Sacrament of Confirmation is necessary to complete the grace we have received at Baptism. She also tells us that “By the sacrament of Confirmation [we who have been baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are endowed with the special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence [we] are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread the faith by word and deed” (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution “On the Church,” Lumen gentium 11). Through the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit to be authentic and faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to spread the faith by our words and deeds. In this workshop, we will learn more about the richness of the Sacrament of Confirmation through reflecting on the Scriptural roots, effects, and outward signs of it. This workshop can be beneficial for all — pastors, parents, parish catechetical leaders, catechists, youth ministers, teachers, and so on — who would like to learn more about the Sacrament of Confirmation. 

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.

Method (Catholic Schools Track)
Core Workshops

The work of evangelization, of sharing the Gospel message with others, is vitally important, because the love at the heart of the Gospel is intended for every one of us — educators and students alike. The Gospel will meet every human longing, the Gospel can penetrate any culture, any community, and the Gospel is forever personal — Lover to beloved. Creating an environment within the Catholic school or parish classroom in which students are evangelized, transformed by the love of the Gospel, and led into discipleship of Christ is made possible first and foremost by the faithful witness of the educator. By us as teachers first being evangelized and seeking to grow in our relationship with Jesus, we transform our classroom and aid students in using their unique, God-given traits and talents to grow in holiness. This workshop will encourage us to see every moment as an evangelizing moment for the teacher as well as the students, and prompt us, as Catholic educators, to take seriously our own commitment to the teachings of the Catholic faith and our continual conversion to Christ.

“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 towards 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.

Hidden within plain sight in every liturgy is the heart of catechesis – the mystery of Christ’s earthly vocation to return us to the Father’s loving embrace. A deeply Catholic catechesis seeks to uncover the profound meaning of the words, signs, and movements of worship to enlighten and enliven every truth we teach. Understanding the relationship between liturgy and catechesis is vital to forming souls – and to helping those we teach discover the peace and joy of their salvation.

"[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.

“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. 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 Gospel and aids the process of continual conversion for ourselves and others.

“From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith, and having its own unique characteristics. . . . In a Catholic school, everyone should be aware of the living presence of Jesus the ‘Master’ who, today as always, is with us in our journey through life as the one genuine ‘Teacher,’ the perfect Man in whom all human values find their fullest perfection” (“The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School: Guidelines for Reflection and Renewal” 25). The beauty of a Catholic school comes from its mission, because it shares in the mission of the Church to create disciples of all nations. The Catholic school has a unique ability to help students and staff in their process of ongoing conversion, a continual turning toward our Lord and His ways, because the Catholic school can lead others into a deeper relationship with the Blessed Trinity. This workshop explores key elements of an environment that fosters conversion in a Catholic school, giving highest attention to the formation of the educators, pastoral staff, and leadership, who bear witness to and bring to life all that the Catholic school has been created to foster. 

St. John Bosco once said, probably on one of his hard days while shepherding his sea of teenage boys, that, “sometimes children just need to be loud!” But how do you balance necessary discipline and the need for a loving Christian tone? Joy and just punishment. Gentleness and good focus? This workshop addresses the challenge experienced by the teacher of the faith: ensuring that a loving Christian environment exists as a good witness to younger disciples without compromising effective and efficient means of discipline. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

Youth & Campus Ministry
Core 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.

Faith seeks understanding. Yet, understanding the social teachings of the Catholic Church is not enough. Teens need to be drawn into the apostolic life and mission of the Church, and be given tangible opportunities to experience that life at work. This workshop addresses the critical nature of outreach and service, and offers excellent resources for mobilizing teens for service and leadership. It also addresses the apostolic nature of the Church, and the great gift of priestly and religious vocations, helping youth ministers to understand how to draw young people into a greater awareness of that gift.

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. Though many elements of methodology are discussed in our other workshops, this workshop provides answers for specific questions concerning youth ministry, such as the Ecclesial Method applied to adolescents, retreat and semester planning, and effective ways to speak to groups of teens.

In his introduction to the Youcat (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church), Pope Benedict XVI challenges young people: “You need to know what you believe. You need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing. Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith . . . so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination.” This exhortation holds true not only for young people, but also for us, those who minister to them. If we are to effectively hand on the truths of the Catholic faith and the beauty of holy Mother Church to the young, we must, ourselves, be immersed in our Lord’s teachings and continually seeking to know Him more. This workshop has a special focus on our formation as youth ministers and helps us understand the immense importance of making our study of Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, salvation history, and so on, an indispensable aspect of our lives and our work.

This workshop gives an overview of St. John Paul II’s magnificent “Theology of the Body” as a foundational Christian anthropology, while also showing its implications for sexuality, morality, and youth ministry. It explores excellent activities, assignments, and resources to use in the ministry situations. Participants in this workshop will ultimately learn ways of using the Theology of the Body to address some of the greatest concerns of today’s teenagers.

Young Adult & Personal Development
Core Workshops

Speaking of catechesis with adults, the Directory for Catechesis tells us: “The commitment to the maturation of baptismal faith is a personal responsibility that the adult above all must perceive as a priority on account of being involved in an ongoing process of the formation of his own personal identity. . . . [E]ven at this stage of life and with characteristic accentuations, accompaniment and growth in faith are necessary so that the adult may mature in that spiritual wisdom which illuminates and brings unity to the manifold experiences of his personal, family and social life” (259). In this workshop, we will explore a particular form of accompaniment by which one person — whether lay, consecrated religious, or ordained — journeys with another through spiritual, intellectual, human, and apostolic formation. Through spiritual accountability, an individual is held accountable to Jesus, to him or herself, and to the person accompanying him or her for the growth occurring in his or her life. Our aim with this form of accompaniment is to make missionary disciples of Jesus Christ — in other words, to accompany people in such a way so that they can then go share the Good News of the Gospel with others, and provide for others the spiritual, intellectual, human, and apostolic formation they, themselves, have received. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

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 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.

 

“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. 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 Gospel and aids the process of continual conversion for ourselves and others.

The discernment of one’s vocation is an important process for any young adult. Whether it be a vocation to holy matrimony, a form of consecrated life, or single life, every vocation is directed toward bringing us closer to God so we may share in union with Him. This workshop outlines some basic guidelines for this time of discernment, emphasizing that both a vocation itself, as well as this time of discernment, are ordered toward fostering a deeper relationship with God.

The journey of discerning God’s will for our lives, especially regarding our vocation, is something that takes time and effort. The process can certainly be filled with joys and many graces, but it can also be a time of difficulty or confusion. This workshop acknowledges the many struggles that may arise during a time of vocational discernment, inviting our faithful Father into them so He can use these challenges to draw us closer to Himself.

In all of our interactions with others, even amidst crises and conflicts, we are called to remember 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 inevitable, and if we’re not equipped to approach them from a Christian perspective, we can easily forget that each person involved is 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.

“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.

Español: Especializaciones Ministeriales
Coordinadores/Directores de Educación Religiosa

“La santa madre Iglesia desea ardientemente que se lleve a todos los fieles a aquella participación plena, consciente y activa en las celebraciones litúrgicas que exige la naturaleza de la Liturgia” (Constitución sobre la Santa Liturgia del Concilio Vaticano II,  Sacrosanctum concilium 14). La Iglesia desea que todos nosotros — incluyendo los niños — participemos de manera plena y activa en la liturgia eucarística, la santa Misa, para que experimentemos la belleza que está presente en cada Misa y la alegría de permitir que Jesús nos ayude a convertirnos en las personas que él nos ha creado a ser por medio de esta celebración. Cada gesto y cada palabra de la Misa tiene un significado, y los niños — cuando se les enseña el significado concreto de cada elemento—pueden de manera alegre y entusiasta participar en la Misa y encontrarse con la persona de Jesús. Éste taller ofrece un método para introducir a los niños a la liturgia, para que ellos puedan participar en los ritos litúrgicos y vivir la Misa con todo su ser.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Guiar a los niños en los caminos de la fe y llevarlos a una relación de amor con la Santísima Trinidad es un ministerio al que muchos de nosotros somos llamados en diversas capacidades: como padres, padrinos, catequistas, ministros de jóvenes, maestros de escuelas católicas, sacerdotes, etcétera. Para todos los que tenemos niños bajo nuestro cuidado, surge la pregunta: ¿Cómo nos encontramos con cada niño individualmente, hablándole con la verdad y guiándolo de tal manera que le ayude a tener una relación con Jesús para toda la vida? Este taller te brindará una oportunidad para considerar tu propia relación con Dios, ya que no podemos transmitir efectivamente una relación con nuestro Padre Celestial si nosotros mismos no estamos arraigados en dicha relación. También te proporcionará formas de obtener un conocimiento más profundo de los niños que están bajo tu cuidado para que puedas comprender mejor cómo Dios puede obrar a través de ti, ayudándolos en su camino hacia la santidad al formar sus mentes, corazones y almas.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

