Catechetical Leaders

“On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: "Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you… nothing is more solid, profound, secure, meaningful and wisdom-filled than that initial proclamation."

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium

Summer Enrichment Series

As we engage in the work of creating post-pandemic ministries for children, youth and families, the OEEC will be hosting a virtual SUMMER WEBINAR SERIES with national speakers through LifelongFaith. These will be 90 minute presentations with group interaction, opportunities to collaborate and application activities. This series also includes resources created to accompany each webinar and assist parishes in designing faith formation. Videos from each presentation will also be available after the presentation to share with your team and volunteers.

Following is a list of the webinars being offered:

  • Building Community and Relationships in the Post-Pandemic World
    • Tuesday, June 15, 2021 (10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)
    • Presenter: Jane Angha

      The Building Community and Relationships webinar inspires and equips leaders in engaging children, youth, adults, and families as they return from a time of hybrid or at home learning. So many things have happened since the pandemic began and each of us and our ministries are forever changed. We will address those changes, discover what was successful and help create a path forward to welcome, offer hospitality, build relationships and create community. We will identify the scriptural and communal foundations of hospitality, assess current efforts and look for new opportunities as we reimagine our ministries and serve those in the faith community. The webinar will offer tools and resources to assess, innovate and design simple, effective and practical ways to create a community of welcome, hospitality and engagement that brings together everyone in the community. If we get this right, all our ministry efforts will be more successful and impactful from the start!

      Jane Angha MTS is the founder of Ministry Blueprints, a company dedicated to hospitality, welcome and engagement training for faith communities. Jane served a Director of Faith Formation and Youth Ministry in Catholic parishes for over 20 years, worked as Project Coordinator for Young Neighbors in Action with the Center for Ministry Development and as a Diocesan Coordinator for Young Adult ministry in the Diocese of Green Bay. She is a national speaker, consultant, coach, teacher and trainer as well as a national conference speaker. Her website is


  • Designing Children and Family Faith Formation for the Post-Pandemic World
    • Tuesday, July 13, 2021  (10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)
    • Presenter: Denise Utter

      The Children’s Faith Formation webinar engages leaders in designing faith formation with children (0-10 years old) and parents that puts the primary emphasis on their lives and needs today, and how to best nurture their grow in faith and discipleship. The webinar presents a holistic approach to faith formation with children by incorporating intergenerational, family, and age group experiences; and presents practices and strategies for designing faith formation that reinvents current programming and develops new and innovative approaches to children’s faith formation.

      Denise Utter is a freelance consultant, writer and a speaker and has been coaching with Vibrant Faith since 2018. She has worked in ministry and education for 30 years. Denise believes her work in parish and diocesan ministries informs her work today. She loves to inspire parish and diocesan leaders to reimagine faith formation, put families at the center of faith, and provide innovative approaches to faith formation and invites leaders to view the formation of parents from the perspective of calling. Denise has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union.


  • Designing Adolescent Faith Formation for the Post –Pandemic World

    • Tuesday, August 17, 2021 (10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.)
    • Presenter: Sarah Jarzembowski

      The Adolescent & Emerging Adult Faith Formation webinar engages leaders in designing faith formation with youth and emerging adults (high school through the 20s) that puts the primary emphasis on their lives and needs today, and how to best nurture their grow in faith and discipleship. This webinar explores the unique life tasks, needs, interests, and spiritual journeys of youth and emerging adults today; and presents practices and strategies for designing faith formation in today’s that reinvents current programming and develops new and innovative approaches to faith formation.

      Sarah Jarzembowski is a native of Philadelphia, with a BA from Wagner College in New York, she began her church career in the Archdiocese of Chicago where she met her husband Paul and is currently working toward her Masters of Pastoral Studies with the Loyola Institute for Ministry. Sarah began her ministry volunteering for religious education in her home parish and participating in retreat leadership at a young age. Sarah has worked in youth and young adult ministries in the parish, college and diocesan levels including the Diocese of Joliet and most recently for the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Sarah has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops across the country.

Click here to download a flyer.

Registration information will be coming soon!

Directives for Returning to In-Person Instruction

Please click here for information about returning to in-person catechesis this fall. Click here for Directivies for Return to In-Person Faith Formation and click here to access the template for completing your parish action plan if you are choosing to gather children in person this fall.

Resources for Talking to Children About Racism

The recent death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer last week has the nation recognizing that racial injustices still exist in our country and need to be addressed. The Catholic Church stands in solidarity against all forms of injustice. Children easily become aware of what is happening in our world and can become confused, frightened and upset. 

Coronavirus Response: For Parish Catechetical Leaders 

With the growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the changes to scheduled faith formation classes, it is necessary to think of alternative ways to help children and their families continue to grow in faith as religious education classes may be suspended during this time of caution.

There is an abundance of evidence to support the importance of involving families in the faith formation of their children, so this time away from classes can actually be a rich opportunity to resource parents so they can develop faith practices in the home. We as catechetical leaders can use this situation to take advantage of the abundance of digital resources that are available to families to help facilitate encounters with Jesus.

First, the OEEC has issued a guidance document for matters of faith formation in these times. We recommend reviewing this document. 

Additionally, please feel free to pass on the below resources to those in your programs with encouragement that now more than ever, we need to lean into the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ for prayers of peace and comfort.

For Catechists/PCLs:  

Looking for more resources to use during this time of at-home and virtual formation? 

Click the links below for resources for: 

Catholic School Teachers
... Coronavirus-Specific Issues 
Families, Children, and Teens at Home 
Everyone (Prayers, Libraries, etc.) 
RCIA Teams
Youth Ministry 

Now that the Archdiocese of Hartford Pastoral Planning changes have been set into motion, many of you will be restructuring your parish Religious Education programs. Whether your need is evaluating curriculum, utilizing new resources, redesigning new programs, or planning a retreat for catechists from your newly merged programs, the OEEC is available to assist your efforts. Below is a list of things we hope you will find helpful: If you are looking for new textbooks for your program, you can click here to see a list of the current texts approved by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
  • The Archdiocesan Religious Education Standards were revised and approved by Archbishop Blair in 2011 and are available here for you to use as a resource and guide.

Resources for Times of Tragedy

It is so very difficult to talk with children and youth about tragedies and violence in our world, especially violence against young people. Below are resources which will help you in having these conversations with those you minister to. It is during these tragic times that we are called to bring the light of Christ to those who are saddened and faced with hopelessness. To see a list of resources, check out the Catechist Resources page.


Kelly Henderschedt
Archdiocesan Director of Faith Formation
860-242-5573 ext. 2663