Standards for Catechetical Excellence In the Diocese of Gary

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1 Standards for Catechetical Excellence In the Diocese of Gary It s hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close and so it is time to extend our invitation to all our PCLs/DRE/sCREs, youth ministers, catechists, aides and anyone involved in religious education and youth ministry in our parishes to join us for our fall 2014 Catechist Formation Program. Well formed catechists are crucial for an effective faith formation program, so this year we are offering some quality programs to assist you in developing your skills as an excellent and certified catechist. Its been five years since we revamped our catechist certification program making it easier and more affordable for a new catechist to become certified. Our policy requires every new catechist to become certified within a three year period. A Basic Certificate can be earned by taking 28 hours of skill formation within three years. Veteran catechists may earn a Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation for every 24 hours of ongoing education. The requirements for these new certifications are available from your parish Director of Religious Education so ask your parish DRE for details or contact my office for more information. ( ext. 230) Since we started our new certification program, over 150 catechists have earned their certification. That number continues to grow each year. I challenge you not to be left behind. This October we are planning a Diocesan Ministry Symposium, Pope Francis Calls Us To Mission and Evangelization Who Will Answer? It will feature Fr. Robin Ryan and Bishop Melczek. They will explore the person and message of Pope Francis and it s affect on our Church. (A separate registration is required for this event other than this form) This Conference will take the place at Our Lady of Consolation Parish on October 4th. You won t want to miss this event so go to for more information and to register. Back by popular demand is our ninth annual catechist retreat at Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Merrillville on September 15th. This event went over so well last year that the North Lake DRE cluster wants to continue the tradition. Our presenter is Joe Paprocki who works for Loyola Press and is and author and motivational speaker for catechists. We will conclude with a evening prayer with and our traditional banquet. Remember space is limited so we will only accept the first 125 catechists to register. Finally, our Spring Catechetical/Liturgical Day is scheduled for Sunday, March 15, 2015 at St. Matthias Parish in Crown Point, IN. This year s program will feature Fr. Michael Joncas noted musician and liturgist. There will be a track for music ministers in the Diocese and some very creative sessions for all grade levels of faith formation. All these programs are offered in the hope of improving your skills so you can earn your catechist certification. Five years ago our Diocese adopted Standards for Excellence which challenges us to provide the very best practices in parish ministry. Our goal is to assist you to become a more excellent catechist to the children you teach and the parish you serve. In that same spirit let us remember that you play a critical role in that ongoing faith tradition. Thank you and God s blessings for serving the Diocese of Gary in your parish s faith formation ministry. Pax Christi, Deacon Frank J. Zolvinski Deacon Frank J. Zolvinski Director of Religious Education

2 2 Catechist Retreat Catechist Retreat Leading With Joy Back by popular demand we will offer another retreat afternoon of reflection. Our presenter is Mr. Joe Paprocki. Joe is an author and consultant for Loyola Press in Chicago and is a very motivational speaker on matters of catechesis. The retreat theme is: Leading With Joy, Making Sure The Good News We Proclaim Is Truly GOOD NEWS!. Ist will help us reflect on how our personal spirituality becomes the way in which we reveal and proclaim God s Word in our lives and in our catechetical world. Joe will help participants reflect on their role as catechists examine how they experience God s presence in the world and then use that experience to better proclaim the Gospel message. The afternoon will conclude with evening prayer with Bishop Melczek and our traditional banquet. This retreat will be at a new location, Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Merrillville, IN. It is ideal for first time or veteran catechists who want to grow closer to the Lord and each other. (This retreat is limited to the first 125 persons who register.) (Unit Hours: 5 - May be applied toward a Basic Catechist Certificate or Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation) Date: Sunday, September 14, 2014 Time: 2:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. Site: Vamos Hall, Our Lady of Consolation Presenter: Mr. Joe Paprocki Merrillville, IN Session ID: F14-A Diocesan Ministry Symposium This year the Diocese of Gary will offer a ministry symposium featuring Fr. Robin Ryan and Bishop Dale Melczek. Fr. Ryan will explore the papacy and vision of Pope Francis and his effect on the Church. Bishop Dale will respond to Fr. Ryan s presentation and challenge us to implement the Pope s vision in our parish communities. Time will also be given for table discussion and Q. and A. There will be one date, October 4th at Our Lady of Consolation Parish in Merrillville, IN. The symposium will offer 4 hours of formation that be applied toward a Basic Certificate or Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation. Registration for the congress and workshops will take place on line or by a separate form. Visit the diocesan web site for details You may also call ext. 280 to register. (Unit hours: 3) Catechist Workshops You Want Me to Teach What? Every catechist has the task of passing on the faith and tradition of the Catholic Church. How do you know if what you are teaching is in compliance with Church doctrine? The Diocese of Gary now has a new curriculum guide to provide teachers and catechists with content and direction. This session will provide the participant with an overview and introduction to this new curriculum guide, Goals for the Teaching of Religion with Grade Level Outcomes. The six tasks of catechesis will be explored as the foundation to the curriculum guide and participants will receive a copy of their grade level outcomes to compare with their current lesson plans. Please bring your teacher s manual with you to this workshop. Unit hours: 2 (May be applied toward a Basic Certificate or a Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation) Date: October 8, 2014 Time: 6:30 9:30 p.m. Site: St. Andrew Church Facilitator: Deacon Frank J. Zolvinski Merrillville, IN Session ID: F14-B Introduction to Catholic Morality Catholic morality deals with understanding how we live as Christians. The goal o f this course is to explore the foundations of Catholic morality and the practice of the moral life. Topics covered include: human dignity, virtue, the Beatitudes, objective moral truth, personal responsibility, sin, conscience, grace and the commandments. This session will rely on part three of the Universal Catechism, Life in Christ. Ideal for first time or veteran catechists, RCIA candidates or other interested adults. Unit hours: 3 (May be applied toward a Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation.) Date: October 15 &16, 2014 Time: 6:30 8:30 p.m. Site: St. Mary s Church Facilitator: Yvonne Weaver Griffith, IN Session ID: F14-C