En el Directorio para la catequesis leemos: “A lo largo de los siglos, la Iglesia nunca ha descuidado dar prioridad a la formación de los catequistas . . . La formación es un proceso permanente que, bajo la guía del Espíritu y en el seno vivo de la comunidad cristiana, ayuda al bautizado a tomar forma. . ." (130-131). Este hermoso documento destaca para nosotros la increíble vocación que es la catequesis y la importancia de nuestra formación como catequistas. Dios llama a los catequistas y maestros de religión a llevar a Jesucristo al mundo, y para ello, los catequistas y maestros tienen una necesidad constante de acercarse más a Dios. En este taller exploraremos algunos de los principios planteados en el regalo que es este Directorio para la catequesis, conociendo la identidad del catequista y cómo formarse bien en el trabajo de la catequesis. Si tu eres un líder catequético parroquial, sacerdote, catequista o alguien más encargado del trabajo de formar a otros catequistas y maestros, seguramente te beneficiarás de lo mucho que el Directorio para la catequesis tiene para ofrecer, lo cual es el enfoque de este taller.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“Por haber sido hecho a imagen de Dios, el ser humano tiene la dignidad de persona; no es solamente algo, sino alguien. Es capaz de conocerse, de poseerse y de darse libremente y entrar en comunión con otras personas; y es llamado, por la gracia, a una alianza con su Creador, a ofrecerle una respuesta de fe y de amor . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica 357). La dignidad de la persona humana reside en la relación. Reside ante todo en nuestra relación con Dios, Quien nos creó a Su imagen y nos llama siempre hacia Él. También reside en nuestras relaciones con los demás, que comparten nuestra humanidad. Cada uno de nuestros apostolados dentro de la Iglesia incluye un llamado a la relación y a fomentar relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Como aprenderemos en este taller, ciertas técnicas de comunicación son la base de todas las relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Los ministros parroquiales no son terapeutas, pero la práctica de estos principios básicos de comunicación fomentarán relaciones saludables e incluso ocacionarán la sanación en los que se sirven. Entonces iniciemos este taller, siempre conscientes de la preciosa dignidad de aquellos que nuestro Padre celestial pone en nuestro camino, y de la hermosa manera en que cada persona que encontramos tiene en sí misma la asombrosa identidad de ser un hijo de Dios.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

El ministerio de la catequesis y el ministerio de la formación espiritual están normalmente algo separados en el entendimiento de las personas. Sin embargo, en la mente de la Iglesia, se relacionan de forma natural y necesaria. “En realidad, favorecer el encuentro de una persona con Dios, que es tarea del catequista, significa poner en el centro y hacer propia la relación que Dios tiene con la persona y dejarse guiar por Él”. (Directorio general para la catequesis (DGC) 139). “El catequista es intrínsecamente un mediador que facilita la comunicación entre las personas y el misterio de Dios, así como la de los hombres entre sí y con la comunidad”. (DGC 156). Este taller explora lo que significa ser guiado: una docilidad intencional y confianza en la capacidad de la Iglesia para llevarnos al crecimiento espiritual, a la paz con Dios, a la santidad. Con este entendimiento, examinamos los fundamentos de lo que significa para ti guiar a otra alma en un contexto catequético, de modo que puedas buscar más intencionalmente ser todo lo que la vocación catequética debe llegar a ser.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

En comunidades multiculturales, es muy valioso el encontrar maneras de ayudar a los fieles a participar plenamente en las Misas significativas, como las principales fiestas, la recepción de sacramentos y otros eventos importantes. Tales liturgias pueden brindar la oportunidad de emplear la rica diversidad de expresiones culturales y lingüísticas en un acto común de adoración. Este taller no solo ofrece maneras prácticas de implementar elementos bilingües (o multilingües) en la liturgia, sino examina el valor de la Misa, y el por qué nos debemos esforzar para incluir el idioma y la cultura de los presentes, lo cual es nada menos que darles la oportunidad de experimentar el gran Amor de Dios, y permitirles participar más plenamente en Su gran obra de redención. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

El Directorio para la catequesis nos dice que “San Agustín señaló la niñez y la infancia como una época en la que se aprende el diálogo con el Maestro que habla en la intimidad. Es desde una edad temprana que el niño debe ser ayudado a percibir y desarrollar el sentido de Dios y la intuición natural de su existencia” (236). Nuestra capacidad de catequizar, de ayudarles a los niños a tener una relación con Jesucristo, ya sea como catequistas, padres, maestros de escuelas católicas, etc., no es simplemente una cuestión de nuestras habilidades de enseñanza. Más bien, la edad y el desarrollo de un niño, así como los factores ambientales, afectan la receptividad del niño hacia la fe. En este taller, exploraremos formas de elaborar nuestra catequesis en relación a las etapas de desarrollo de los niños, para poder guiarlos mejor a la intimidad con Jesucristo. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Dios es quien primero llama al hombre . . . el Dios vivo y verdadero llama incansablemente a cada persona . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica (CEC) 2567). Dios continuamente nos llama hacia a Él para que podamos crecer en intimidad con Él. El Señor también nos llama a participar en Su plan de salvación. Este llamado implica una vocación, y en el centro de nuestra respuesta al Señor hay una ofrenda de fe, obediencia y amor. En este taller reflexionaremos sobre lo que es una vocación por medio de una reflexión orante sobre la vocación de Moisés, los doce apóstoles y la Santísima Virgen María conservada en la Sagrada Escritura. Esta reflexión nos ayudará a reconocer el llamado de Dios en nuestro propio corazón para que podamos responder libremente a lo que Él nos invita. Iniciemos este taller con un espíritu de oración, con el corazón bien abierto, dispuestos a descubrir lo que Dios ha revelado en la Sagrada Escritura sobre Su llamado para nuestras vidas. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Evangelización

En este taller exploraremos los elementos esenciales sobre la misión más importante: la evangelización. La misión de evangelizar es la vocación propia de la Iglesia. Como miembros de la Iglesia cada uno de nosotros estamos llamados a participar en esa misión. “La Buena Nueva del Reino que llega y que ya ha comenzado, es para todos los hombres de todos los tiempos. Aquellos que ya la han recibido y que están reunidos en la comunidad de salvación, pueden y deben comunicarla y difundirla” (San Pablo VI, Exhortación apostólica, La Evangelización en el Mundo Contemporáneo, Evangelii Nuntiandi (EN) 13).  La misión de evangelizar es un llamado personal a participar en la edificación del Reino de Dios y a dar testimonio de la persona de Jesucristo en nuestras comunidades y en el mundo. Este taller es una oportunidad para que los líderes de ministerios parroquiales, feligreses o catequistas puedan tener la inspiración y un camino claro para evangelizar y ser testigos en todas partes y en todo momento. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Este taller explicará el contenido del kerigma y la Buena Nueva, y en él, exploraremos diferentes formas de compartir las palabras y los hechos de Jesucristo con los demás. Seas padre o madre de familia, catequista o simplemente una persona interesada en aprender más, este taller te ayudará a aprender más acerca de lo que la Iglesia enseña. En esta jornada de fe en la que nos embarcaremos, podrás profundizar tu fe y tu vida de oración de tal forma que, al terminar, habrás podido entender la importancia de llevar la Buena Nueva a tu hogar, a tu escuela o a tu trabajo.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

El ministerio de la catequesis y el ministerio de la formación espiritual están normalmente algo separados en el entendimiento de las personas. Sin embargo, en la mente de la Iglesia, se relacionan de forma natural y necesaria. “En realidad, favorecer el encuentro de una persona con Dios, que es tarea del catequista, significa poner en el centro y hacer propia la relación que Dios tiene con la persona y dejarse guiar por Él”. (Directorio general para la catequesis (DGC) 139). “El catequista es intrínsecamente un mediador que facilita la comunicación entre las personas y el misterio de Dios, así como la de los hombres entre sí y con la comunidad”. (DGC 156). Este taller explora lo que significa ser guiado: una docilidad intencional y confianza en la capacidad de la Iglesia para llevarnos al crecimiento espiritual, a la paz con Dios, a la santidad. Con este entendimiento, examinamos los fundamentos de lo que significa para ti guiar a otra alma en un contexto catequético, de modo que puedas buscar más intencionalmente ser todo lo que la vocación catequética debe llegar a ser.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Familia y Fe Hispana

¿Para qué existen los sacramentales y las devociones populares?  Las variadas formas de la piedad ayudan a que “nuestras almas se conviertan y dirijan a Dios” y se hagan “cada vez más aptas para contemplar los misterios de la naturaleza divina y humana de Jesucristo” (Mediator Dei (MD) 219).  No toman el lugar de la liturgia, pero más bien nos “disponen a participar con mayor fruto en las funciones públicas” (MD 219).  Tal vez eres un catequista o un padre de familia que quiere entender el uso apropiado de los sacramentales y la devoción popular, tal vez quieras poder contestar a las personas que preguntan el “por qué” la Iglesia tiene estas prácticas.  Cualquiera que sea tu motivo, ¡eres bienvenido a este taller!  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

La Iglesia hace presente el amor y la bendición de Dios en los diferentes momentos de nuestras vidas. Como una madre, nos acompaña a lo largo de nuestra jornada.  La Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB) reconoce el valor de la celebración Quinceañera en la vida de la joven hispana y lo describe así: “Es costumbre entre varios países de habla española y entre grupos hispanos en los Estados Unidos el celebrar y marcar el paso de la niñez a la adolescencia con un rito que exprese agradecimiento a Dios por el don de la vida y bendición para los años venideros” (Rito de Bendición, n. 1). En este taller, se explicarán los orígenes de la Quinceañera, la preparación apropiada, el valor de la celebración, y como se celebra la bendición litúrgicamente. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

La Virgen María tiene un papel único en la historia de la salvación. En este taller, haremos un recorrido por las Sagradas Escrituras y veremos cómo la misión de Jesucristo está íntimamente ligada a la fidelidad de su madre.  Viajaremos desde la Tierra Santa hasta Latinoamérica y escucharemos testimonios de como la Virgen acompaña a cada uno de sus hijos con cariño y cercanía, y como es para la Iglesia un modelo de fe y caridad.  Aprenderemos de la devoción a la Virgen María, que constituye una expresión especial de la confianza que ponemos en lo que Dios nos ha revelado y en el cumplimiento de sus promesas.  Al reconocer la importancia de esta devoción, nos comprometemos a compartirla con todos los que Dios ponga en nuestra vida para que el mundo pueda acercarse a Jesús por su madre.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor. 

