'LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore' – 'Praise be to you, my Lord'. "In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us" (Pope Francis).
This month we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis while also reflecting on the Diocesan theme this month for preparing for the Year of Mercy , "The Dignity all People". Being a peacemaker means being able to see and change social injustices. Our opening prayer this month leads us to this reflection and asks St. Francis, faithful servant and disciple, to be our example and strength.
October Meeting Notes
As a reminder, the Sacramental Guidelines have been under revision as requested by the Bishop this past year. The Bishop has provided feedback on the revisions submitted and Cathy Cornue has just just received those. We hope to have these in your hands soon.
In the meantime, our discussion focuses on Sacramental prep. The most important part of this preparation period is to have a chance to provide formation to the parents/family. However, it is also noted that this should begin with baptismal preparation and to stay in contact with parents.
There are variations how parishes provide sacramental preparation. Some parishes have three parent meetings for each of the sacraments, others have a mixture of parent and student meetings with a 3 hour "mini retreat" provided for parents and students. Sacramental Preparation should be a distinct part of the faith formation program with the opportunity to provide adult sacramental formation to parents, not just the logistics of the liturgy.
Parent involvement in a child's faith is extremely important. There is a direct correlation in studies that show that the more the parent is involved with the sharing faith, the stronger the child's faith will be as a young adult. Laura Mack referred to a study done by Notre Dame, Youth & Religion Study. This might be interesting for all of us to peruse and discuss how this effects our ministry. As noted, parents need the tools to help them know how to incorporate and witness faith at home. This is where times of opportunity with parents is so important. Parent sessions, intergenerational events, family events are just a few times we can bring adult formation to the parents in our parishes.
Donna Prusko is very happy with "Chosen" as her high school program, but also noted that there is an excellent resource about the Sacrament of Penance that is meant for parents. Though it is part of the high school program, she used this parent piece for those parents of students preparing for first Penance. If you would like more information about "Chosen" or the parent information that is provided by "Chosen" (Ascension Press), contact Donna at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donna also recommends "Luggage" by Rob Bell as a reflective tool to start parent discussions for Penance. Several other CLs use "Lump" by Rob Bell. Both DVDs are available in the Eastern Region office, as well as samples of Chosen.
Confirmation and Confirmation Retreats
Please note the collaborative document that everyone can include their retreats. As I said in our meeting, I am always receiving calls from catechetical leaders to find alternative retreat options for students. If everyone would please include their retreat dates (even a TBA/month if you don't have an exact date yet), this is very helpful. All CLs have access to this document to view at any time and to edit. It will always be on the home page of this website under Collaborative Documents, but also at this link. This will help everyone and help our region be collaborative and supportive of one another.
MaryLou Lauchert recommended Dave Barocsi as a Confirmation Retreat facilitator. She said he was very engaging, and focused on the Gifts of the Spirit as well as what it means to be a disciple of Christ, how to witness faith after Confirmation. If you would like to ask her more about her experience, contact her at email@example.com
It was also mentioned that Fr. Pompei does Confirmation Retreats. There will be a mission at St. Patrick's Church, Oneida October 18 - 20 with Fr. Pompei if you are interested to meet him. The first night of the retreat, Sunday Oct. 18, is meant for young people. The topic of the mission is "Faith, Hope, Church and Experiencing Jesus". For information, view this flyer.
Year of Mercy
As mentioned last meeting, Nicole Chenet (Diocesan Media Specialist) is sending once a month an e-resource for you to use. You can subscribe to the email list by following this link for mysyrdio:eresources. There are tons of resources to open from the email that you can use for facebook, parent communications, family resources and more. Here is October's Issue. Note the resources for suggested media posts...everything is already created for you to use on your parish website or facebook. Also check out family resources. Each month you receive an e-resource packet to use at your parish.
Sr. Martha is working on a project for Grades K-5 at Our Lady of the Rosary to create a chain of "Acts of Kindness" as students learn the Works of Mercy. The chain will "grow" throughout the year and be visible by all parishioners as it hangs in the back of the church. A great reminder for all members to act with kindness and mercy.
- November Theme: Dignity of the Ill and Elderly....how can we incorporate this theme? Stay tuned for mysyrdio:eresources coming out soon!
