E&C Newsletter

November 2023


Use the quicklinks to get you the information you need fast, without scrolling through the whole newsletter to find a link! Take a moment to review the quicklinks and make sure you are using all your catechetical resources!

Day of Fasting and Prayer- Friday, Oct. 27

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, is calling for a Day of Fasting and Prayer on Friday, October 27, 2023 for Peace in the World, particularly in the Middle East. Bishop Matano asks that we share this request of His Holiness with your parishioners. You can find a letter from Bishop Matano about this request and a prayer for peace from Pope Francis below.

Advent Retreat

This year we will join with pastoral associates (many of whom already have Faith Formation as part of their job responsibilities) for our Advent Retreat.

When: Thursday, December 7

Starting at 11:30am and ending with a Vigil Mass for the Holy Day at 4pm, where you can worship and NOT work! (You're welcome!)

Cost: $25 (includes lunch)

Registration: Click button below.

Presenters: Mary Jo DiNoto - Pastoral Associate at St. Kateri

Tricia Kull - Faith Formation Coordinator at Holy Trinity

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Please invite your catechists to join our second virtual catechist training of the year, offered on Wednesday, December 13, at 2:00 PM and then again at 7:00 PM. Catechists need only attend one session. These are free classes, open to catechists, catechetical professionals, and parents, and are offered in a class setting so that participants can engage and ask questions. Please click on the photos below to register for your desired session. Those who attend in person, will receive a special file of resources made available only to live participants!

NYS Eucharistic Congress ReCap

It was good to engage in the New York State Eucharistic Congress with so many of you around our diocese who joined us on a cold, and drizzly but JOY-FILLED weekend! From my place in the Exhibitor's Tent, where many of you stopped to say hi, I was able to meet and greet so many wonderfully faith-filled Catholics of all ages who saw great hope in the gathering and found the weekend to be a deeply spiritual experience.

My favorite moments:

  • Hearing the tinkle of a bell as the Eucharist was transferred at the end of the day and seeing the canopy aglow as the procession walked in the darkness of the night
  • Watching the throngs of faithful follow the monstrance through the sacred grounds
  • Listening to praise and worship music in the stillness of the rustic coliseum
  • Glimpsing families and young children interacting with religious and clergy all throughout the grounds
  • Hearing the prayers of people who shared their hopes for the Revival with me
  • Meeting the exhibitors who have devoted their lives to sharing the Gospel in many good and necessary ways
  • Trading rosaries with young teens
  • Talking to young adults about their joy in attending and their commitment to the faith
  • Witnessing the deep faith of each and everyone at Mass
  • Running into Katie Prejean McGrady outside the food tent and engaging in an impromptu chat, showing commemorative merchandise to Tim Glemkowski (Executive Director of the National Eucharistic Revival) and nearly bumping into Fr. Dave Dwyer of Busted Halo and then laughing as we both tried to turn the same way to right ourselves.

Though there were thousands present, the Shrine felt intimate, friendly, and filled with God's love whether we were workers in the vineyard, national voices, or the smallest children who would come to share a hello, receive a rosary, and continue on their way!

Were you there? I'd love to hear about your favorite moments! Send me an email leslie.barkin@dor.org

Let's continue to pray for the goodness of the Eucharistic Revival and its fruitfulness and the blessing of our time on that Holy Ground.

Here is the link to the SPEAKER videos if you want to view the presentations!

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2024 Nattional Catholic Committee on Scouting Scholarships

Encourage Scouts in your parish who are high school seniors in the 2023-2024 school year, dedicated to service and planning to go on to college to apply now for an NCCS Scholarship. The new online application is open now! Eligible applicants must be a practicing Catholic registered and actively involved with a Scout Troop, Venturing Crew, or Sea Scout Ship. They must also have earned the earned the Eagle Scout, Summit Award, or Quartermaster Award AND the Ad Altare Dei, Pope Pius XII, or Light is Life (Eastern Rite) Religious Emblem. The deadline to apply is March 1. Invite eligible Scouts to find out more and apply online now.

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Please pray for our delegation as we head to the National Catholic Youth Conference, Nov. 15-19

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Hands of Christ nominations for the Class of 2024 are being accepted now through December 1! Nomination materials can be found below.

The Hands of Christ is a recognition program, sponsored by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, in which the Bishop of Rochester affirms high school seniors of our parishes who have been the “Hands of Christ” in their churches, homes, schools and communities. Hands of Christ recipients:

  • Have consistently demonstrated a Christian attitude by word and example.
  • Have been actively involved in the parish as well as their school or community.
  • Have been a positive role model to their peers, younger children and adults.
  • Are a practicing Roman Catholic in a parish in the Diocese of Rochester and attend Mass.
  • Are currently a high school senior.

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Hands of Christ recogntion, please email Mark at Mark.Capellazzi@dor.org

Accompaniment of Young Hispanic Catholics who Live in Peripheries of Church and Society Webinar on November 1

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

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In this video, Don considers how Sacramental Preparation can sometimes end up being a carrot or a stick and offers a challenge to ensure that doesn't happen.

Confirmation 2023-2024

2023-24 Numbers & Celebrations

Please get your numbers into Don A.S.A.P. You can find the form at: https://forms.gle/jHTA4Z1uuXGs6X3t8. If you have tried and not been able to register, please contact Don right away. He can take the information and add you to the list.

Retreat Opportunities

Do you have a candidate who is unable to make your parish retreat? Parishes are invited to offer the following opportunities to anyone in Year One or Year Two:

  • Saturday, November 4 from 10am to 5pm at Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua.
  • Saturday, March 9 from 10am to 5pm at Camp Stella Maris in Livonia
  • Sunday, March 10 from 1pm to 8:00pm at Camp Stella Maris in Livonia

Cost: $35 per retreat, includes a meal (lunch on Saturday; dinner on Sunday) and Mass that families are invited to join.

Parishes are asked to register their young people as a group – just email Don at donald.smith@dor.org with the information below. Parishes are additionally asked to send a CASE trained adult to help with the logistics of the day.

Registration Information (emailed to donald.smith@dor.org)

  • Candidate Name(s) [up to 5]:
  • Candidate parents & contact information:
  • CASE Trained Adult:

When you register, you will receive an email with the following attachments:

  • health forms that must be brought to the retreat
  • youth code of conduct that must be brought to the retreat
  • invoice for billing

Please note, we understand the frustration of the group size limit. This is in place to ensure that a single group does not overwhelm the retreat experience for others. We are willing to work with you to make sure your group has its needs met. Just give Don a call!

Adult Initiation

Once someone reaches the age of reason (7 years old) and can seek the Sacraments on their own, the Church directs that the RCIA be used and the adult (even at 7) be fully initiated. Infant Baptism is solely for those who cannot speak for themselves.

In the coming months we expect to learn that the Vatican has made some changes to the proposed translation of the RCIA (soon to be OCIA). We will learn more about a timeline at the upcoming meeting of the USCCB in November, and once we have that we will begin scheduling updates and trainings for all parishes.

Be on the lookout for Rite of Election & Call to Continuing Conversion registrations in Advent!

Below you will find an overview of the various rites in the Adult Initiation process.

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Our sincerest condolences to former Catechetical Leader, Barb Matterazzo, whose husband, Bernie, went home to the Lord this month. We also pray for the repose of the soul of Ray Tette, dad of Catechetical Leader, Jessica Tette. We hold both families in prayer and wish them healing and deep peace.

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