Formando a los padres de familia

“La educación a la castidad y las oportunas informaciones sobre la sexualidad deben ser ofrecidas en el más amplio contexto de la educación al amor” (Pontificio Consejo para la Familia, Sexualidad Humana: Verdad y Significado: Orientaciones educativas en familia 70). El don de la sexualidad humana y la virtud de la castidad deben enseñarse en el contexto del amor, porque el amor nos capacita a vivir castamente y a reconocer el don de la sexualidad humana. Este taller describe el rol esencial de los padres en la formación de sus propios hijos en una visión cristiana de la sexualidad, guiado por el recurso As I Have Loved You del Dr. Gerard O'Shea. Este taller ayuda a los padres en su capacidad para detectar señales que indican cuando sus hijos están listos para comenzar esta formación, y también ofrece estrategias para abordar el tema de manera clara y delicada. Está especialmente destinado a los padres. Sin embargo, este taller también es beneficioso para los catequistas, maestros de escuelas católicas, líderes catequéticos parroquiales, ministros de jóvenes y otras personas que desempeñan funciones en las que ayudan a los padres a enseñar a sus hijos sobre el plan de Dios para la sexualidad.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“Cristo quiso nacer y crecer en el seno de la Sagrada Familia de José y de María. . .  En nuestros días, en un mundo frecuentemente extraño e incluso hostil a la fe, las familias creyentes tienen una importancia primordial en cuanto faros de una fe viva e irradiadora” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica 1655, 1656). La participación de Jesús en una familia hace especial hincapié en la vida familiar. Los padres son los principales educadores de sus hijos y las familias cristianas son lugares donde la luz de la fe es “irradiada” al mundo. La familia cristiana es la iglesia doméstica, porque es en la familia donde padres e hijos oran, sacrifican, adoran, viven la caridad y ofrecen testimonio de una vida santa. Este taller enseña qué es la iglesia doméstica y cómo Dios nos salva en y a través de la familia y la comunidad que Dios nos ha dado. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“Por haber sido hecho a imagen de Dios, el ser humano tiene la dignidad de persona; no es solamente algo, sino alguien. Es capaz de conocerse, de poseerse y de darse libremente y entrar en comunión con otras personas; y es llamado, por la gracia, a una alianza con su Creador, a ofrecerle una respuesta de fe y de amor . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica 357). La dignidad de la persona humana reside en la relación. Reside ante todo en nuestra relación con Dios, Quien nos creó a Su imagen y nos llama siempre hacia Él. También reside en nuestras relaciones con los demás, que comparten nuestra humanidad. Cada uno de nuestros apostolados dentro de la Iglesia incluye un llamado a la relación y a fomentar relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Como aprenderemos en este taller, ciertas técnicas de comunicación son la base de todas las relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Los ministros parroquiales no son terapeutas, pero la práctica de estos principios básicos de comunicación fomentarán relaciones saludables e incluso ocacionarán la sanación en los que se sirven. Entonces iniciemos este taller, siempre conscientes de la preciosa dignidad de aquellos que nuestro Padre celestial pone en nuestro camino, y de la hermosa manera en que cada persona que encontramos tiene en sí misma la asombrosa identidad de ser un hijo de Dios.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

El ministerio de la catequesis y el ministerio de la formación espiritual están normalmente algo separados en el entendimiento de las personas. Sin embargo, en la mente de la Iglesia, se relacionan de forma natural y necesaria. “En realidad, favorecer el encuentro de una persona con Dios, que es tarea del catequista, significa poner en el centro y hacer propia la relación que Dios tiene con la persona y dejarse guiar por Él”. (Directorio general para la catequesis (DGC) 139). “El catequista es intrínsecamente un mediador que facilita la comunicación entre las personas y el misterio de Dios, así como la de los hombres entre sí y con la comunidad”. (DGC 156). Este taller explora lo que significa ser guiado: una docilidad intencional y confianza en la capacidad de la Iglesia para llevarnos al crecimiento espiritual, a la paz con Dios, a la santidad. Con este entendimiento, examinamos los fundamentos de lo que significa para ti guiar a otra alma en un contexto catequético, de modo que puedas buscar más intencionalmente ser todo lo que la vocación catequética debe llegar a ser.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“La santa madre Iglesia desea ardientemente que se lleve a todos los fieles a aquella participación plena, consciente y activa en las celebraciones litúrgicas que exige la naturaleza de la Liturgia” (Constitución sobre la Santa Liturgia del Concilio Vaticano II,  Sacrosanctum concilium 14). La Iglesia desea que todos nosotros — incluyendo los niños — participemos de manera plena y activa en la liturgia eucarística, la santa Misa, para que experimentemos la belleza que está presente en cada Misa y la alegría de permitir que Jesús nos ayude a convertirnos en las personas que él nos ha creado a ser por medio de esta celebración. Cada gesto y cada palabra de la Misa tiene un significado, y los niños — cuando se les enseña el significado concreto de cada elemento—pueden de manera alegre y entusiasta participar en la Misa y encontrarse con la persona de Jesús. Éste taller ofrece un método para introducir a los niños a la liturgia, para que ellos puedan participar en los ritos litúrgicos y vivir la Misa con todo su ser.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Guiar a los niños en los caminos de la fe y llevarlos a una relación de amor con la Santísima Trinidad es un ministerio al que muchos de nosotros somos llamados en diversas capacidades: como padres, padrinos, catequistas, ministros de jóvenes, maestros de escuelas católicas, sacerdotes, etcétera. Para todos los que tenemos niños bajo nuestro cuidado, surge la pregunta: ¿Cómo nos encontramos con cada niño individualmente, hablándole con la verdad y guiándolo de tal manera que le ayude a tener una relación con Jesús para toda la vida? Este taller te brindará una oportunidad para considerar tu propia relación con Dios, ya que no podemos transmitir efectivamente una relación con nuestro Padre Celestial si nosotros mismos no estamos arraigados en dicha relación. También te proporcionará formas de obtener un conocimiento más profundo de los niños que están bajo tu cuidado para que puedas comprender mejor cómo Dios puede obrar a través de ti, ayudándolos en su camino hacia la santidad al formar sus mentes, corazones y almas.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

El Directorio para la catequesis nos dice que “San Agustín señaló la niñez y la infancia como una época en la que se aprende el diálogo con el Maestro que habla en la intimidad. Es desde una edad temprana que el niño debe ser ayudado a percibir y desarrollar el sentido de Dios y la intuición natural de su existencia” (236). Nuestra capacidad de catequizar, de ayudarles a los niños a tener una relación con Jesucristo, ya sea como catequistas, padres, maestros de escuelas católicas, etc., no es simplemente una cuestión de nuestras habilidades de enseñanza. Más bien, la edad y el desarrollo de un niño, así como los factores ambientales, afectan la receptividad del niño hacia la fe. En este taller, exploraremos formas de elaborar nuestra catequesis en relación a las etapas de desarrollo de los niños, para poder guiarlos mejor a la intimidad con Jesucristo. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Dios es quien primero llama al hombre . . . el Dios vivo y verdadero llama incansablemente a cada persona . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica (CEC) 2567). Dios continuamente nos llama hacia a Él para que podamos crecer en intimidad con Él. El Señor también nos llama a participar en Su plan de salvación. Este llamado implica una vocación, y en el centro de nuestra respuesta al Señor hay una ofrenda de fe, obediencia y amor. En este taller reflexionaremos sobre lo que es una vocación por medio de una reflexión orante sobre la vocación de Moisés, los doce apóstoles y la Santísima Virgen María conservada en la Sagrada Escritura. Esta reflexión nos ayudará a reconocer el llamado de Dios en nuestro propio corazón para que podamos responder libremente a lo que Él nos invita. Iniciemos este taller con un espíritu de oración, con el corazón bien abierto, dispuestos a descubrir lo que Dios ha revelado en la Sagrada Escritura sobre Su llamado para nuestras vidas. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Jóvenes/Jóvenes adultos

¿Qué es lo que más necesitan los jóvenes hoy en día? Como todos, necesitan tener un encuentro con el amor de Jesucristo que les abrirá los horizontes y llenará su vida con esperanza. Podemos facilitar este encuentro cuando formamos grupos con ambientes familiares, donde se habla en el idioma de los jóvenes, el idioma de amor. El P. Agustino Torres, CFR, nos da herramientas prácticas para empezar la pastoral juvenil en nuestra parroquia. No solo nos explica los pasos de cómo formar un grupo de liderazgo, cómo reconocer los tipos de jóvenes que nos pueden llegar y los diferentes tipos de eventos que debemos llevar a cabo, sino que también nos enseña cómo responder a sus preguntas e inquietudes más profundas. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“La catequesis más efectiva para los jóvenes adultos forma parte de un programa integral de cuidado pastoral . . .” (Directorio Nacional de Catequesis, 217). La transmisión de la fe nunca es un trabajo genérico. Se sintoniza con la realidad de aquellos que se sienten atraídos a la bondad del Señor. Este taller analiza las características distintivas de la catequesis para adolescentes según el Directorio Nacional de Catequesis, con ejemplos prácticos de cómo utilizarlas en un entorno de pastoral juvenil.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“Después de haber hablado antiguamente a nuestros padres por medio de los Profetas, en muchas ocasiones y de diversas maneras, ahora, en este tiempo final, Dios nos habló por medio de su Hijo, a quien constituyó heredero de todas las cosas y por quien hizo el mundo. . .” (Hebreos 1:1–2). Cuando la Segunda Persona de la Trinidad se hizo carne y habitó entre nosotros, todo cambió. Dios solía hablarnos a través de otros, pero ahora viene a nosotros personalmente. Este modelo de “ministerio relacional” debe estar como fundamento de nuestros esfuerzos de acompañar a los jóvenes. Para que el ministerio sea eficaz, debe ser intencional y consistentemente relacional. Tal como escribió San Juan Bosco “los jóvenes no solo deben ser amados, sino que deben notar que se les ama”. Aquí explicaremos cómo hacer esto de manera segura y eficaz en la cultura actual.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“Por haber sido hecho a imagen de Dios, el ser humano tiene la dignidad de persona; no es solamente algo, sino alguien. Es capaz de conocerse, de poseerse y de darse libremente y entrar en comunión con otras personas; y es llamado, por la gracia, a una alianza con su Creador, a ofrecerle una respuesta de fe y de amor . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica 357). La dignidad de la persona humana reside en la relación. Reside ante todo en nuestra relación con Dios, Quien nos creó a Su imagen y nos llama siempre hacia Él. También reside en nuestras relaciones con los demás, que comparten nuestra humanidad. Cada uno de nuestros apostolados dentro de la Iglesia incluye un llamado a la relación y a fomentar relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Como aprenderemos en este taller, ciertas técnicas de comunicación son la base de todas las relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Los ministros parroquiales no son terapeutas, pero la práctica de estos principios básicos de comunicación fomentarán relaciones saludables e incluso ocacionarán la sanación en los que se sirven. Entonces iniciemos este taller, siempre conscientes de la preciosa dignidad de aquellos que nuestro Padre celestial pone en nuestro camino, y de la hermosa manera en que cada persona que encontramos tiene en sí misma la asombrosa identidad de ser un hijo de Dios.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

