Archdiocese of Hartford
Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis
March 26, 2020
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Communicating in the Time of Coronavirus 

The Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis stands ready to assist you in your parish and school ministries, even despite the current climate of social distancing and pandemic response. In doing so, we have prepared this email blast! 

 

This method of communication will be sent twice-weekly by the OEEC to ensure that you are abreast of the most up-to-date information regarding resources, webinars, deadlines, and other relevant matters. Please note that the OEEC will not be sending group emails henceforth so as not to overwhelm our server. This should serve as the primary method of group communication with you, our valued constituents and friends. 

 

Please be sure to mark this email as "not spam," to check your spam folder regularly, and to forward this email on to other members of your parish or school team who might benefit from it! 

 

We also encourage you to visit our website, www.CatholicEdAOHCT.org, where distance learning information and a coronavirus page full of resources, tools, at-home faith formation, and more are available for you. 


Important Sacramental Preparation Information

The Archdiocese has issued guidance for the celebration of initiation of adults (RCIA/Adult Confirmation) in light of the circumstances of this Triduum. The Archbishop has distributed this guidance to all pastors, and we ask that anyone involved with the initiation of adults read this guidance thoroughly. It is available in English and en Espanol

 

Please note that guidance was issued last week by Sr. Mary Grace and the OEEC in terms of faith formation and sacramental preparation in the current climate. This is recommended reading for anyone responsible for the sacramental preparation of children or adults: all parish catechetical leaders and catechists, Catholic school teachers doing sacramental preparation, RCIA team members, and more. Click here to access the guidance from March 20, 2020.


From Ana Maria Alstrum, Archdiocesan Director of Hispanic Catechesis:

En estos momentos es importante que tengamos los recursos necesarios para continuar celebrando nuestra fe y la compartamos con alegría. 

Hay recursos en español para poder hacerlo y los pueden encontrar en nuestra página: https://catholicedaohct.org/

Cualquier pregunta pueden enviarme un email a: Ana.Maria.Alstrum@aohct.org


From Anne T. Clubb, Director of Community Engagement: 

Catholic school teachers (elementary and secondary), parish catechetical leaders, and youth ministers are encouraged to take advantage of a new grant opportunity offered through the generosity of the Hartford Bishops Foundation. The Archdiocese of Hartford Innovation Grants offer the chance to breathe life and positive change into schools and parishes. Find the application here: https://forms.gle/GyQmQdxKffsAyGGV9.
 
Schools enrolling international students are reminded that these students may remain in Active Status by participating in distance learning either in the U.S. or in their home countries. Should a student opt to return home, please do the following prior to their departure: find out if the student plans to participate in distance learning; and check the signature date on page 2 of their I-20. This date is good for one year, so if that deadline is approaching, the DSO should sign and date that page on the first available line, giving the student an additional year of access to the U.S. Please feel free to email Anne Clubb with any questions, anne.clubb@aohct.org. To keep updated about government regulations regarding international students during the COVID-19 emergency, check out this site: https://www.ice.gov/covid19

From Valerie Mara, Assistant to the Provost:

In the words of Thomas Paine, “These are times that try a person’s soul…”  certainly our patience, courage, and perseverance will be tested.  However, we can and we will prevail through this time of uncertainty and, further, turn adversity into opportunities for growth that will serve to strengthen our schools for years ahead.
 
In an effort to stay connected during this time of distance learning, elementary school leaders are invited to participate in weekly live webinars.  These sessions are designed to provide support, share resources, and collaborate with one another during this new instructional model.  This webinar will be available every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.  A second session will be offered at 1:00 p.m. if you are unable to attend the first session. *There is a one-time registration for each session that will serve for all upcoming sessions at that time. Looking forward to “seeing” you there!
 
*Please register for Leading From a Distance - Elementary Administrators  SESSION 1 on March 31, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7971115560038110987. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
 
*Please register for Leading From a Distance - Elementary Administrators SESSION 2 on March 31, 2020 1:00 p.m. at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6158256181324153099. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

From Maria Maynard, Assistant to the Provost:

Information for Elementary Principals

Re: Faculty Ministry Agreements

Per the policy 3.210 teacher ministry agreements must be sent out by May 1, 2020 and teacher responses must be returned 15 days later. If you already know that downsizing of personnel will occur notification should be made before May 1. Currently there has been no adjustment to the policy. You will be notified if there is a change. Please email Maria.Maynard@aohct.org if you have questions.


From Laura McCaffrey, Assistant to the Provost:

HOPES Grants 

Good afternoon Elementary School Administrators,

HOPES Grant Deadline has been extended to Friday, April 24, 2020.

The HOPES Grant application and memo regarding the application are located on the OEEC portal. The grant application, along with required attachments, is due at the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis on or before April 24, 2020. The application can be sent by email to me via email: Laura@McCaffrey@aohct.org.

