Archdiocese of Hartford
Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis
October 7, 2020
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On Behalf of Anne Clubb, Director of Community Engagement:

Webinar: Customer Service to Recruit and Retain...Even in a Pandemic!
Outstanding customer service is critical to the success of school recruitment AND retention efforts, especially during these challenging times.
 
School administrators and admissions/advancement personnel are encouraged to join us for this Creative Conversation/Webinar on Thursday, November 5 from 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.  Best practices, advice, and concerns focusing on customer service will be shared and solutions discovered together. Attendees will be encouraged to join in a discussion during and after a brief presentation. Click here for more information and to register.  
 
Discover Catholic Schools Week
All Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hartford are encouraged to participate in NCEA’s national initiative: Discover Catholic Schools Week, scheduled for the week of November 8-14, 2020. This week is especially designated for schools to leverage their good news and focus on marketing. This is a perfect opportunity to launch the school’s year-round promotional efforts, connect with prospective families, donors, and community members, while showcasing what makes the school special and why it is the best choice for inquiring families.
 
Although marketing activities may have a different, more virtual, look this year, it is still vital to begin the promotional process and give prospective families plenty of time to explore the benefits of Catholic school education. To learn more about the Discover Catholic Schools Week initiative and download some graphics to share on social media, click here. The NCEA website marketing pages also offer excellent “Catholic School Snaps” graphics that can be used to promote schools year-round.
 
The traditional Catholic Schools Week (CWS) will still be commemorated from January 31 – February 6, 2021. This will serve as the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States, during which schools typically observe the week with Masses, assemblies and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. For more info and graphics relating to Catholic schools week, click here.
 
Please note that Catholic schools may choose to participate in both or one – and that is okay! The important thing is to join in on the national celebrations in a way that works best for you. Make CSW your own and share your ideas with other schools using #CSW21.

On Behalf of Kelly Henderschedt, Archdiocesan Director of Catechesis:

Attention Catechetical Directors and Catholic School Educators
If you are utilizing playlists of curated content as your faith formation program, or as a supplement to your program, and are interested in collaborating with other catechetical leaders on this process, please consider joining this virtual work-session on October 8 at 10:00 a.m. Click here to join this virtual meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.  You can also dial in using your phone +1 (408) 650-3123, please use access code: 216-238-533.
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For faith formation leaders who are utilizing catechists this year as family supporters and mentors, rather than classroom teachers, here is a list of potential questions a catechist could ask when checking in with families through either a virtual platform or phone call.
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If you have not had a chance yet to get a copy of the new Directory of Catechesis, please consider obtaining a copy, as this book will truly inform the work you are doing in faith formation. The focus on our need for evangelizing catechesis and lifting up the Good News (Kerygma) is illustrated beautifully in this guide.
 
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has created an excellent series of short videos to highlight certain themes of the Directory. Please take a moment to watch this 12 minute video from Archbishop Emeritus Alfred Hughes where he highlights the essential connection between evangelization and catechesis. Below the video, are several questions for prayerful reflection.
 
Attention Youth Confirmation Coordinators and Youth Ministers
Please join a virtual gathering to discuss needs that are specific to the ministries of Confirmation and Youth Ministry. Topics will include building relationships with youth during a pandemic, developing service opportunities, and meeting the authentic needs of young people….along with any other themes you wish to discuss. 
  • Date: October 14, 2020
  • Time (two choices):  10:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m. 
  • Click here to join this meeting. You can also dial in using your phone: +1 (872) 240-3212, please use access code: 240-385-685. 

On Behalf of Laura McCaffrey, Advisor to the Vicar for Finance & Technology: 

SAVE THE DATE! 
2020 Archdiocesan School Board – Local School Board Conversations – Financial Considerations
Please consider joining the Archdiocesan School Board, School Success Committee for a night of Professional Development for your local school boards. This virtual presentation will be offered twice: Tuesday, October 27 or Thursday, October 29 from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Please consider joining us for this exciting and informative presentation. More details will follow in the coming weeks.
 
CARES Act Equitable Services and Title I Allocation
Please contact Laura McCaffrey if your city/town contacts you about a change in your Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund allocation.  Please read the attached letter as to why your ESSER fund allocation may change if your original amount was calculated on total enrollment and not Title I enrollment. Click here to view a letter from the U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to Chief State School Officers regarding CARES Act equitable services. Please contact Laura McCaffrey if you have any questions. 
 
