E&C Newsletter

August 2023


Use the quicklinks to get you the information you need fast, without scrolling through the whole newsletter to find a link!


Don't forget to register for this IMPORTANT Upcoming Training

Do you regularly interact with parishioners or visitors?

Do you minister to teens and families?

Do you walk families through funerals, community crisis, or disaster?

Do you engage in social, youth, family, grief, senior or children's ministry?
Were you part of a worldwide pandemic in the last few years?

If you can answer yes, to any of these questions, you need to spend the day focused on Trauma-Informed Ministry. Learn from a licensed social worker who has navigated trauma situations working in both schools and organizations. We all need skills in this area! Please invite all staff members to attend!

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New Leader's Institute is August 29

This day is for all who are new, as well as returning to, Catechetical Ministry. It's an important day to gather new staff members for insight into policies, methods, materials and more! If you are hiring new staff this summer, please direct them to this orientation day, which will help start them off with the knowledge that will be most helpful in their new role. If you began a ministry position during this programming year, come and catch your breath and have the opportunity to ask questions, reflect on challenges and engage in fellowship with your peers in ministry! To join this free day, email Leslie at leslie.barkin@dor.org. We will gather at the Pastoral Center in Gates from 9 am to 3 pm. Lunch will be provided.

Professional Development Day Planned for September 14

Please make plans to join us ,Thursday, September 14, for a Professional Development Day.

During the morning session we will offer the first half of the Mental Health First Aid training. This training is ideal for all in parish ministries and we hope you will take the opportunity to learn some important strategies in providing pastoral care to parishioners of all ages! Our afternoon session will focus on Best Practices in Relational Ministry. During the three afternoon blocks you will have the opportunity to learn more about building a safe space for youth and young adults in your parish, sharing your discipleship journey with an authentic voice and connecting beyond the church doors. These will be great workshops taught by your peers in ministry who have expertise in these area! Spend the day growing in skills that will empower you to GROW your ministries!

Catechetical Sunday is Scheduled for September 17

Materials are now available from the USCCB for download!


Choosing a Bible for your Programs

an article from St. Mary's Press Blog
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The Summer 2023 Edition of The Bridge, the quarterly publication that showcases the latest news and events of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, is now available. It is filled with insightful articles and inspiring stories about the NCCS community and its members. You can read the summer edition of the Bridge by clicking the file below.

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The Annual Global Celebration of Youth and Young Adults is Scheduled for November 26

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In the video we take a look at St. Clare of Assisi's 4-fold approach to prayer (Gaze, Consider, Contemplate, and Imitate) that she outlines in her letter to St. Agnes of Prague. Then we look at how that same approach reflects what we do in catechesis.
Sacramental Snippet - St Clare

Confirmation Retreats

As part of an effort to help parishes, we are hosting three Confirmation Retreats this coming academic year. The first will be at Notre Dame in November, the other two will be at Camp Stella Maris in the spring.

These retreats are aimed at serving two needs: (1) providing parishioners who are unable to attend their parish retreat an option and (2) providing parishes with groups too small for a parish retreat an option. At this time, we are asking parishes to limit their participation to five candidates to ensure the opportunity is available for as many parishes as possible.

In order to ensure that we are meeting Safe Environment policies and that our team can focus on facilitating the retreat, we are asking that participating parishes be ready to send a CASE trained adult if you have parishioners attending. Registration will be forthcoming and will go through the parishes.

Please reach out to Don directly to discuss your parish’s needs, and how E&C can help meet them.

Notre Dame Retreat

Theme: Eucharistic People

When: Saturday, November 4 starting at 10:00 and ending with 5:00 Mass

Where: Notre Dame Retreat House

Cost: $35 per participant

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In Your "Free" Time

Have you thought about what you might do before summer ends to expand yourself? Summer is often a good opportunity to spend some time on you before programs start again. Maybe a walk in the summer air is enough, or getting together with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Or maybe you want to expand your mind a little. Might one of these options would be good for you?

Revive Parishes Courses


The Augustine Institute has a series of free courses that have great information and are presented well. Check it out!

Highlighted Courses:

  • A Christ-Filled Marriage that Lasts with Greg Schutte
  • Small Groups with Lisa Brenninkmeyer
  • The Foundations of Great Parish Communications with Dan Rogers

Five-Dollar Courses at dor.training


Want to learn about a new topic, or refresh on one you’ve already learned? We have short inexpensive courses that might spark an idea for future programing.

Highlighted Courses:

  • Baptism and Confirmation
  • Docility to the Holy Spirit
  • The Sacraments of Healing
  • The Practice of Prayer

Loyola Press Three Minute Retreat

Busy and only have a few minutes to recenter and refocus? Try this!


Abbey of the Genesee Liturgy of the Hours

Up for a trip to Piffard? Consider taking some time for yourself and praying with the monks!


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A warm welcome to Carlene Yunits who is joining the the Faith Formation staff at Our Lady of Peace in Geneva. We'd also like to welcome Lisa Milano on her start at St. Joe's and Holy Spirit.

We welcome Julie Bailey back from leave! So good to have you in our community once again!

A fond farewell is wished to Carlo Stebbings as he transitions to new ministry opportunities, and to Mary Olsen..you will both be missed! Emily Kwiatkowski will be assuming a new role in the Diocese of Buffalo. Emily, you will be missed as well!

We also wish the very best to Cathy Meyer and Amanda Rayburn who transitioned out of catechetical ministry and into other roles at their parishes...don't be strangers! You are lifelong members of our community!

About us

Leslie Barkin, Diocesan Director of the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis x1244

Contact for information on all newsletters, evangelization, training, consultation

Mark Capellazzi, Project Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry x1375

Contact for youth ministry/young adult or Catholic scouting consultation/website questions, Certification process

Don Smith, Coordinator of Sacramental Catechesis and Family Life x1243

Contact for Sacramental information, Fully Engaged, and DOR.Training questions