E&C Newsletter

July 2021


Year of St. Joseph Dad Jokes

Why couldn't Jonah trust the ocean?

(the answer is at the end of the newsletter)

Upcoming Events


In June, we gathered to refuel. This August 12, join us for a day of courses to recalibrate and set the course for ministering in the future. The dictionary definition of recalibrate is: "a fresh point of reference to recalibrate the navigation system" and while it pertains to cars, it couldn't make more sense as we look at the year(s) ahead. Join us. We will gather for the day at St. Patrick's Church in Victor; attend the whole day for 5 credit hours toward certification or ongoing professional development or attend a few courses that fit your need and schedule. It will be a day well spent!

See the flyer below for more information!

Deanery Meetings to RESTART in September

We will be putting deanery meetings back on the calendar this year. All regions should identify a convener and conveners should plan to attend a luncheon meeting on Wednesday, September 1 from 11:30 -1:30 at the Pastoral Center.

Thursday Meetings with E&C

** We are going to take a break from Zoom meetings in July! We will go back to our regular schedule of two Thursday's a month, in August!

JULY 25 is the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly Proclaimed by Pope Francis!

Now is the time to plan! How will you observe this new national day during a time when the older member of our communities need more support than ever after an emotional and isolating year? This day coincides with the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Jesus' grandparents. It's theme is "I am with you Always" from the Gospel of Matthew. We'd love to hear about how you plan to celebrate; it's a great opportunity to evangelize both within and outside of the parish and we continue to move toward a safe re-gathering of people during these latter stages of the pandemic. Click on the links to bring you to our Grandparents' pages, with many ideas for engaging the parish in activities to celebrate and span the generations!

Getting Back on Track

With Pope Francis' release of "ANTIQUUM MINISTERIUM": Instituting the Ministry of Catechist, there is both a diocesan and a worldwide recommitment to formalized formation of our catechists and ongoing formation of our Catechetical Leaders and Faith Formation staffs. This is an important aspect of our role in faith formation, as we strive to transmit the faith both accurately and with the ability to provide an encounter with Jesus Christ. Our continued formation in theology as well as practical methods and adolescent development enhances our ability to reach both the head and heart of our students and families, and plant a seed that can developed into a lifelong faith.

During the last 18 months of the pandemic, we, as a community of faith formation staff have worked hard to update catechetical methods to meet the changing needs of those we serve. The dedication to this professional development on behalf of the field has been admirable.

As we move forward to meeting less with one another on Zoom, and re-establishing more regular patterns on our ministerial life, it is also important for us to get back to formalizing our own professional development. Over the summer months we will be contacting you to see where you stand in your professional development and begin, with you, a file to track that ongoing formation. Please be reminded that every catechetical leader's goal should be to achieve either certification or an academic degree in an appropriate field of study that supports your role as a catechetical leader. We are also taking many steps to help you form your catechists and make that part of your job description both more accessible and less taxing. Below you will see a PDF form that we ask you fill out and send into us by the end of the summer. This form will enable us to send your catechists monthly training through the new ECHO newsletter that will launch September 1. It will also give us an opportunity to celebrate achievements among your catechists and allow them to feel that they are part of the greater field of catechists working around our twelve counties to build the Church in the Diocese of Rochester. We look forward to beginning a more formal journey of the Ministry of Catechist with all of you; these are exciting times to make positive changes in our programs and parishes! Please be assured that the form isn't a way to check up on your and see whether or not your catechists have been appropriately trained. It is, instead, a way for us to gauge a starting point and plan for us to help all parishes throughout the diocese get the training resources that are most needed; we are here to support YOU!

Looking at What's Out There

Interesting Summer Programming Idea

Have you seen this? It's a cute summer programming idea from Loyola Press that would be ideal for groups of families or kids, either synchronous or asynchronous.

The Domestic Church Project

The pandemic taught us about the importance of the domestic church. This new project from the stars of Catholic Sprouts is available as a parish program to support and strengthen domestic churches in your parish. We found this webinar from the Archdiocese of Boston that explains it well.
Domestic Church Project Webinar

Young Adult Ministry Update

Young Adult Mentoring for Mission

Wednesday, July 21 at 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 24 at 10:00 a.m.

St. Boniface Convent

The Sisters of St. Joseph and some great ministry leaders are looking to create a new young adult community rooted in mentoring and mission! The goal is to build relationships with young adults around the work of justice in the world. You are invited to share your input during one of the conversations being held about this new initiative. Please also extend this invitation to any young adults you may know who might be interested.

20s/30s Ministry: A Guide for Parishes

This book provides practical ideas/strategies for creating and growing a parish young adult ministry. You can learn more about the book here. We have a few copies available!​ If you are interested in a copy, email Mark at Mark.Capellazzi@dor.org.


All of us have something to discern! The Called & Gifted program provides valuable tools for discerning how to use the gifts or charisms God has given us to live out our vocations. The program will explore what those charisms are and what they look like in action. Someone out there is waiting for what you have been given to give! The Office of Evangelization & Catechesis is looking to form a cohort of young adults who are interested in going through this program. More details to come! If you or someone you know is interested in participating, click here.
The World Awaits Your Yes!