Digital Resource Page: Remote Learning
With the beginning of a new school year, the OEEC invites you to explore the new and improved Remote Learning Resources section of our website. This section will include resources on Technology, Remote Learning for Coding and Computer Science, Teaching in a Remote Environment, Marketing During Covid-19 and more!  Please be sure to check back often as these pages are updated with new information, webinars, videos and other helpful resources.
 
New this week:
Attention all Archdiocesan Schools
We are updating the school directory pages of our website! Please take this opportunity to review your schools' current page by clicking here. Please send any updated pictures and descriptions to Laura McCaffrey and Kelsey Meczywor.

On Behalf of Nicole Perone, Archdiocesan Director of Adult Faith Formation: 

An Important Request for All Parishes (Re: Adult Confirmation) 
Please help the OEEC assess the status of sacramental preparation for adults in the Archdiocese.  All parishes are asked to complete this brief survey (only one person per parish needs to do so) in order for us to update our history of Adult Confirmation in the Archdiocese and better prepare to welcome adults to the Sacrament of Confirmation this pastoral year. Any questions or need help completing the survey?  Email Nicole.Perone@aohct.org
 
P. S.  Did you miss our virtual training for Adult Confirmation catechists earlier this month?  Simply email Nicole.Perone@aohct.org to receive the recording or to schedule a catch-up conversation.
 
SAVE THE DATES: Virtual Women’s Conference 2020
Some Difficult News - the Archdiocesan Women's Conference, scheduled for November 7, 2020, has been postponed (in its in-person iteration) due to coronavirus concerns.
 
Some Wonderful News - the OEEC is prepared to extend the experience of the Women's Conference in a virtual format, running from November 2020 to May 2021 (when registration will open for the 2021 conference).  Instead of a full-day event, a chance to "attend" a workshop or prayer experience will be available monthly. These virtual events will take place on the first Wednesday of every month in the evening.  Attendees will register in advance for either a virtual workshop or a virtual prayer, and are welcome to come as they are - yoga pants or sweatshirt or stilettos, glass of wine or cup of tea - to partake in spiritual nourishment and time in community as a taste of the experience of the Women's Conference in this socially distant time.... and of course, attendees can save their registration fee for the next in-person conference in 2021, because this year will be free of charge! 
 
Be sure to visit our Women's Conference Webpage, where all information will be available soon! 
 
Virtual Conversations on the RCIA This Fall/Winter
Thanks to our friends and collaborators at Liturgy Training Publications (LTP), there are a number of virtual opportunities to discuss a variety of topics around RCIA and sacramental preparation this fall and winter.
 
First, if you were unable to attend our LTP-OEEC webinar on Discernment in Christian Initiation on September 24, please click this link to access the recording. You are welcome to share it with your RCIA team and parish staff as needed. 
 
Additionally, if you would like to join LTP for more upcoming virtual conversations, please click each link below to register for some of those conversations! 
 
Virtual Conversations in English
The ritual text is clear: the people of God are the primary ministers of initiation. We are called to animate the entirety of our parish communities and help them recognize their responsibility in forming new disciples. Together, let us reevaluate the "RCIA team" and work to institute a Christian initiation ministry that is the responsibility of all the baptized.
 
RCIA #75 calls for the “suitable pastoral formation” of catechumens. Participants in this virtual conversation will explore the many different ways in which adults learn and how it can be applied to the Period of the Catechumenate while being “aimed at training [catechumens] in the Christian life.”  This session will challenge parishes to think outside of the box in our shared ministry of forming disciples.
 
The mystagogical method is a three-part process: joining together in a common experience, reflection, and sharing. In this conversation, we will discuss how this method can be introduced in the catechumenal process before the Period of Mystagogy.
 
Whether involved in the rites, catechesis, or discernment process, the pastor has a great responsibility in Christian initiation ministry. This conversation will allow participants to share best practices and reflect on the obstacles they face when co-laboring with the pastor of their parish.
 
