Archdiocese of Hartford
Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis
September 6, 2017
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News and Events

Welcome Lisa!

Please join us in welcoming a new staff member to the Office of Education, Evangelization and Catechesis (OEEC), Lisa Orchen, M.Div., who will be serving as Archdiocesan Director of Catechetical Initiatives. One of Lisa’s primary areas of responsibility will include the adult formation efforts for the Catholic elementary and secondary schools. Lisa Orchen has been serving in pastoral and catechetical ministry in the Archdiocese of Hartford for over 20 years. Most recently, Lisa has led the Catholic School Outreach Initiative for STEP (Satellite Theological Education Program) in the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame, offering adult faith formation opportunities to Catholic School teachers and administrators all over the United States. Lisa has a B.A. and Master of Divinity from the University of Notre Dame.

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Catholic Religious Emblems Training

All Cub, Boy, Venture and Sea Scout Leaders are invited to learn about the religious emblem programs available for all Catholic Boy Scouts: Light of Christ, Parvuli Dei, Ad Altare Dei, Pope Pius and Adult Awards. For more information about these awards, click here. Training for Catholic Girl Scouts is also available. If you are interested, please contact Jennifer McClintock at

September 9, 2017 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield
$10.00 per person; Register here.

Boy Scout Chaplain Aide Training for All Faiths

Unit Leaders are encouraged to send at least one scout from every unit to be trained as a Chaplin Aide. (For more information on the Chaplain Aide duties, go to Training will be held on September 9, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield. $10.00 per person Click here to register.

Catholic Scouting Retreat Day

The Catholic Committee on Scouting announces the annual retreat for all Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. This is a wonderful experience for the scouts to come together, learn about their faith with their peers, and work on earning their emblems. The retreat will be on October 21, 2017, from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at St. Bridget School, Manchester. Cost is only $10.00 per person. For more information or to register click here.



"Engaging Children with Disabilities in Faith Formation" Catechetical leaders and catechists are invited to attend a one day workshop entitled, Embrace, Engage, Empower: Catechesis for Children with Special Needs, on October 28, 2017 at St. Mark the Evangelist Parish Center, West Hartford, from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Registration is now open! Click here to register.

For more information or questions, contact Kelly Henderschedt at or 860-242-5573 or visit the Special Needs page of our website.

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Registration is now open – register today for the inaugural Archdiocesan Women’s Conference! This year’s theme, “Be Strong and Courageous!” is taken from Joshua 1:9, and provides the foundation for highlighting the ways that women of faith inspire each other and strengthen our Church and world. The event will take place on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the Hartford Marriott Downtown in Hartford, CT and run from 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. – a full day of inspiration, spiritual nourishment, and sisterhood. Visit the Women’s Conference page of our website for more information about the day’s agenda, keynote/breakout speakers, and to register now!

Facs.pngArchbishop Leonard P. Blair and the Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools (FACS) cordially invite you to attend the Archbishop’s Columbus Day Breakfast, on Friday, October 6, 2017, 7:30 a.m., at the WoodWinds, Branford, CT. For more information, click here. For a printable flyer, click here.


Be Brilliant to your Public Audiences


Over the next few months, we will be exploring the role of a Catholic school principal in the light of Pope Francis' call for missionary discipleship. A summary of this article will give you the necessary understanding of the new evangelization and perhaps encourage you to delve into the full length article. Click here to read more...

The Nine Content Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Website

oops.jpgEmily Cretella of Cursive Content Marketing helps us discover (and avoid!) the key errors often made on websites that prevent visitors from reading, engaging or staying on the site. Learn more…

Creating a Welcoming School Atmosphere

In an article in Education World, Gary Hopkins provides great ideas for creating a welcoming school environment to attract prospective families and retain current ones. Many of these ideas could be adapted for use by parishes as well. Read more...

On Being a Missionary Disciple

But what does it actually mean to be a missionary disciple? Is it just for “religious” Catholics, or does that apply to me too? Read more...