NCYC 2021 Promo Video


-Location & time for kick-off gathering finalized!
Sunday, November 14
Parish of the Holy Family (Gates)
2:00 p.m. (will conclude at 5:00 p.m. with Mass)
-Work has begun on the NCYC guide for parishes. The guide will include opportunities being offered by parishes during the conference and resources for how to engage young people in the NCYC experience.
-Diocesan virtual participation ticket packages are on sale! The cost ($150 per person) of the package includes the NCYC virtual participation ticket (at member pricing), kick-off gathering admission, and diocesan NCYC gear. Click here for more information.
-Our fourth NCYC committee meeting was held in late June. A recording of the committee meeting can be found here.
We continue to ask parishes to complete the RSVP/questionnaire by clicking the button below! This will help us plan the kick-off gathering, put together the parish resource guide, and put other participant items (i.e. swag) together.

An Important Resource from the USCCB

The return to the Sunday Mass obligation is in place. How have your numbers been at Mass? This guide provides a great opportunity for parishes to consider the paths they will take to invite members back to worship and begin outreach to new members.

What's New?

Parish Happenings

  • Best wishes to all our priests in their new assignments!
  • Best wishes to Jeanne Pavlina and Yolanda Nunez who will be retiring from their roles as Faith Formation Coordinators!
  • A big welcome to Emily Kwiatkowski who has joined the staff at Peace of Christ Parish and will be serving as the Director of Catechetical Programs and Youth Ministry!
  • Best of Luck to Melissa Mang who is joining the staff at St. Lawrence in Greece as Director of Faith Formation!
  • Welcome back to Mary Ann Kozak who will be serving as Faith Formation Coordinator at Holy Cross and Saint Anthony and Andra Benson who will serve as Faith Formation Coordinator for All Saints in the North East Tompkins County Roman Catholic parishes!
  • Best wishes to Rich Rasmussen in his new role as Director of Multi-Parish Faith Formation at Immaculate Conception and St. Catherine of Siena in Ithaca!

We'd like to know about transitions in your parish. If you have retirements, etc. or new hires, please contact our office! Do you have something you'd like our Faith Formation community to know about? Share it and we can post it here!

New in Our Lending Library!

We have new resources for community building as you begin to gather more and more in person with those you minister to! Contact our office to borrow these great team-building materials:

Here are 10 ways to use The Family Zone newsletter in your formation ministry during the Month of July!

  • Encourage a virtual field trip to look at statues of St. Joseph that have canonical coronations. Then, encourage families to create their own statues of St. Joseph as a summer project and create a gallery of images they make! (July 11)
  • Have a summer story hour on the lawn, with one of the children’s books on inclusivity. Then, provide some “welcome back to church” activities. (July 11)
  • Build community at Mass by creating a nametag Sunday, a greet your neighbor opportunity or lemonade outside after Mass to socialize. (July 11)
  • Host a campfire night and provide time for silent listening and prayer. (July 11)
  • Invite families to paint a rock with a cheerful phrase of welcome and create a rock walkway for parishioners to allow them to feel the warmth of your welcome (July 11)
  • Create a Grandparent celebration complete with story time and story telling (choose a book from the list to share then invite grandparents to share their own stories from childhood). (July 25)
  • Encourage kids to find the three items in the Mass connection section to win a prize! (July 25)
  • Invite parishioners to write their own summer prayer like the Warmth of Summer Sun and post them in the bulletin or online to let the voices of the parish be shared and create community (July 25)
  • Encourage families to travel to the Our Lady of Victory National Shrine and Basilica. Create a scavenger hunt for families to explore on their own. You can use the 3D tour on their website to create the scavenger hunt or visit it yourself 😊(July 25)
  • Have kids in the parish use the interview list to find out more about their grandparents or an elderly friend. Share the wisdom in an online or printed gallery! (July 25)

Social Media Crash Course

From the Catholic Apostolate Center! Learn how social media can enhance your ministry


New in Social Media Posts

Get ready for the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly with our new posts

Explore the Saints throughout the summer with these posts

Challenge families to engage as they head back to Mass with these posts

You can click on the information circle or the three dots on your phone to get a caption that can be used when posting many of the images!

Don't forget the social media posts for the Year of St. Joseph and the Year of the Family here.

New on Pinterest

NEW boards on Sacred Art, Shrines and Pilgrimages, and Church Architecture

New on YouTube playlists

We've got new videos in our playlists on:

Catechist Formation

Changing Course in a Post-Pandemic Church


Catholic Grandparenting

New in the SharePoint

New on our Website

We have updated our Evangelization Tab. Follow the link to explore changes to many categories under Evangelization including Grandparents, Men's and Women's Conferences, Post COVID Evangelization resources, and Lay Ministry. Is your staff working hard to welcome people back into active and in-person participation in the Mass? Our Evangelization page is a good starting point!

Going, Going, Gone!

We have SO many resources to give away! These are FREE Resources you can add to your parish or office library. Our move from the basement to a small third floor room has forced us to get rid of many duplicate or out of date resources but those we are sharing are still viable for ministry today! Contact Katey if you are interested in these or would like to set up an appointment to view any resources! Resources not claimed will be recycled.

Year of St. Joseph Dad joke ANSWER:

Because he knew there was something fishy about it!

About us

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

Katey Bourne, Project Coordinator of Evangelization and Catechesis x1492

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

Don Smith, Coordinator of Sacramental Catechesis and Family Life x1243