Before celebrating the Rite of Election, the catechumens are to enter into a process of discernment and discussion with the pastor and other catechumenal leaders. What are the questions to ask? What should we be observing? How do we know people are ready to move forward in the process?
 
Art and music has always been an important part of our Christian faith. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy states that art has the ability to turn our "minds devoutly toward God" and that music "is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art." (122, 112) In this conversation, we will discuss how we can practically use the arts to echo our faith and enhance our celebration of God's Word.

Dialogo Virtual en Español
Entrenamiento y sugerencias prácticas para discernir las etapas del proceso con los niños, catequistas, sponsors y familia.
 
Aprenda como usar de la manera mas provechosa el material gratuito de LTP para coordinadores del RICA entrenando a su equipo de voluntarios y catequistas.
 
Aprenda como usar de la manera mas provechosa el material gratuito de LTP para coordinadores del RICA entrenando a su equipo de voluntarios y catequistas.
 
Aprenda como usar de la manera mas provechosa el material gratuito de LTP para coordinadores del RICA entrenando a su equipo de voluntarios y catequistas.
 
Veamos los ritos de la iniciación cristiana con los niños. Cuáles son y cómo prepararlos para celebrarlos con alegría y entusiasmo.
 
LTP is also hosting ongoing virtual conversations specific to The RCIA Adapted for Children.  Please consider being a part of those conversations to be better prepared to welcome children to the Sacraments of Initiation outside of the "usual" ages and times: 

On Behalf of the Faith Formation Directors:

Formation Opportunity for Parish and School Leaders:
New England Faith Forum:  Recognizing the Religious Potential of the Child 
Join us on October 20 at 7:00 p.m. for the second gathering of the virtual New England Faith Forum, presented by Mary Mirrione, National Director for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: 
 
The capacity for silence, for reverence and for contemplation needs to be nurtured within children for them to have a lifelong encounter with the One who loves them. For over 60 years the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) has studied and served this encounter with ages 3-12. CGS is rooted in the Bible, the Liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. This workshop will provide an overview of the CGS as well as strategies for implementing and sustaining this work in a parish/school setting. This workshop will also provide practical tools for approaching prayer with children in any setting.
 
Click this link to register to attend, or to register to receive a recording after the event. 
 
The OEEC will again host a post-event debrief, discussing the local application of this Forum in our Archdiocese on Monday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m.  Click here to access that discussion in GoToMeeting
 
Formation Opportunity for Parish, Catechetical and Youth Leaders:
Keeping Teens Connected to the Parish during COVID-19 - A FREE Conversation! 
This virtual conversation is geared toward those in youth ministry and/or liturgical ministry, but is truly open to anyone concerned with engaging young people. What are the ways that we can keep teenagers involved in the life of the parish?  In what ways can they serve as liturgical ministers and leaders during this time? 
This conversation will take place on Wednesday, November 11 at 1:00 p.m.  Click here to register with Liturgy Training Publications.
 
Christus Vivit Study Group - Open To All Who Serve Young People! 
The OEEC will be breaking open Christus Vivit, the apostolic exhortation of Pope Francis to young people and to the entire people of God. This document challenges each of us to consider the ways we can serve young people enthusiastically and joyfully, and invites them into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. 
 
All who have a heart for serving young people (both youth and young adults) and engaging them in the life of the Church are invited to attend!
 
We especially invite:
  • pastors and parochial vicars;
  • priest chaplains to high schools and colleges;
  • Catholic school teachers and campus ministers;
  • youth ministers;
  • leaders of young adult ministries;
  • parish catechetical leaders and catechists;
  • sacramental preparation coordinators;
  • and beyond!
If you have ever said “Where are all the young people??” or “I wish we had more young people engaged in our parish,” you are welcome too! 
 
These sessions will take place on two Wednesdays of each month from November 2020 through April 2021, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. They will be hosted on GoToMeeting with this recurring link, but we ask anyone interested in attending any session to please complete this simple registration form for our own record-keeping. 
 
The Faith Formation directors will alternate serving as facilitators, using the NFCYM study guide Christus Vivit: The Pathway to Accompaniment as a resource. (It is also expected that attendees will have read Christus Vivit itself, freely accessible by clicking.)
 
We look forward to this rich series of conversations and hope you will join us!
 

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