El ministerio de la catequesis y el ministerio de la formación espiritual están normalmente algo separados en el entendimiento de las personas. Sin embargo, en la mente de la Iglesia, se relacionan de forma natural y necesaria. “En realidad, favorecer el encuentro de una persona con Dios, que es tarea del catequista, significa poner en el centro y hacer propia la relación que Dios tiene con la persona y dejarse guiar por Él”. (Directorio general para la catequesis (DGC) 139). “El catequista es intrínsecamente un mediador que facilita la comunicación entre las personas y el misterio de Dios, así como la de los hombres entre sí y con la comunidad”. (DGC 156). Este taller explora lo que significa ser guiado: una docilidad intencional y confianza en la capacidad de la Iglesia para llevarnos al crecimiento espiritual, a la paz con Dios, a la santidad. Con este entendimiento, examinamos los fundamentos de lo que significa para ti guiar a otra alma en un contexto catequético, de modo que puedas buscar más intencionalmente ser todo lo que la vocación catequética debe llegar a ser.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Una parte importante de ser un mentor es llegar a conocer realmente a las personas que tenemos bajo nuestro cuidado. En este taller, exploramos varios tipos de preguntas relacionadas con este trabajo de descubrimiento y examinaremos cuáles logran mejor el objetivo de revelar auténticamente los pensamientos y necesidades de esa persona para construir de manera productiva y sabia la relación de mentoría. Las preguntas deficientes resultan en oportunidades perdidas o en una comunicación débil. Las grandes preguntas realmente sirven para abrir el alma y construir una mentoría sólida. Enfatizaremos especialmente el valor de las preguntas abiertas orientadas a extraer la historia de vida de una persona.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

En comunidades multiculturales, es muy valioso el encontrar maneras de ayudar a los fieles a participar plenamente en las Misas significativas, como las principales fiestas, la recepción de sacramentos y otros eventos importantes. Tales liturgias pueden brindar la oportunidad de emplear la rica diversidad de expresiones culturales y lingüísticas en un acto común de adoración. Este taller no solo ofrece maneras prácticas de implementar elementos bilingües (o multilingües) en la liturgia, sino examina el valor de la Misa, y el por qué nos debemos esforzar para incluir el idioma y la cultura de los presentes, lo cual es nada menos que darles la oportunidad de experimentar el gran Amor de Dios, y permitirles participar más plenamente en Su gran obra de redención. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Dios es quien primero llama al hombre . . . el Dios vivo y verdadero llama incansablemente a cada persona . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica (CEC) 2567). Dios continuamente nos llama hacia a Él para que podamos crecer en intimidad con Él. El Señor también nos llama a participar en Su plan de salvación. Este llamado implica una vocación, y en el centro de nuestra respuesta al Señor hay una ofrenda de fe, obediencia y amor. En este taller reflexionaremos sobre lo que es una vocación por medio de una reflexión orante sobre la vocación de Moisés, los doce apóstoles y la Santísima Virgen María conservada en la Sagrada Escritura. Esta reflexión nos ayudará a reconocer el llamado de Dios en nuestro propio corazón para que podamos responder libremente a lo que Él nos invita. Iniciemos este taller con un espíritu de oración, con el corazón bien abierto, dispuestos a descubrir lo que Dios ha revelado en la Sagrada Escritura sobre Su llamado para nuestras vidas. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Mentoría/Acompañamiento

Este taller explora el elemento esencial en la misión de transmitir la fe: . Debido a que el contenido de la fe es una Persona, Cristo, la persona del catequista es fundamental. La vocación del catequista es la de ser testigo de la bondad de Cristo, de Su santo celo, de Su ejemplo — de ser como el Maestro. “. . . [C]ualquiera que sea su responsabilidad en la Iglesia, debe ser la de comunicar, a través de su enseñanza y su comportamiento, la doctrina y la vida de Jesús” (Juan Pablo II, Exhortación apostólica, La Catequesis en Nuestro Tiempo, Catechesi tradendae (CT) 6). Este llamado es a la vez tan gozoso y emocionante como al mismo tiempo dificil porque conlleva una gran responsabilidad. Se trata de una obra sobrenatural, más allá de nuestras capacidades naturales. “La catequesis . . . es por consiguiente una obra del Espíritu Santo, obra que sólo Él puede suscitar y alimentar en la Iglesia” (CT 72). Y se sostiene en ti. Este taller es un punto de partida que ofrece inspiración, visión y guía para animar a los catequistas en su esfuerzo por vivir su vocación privilegiada. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

La mentoría catequética es parte integral de los ministerios en la Iglesia Católica, así como de la vida en el hogar. En nuestro ministerio tenemos el privilegio de poder participar en la mentoria Divina y amorosa de la Santísima Trinidad en cada alma. En Su bondadoso plan de salvación, Dios, nuestro Padre celestial, nos provee toda guía que necesitamos para nuestro camino hacia Él, para nuestro eterno regreso a casa. Mediante el envío de su propio Hijo y Espíritu, no solo nos enseña el Camino hacia Él, sino que también se entrega a nosotros para ser nuestro compañero en este “camino de realeza”. La Iglesia, el Cuerpo de Su Hijo, formada por el Espíritu, nos acoge y acompaña en este camino, y es dentro de este Cuerpo donde cada uno de nosotros, que también estamos llamados a un ministerio, ya sea como miembros ordenados, como padres, como laicos catequistas, o como colaboradores: ejercemos una mentoría catequética para aquellos a quienes servimos. Nuestro ministerio, entonces, es una participación en Su mentoría. Nuestro ministerio es una de las formas en que Dios hace una generosa provisión para la mentoría catequética de otros.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

El ministerio de la catequesis y el ministerio de la formación espiritual están normalmente algo separados en el entendimiento de las personas. Sin embargo, en la mente de la Iglesia, se relacionan de forma natural y necesaria. “En realidad, favorecer el encuentro de una persona con Dios, que es tarea del catequista, significa poner en el centro y hacer propia la relación que Dios tiene con la persona y dejarse guiar por Él”. (Directorio general para la catequesis (DGC) 139). “El catequista es intrínsecamente un mediador que facilita la comunicación entre las personas y el misterio de Dios, así como la de los hombres entre sí y con la comunidad”. (DGC 156). Este taller explora lo que significa ser guiado: una docilidad intencional y confianza en la capacidad de la Iglesia para llevarnos al crecimiento espiritual, a la paz con Dios, a la santidad. Con este entendimiento, examinamos los fundamentos de lo que significa para ti guiar a otra alma en un contexto catequético, de modo que puedas buscar más intencionalmente ser todo lo que la vocación catequética debe llegar a ser.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Una parte importante de ser un mentor es llegar a conocer realmente a las personas que tenemos bajo nuestro cuidado. En este taller, exploramos varios tipos de preguntas relacionadas con este trabajo de descubrimiento y examinaremos cuáles logran mejor el objetivo de revelar auténticamente los pensamientos y necesidades de esa persona para construir de manera productiva y sabia la relación de mentoría. Las preguntas deficientes resultan en oportunidades perdidas o en una comunicación débil. Las grandes preguntas realmente sirven para abrir el alma y construir una mentoría sólida. Enfatizaremos especialmente el valor de las preguntas abiertas orientadas a extraer la historia de vida de una persona.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“Por haber sido hecho a imagen de Dios, el ser humano tiene la dignidad de persona; no es solamente algo, sino alguien. Es capaz de conocerse, de poseerse y de darse libremente y entrar en comunión con otras personas; y es llamado, por la gracia, a una alianza con su Creador, a ofrecerle una respuesta de fe y de amor . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica 357). La dignidad de la persona humana reside en la relación. Reside ante todo en nuestra relación con Dios, Quien nos creó a Su imagen y nos llama siempre hacia Él. También reside en nuestras relaciones con los demás, que comparten nuestra humanidad. Cada uno de nuestros apostolados dentro de la Iglesia incluye un llamado a la relación y a fomentar relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Como aprenderemos en este taller, ciertas técnicas de comunicación son la base de todas las relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Los ministros parroquiales no son terapeutas, pero la práctica de estos principios básicos de comunicación fomentarán relaciones saludables e incluso ocacionarán la sanación en los que se sirven. Entonces iniciemos este taller, siempre conscientes de la preciosa dignidad de aquellos que nuestro Padre celestial pone en nuestro camino, y de la hermosa manera en que cada persona que encontramos tiene en sí misma la asombrosa identidad de ser un hijo de Dios.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Dios es quien primero llama al hombre . . . el Dios vivo y verdadero llama incansablemente a cada persona . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica (CEC) 2567). Dios continuamente nos llama hacia a Él para que podamos crecer en intimidad con Él. El Señor también nos llama a participar en Su plan de salvación. Este llamado implica una vocación, y en el centro de nuestra respuesta al Señor hay una ofrenda de fe, obediencia y amor. En este taller reflexionaremos sobre lo que es una vocación por medio de una reflexión orante sobre la vocación de Moisés, los doce apóstoles y la Santísima Virgen María conservada en la Sagrada Escritura. Esta reflexión nos ayudará a reconocer el llamado de Dios en nuestro propio corazón para que podamos responder libremente a lo que Él nos invita. Iniciemos este taller con un espíritu de oración, con el corazón bien abierto, dispuestos a descubrir lo que Dios ha revelado en la Sagrada Escritura sobre Su llamado para nuestras vidas. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Renovación Eucarística

