Archdiocese of Hartford
Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis
November 12, 2018
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Grace 2.png

Grace is one of those beautiful words that we really never clearly define.

Quite simply Grace is Christ’s unconditional love for us. The outward sign of that love is the sacraments. The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults reminds us that Grace is “the free and undeserved assistance God offers us so that we might respond to his call to share in his divine life and attain eternal life.” (page 329)

Whether in Catholic school or parish faith formation, when simply defined, Christ’s love for us takes on a beauty as well as a most precious reality. Grace cannot be earned. It cannot be bargained. We do not perform good works in order to gain Grace. We do good works because Christ freely gives us the graces we need.

The virtues we promote and practice every day stem from the grace we receive from Christ our Lord. The virtue of generosity is a result of this grace. We extend generosity because we feel fortunate and grateful to have what some can only dream of possessing. This is what faith formation at all levels promotes and models every day. We instill virtues such as respect for life at every stage, care for the impoverished and underserved, for the hungry, homeless, sick, and lonely. We care for the earth – the place we live in, and freedom to practice our faith.

When all is said and done Grace is love, it is joy and it is simply amazing!

November is that time of year when the earth takes its final, fantastically colorful bow. We remember All Saints and All Souls. Our Latino friends celebrate el Dia de los Muertos commemorated in the film COCO and the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is right around the corner in December. (This blog can be viewed in Spanish here.)

Of importance to many of our Catholic school families as we approach the end of the year is a review of tuition costs When There’s More Month than Tuition Money!

November Dates

  • November 14: Administrators Meeting/Latino Enrollment Institute, Doubletree Hilton, Bristol, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. For more information contact Anne Clubb.
  • November 15: Catholic Biblical School: How to Read the Bible, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Meriden, 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. For details and to register, contact Deacon Don Smith at Our Lady, Queen of Angels parish: 203-235-6381.
  • November 27: Administrators Learning Communities, for elementary administrators, two sessions are being offered - Assumption School, Ansonia, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. or session two - Corpus Christi, Wethersfield, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. contact Valerie Mara for more information. Both locations will offer the same program.
  • November 27: The Spiritual Path of Emptying, an Advent Day of Reflection and Contemplation, St. Francis of Assisi, New Britain, 9:30 a.m., or Most Holy Trinity, Wallingford, 6:00 p.m. Both locations will offer the same program and will include a simple soup meal. Register here.
  • November 29: Youth and Campus Ministry Leader Gathering, Trinita Retreat Center, 595 Town Hill Road, New Hartford, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., register here. Questions? Contact Michael Wellington.
  • November Resources for Schools & Parishes 2018 great for school teachers and catechists!

November Events


December Dates

2018 School Security Competitive Grant Program (Round 4)

The State of CT has released the 2018 School Security Competitive Grant Program (Round 4).

The deadline is Tuesday December 4, 2018.

The link for the application and additional information is or documents needed to complete the grant application are located on the OEEC portal.

The grants may reimburse schools for a portion of the costs associated with making safety and security improvements to their schools/facilities. Projects that are completed between January 1, 2013 and ending on June 30, 2021 are eligible for application under this program.

Training is available on the writing of the Security Grant:
DESPP/DEMHS will be holding two applicant training sessions for private K-12 schools as well private licensed childcare centers and preschools. The training will be held at DESPP/DEMHS headquarters, at 1111 Country Club Road, Middletown CT 06457 on the following dates and times:

November 13 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Click here to register for this date

November 20 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - Click here to register for this date

Please be advised that space may be limited.

Please note, registration requires a google login, if you do not have one you will be directed to create an account.

If you have any questions regarding this program please feel to contact the State of CT at or myself at

Save the Date!

  • January 16: Evening of Reflection for Catechists & Catholic School Educators, Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center, West Hartford, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., contact Lisa Orchen 860-242-5573 or
  • January 17: New Elementary Administrators Meeting, OEEC, Bloomfield, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • February 5: PACE Meeting (E), OEEC, Bloomfield, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., by invitation only.
  • February 9: RCIA Training Day: Lent and Mystagogy, Pastoral Center, Bloomfield, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., $10 to attend, register here.
  • February 11: Finding Spiritual Balance in Off-Kilter Times, Saint George Church On-The-Green, 33 Whitfield Street Guilford.
  • February 19: Registration due for Combined Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, registration coming soon.
  • February 27: New Elementary Administrators Meeting, OEEC, Bloomfiled, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • February 27: Creative Conversation, “The Art of Marketing” with Fran Corona, Pastoral Center, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • March 7: Elementary and Secondary Administrators Meeting, location TBD
  • March 10: Combined Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, Cathedral of Saint Joseph, Hartford, 3:00 p.m.
  • March 30: Missio: Ignite Hearts 2019, Faith Formation Congress, Saint Paul Catholic High, Bristol
  • April 3: Marketing Workshop: “Be AwesomeOnline – 10 Web - Based Strategies to Market Your Mission” with Chuck Putney, Pastoral Center, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The 2018 - 2019 Academic School Calendar (revised 11-05-2018) is posted on the portal of the OEEC website, under general forms, or can be found here.

For Your Information:

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - December 8, 2018

In 2018, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception falls on a Saturday. This is a holy day of obligation, and since it is the patronal feast of the United States, is still celebrated as a holy day even though it falls on a Saturday. Catholics have two obligations to fulfill on the second weekend of December this year: the holy day and Sunday. Using the chart below, one blue obligation and one violet obligation must each be fulfilled separately. Both obligations can be fulfilled on Saturday, just not both at the same Mass, and only in the times indicated. For the Saturday evening Mass, either obligation can be fulfilled, regardless of the liturgical celebration.


La Solemnidad de la Inmaculada Concepción - 8 de diciembre del 2018

En este año 2018, la Solemnidad de la Inmaculada Concepción cae en sábado. Este es un día de precepto y hay que asistir a misa, y como es la fiesta patronal de los Estados Unidos se celebra como día de precepto aunque caiga en sábado.

Por lo tanto, los católicos tienen la obligación de asistir a dos misas el segundo fin de semana de diciembre de este año: por el día de precepto y por el domingo. El cuadro a continuación muestra en azul la Solemnidad de la Inmaculada Concepción y en violeta la misa dominical y ambas deben cumplirse por separado. Ambas pueden cumplirse el sábado, pero no en la misma misa. La asistencia a la misa vespertina del sábado, cumplirá con una de las obligaciones, o celebraciones litúrgicas, pero no las dos.


Resources from USCCB for Catholic Schools and Faith Formation:

Respect Life. A resource to enhance students’ understanding of the science of human embryology. Contend Projects has developed a lesson plan for students in grades 7-10 based on the Carnegie Chart and Stages of Development.

Faith, Science and Reason. It is often cited that the number one reason that millennials leave the Church is due to their perception that the Church is opposed to science. To debunk this common misunderstanding, Bishop Robert Barron has launched a new program that engages the relationship of faith, science, and reason, using videos & text. Resources helpful for professional development as well as instruction, can be found here.

Opportunity to Recycle Laptop Computers

If any schools/parishes are replacing their old laptops with new ones. Please consider sending the old computers to a seminary in Ghana. Contact Fr. William Agyemang for more information.

Fr. William Agyemang
The Basilica of Immaculate Conception
74 West Main Street, Waterbury CT 06702
(203) 574 - 0017


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