A Community of Catholic Women: The Inaugural Archdiocesan Women’s Conference

Recently, a curious mind inquired of me: why a Women’s Conference? My immediate response was simple: because community matters. Read more...

V Encuentro News


We are grateful to all those who participated in the Parish Encuentros over the summer in preparation for the Archdiocesan Encuentro on September 16, 2017.

To view more V Encuentro pictures, click here.
Para ver más fotografías sobre el V Encuentro presione aquí.

Felicitaciones a las Parroquias que celebraron su Encuentro Parroquial St Joaquim, New Britain – Sábado 29 de julio del 2017

Upcoming Workshops

Virtual.jpgLiturgy Training Publications Virtual Workshops™ 2017 Teachers and Catechists Series

These virtual workshops are designed specifically for teachers and catechists who work with children and are an interactive and practical form of continuing education. Each workshop is only $10. Register here.

From Mass to Mission: Teaching Your Students about Mass and Discipleship
Explore the role of ongoing mystagogy as you discuss the various ways to serve as a witness of liturgical discipleship for your students.

October 17, 2017 – 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Preparing Masses with Children: 15 Easy Steps
Teach the language of the liturgy with knowledge and confidence by including your students in the preparation of the Mass. Reinforce our common Catholic identity by working together to break open the Word, select the music, and serve in liturgical ministries.

September 27, 2017 – 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Leading and Animating Prayer in Your Classroom
Foster active participation in classroom prayer through proven techniques to inspire and empower children of all ages to prepare and lead prayer. Discover how to create an environment that transforms your classroom into a prayerful space.

November 8, 2017 - 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

OEEC Faith Formation Series: A Resource for Parish Leaders, CBS Graduates and Missionary Disciples

Stephen J. Binz, biblical scholar, award-winning author, popular speaker and international educator, will present a workshop, Peter the Apostle and the Leadership of Pope Francis for two groups:

  • Thursday, September 7, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield – open to the public
  • Friday, September 8, 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon, St. Anthony, New Haven for catechetical leaders, youth ministers and catechists.

The presentation of Peter the Apostle in the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Letters of Peter inspires a vision for leadership in the Church. Pope Francis has taken up the legacy of Peter and has called the Church to be renewed. To register, click here.

STEP Courses for September and October

All catechists, catechetical leaders, Catholic school teachers, and everyone interested in deepening their faith are invited to take a STEP Course. Theology courses offered by STEP at the University of Notre Dame begin in September. The Archdiocese of Hartford has a partnership with STEP which provides a 50% discount so that the cost of the course per individual is $49.50. Course participants gain a rich overview of Catholic beliefs and faith practices and grow in their personal faith.

Courses Starting on October 2

Courses Starting on October 16

Please register for classes on the STEP home page. For more information, contact Archdiocesan Director of Catechetical Initiatives, Lisa Orchen at

​Adult Faith Formation

Adult Confirmation

Please visit the Adult Confirmation page of our website, a regularly updated area wherein you may:

  • See where Adult Confirmation classes are being offered and contact catechists to register
  • Share information about your parish’s upcoming classes
  • Register for the Fall Adult Confirmation ceremony
  • Access resources from our summer Adult Confirmation training workshops

Please note that we are now registering for our Adult Confirmation ceremony, which will take place on November 6, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at Saint Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield.


Summer is rapidly ending, and so we look toward a new pastoral year, which includes major events in the life of the RCIA process. We are offering a daylong training opportunity for all RCIA coordinators and team members on September 23, 2017 at Holy Angels Center, Meriden, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. This training day will focus on “Introduction to Full Initiation”. Please visit the OEEC storefront to register. Cost will be $10/person and includes lunch.

Save the date for our January 20 workshop on “Looking Toward Lent”! Please visit the RCIA page of our website to see more important 2017-2018 dates to save.

Catholic Biblical School (CBS)

CBS Logo SM.jpgThe CBS Student Online Portal can be found here. All class notifications including inclement weather notices can be accessed through the Student Portal.