En el Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica leemos: “La Eucaristía es ‘fuente y culmen de toda la vida cristiana’. . . En resumen, la Eucaristía es el compendio y la suma de nuestra fe: ‘Nuestra manera de pensar armoniza con la Eucaristía, y a su vez la Eucaristía confirma nuestra manera de pensar’" (1324, 1327). Al crecer en intimidad con nuestro Señor Jesús presente en la Eucaristía y al buscar centrar nuestras vidas en torno a este don supremo, aprendemos a vivir como cristianos llenos de gracia. En este taller, explicaremos lo que significa ser un discípulo de Nuestro Señor presente en la Eucaristía y aprenderemos cómo hacerlo de una manera que “respire con ambos pulmones”, es decir, a través de las tradiciones tanto de la Iglesia católica oriental como de la Iglesia católica occidental. Este taller es para todos, ya sea que seamos padres de familia, sacerdotes, religiosos, catequistas laicos, maestros de escuela, etc. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de William H. Sadlier, Inc.

La Santa Eucaristía es el mayor de todos los dones, porque en ella Jesús nos ofrece Su Cuerpo, Sangre, Alma y Divinidad. A través de la Eucaristía, podemos recibir al Dios vivo y ser transformados por Su vida divina que habita en nosotros. La Madre Iglesia nos enseña que “La Eucaristía es ‘fuente y culmen de toda la vida cristiana’” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica 1324, citando la Constitución Dogmática del Concilio Vaticano II “Sobre la Iglesia”, Lumen gentium 11). Nuestras vidas fluyen de la Eucaristía y conducen de nuevo a la Eucaristía, para que seamos colmados de la vida de Dios y enviados al mundo para proclamar la Buena Nueva. Este taller te ayudará, ya seas sacerdote, padre, líder de catequesis parroquial, catequista, maestro, o ministro de jóvenes, etc., a comprender mejor la Eucaristía y su importancia única en tu vida. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de William H. Sadlier, Inc.

Rito de Iniciación Cristiana de Adultos

Todos los creyentes son llamados a participar en el gran misterio del amor salvador del Padre por medio de Cristo Jesús. Y es este gran misterio al que todas las instituciones de la Iglesia, todas y cada una de ellas, existen para servir. El RICA no tiene otro propósito más que el servicio del santo misterio de Cristo presente y activo en Su Cuerpo viviente. La renovación del proceso de iniciación cristiana se considera una de las características más importantes y exitosas de la renovación litúrgica moderna. Desde su promulgación en 1972 y su continua elaboración bajo los auspicios de la Conferencia Nacional de Obispos Católicos en 1988, el Rito de Iniciación Cristiana para Adultos ha sido uno de los elementos pastorales más eficaces de la vida católica en los Estados Unidos. Y, sin embargo, no todo está bien. El mismo hecho de que el desafío es la conversión, la conformación de hombres y mujeres imperfectos a Cristo, significa que el proceso nunca será perfecto. La iniciación es más bien el comienzo de un proceso que tiene su final en la eternidad. Sin embargo, hay problemas que son más concretos y, por ello, se pueden corregir más fácilmente. En general, hoy en día se usan tres modelos de RICA en la mayoría de las parroquias católicas que tienen este ministerio. Cada uno de los modelos concibe y practica la iniciación cristiana de manera diferente. Este taller describe estos modelos, discutiendo sus fortalezas y debilidades en términos de las dimensiones catequéticas, litúrgicas y pastorales. El resultado es claridad sobre cómo el RICA puede introducir a los participantes en el catolicismo a través de un proceso de aprendizaje e interiorización de las Sagradas Escrituras, doctrinas, sacramentos, oraciones, tradiciones morales, lecturas espirituales y la cultura comunitaria de la Iglesia Católica, para así ser instrumentos del amor providente del Padre.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

“Por haber sido hecho a imagen de Dios, el ser humano tiene la dignidad de persona; no es solamente algo, sino alguien. Es capaz de conocerse, de poseerse y de darse libremente y entrar en comunión con otras personas; y es llamado, por la gracia, a una alianza con su Creador, a ofrecerle una respuesta de fe y de amor . . .” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica 357). La dignidad de la persona humana reside en la relación. Reside ante todo en nuestra relación con Dios, Quien nos creó a Su imagen y nos llama siempre hacia Él. También reside en nuestras relaciones con los demás, que comparten nuestra humanidad. Cada uno de nuestros apostolados dentro de la Iglesia incluye un llamado a la relación y a fomentar relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Como aprenderemos en este taller, ciertas técnicas de comunicación son la base de todas las relaciones sanas y sanadoras. Los ministros parroquiales no son terapeutas, pero la práctica de estos principios básicos de comunicación fomentarán relaciones saludables e incluso ocacionarán la sanación en los que se sirven. Entonces iniciemos este taller, siempre conscientes de la preciosa dignidad de aquellos que nuestro Padre celestial pone en nuestro camino, y de la hermosa manera en que cada persona que encontramos tiene en sí misma la asombrosa identidad de ser un hijo de Dios.  

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

El ministerio de la catequesis y el ministerio de la formación espiritual están normalmente algo separados en el entendimiento de las personas. Sin embargo, en la mente de la Iglesia, se relacionan de forma natural y necesaria. “En realidad, favorecer el encuentro de una persona con Dios, que es tarea del catequista, significa poner en el centro y hacer propia la relación que Dios tiene con la persona y dejarse guiar por Él”. (Directorio general para la catequesis (DGC) 139). “El catequista es intrínsecamente un mediador que facilita la comunicación entre las personas y el misterio de Dios, así como la de los hombres entre sí y con la comunidad”. (DGC 156). Este taller explora lo que significa ser guiado: una docilidad intencional y confianza en la capacidad de la Iglesia para llevarnos al crecimiento espiritual, a la paz con Dios, a la santidad. Con este entendimiento, examinamos los fundamentos de lo que significa para ti guiar a otra alma en un contexto catequético, de modo que puedas buscar más intencionalmente ser todo lo que la vocación catequética debe llegar a ser.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

Una parte importante de ser un mentor es llegar a conocer realmente a las personas que tenemos bajo nuestro cuidado. En este taller, exploramos varios tipos de preguntas relacionadas con este trabajo de descubrimiento y examinaremos cuáles logran mejor el objetivo de revelar auténticamente los pensamientos y necesidades de esa persona para construir de manera productiva y sabia la relación de mentoría. Las preguntas deficientes resultan en oportunidades perdidas o en una comunicación débil. Las grandes preguntas realmente sirven para abrir el alma y construir una mentoría sólida. Enfatizaremos especialmente el valor de las preguntas abiertas orientadas a extraer la historia de vida de una persona.

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

En comunidades multiculturales, es muy valioso el encontrar maneras de ayudar a los fieles a participar plenamente en las Misas significativas, como las principales fiestas, la recepción de sacramentos y otros eventos importantes. Tales liturgias pueden brindar la oportunidad de emplear la rica diversidad de expresiones culturales y lingüísticas en un acto común de adoración. Este taller no solo ofrece maneras prácticas de implementar elementos bilingües (o multilingües) en la liturgia, sino examina el valor de la Misa, y el por qué nos debemos esforzar para incluir el idioma y la cultura de los presentes, lo cual es nada menos que darles la oportunidad de experimentar el gran Amor de Dios, y permitirles participar más plenamente en Su gran obra de redención. 

La creación de este taller fue posible gracias a una generosa subvención de Our Sunday Visitor.

The Lay Vocation
The Lay Vocation

God is the Holy One, and He calls His People to Himself to share in His life of everlasting happiness: “Be holy as I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45; also see 1 Peter 1:15–16). The Second Vatican Council renewed the Church’s awareness of this call in its Dogmatic Constitution On the Church, Lumen gentium: Chapter Five, which is titled “The Universal Call to Holiness.” In this workshop, we allow Mother Church to teach us about this call, a call impacting each one of us. We explore the challenges involved in making our response to this call, and celebrate the graces that God gives us for our sanctification. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

“‘And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; and to them he said, “You go into the vineyard too . . .” So they went’” (Matthew 20:3–4). We are invited by Jesus to participate in His work of redemption and sanctification; He calls us to come close to Him and sends us out to labor in His vineyard. As members of the laity, we labor in the vineyard in a unique way by being in the world and not of the world. St. John Paul II deepened the Church’s understanding of the role of the laity in the Church and in the world in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World,” Christifideles laici. This workshop unpacks the teaching of St. John Paul II in this document and describes the essential role of every lay person and how to apply it to the concrete circumstances of our own lives. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

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.

When speaking to the crowds at World Youth Day in 2000, St. John Paul II said, “It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness . . . It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives . . .” (Vigil of Prayer for the 15th World Youth Day, August 19, 2000). It is Jesus Who calls us to do something great with our lives by calling us to be His disciples. He invites us to follow Him, even though being a disciple can be challenging at times, and He provides the grace that we need in order to persevere and remain faithful. It is when we know Him as He truly is that we can become His disciples, invite others to discipleship, and live the unsurpassable joy of the Christian life. This workshop seeks to help us come to know the Person of Jesus as our one essential need, and thus, it will benefit everyone, no matter where we are at on our faith journey.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

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.

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, “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.