If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact me at Laura.McCaffrey@aohct.org 

All the best, Laura 

Distance Learning Information Available 

Elementary School Principals and Teachers please check out the OEEC website for resources on Distance Learning at https://catholicedaohct.org/school-resources/distance-learning. Also if you want to share distance learning resources with other teachers, please email Laura.McCaffrey@aohct.org


From Lisa Orchen, Archdiocesan Director of Catechetical Initiatives:

Dear High School Religion Teachers,

The Magis Center/Credible Catholic has reached out to support your efforts in distance education at this time and will hold three home-based presentations to support Catholic educators and parents with guided, at-home learning for students. These offerings include:

  • Teacher Webinar covering the 7 Essential Modules to show teachers how to teach the Modules online to students (Monday, March 30th @ 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.).
  • Parent Webinar covering the 7 Essential Modules to show parents how to teach the Modules to children at home (Wednesday, April 1, 2020 @ 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.). 
  • 7-Week Online Student Course every Monday and Tuesday covering the 7 Essential Modules and allowing students to take the course from home (which starts the week of April 6, 2020; classes will be held @ 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.).

The online student course will take students through the 7 Essential Modules and is intended to help students see how science, reason, and logic support and complement our Catholic faith. The online webinars will be focused on giving an overview of the 7 Essential Modules to Catholic educators and parents interested in using the Modules with students online or at home. 

As you are already aware, the 7 Essential Modules use science-based apologetics to encourage faith-centered learning for teenagers and adults (ages 12+). 

The Magis Center will be offering recorded viewing options for interested viewers who cannot attend these webinars. To further assist teachers with tracking professional development hours and to mark student attendance at each event, webinar attendees will receive a Magis Center Certificate of Completion upon request.

Finally, four measures have been instituted to ensure Safe Environment compliance for each participating diocese: 

  • The course registration process will require parental consent.
  • The course registration process will require “appropriate attire” for webinar participation.
  • The course instructor has completed VIRTUS training and certification.
  • The webinar will include a notification stating that the session is “recorded for the sake of transparency.”

To access the webinars, click here or visit the Credible Catholic website.


From Lisa Orchen, Archdiocesan Director of Catechetical Initiatives and Kelly Henderschedt, Archdiocesan Director of Catechesis:

Dear Catechetical Leaders and Elementary School Principals,

The OEEC Team has been working to build resources for all of you to share with your faculty at this unprecedented time.  

Kelly Henderschedt, Director of Catechesis, created a two-minute video message for all of you as leaders with words of encouragement and offers of assistance in the near time.  Please know that you can reach out to Lisa or Kelly to help and guide you in the areas of faith formation.  To see Kelly’s short message, click here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fv3CZbAtQ8

With consideration for parents who are juggling so much with their children, these short videos are designed to help parents develop simple faith practices they can begin using in their homes during this challenging time.  Please share them with the families you serve in your parishes and schools:

We also have a few resources created this week to send to parents to compliment these short videos:

Please visit the OEEC website to find a large library of resources to support you as catechetical leaders, school leaders, teachers and to share with your families at this time.

How to Celebrate Mass at Home

This one-page guide offers suggestions for how to celebrate Mass at home.  ALthough there is no substitute for gathering in person for Mass, this can be an opportunity for the whole family to participate prayerfully in spiritual communion with the wider family of faith. 


From Nicole Perone, Archdiocesan Director of Adult Faith Formation:

The TeamRCIA event scheduled for May 29 - 30, 2020 has been postponed at this time. More information about rescheduling for spring 2021 is forthcoming! 

Visit our RCIA page for more information and resources at this time. 


From Michael Wellington, Archdiocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry:

Out of an abundance of caution, the Catholic Youth Encounter originally scheduled for April 26, 2020 has been cancelled. Those parishes and schools who have already submitted their intent/registration forms will be contacted individually. Please feel free to contact Michael via email at Michael.Wellington@aohct.org with any questions or concerns.

You are also encouraged to check the OEEC Youth Ministry web page for a listing of resources that can be utilized in these times.
 

Youth in Hart 

Dear Friends,
During the month of April we will be meeting every Thursday at noon via Go To Meeting as a chance to pray together, share ideas for distance Youth Ministry and talk about the road ahead. This is a unique time in our ministry and I thank you for your dedication to the young people of the archdiocese. I look forward to seeing digitally on Thursday and know that you and your ministry are in my prayers!

Peace, Michael

Youth in Hart: Weekly Gathering
Thursdays starting April 2, 2020 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Barbara Jean Daly Horell, Archdiocesan Director of Catholic Biblical School


Catholic Biblical School (CBS) classes are meeting virtually through the end of the current academic year. If you are an enrolled student or auditor and have been unable to access class sessions, either online or by telephone, please contact your CBS teacher or email BJ at catholic.biblical.school@aohct.org to get more information.

CBS 100 Lenten Scripture Day has been cancelled for April 4, 2020. There will be no make-up needed for this missed requirement. We hope to replicate the experience at a later date.

Other CBS Events:

Out of an abundance of caution, the following CBS continuing education events have been cancelled:

  • April 2, 2020: The Many Names of God
  • April 18, 2020: Disability In and In Front of the Bible

Word from the Field

"It is a comfort and a joy still to have this small, earnest CBS community each week. Thank you, OEEC team and CBS faculty for getting the Biblical School up and running online without missing a beat." (A Student from CBS 200 Monday Nights)


Please feel free to share this newsletter with your constitutes. All past newsletters can be found on our website catholicEdaohct.org.

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