Archdiocese of Hartford
Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis
February 4, 2021
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“To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.”
–St. Thomas Aquinas
When wishing to share the Good News with someone, what might “taking them by the hand and guiding them” look like? How does this look in the context of a pandemic?
Good and gracious God, please bring people who are in need of the Good News of Jesus into my path. Help me to recognize those who are thirsting for hope and those who need your peace, comfort and joy. Guide me in my efforts to show them the grace that comes with being a disciple. Amen

Faith Formation Weekly Update

LA Congress

The LA Religious Education Congress is a dynamic gathering of the global church, welcoming all to meet Jesus through Connection, Learning and Worship. This year, the conference will be held virtually on February 18 - 21, 2021 and is only $35 dollars to attend. This will give you access to ALL the workshops. Most workshops will be on demand and about 35 minutes in length. For more information, visit their website:

Join us on Facebook!

With Lent so close, the OEEC is looking to re-invigorate our Facebook group Faith Formation Parish Leaders at OEEC. This page is a great place to interact, share resources and lend support to fellow Faith Formation leaders. If you are not currently a member of this group, please consider joining today!

Attention Parish Faith Formation Leaders

As we begin the second month of 2021, we are approaching the one year mark of the beginning of the pandemic and ministering among these challenges. Most of us started out the pandemic in a “survival mode” mindset and have moved into the, “We can do this!” mindset as time has progressed. What lessons and insights have we been able to discern during this past year? How can we move forward with these insights to continue to provide enriching and meaningful faith formation for those we serve? Please take a moment to read this article by John Roberto to explore these questions and more!

Register Now! Lenten Inspiration for Families

February 10, 2021
10:00 a.m.
Presentor: Kathy Hendricks
Sponsored by Sadlier
Join us for a webinar that will focus on ideas for families that center on the three Lenten practices - prayer, penance, and almsgiving. Suggestions for resources, online inspiration, and ways of connecting home and parish will be offered. Click here for more information and to register.

Attention Catechetical Leaders

Please join in a virtual deanery gathering (for all deaneries) to catch up, share ideas for Lent and problem solve issues that are arising in your ministries. There will be two options to attend:
  • Tuesday, February 16 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Use this link ( to join either of the meetings above or you can dial in using your phone by calling: +1 (408) 650-3123, please use access code: 554-355-133

New Link

The link for Tom’s East’s article, Radiate Christ: Becoming a Parish Who Accompanies Young People was not working recently. If you have not had a chance to read this excellent piece on effective strategies for ministering to youth, click here

Lenten Resources

As you begin to think about helping families prepare for this very special time in the liturgical year, and with much of our faith formation still happening virtually and at-home, please check out the Seasonal Resources Page for many Lenten resources.
New items added to the Seasonal Resource Page this week:

Family Faith Formation Sessions

The Archdiocese of Atlanta has created wonderful resources for virtual family faith formation and are generously sharing all they have created. If you are utilizing live stream events or monthly family Zoom sessions, this will be great inspiration. Lent can be the perfect time to incorporate family faith formation so take a look at these ‘ready to use’ materials. Section 5 under “Family Sharing” gives some excellent conversation starters to help families reflect on how this time of COVID resembles Jesus’ time in the desert.

Lenten Online Faith-Sharing Groups with RENEW International:

Are you looking to grow in your faith this Lent, from the comfort of your own home? Join RENEW’s Sister Terry Rickard, Sister Honora Nolty, or Milissa Else for online faith-sharing throughout Lent. Spend your Lent deepening your faith and living it in your everyday life. Choose the day and time that is most convenient for you. Groups will use Live Lent! written by RENEW’s own Sister Terry. To sign up for a small group and purchase a book, please click here. If you have further questions, you may also contact RENEW staff member Paul Krenzelok:; 908-769-5400, ext. 119.

The Archdiocesan Faith Formation Team Announces an Upcoming Webinar

Disability in and in Front of the Bible presented by Dr. Andrew R. Davis
  • Part One: Saturday, February 6, 2021
  • Part Two: Saturday, February 13, 2021
Please join us in this two part webinar to explore the religious, social, and cultural background behind the Bible’s depictions of disability and the ways those depictions have shaped Jewish and Christian views of disability. Each session will begin at 2:00 p.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. Disability is a daily reality for many of us and the same was true in the ancient world.
Dr. Andrew R. Davis, Associate Professor of the Old Testament at Boston College, his interest in disability and the Bible was inspired by raising a son with Down Syndrome.
All are welcome! Register here.

Catholic Biblical School Weekly Update

Making Sense of the Bible in the Catholic Tradition

Several CBS Alumni have geared up to present our six-week program in basic biblical literacy in virtual formats, finding success in parishes like Saint Dominic, Southington! Pastors and pastoral leaders, contact BJ Daly Horell to find out more:

Disability in and in Front of the Bible - Virtual Formation in Two Parts

  • Part One: Saturday, February 6, 2021, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
  • Part Two: Saturday, February 13, 2021, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
All are welcome! Register here.

Save the Date - Celebration of Sacred Scripture

March 6, 2021, 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The Biblical Roots of the Apostle’s Creed. Dr. Brian Schmisek, principal editor of the Catholic Biblical School workbooks, will lead us virtually. This event is free of charge and open to the public! For more information visit the CBS Events Page. All are welcome! Register here.

Lenten Scripture Days

All current CBS students are required to take part in virtual days of study and retreat each year. Here are the details for this spring’s sessions:
  • CBS 200 and 300 (2nd, 3rd and 4th year) students: March 6, 2021, 12:30-4:30 p.m. Dr. Brian Schmisek will present The Biblical Roots of the Apostle’s Creed. Students in Years 2, 3 and 4 need to click here to register now. Invite a friend to join you! Share this link with anyone interested.
  • CBS 100 (1st year) students March 27, 2021: 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Students in Year 1 will receive an email with a link. This session is closed to the public.

CBS Holy Land Pilgrimage 2022

The Silver Anniversary Spiritual Pilgrimage with Archbishop Blair and Bishop Betancourt has been confirmed for January 6 - 17, 2022. Cost per person is $3999, which includes airfare, all international travel, accommodations and most meals. Walk in the paths Jesus trod, as we pray together and share Christian fellowship at biblical sites, including 4 ½ days in Jerusalem, a boat tour of the Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jacob’s Well, Elijah’s Cave, and so much more!
A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is more than simply a tour of an exotic, historic site. We, as your spiritual guides, are planning something truly special, including prayer and reflection experiences in addition to daily Mass.” - Archbishop Blair and Bishop Betancourt

Remote Learning

Remember, CBS classes are 100% remote until further notice. Contact the teacher if you need instructions for accessing a virtual class.

Can We Trust God TOO FAR?

Of course, the answer is “No!” Still, sometimes God asks of us what we cannot understand or even accept with our limited human capacities. CBS 100 students are grappling this week with one of Scripture’s most difficult texts:
“God put Abraham to the test and said to him: Abraham! … Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There offer him up as a burnt offering on one of the heights that I will point out to you.” Genesis 22:1-2
Unexpectedly, Abraham’s horrifying “test” led not to Isaac’s destruction but to great blessing for all nations, showing us a hint of how God remains always with us. In confusing times, we pray for the grace not to understand, but to hear God’s voice and the courage to accept that which seems unacceptable, so that God may shower us with unexpected blessing.

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