“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. 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 Gospel and aids the process of continual conversion for ourselves and others.

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, VS, 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 have 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).

“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.

“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 27). 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.

“. . . 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.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

The Spousal Vocation
The Spousal Vocation

“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 (see the Dogmatic Constitution "On the Church," Lumen gentium 39-44), 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 (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 way 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.

“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, 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. 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.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we hear these beautiful words, “Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of ‘the wedding-feast of the Lamb.’ . . . The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. . . . Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man” (CCC 1602–1604). This workshop will reflect on the beautiful, wonderful, and powerful gift that the Sacrament of Marriage is and lead us to a deeper understanding of this sacrament. This workshop can be beneficial to all individuals from all walks of life because of the necessity of understanding the Sacrament of Marriage as God intended. 

God calls man first. . . . the living and true God tirelessly calls each person . . .” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2567). God continually calls us to Himself so that we may grow in intimacy with Him. The Lord also calls us to participate in His plan of salvation. This calling is a vocation, and at the heart of our response to the Lord is an offering of faith, obedience, and love. This workshop reflects on what a vocation is through a prayerful reflection on the calling of Moses, the Twelve Apostles, and the Blessed Virgin Mary preserved in Sacred Scripture. This reflection will help us to recognize God’s call in our own heart so that we may freely respond to His promptings. Let us approach this workshop in a spirit of prayer, with hearts open wide, ready to receive that which God has revealed in Sacred Scripture regarding His call for our lives. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

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 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.

 

Speaking of catechesis with adults, the Directory for Catechesis tells us: “The commitment to the maturation of baptismal faith is a personal responsibility that the adult above all must perceive as a priority on account of being involved in an ongoing process of the formation of his own personal identity. . . . [E]ven at this stage of life and with characteristic accentuations, accompaniment and growth in faith are necessary so that the adult may mature in that spiritual wisdom which illuminates and brings unity to the manifold experiences of his personal, family and social life” (259). In this workshop, we will explore a particular form of accompaniment by which one person — whether lay, consecrated religious, or ordained — journeys with another through spiritual, intellectual, human, and apostolic formation. Through spiritual accountability, an individual is held accountable to Jesus, to him or herself, and to the person accompanying him or her for the growth occurring in his or her life. Our aim with this form of accompaniment is to make missionary disciples of Jesus Christ — in other words, to accompany people in such a way so that they can then go share the Good News of the Gospel with others, and provide for others the spiritual, intellectual, human, and apostolic formation they, themselves, have received. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

Speaking of faith formation within the family, the General Directory for Catechesis states: “It is, indeed, a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more ongoing and daily than structured into periods” (255). Our handing on of the faith to our children, and our helping them become the persons God created them to be, occurs not only through what we say to them or do, but also through how we live — how we, ourselves, witness to the virtues and values we try to instill in them, and how we communicate the love of God, their heavenly Father. This workshop speaks especially to parents and those who may one day live out the beautiful vocation to parenthood, as it explores what mentoring is, and how it is lived out in the daily lives of mothers and fathers, and even among siblings, within the context of the family. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

In his beautiful Apostolic Exhortation “On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World,” Familiaris consortio (FC), St. John Paul II reminds us that “. . . far from being closed in on itself, the family is by nature and vocation open to other families and to society, and undertakes its social role” (42). In this workshop, we will explore how the family is called to mentor, or share its spiritual riches, with other families — both in active, intentional ways, and by its quiet witness to the truths of the faith and love of God. Although no family is perfect, each facing unique struggles and brokenness, every family is called by our Lord to share the gifts He has given it with others, in order to help lead others closer to His loving Heart. This workshop will help us understand how our family is called to grow in holiness and serve others, as well as providing numerous practical suggestions for mentoring other families. 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.

In the Directory for Catechesis we read that: “The sacraments, celebrated in the liturgy, are a special means that fully communicate him who is proclaimed by the Church” (81). In this workshop, we will explore the principle of sacramentality, which holds that the concrete realities we experience with our senses, like the beautiful things we experience in creation, speak to us about God. God uses the concrete things of our daily lives, the physical beauty of the world, and the things we encounter with our senses, to manifest Himself to us, reveal His love to us, and draw us closer to Himself. This workshop, in particular, will examine the elements we sense in the sacramental rites and how those elements speak to us about God. This workshop is geared in a special way toward catechists of children, whether they are parents, parish catechists, or Catholic school teachers, but the material presented will help formators of all kinds lead those they catechize into a deeper relationship with Christ through the principle of sacramentality.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) we read, “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ . . . In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: ‘Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking’” (1324, 1327). By growing in intimacy with our Eucharistic Lord Jesus and seeking to center our lives around this supreme gift, we learn how to live as grace-filled Christians. In this workshop, we will explore what it means to be a disciple of our Eucharistic Lord and learn how to do so in a way that “breathes with both lungs” — that is, through the traditions of both the Christian East and Christian West (see St. John Paul II's Encyclical Letter, "On Commitment to Ecumenism," Ut unum sint 54). This workshop is, thus, for all of us, whether we are parents, priests, religious, lay catechists, schoolteachers, and so on.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

The Parental Vocation
The Parental Vocation

Guiding children in the ways of the faith, leading them into a relationship of love with the Blessed Trinity is a ministry to which many of us are called in various capacities — as parents, godparents, catechists, youth ministers, Catholic school teachers, pastors, and so on. 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.

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 this pastoral document from the saint who is often called the “Pope of the family,” examining the tasks facing the Christian family in both its natural and supernatural roles. It examines St. John Paul II’s teaching in Familiaris consortio, systematically exploring the tasks of the family that the Church, through St. John Paul II, has presented in the document. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

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.

“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 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 the 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.

In his Apostolic Exhortation “On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World,” Familiaris consortio (FC), St. John Paul II reminds us of the beautiful role of a mother and father: “When they become parents, spouses receive from God the gift of a new responsibility. Their parental love is called to become for the children the visible sign of the very love of God, ‘from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named’” (14). Parenting is not always easy — in fact, it is oftentimes quite difficult, exhausting, and chaotic. Yet, it is a beautiful vocation. When God calls us to it, He longs to equip us for it through our relationship with Him, and especially through our reception of His grace in the sacraments. In this workshop, we will focus, as parents, on the importance of growing in our relationship with God and our love for Him. When we have this loving relationship, we can more effectively raise our children lovingly and lead them into relationship with the One Who loves them most: our Lord Himself. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

The vocation to be a wife and a mother is profoundly beautiful, for not only is it through this vocation that God calls us to sanctity, but it is also through this vocation that we are called to help form others as saints, to lead our husband and children closer to Jesus. No family is perfect, each facing its own challenges and burdens, but every family is offered immense grace by our loving Father, Who desires that we find joy in family life. In this workshop, we hear some reflections from our presenter on living out the faith as a wife and mother and gain insights and practical tips for living out our own vocations with love, so that we can bring our families into greater union with God. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

“And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them . . . and [Jesus] said to them, ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. . . .’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them” (Mark 10:13–14, 16). Jesus desires that the little children come to Him. As parents, priests, catechists, and teachers, we can bring the children entrusted to our care to the Lord, so that He may bless them and fill them with His love. The goal of catechesis is participation in God’s life. It is critical that we learn how to effectively engage the young mind and heart of each child, encourage each child to respect and love the things of the faith, and help each child discover the wonderful love of a gentle Father. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of a child’s psyche from ages
3–6, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within children, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the heart of the Father.

“And they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them . . . and [Jesus] said to them, ‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. . . .’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them” (Mark 10:13–14, 16). Jesus desires for children to come to Him. As parents, priests, catechists, and teachers, we can bring the children entrusted to our care to the Lord, so that He may bless them and fill them with His love. The goal of catechesis is participation in God’s life. It is critical that we learn how to effectively engage the young mind and heart of each child, encourage each child to respect and love the things of the faith, and help each child discover the wonderful love of a gentle Father. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of a child’s psyche from ages 6–12, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within children, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the Heart of the Father.

St. Paul, when instructing a young St. Timothy, wrote, “Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). We can imitate St. Paul by encouraging the young people entrusted to us to discover who the Lord has called them to be, respond to His invitation to follow Him, and become young men and young women of virtue. It is critical for us  as parents, priests, teachers, youth ministers, and catechists  to learn how to effectively engage the mind and heart of each young person, so that they may receive the full and abundant life that our loving Father offers them. This workshop will reflect on key aspects of an adolescent’s psyche from ages 12–18, and how we can build upon what is naturally occurring within adolescents, in order to allow Jesus to draw them into the Heart of the Father.

“[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 youth ministers, parents, teachers, and those who minister to teens understand the development of teenagers — biological, cognitive, and social-emotional — in order to effectively minister to them.

“Formation in chastity and timely information regarding sexuality must be provided in the broadest context of education for love” (Pontifical Council for the Family, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family, TMHS, 70). The gift of human sexuality and the virtue of chastity are meant to be taught in the context of love, because love empowers us to live chastely and recognize the gift of human sexuality. This workshop outlines the essential role of parents in forming their own children in a Christian vision of sexuality, guided by the resource As I Have Loved You by Dr. Gerard O'Shea. This workshop aids parents in their ability to detect signs that indicate when their children are ready to begin this formation, while offering strategies for approaching the topic clearly and delicately. It is especially meant for parents. However, this workshop is also beneficial for catechists, Catholic school teachers, parish catechetical leaders, youth ministers, and others who are in roles where they assist parents in how to teach their children about God’s plan for sexuality. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

Seeing God's Greatest Gift
These workshops focus on how to see God’s gift of the Eucharist, rooted in knowing Jesus personally and loving the sacred liturgy.

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.

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.