3 3 Pope Francis, Why Is He So Popular? He s been called the People s Pope the Pope of the Poor the Vicar of Christ and more. His message spreads far and wide and affects Catholics and non-catholics, agnostics and atheists from around the world. He speaks in plain English and has a knack for reaching common folks with his message of God s mercy, love and forgiveness. His influence has been called The Francis Effect and Time Magazine named him the 2013 Man of the Year. Come and learn about his background, spirituality, and vision for the Church. We ll explore his most recent letter, The Joy of the Gospel and how it has affected the Church and world with it s message and vision. Unit Hours 2 (May be applied toward a Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation.) Bring canned or non-perishable food items to be donated to the needy. Date: October 30, 2014 Time: 6:30 8:30 p.m. Site: Sacred Heart Church Facilitator: Andrea Proulx Bruinicki La Porte, IN Session ID: F14-D Introduction to Catholic Morality Catholic morality deals with understanding how we live as Christians. The goal o f this course is to explore the foundations of Catholic morality and the practice of the moral life. Topics covered include: human dignity, virtue, the Beatitudes, objective moral truth, personal responsibility, sin, conscience, grace and the commandments. This session will rely on part three of the Universal Catechism, Life in Christ. Ideal for first time or veteran catechists, RCIA candidates or other interested adults. Unit hours: 3 (May be applied toward a Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation.) Date: November 15, 2014 Time: 9:00 a.m. 12:00 noon Site: St. Thomas Aquinas Church Facilitator: Stacia Bolakowski Knox, IN Session ID: F14-E Prayer and Spirituality This session will explore the relationship with the living God, which we call prayer. The time is divided into four segments. The first two explore the nature of prayer, various forms of prayer, and some obstacles to prayer. The third segment looks at the spiritual life as it is lived in today s world. The final segment offers a reflection and catechesis on the central prayer of the Christian tradition, the Our Father. Ideal for new or veteran catechists, RCIA candidates or interested adults. Unit hours: 4 (May be applied toward a Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation.) Date: November 6 and 13 Time: 6:30 8:30 p.m. Site: St. John Bosco Church Facilitator: Vickie Blackwood and Hammond, IN Bob Meaney Session ID: F14-F The Emmaus Program, October 7, 9, 14 & 16th on Reconciliation. St. Michael s Church, Schererville, IN contact Anne Verbeke to register at: ext. 280; Unit Hours: 8 (May be applied toward a Certificate of Continuing Catechist Formation.) Course Locations Our Lady of Consolation (Catechist Retreat) Sacred Heart Church 8303 Taft Street 201 Bach Street Merrillville, IN (219) La Porte, IN (219) St. Thomas Aquinas Church St. John Bosco School 406 East Washington Street st Place Knox, IN (574) Hammond, IN (219) St. Andrew Church St. Mary s Church 801 West 93rd Avenue 525 North Broad Street Merrillville, IN (219) Griffith, IN (219) St. Michael Church One West Wilhelm Street Schererville, IN (219) Register on line at and go to Recently Updated

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