More CBS Continuing Education

Save the Date: November 14, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Spirituality of Hebrews (Fr. Matera)

Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Youth-in-Hart-logo, Transparent.gifAll youth & young adult leaders/ministers in the Archdiocese of Hartford are invited to the quarterly Youth in Hart gatherings. *All parishes are encouraged to have at least one representative at each
gathering. *Registration is free but required for all meetings. First gathering: Friday, September 8, 2017 at St. Anthony Parish, New Haven, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Topic: “The Vision of Pope Francis for the Young Church” Featured Speaker: Mr. Stephen Binz, author & biblical scholar To register please click here.


Presented by the Center for Ministry Development

Date: Friday October 13, 2017
For: Youth Ministers, Catechetical Leaders, Confirmation Catechists, Clergy, & more!
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: St. Jerome Church, 1010 Slater Rd., New Britain, CT 06053
Cost: $54 pp (cost includes workshop materials, lunch, and refreshments) Discounts available!
Please contact: Miriam Hidalgo for more information.
For workshop details:
To register: click here

Bulk Orders of Bibles

Is your parish interested in purchasing youth bibles or the YouCat (Youth Catechism)? To help lower the costs, the OEEC has been working with publishers and would be willing to organize a bulk order, throughout the Archdiocese. The more we order together, the higher the discount we will receive. If you are interested, please email Jennifer at

Help Needed!

ab026905bb488ad0.jpgDuring the month of November, the Saint Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Manchester will be preparing Hope Bags with the prison ministry in Hartford. We are requesting hard candy donations from anyone willing to help. Please contact Jill Costa at 860-242-5573 or for a list of candies needed. If your parish youth would like to participate in the preparation of the Hope Bags, contact Jennifer at or Steve DiMotta at


Metanoia Retreat

We will offer two versions of this transformational weekend retreat: one for high school students and another one for young adults (ages 18-35). Retreats are offered in Spanish as well. Please visit the website for more information!

Upcoming Retreats For Youth:

  • October 20-22, 2017
  • February 16-18, 2018 (en español)
  • April 13-15, 2018

For Young Adults:

  • December 15-17, 2017 (en español)
  • June 8-10, 2018

Upcoming Events: Two Months at a Glance

Here is a handy list of our upcoming events for the next two months.


  • September 8: Youth in Hart, St. Anthony, New Haven, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • September 9: Adult Confirmation Classes begin, various locations
  • September 9: Catholic Scouting Training, St. Thomas Seminary, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • September 11: Archdiocesan School Board Meeting, OEEC, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • September 13: AIAC Executive Committee Meeting, Corpus Christi School, Wethersfield, 5:00 p.m.
  • September 16: Archdiocesan V Encuentro, OEEC/St. Thomas Seminary, all day, click here for more information
  • September 23: RCIA Training, Holy Angels Center, Meriden, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • September 25: Catholic Educators Curriculum Conference, All Elementary Schools, Aqua Turf, Plantsville, 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • September 26: Catholic Educators Curriculum Conference, East Catholic High School, Manchester, 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
  • September 27: Workshop: Preparing Masses with Children: 15 Easy Steps, on-line course
  • September 28: New Elementary Administrators Meeting, OEEC, 9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.


  • October 4: Catholic Educators Faith Conference - All Elementary Schools, Aqua Turf, Plantsville, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • October 11: Principals Advisory Counsel for Elementary (PACE) School meeting, OEEC, 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • October 16: HOPES Dinner - Aqua Turf, Plantsville, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. (Public Event/Registration required)
  • October 17: Catholic Educators Faith Conference - All Secondary Schools, Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center, West Hartford, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • October 18: Asbestos Annual Awareness Training (E/S), OEEC, 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
  • October 21: Catholic Scouting Retreat Day (Girl/Boy Scouts), St. Bridget School, Manchester, 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (Mass at 4:00 p.m.)
  • October 24: New Elementary Administrators Meeting, OEEC, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • October 28: Embrace, Engage, Empower: Catechesis of Children with Special Needs, St. Mark Parish Center, West Hartford, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

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