- December Theme: Dignity of New Life
- January Theme: Dignity of the Immigrant
Youth Ministry in the Eastern Region
The Eastern Region has a new Regional Youth Minister Coordinator. Rick Hensel is a very dedicated young man....only 20 years of age....As 1Timothy 4:12 says, "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." Rick is looking forward to collaborative ministry as we all work to catechize and evangelize our youth. (Contact Rick at Rhensel@syrdio.org)
Some updates from the Office of Youth Ministry:
October 27th is the Middle School Rally in the East with Chris Paget at Notre Dame High School. (Registration click here) This is of course on the heels of the Eastern Region Youth Concert on Sunday, Oct 29th,(flyer click here) but these are separate types of events. If you have to choose, please send you middle school students to see Chris Paget. He is a very dynamic national speaker, worth having your students hear. He is fun, spiritual, and highly engaging. Your high school students can take advantage of the concert.
April 12 "Reboot" with Chris Stefanic (author of "Chosen"). This is meant for middle school and high school and will be promoted as a family event to include parents. More information to come, but it will be held at St. John the Evangelist, New Hartford.
St. John the Evangelist in New Hartford also welcomes Dick Vetere as the Coordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries for their parish. Dick plans to work closely with Cheryl Smith, the new Faith Formation Associate as of this year. Dick also wants to work collaboratively in the region with other youth ministers and catechetical leaders to bring vibrant youth ministry in the area. Dick has 30 years+ of youth ministry background as well as 10 years experience in the catechetical ministry.
Other Packet Information
Hearts on a Mission October 24 is getting closer! Please encourage your catechists, RCIA team members, youth ministers, teachers, anyone.....to come and grow in faith. National speakers including Dr. Saundra Kennedy and Kevin Down, and local speakers including Fr. Madej, Nicole Chenet, Andrea Schaffer, Dave Barocsi, Mike Zasa and Sr. Caryn Crook. Two sets of workshops, two keynote speakers, vendors, lunch and networking! Come and join us!
I would like to take time to thank the committee who has been working very hard on this event for the region and the diocese:
- Anne Elacqua
- Shannon Jones
- Sr. Martha Larkin
- Terri Panuccio
- Cheryl Smith
Level One Catechist Certification
- Online Course Schedule (same as last month's document)
Level Two Certification/Ongoing Adult Faith Formation
- Jim Krisher, ""Introduction to Luke: The Gospel of Joy” (FLYER)
The gospel of Luke contains so many wonderful and familiar stories about Jesus, & so
many treasured parables and insights into the meaning of Christian discipleship. In
this presentation, Jim will provide an introduction to this beloved gospel, outlining the
historical & theological background for Luke, & will look at a few selected texts with an
eye to their revelatory power & practical applications for Christian living today."
Safe Environment Certification
- Eastern Region Schedule (this is very limited)
- Due November 1st, whether you are still receiving students or not, the number as of that date must be submitted. Congratulations to Lisa Spooner, this year's First In Winner! Sorry, no prize except you will be exempt from my nagging!!! Report forms can be found in your Catechetical Leaders' handbook, the diocesan website and on this website under Files.
- These are all the ways you can stay connected with the Eastern Region Office of Faith Formation, Diocesan Office of Faith Formation, and our Diocesan Resources. Flyer to share
- Application form for NCCL Membership. Provides weekly emails with valuable resources and information, a quarterly magazine with professional articles, discounts on a variety of materials and a discount on the annual NCCL Conference (this year in Jacksonville, Florida)
- This year the MAC conference in Baltimore, Maryland is February 12-14. Visit the MAC Website for more information.
- If you are interested or just thinking about going, sign your name to this Diocesan Group Rate document. This is a collaborative document which can also be found on the home page of this website and on the FaithFormationevents.weebly.com website (updated address is faithformationevents.syrdio.org)
- If you are interested in this conference or any other conference, remember to take advantage of the Diocesan Heritage Scholarship which can be found on this website under Files.
- This resource is just one example of items that can be found in the Mysyrdio:eresources. This was found on the Loyola Publisher website, written by Joe Paprocki. A Good resource to share with your catechists. Works of Mercy Document
- Blessing of the Statue of St. Pope John Paul II across from HolyTrinity, Utica after the 10:00 mass on Sunday, October 18. Luncheon at the Polish Community Center, $20/ ticket. Contact Holy Trinity Parish for more information.
Click the folder to open and access the entire Google folder of flyers and documents from this month's meeting.
If you have Google Drive, this folder can be added to your account for easy access.
If you do not have a google account, you can still view all the documents and download what you need.
Collaborative documents are also located in this folder.