 

When speaking to the crowds at World Youth Day in 2000, St. John Paul II said, “It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness . . . It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives . . .” (Vigil of Prayer for the 15th World Youth Day, August 19, 2000). It is Jesus Who calls us to do something great with our lives by calling us to be His disciples. He invites us to follow Him, even though being a disciple can be challenging at times, and He provides the grace that we need in order to persevere and remain faithful. It is when we know Him as He truly is that we can become His disciples, invite others to discipleship, and live the unsurpassable joy of the Christian life. This workshop seeks to help us come to know the Person of Jesus as our one essential need, and thus, it will benefit everyone, no matter where we are at on our faith journey.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

“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, CCC, 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. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

Forming People for a Eucharistic Life
These workshops focus on how to be formed for a Eucharistic life of intimate devotion and radical trust.

In the Directory for Catechesis we read that: “The sacraments, celebrated in the liturgy, are a special means that fully communicate him who is proclaimed by the Church” (81). In this workshop, we will explore the principle of sacramentality, which holds that the concrete realities we experience with our senses, like the beautiful things we experience in creation, speak to us about God. God uses the concrete things of our daily lives, the physical beauty of the world, and the things we encounter with our senses, to manifest Himself to us, reveal His love to us, and draw us closer to Himself. This workshop, in particular, will examine the elements we sense in the sacramental rites and how those elements speak to us about God. This workshop is geared in a special way toward catechists of children, whether they are parents, parish catechists, or Catholic school teachers, but the material presented will help formators of all kinds lead those they catechize into a deeper relationship with Christ through the principle of sacramentality.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

Jesus instituted the sacraments during His earthly ministry, and He entrusted them to the Church, so that the Church could continue His work of salvation and redemption. Regarding the sacraments, the Church teaches us that, “The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build up the body of Christ, and, finally, to give worship to God; because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it . . .” (Second Vatican Council's Constitution “On the Sacred Liturgy,” Sacrosanctum concilium, SC, 59). Through the sacraments, God pours His divine life into our souls, transforms us to be more like Him, and strengthens us in faith, hope, and charity, so that we can be united with Him and remain faithful to the work entrusted to us. In this workshop, we’ll learn more about the sacraments, deepen in our appreciation for the sacraments, and be better prepared to participate in the sacramental life of the Church. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

The holy Eucharist is the greatest of all gifts, because here Jesus offers His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity to us. Through the Eucharist, we are able to receive the living God and be transformed by His divine life dwelling within us. Mother Church teaches us that “The Eucharist is therefore ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324, quoting the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution “On the Church,” Lumen gentium 11). Our lives flow from the Eucharist and lead back to the Eucharist, so that we may be filled with God’s life, sent into the world to proclaim the Good News, and be strengthened and refreshed. This workshop will help you, whether you are a priest, parent, parish catechetical leader, catechist, teacher, youth minister, and so on, to better understand the Eucharist and its unique importance in your life.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) we read, “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ . . . In brief, the Eucharist is the sum and summary of our faith: ‘Our way of thinking is attuned to the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn confirms our way of thinking’” (1324, 1327). By growing in intimacy with our Eucharistic Lord Jesus and seeking to center our lives around this supreme gift, we learn how to live as grace-filled Christians. In this workshop, we will explore what it means to be a disciple of our Eucharistic Lord and learn how to do so in a way that “breathes with both lungs” — that is, through the traditions of both the Christian East and Christian West (see St. John Paul II's Encyclical Letter, "On Commitment to Ecumenism," Ut unum sint 54). This workshop is, thus, for all of us, whether we are parents, priests, religious, lay catechists, schoolteachers, and so on.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

Helping Adults, Teenagers, and Children Discover the Eucharist
These workshops focus on how to give the saving truths of the Eucharist to others effectively in the home, the classroom, and in any relationship.

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 (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC, 1099).  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, down 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. It is the place in which “Christ Jesus works in fullness for the transformation of human beings” (Catechesi Tradendae, CT, 23).  As catechists, we have a call: the privilege of ensuring 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 be transformed by the One 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.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

This workshop outlines the Church’s purpose and understanding of sacred liturgy in light of God’s wonderful plan of salvation. It helps youth ministers develop a Catholic identity with their teens through the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, offering pragmatic and well-tested ways to help teens participate in the liturgy, as well as strategies to help teens see the Eucharist as the ‘source and summit’ of their lives.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

“Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that fully conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy” (Second Vatican Council’s Constitution On the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium, SC, 14). Mother Church desires that all of us — children included — fully and actively participate in the Eucharistic liturgy, the Holy Mass, so that we may experience the beauty and profundity that is present in every moment of the Mass and the joy of allowing Jesus to help us become the persons He has created us to be through its celebration. Every gesture and word of the Mass has significance, and children — when taught the concrete meaning of each element —can joyfully and excitedly engage with the Mass and encounter the Person of Jesus. This workshop offers a method to introduce the liturgy to children, in order for them to enter into the liturgical rites and to pray the Mass to the best of their abilities.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

Called to Him.  Kept in Him.  Made new in Him.  God’s generosity and His fatherly love for His young daughters and sons 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.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

A Vision for Caring for Others Personally
Core Workshops

Mentorship is integral to 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 each of us who are also called into ministry — whether as ordained members, as parents, or as lay catechists and pastoral associates — exercise a mentorship for those whom we serve. Our ministry, then, is a participation in His mentorship. Our ministry is one of the ways in which God makes this generous provision of mentorship for others.

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 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.

 

This workshop is about the central importance of personal vocation. In the words of St. John Paul II, the human person, each unique and unrepeatable, is “the primary and fundamental way for the Church” (RH 14). Each is called to a graced path: to eternal divine beatitude, and to live as a person devoted to the good of his or her neighbor. We will discuss the meaning of personal vocation as it emerged from the Second Vatican Council and was developed in the teaching of St. John Paul II. The unfortunate neglect of personal vocation will also be addressed. We will discuss the pressing need for integrating personal vocation into all Catholic formation. Mentors must situate their mentorship squarely within their own unique callings. In turn, they must help those in their care further clarify and deepen their own personal vocations. Personal vocation should not be a peripheral concept for the Catholic but a central and integrating principle of a life lived in and for Christ.

 

Effectively Mentoring Others
Core Workshops

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.

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 towards 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 on asking good questions. Empathic listening is the counterpart skill that enables mentors to truly understand another person intellectually as well as emotionally. As well as addressing the meaning of empathy, we discuss how Jesus provides the superlative pattern for this service to souls. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.

St. Teresa of Calcutta stated that, “I never look at the masses as my responsibility; I look at the individual.  I can only love one person at a time, just one, one, one. . . So you begin.  I began – I picked up one person.  Maybe if I didn't pick up that one person, I wouldn't have picked up forty-two thousand. . . The same thing goes for you, the same thing in your family, the same thing in your church, your community.  Just begin – one, one, one.”  All conversion is local.  Formation in the faith is always first and foremost God’s attentive presence to the individual.  From this principle arises the importance of mentorship, and for that guidance to be proximal and personal: a mentoring accompaniment.  This workshop encourages all those in any form of ministry to discover by experience the value of making the effort to be more personally available to people.

The Vision for Christian Initiation
Core Workshops

What is our purpose and goal as ministers in the Church in an OCIA process? To make new Catholics? To spread the Gospel? To run a good process? Our purpose and goal must transcend the “how” of OCIA 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 OCIA 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 OCIA process, as the Church intends it to be implemented, does the full purpose and potential of the initiation journey become clear and attainable.

As we move forward, please note that the videos for this workshop were made before OCIA was updated to OCIA. You may notice that the quotes, which appear in the videos, are different than the quotes from the new OCIA rite book. In these videos, or other OCIA workshops, the quotes that appear are from the previous OCIA rite book. The tasks for this workshop have been updated with the new OCIA language. Even though the OCIA rite book has been updated, the heart of the OCIA process has not changed. The heart of the OCIA process is conversion, and this central element remains the same even though the language of the OCIA has been updated. This workshop is still applicable and beneficial to you and your OCIA process so that you can better minister to those entrusted to you. 

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 OCIA has no other purpose than the service of the holy mystery, the saving sacrament, of Christ present and active in His living Body.  The renewal of the process of Christian initiation stands as one of the most important and successful features of modern liturgical renewal. Since its promulgation in 1972 and its further elaboration under the auspices of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1988, the Order 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, there are problems that are more concrete and, for that reason, can more readily be corrected. In general, three models of OCIA 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 OCIA can serve the great work of immersing participants into Catholicism through a process of learning and interiorizing the sacred Scriptures, doctrines, sacraments, prayers, moral traditions, spiritual readings and rich communal culture of the Catholic Church, in order to serve the Father’s provident love in calling each person to the living Body of Christ on earth.

As we move forward, please note that the videos for this workshop were made before OCIA was updated to OCIA. You may notice that the quotes, which appear in the videos, are different than the quotes from the new OCIA rite book. In these videos, or other OCIA workshops, the quotes that appear are from the previous OCIA rite book. The tasks for this workshop have been updated with the new OCIA language. Even though the OCIA rite book has been updated, the heart of the OCIA process has not changed. The heart of the OCIA process is conversion, and this central element remains the same even though the language of the OCIA has been updated. This workshop is still applicable and beneficial to you and your OCIA process so that you can better minister to those entrusted to you. 

 

From the ancient Nicene Creed we proclaim that “I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.” The mystery of the Second Person of the Trinity is the God Who comes to us to save, redeem, instruct, give us hope and lead us to our promised glory. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We do not have a God Who is distant, but a God Who comes to us in the most intimate way. We enter into the mystery of Christ through a living Word, transforming sacramental grace, evangelizing catechesis, and evangelical communities. This workshop will explore how a rich understanding of the means by which souls enter into Christ’s life can be fostered in our approaches to ministry. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) to call each soul to God’s loving plan and sure hope in Christ. This talk describes the means to participate in that life.

