Our Monthly catechetical meeting gathered at the Good News Center, Utica for the rollout of the newly revised Sacramental Guidelines Handbook for Parishes. We had a wonderful turnout of 50 people. If you did not attend the presentation and receive your handbook, please know that your binder will be at the Eastern Region Office. The guidelines will also be available as a downloadable PDF on the diocesan website shortly. As with any gathering, we began in prayer. Please take time to use the prayer for your own meditation. The prayer can be found by following this link and is also included at the end of this blog. This entry is also available in the weekly updates. The notes from our meeting along
- Monday, April 18: Open 9am -4pm
- Tuesday, April 19 Open 9am - 4pm
- Wednesday, April 20 Open 9am - 4pm
- Thursday, April 21, Open 9am - 4pm
- Friday, April 22, Not Available (EARTH DAY)
- Monday, April 25 : Open 9am -4pm
- Tuesday, April 26 Open 9am - 4pm
- Wednesday, April 27 Open 9am - 4pm
- Thursday, April 28 , Open 9am - 4pm (LIMEX will be meeting from 11am-2pm)
- Friday, April 29 , Open 9am-2pm
You can view the presentation for the Sacramental Guidelines at:
The presentation encouraged the notion that Sacramental preparation for any sacrament is a time to engage families in conversations, faith development and re-connection to the church. It is a time of evangelization. When you receive your guidelines handbook, please go through it carefully. You will notice, as with the last revision, that there is an excellent summary of the theology/history of the sacrament. This is especially useful for those new to preparing students who may not have had any prior background. You will also find the roles and responsibilities of godparents, sponsors and parents. There are liturgical notes and preferred practices which are asked by Rome, ie to celebrate the sacraments within the weekly Eucharistic celebration. One item added which is very helpful for catechists and parents is the "one page summary of expectations". This can be copied for parents with an understanding that this is what the diocese expects during the preparation of the sacrament.
One of the reasons for the development of revised sacramental guidelines with a launching to invite all parishes, is that it is hoped that parishes have consistent requirements from parish to parish so that parish "shopping" comes to an end. Also, all students should be receiving their preparation for any of the sacraments at their home parish...NOT in Catholic School settings. Students must be part of the parish preparation process.
All the handouts and presentations for the following summary can be found at
A) The diocesan road show gathering this past Wednesday was very informative. Fr. O'Connor talked about ways to collaborate with prayerful events to encourage the PCA's to pray for vocations and to just encourage prayer. One idea was the traveling Crucifix or Chalice. This has been done for several years now at St. Joseph/St. Patrick's in Utica. It is a beautiful way to share a prayerful experience throughout the parish. If you would like more information, contact Roseann Witkowski 507-4752. They also have a complete prayer packet. I will be getting a copy of the prayer packet they use and will post it on the Eastern Echo so all can share and use this idea.
Fr. O'Connor also mentions that this fall the Office of Vocations will be rolling out a set of lesson plans for each grade level based on the lessons he has conducted at Catholic Schools. These lessons will be available to download on the vocations website, and I will have them available on the EasternEcho as well.
Mark your calendars for next catechetical year....Vocation Awareness Week will be Nov 6-12, 2016. Vocation Handout
B) We also heard from Tim O'Connor from the Office of Parish Services. This talk was about the financial aspect of parishes and parishes working together. His slide presentation can be seen here.
C) Then we heard from Danielle Cummings, Chancellor and Director of Communications. She discussed the need for open communication and encouraged parishes to make use of Catholic TV and the Catholic Sun for reporting how your parish is spreading the Good News through events, missions, and other activities to build community. One thing of importance, however.... please plan ahead if you want Catholic TV or the Sun to be at your event. Give them plenty of notice. http://www.syracusediocese.org/assets/PDFs---Diocesan-Offices/Pastoral-Planning/April-Road-Show-Office-of-Communications.pdf
D) Nicole Ossovert showed some social media tools such as Remind, which when I introduced it to you a couple of years ago was called Remind101. It is the same product, just a new name. This is a wonderful tool as it keeps the phone and emails hidden from both parties, but allows push communications to groups and to individual students/parents. Even allows for attachments! And best of all, its FREE!!! And super easy to use! The social media and communications presentation can be seen here: http://www.syracusediocese.org/offices/pastoral-planning/2016-road-show-resources/
Note that all workshops provided by the Office of Faith Formation can be used for Level II and for recertification credit. You can also use parish missions, parish workshops, conferences, online courses from Boston College, University of Dayton and other colleges.
The Harrison Award nomination form was sent two weeks ago from Cathy Cornue's office. If you did not receive it, please let me know ASAP! Nominations should be submitted by April 30.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Utica has a part-time position opened for a Catechetical Leader. Faith Formation Coordinator(s) open position (June 1,2016) Designated by the Pastor to implement and oversee faith formation for grades kindergarten through tenth grade, including preparation for Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation. This position is presently part-time based on program need.Qualifications:
• Applicant must be 21 years of age or older and have at least 2 years of experience working with children and have at least an Associate’s Degree in Religious Studies, OR commissioning through the Diocesan Formation for Ministry Program in the area of Catechetical Ministry or the equivalent thereof and be Virtus Certified by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.
• Previous experience in a responsible leadership position is required.
• Must be able to establish an effective working relationship with parents, volunteer staff, and the general public.
• Ability to be present during catechetical classes, diocesan and religious meetings, church events where religious education students participate and to be present in office as needed.
• Willingness to be active/worshiping member of Our Lady of Lourdes Church
• Responsible for Catechist development
• Openness to work collaboratively with the Pastor and staff and regional faith formation leadership. Send Resume to Fr. Joe Salerno by April 22,2016 Detailed job description available, salary negotiable based on experience and qualifications.