As we move forward, please note that the videos for this workshop were made before OCIA was updated to OCIA. You may notice that the quotes, which appear in the videos, are different than the quotes from the new OCIA rite book. In these videos, or other OCIA workshops, the quotes that appear are from the previous OCIA rite book. The tasks for this workshop have been updated with the new OCIA language. Even though the OCIA rite book has been updated, the heart of the OCIA process has not changed. The heart of the OCIA process is conversion, and this central element remains the same even though the language of the OCIA has been updated. This workshop is still applicable and beneficial to you and your OCIA process so that you can better minister to those entrusted to you. 

“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 towards 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.

The General Directory for Catechesis teaches that, “. . . the baptismal catechumenate . . . is the model of [the Church’s] catechizing activity” (90). We might wonder why Mother Church urges those who teach the faith to see the catechumenate (the RCIA process) as a model for all forms of catechesis. Mother Church urges this, because at the heart of the catechumenal process is a process of conversion. This workshop makes clear that the catechumenal process is slow and in stages. It also helps us understand that the catechumenal process is a progressive process, meaning it deepens with each step, so that individuals are brought into deeper communion with the Blessed Trinity and the Church. This workshop also offers guidance on how all forms of catechesis can follow the model of the baptismal catechumenate.

Liturgical Aspects of Christian Initiation
Core Workshops

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 (Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC, 1099).  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, down 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. It is the place in which “Christ Jesus works in fullness for the transformation of human beings” (Catechesi Tradendae, CT, 23).  As catechists, we have a call: the privilege of ensuring 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 be transformed by the One 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.  This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

“. . . [T]he liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed;  it is also the fount from which all her power flows” (Second Vatican Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum concilium 10).  The liturgy proclaims, celebrates, and actualizes the Father’s loving plan for His people.  The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA), 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 derive directly from the ancient order of catechumens, and the way liturgical graces build and crescendo through the four periods of the OCIA process to make possible the plan of goodness born in the Father’s heart for each believer.

As we move forward, please note that the videos for this workshop were made before OCIA was updated to OCIA. You may notice that the quotes, which appear in the videos, are different than the quotes from the new OCIA rite book. In these videos, or other OCIA workshops, the quotes that appear are from the previous OCIA rite book. The tasks for this workshop have been updated with the new OCIA language. Even though the OCIA rite book has been updated, the heart of the OCIA process has not changed. The heart of the OCIA process is conversion, and this central element remains the same even though the language of the OCIA has been updated. This workshop is still applicable and beneficial to you and your OCIA process so that you can better minister to those entrusted to you. 

“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, CCC, 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. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by William H. Sadlier, Inc.

“The rite of Christian initiation . . . is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts” (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults 1). The Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA) is the process by which men and women respond to the Lord’s movements in their lives and enter the Church. The OCIA Rite Book, also referred to as the OCIA Ritual Text, is the guiding light from the Magisterium for the entire OCIA process. In this workshop, we will learn about the origin and importance of this resource that is so integral to the process of the OCIA, as well as gain an overview of the major components of the OCIA Rite Book. It is vital that this liturgical document be understood by pastors, OCIA leaders, OCIA team members, and others involved in forming those who seek to enter Holy Mother Church. This text provides the liturgical prayers, major and minor rites, and the rubrics that are to be used during the OCIA process. It also provides essential pastoral and catechetical guidelines, which aid a parish OCIA process to develop and operate as the Church intends, thereby properly serving the men and women in the OCIA process.

In regard to the catechumenate, Mother Church teaches us that an individual’s motives for joining the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) “. . . should be examined, and if necessary, purified” (Ad gentes, “Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity” 13). This examination and purification requires mutual discernment between the individual and the Church to ensure that a person is freely choosing to become Catholic, ready to pass through the liturgical rites that occur in the RCIA process, and that he or she is authentically becoming Christ’s disciple. This workshop gives an overview of why discerning readiness for the rites is a critical aspect in the RCIA process, why it is important to conform our minds and hearts to the intentions of the Church in this regard, and it demonstrates ways for the RCIA participants and team members to mutually discern an individual’s readiness.

Catechetical Aspects of Christian Initiation
Core Workshops

“The 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 desire to love 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.

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.

 

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.

 

Mother Church teaches us about the importance of the precatechumenate by saying it “is of great importance and as a rule should not be omitted. It is a time of evangelization: faithfully and constantly the living God is proclaimed and Jesus Christ whom he has sent for the salvation of all” (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, RCIA, 36). We, as pastors, catechists, directors of RCIA, and members of the team, are meant to deliver the Gospel message during this time, in order to lead men and women to initial conversion. This workshop will help us understand the purpose of the precatechumenate, remind us of the importance of giving individuals the time and space to respond to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him, and offer practical advice on catechizing effectively.

“The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love” (CCC 25). Catechesis in the catechumenate is meant to be directed to the Love that never ends and to help catechumens grow in faith, hope and love. This workshop helps all those involved in the RCIA process come to a better understanding of the significance of the theological virtues, how they are Christ’s life in us, ways in which to grow in them, and how to incorporate the theological virtues into catechesis.

“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)

This workshop explores adult catechesis within the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA) baptismal catechumenate. Each period of the OCIA process has a distinctive catechetical objective in serving the Holy Spirit’s work of conversion, and so each period of the OCIA will have a different “feel” catechetically. The Order 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

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 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.

Pastoral Aspects of Christian Initiation
Core Workshops

St. Thérèse of Lisieux joyfully exulted that, “‘If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn't lack the noblest of all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart BURNING WITH LOVE. And I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. LOVE, IN FACT, IS THE VOCATION WHICH INCLUDES ALL OTHERS; IT'S A UNIVERSE OF ITS OWN, COMPRISING ALL TIME AND SPACE — IT'S ETERNAL!’” (quoted in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 826, emphasis in the original). We know that this love is the golden thread that binds all we believe, this love which has God as its source and which we know as the theological virtue of charity. It is the love of God that gives us truth to speak in gentleness and clarity, and life-giving concern to reach out sacrificially to all those souls around us. It is the love that makes us adopted sons and daughters. It is our beginning and our gifted destiny. This workshop delves into the vital nature of the love of brethren — the virtue of charity that helps us to love God first and love our neighbors as ourselves — that is to be the mark of any community calling others to join Christ’s Body.

The pastoral aspect of the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA) 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 OCIA 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 OCIA 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.

As we move forward, please note that the videos for this workshop were made before OCIA was updated to OCIA. You may notice that the quotes, which appear in the videos, are different than the quotes from the new OCIA rite book. In these videos, or other OCIA workshops, the quotes that appear are from the previous OCIA rite book. The tasks for this workshop have been updated with the new OCIA language. Even though the OCIA rite book has been updated, the heart of the OCIA process has not changed. The heart of the OCIA process is conversion, and this central element remains the same even though the language of the OCIA has been updated. This workshop is still applicable and beneficial to you and your OCIA process so that you can better minister to those entrusted to you. 

“No methodology, no matter how well tested, can dispense with the person of the catechist in every phase of the catechetical process. The charism given to him by the Spirit, a solid spirituality and transparent witness of life, constitutes the soul of every method” (General Directory for Catechesis 156). This workshop discusses the surpassing importance of the catechist as a witness and how to wisely and effectively incorporate witnessing into the work of formation. To the degree that this is poorly understood by catechists, their efforts will fall on deaf ears in our secular culture, as Pope St. Paul VI reminds us: “. . . ‘Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses’” (Apostolic Exhortation “On Evangelization in the Modern World,” Evangelii nuntiandi 41, quoting St. Paul VI's Address to the Members of the Concilium de Laicis on October 2, 1974).

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 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 RCIA 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 find, form, and faithfully lead a team that can help create a strong environment for conversion.

“. . . being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). The role of sponsor or godparent is an essential aspect of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) process. It is a work of grace that is certainly challenging and demanding, yet also extremely rewarding. The RCIA process calls for godparents and sponsors to be part of each participant’s journey into the Catholic Church. Who is appropriate for this role? How can we find and train them well? What does canon law require? Guiding individuals in the process of choosing sponsors and godparents, along with helping the sponsors and godparents understand the great dignity of these roles in the heart of Mother Church, can help effectively attune the entire RCIA process to each individual being served. In this workshop, we will explore the value of the roles of sponsors and godparents and some keys to making this pastoral element decisive in the overall work of conversion. 

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 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.

 

Those who journey through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) face many obstacles on their way to RCIA and their way through the process. During the time of initial inquiry to the Rite of Acceptance “priests and deacons, catechists and other laypersons are to give the candidates a suitable explanation of the Gospel. The candidates are to receive help and attention so that with a purified and clearer intention they may cooperate with God’s grace” (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults 38). The “help and attention” that an inquirer is to receive is pastoral accompaniment. This workshop explains how we pastorally accompany those in RCIA, support them on their journey of conversion, and walk with them as they become fully initiated into Christ and His Church.

“. . . the parish is the Church placed in the neighborhoods of humanity . . . a ‘place’ in the world for the community of believers to gather together as a ‘sign’ and ‘instrument’ of the vocation of all to communion: in a word, to be a house of welcome to all and a place of service to all . . . the ‘village fountain’ to which all would have recourse in their thirst” ("On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, Christifideles laici, CL, 27). This workshop speaks about the importance of the parish and introduces fundamental principles to develop a welcoming and evangelizing parish. This workshop can be helpful to all involved in parish life.

In the Early Church, the followers of Christ devoted themselves “to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers” (Acts 2:42). We, too, continue to devote ourselves to these four things. We follow Mother Church’s teaching, gather together for fellowship, partake in the celebration of the Eucharist, and pray. Small groups are a unique avenue for us to learn more about Christ’s teaching, grow in fellowship with one another, prepare ourselves to participate in the Eucharistic celebration, and pray together. This workshop speaks about the vision and essential elements of small groups, the role of the facilitator in a small group, the goal of the small group, and offers practical advice to help a small group thrive. This workshop can be a helpful resource for everyone who works in catechesis.

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