E&C Newsletter


Merry Christmas and May Your New Year Be Blessed with Good Health, and the Hope, Peace and Joy that Comes from Life in Christ Jesus!


Upcoming Events

Please continue to follow the CDC and your local guidelines when gathering! With winter months approaching and flu season combining with COVID, it may be necessary to adopt a hybrid platform to keep families safe.

Thursday Zooms begin again on January 27!

Join the meeting here:


Teaching and Leading Prayer : Catechist Formation

Wednesday, Jan. 26th 2022 at 7-8pm

This is an online event.

Catechetical Leaders, Catechists and Parents are invited to join us for this one hour session on prayer! This is a new endeavor from our office and we hope to provide at least one online Catechist Formation session per quarter, to assist you in training your volunteers. This first session is free, as will be all Zoom sessions. In-person sessions will eventually be offered regionally, for parishes to connect and share sessions for their catechists! Advanced Registration is required!

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.

When: Jan 26, 2022 19:00 Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend

The next Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend is planned for January 14-16, 2022 at the Notre Dame Retreat House in Canandaigua, NY. Register online at wwme.org

The WWME weekend teaches communication techniques such as active listening, listening with the heart and empathy towards your spouse's feelings. It is based on the sacrament of Holy Matrimony and expresses the importance of love in the union and encourages this love be taken out into the world in various ministries to serve God by strengthening the couples and families in the church.

The Marriage Encounter gives busy couples much needed time together to focus on each other and deepen their communication. After the Experience, couples often return to their life and families refreshed with renewed commitment to each other.

Young Adult Ministry Update

The World Awaits Your Yes!

Called & Gifted

Called & Gifted™ has been used since 1993 by over 100,000 Catholics and other Christians around the world. It is designed to help Christians discern the presence of charisms in their lives. Charisms, or spiritual gifts, are special abilities given to all Christians by the Holy Spirit to give them power both to represent Christ and to be a channel of God's goodness for people. Whether extraordinary or ordinary, all charisms ought to be exercised in the service of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2003). This three-part process can be a great resource for parish young adult ministries in the new year. For more information, click the button below or contact Mark here.

Upcoming Parish Young Adult Opportunities

The young adult ministry from St. Pius Tenth Church (Chili) have some great opportunities for young adults to gather in faith in the new year! The opportunities in January begin at 7:00 p.m. and will take place at the parish. For more information, click here.

Thursday, January 6
Respect Life Rosary Making

Young adults will make Rosaries and pray a Rosary for Life in preparation for the March for Life.

Thursday, January 20
Young Adult Game Night
Young adults are invited to bring their favorite game(s).

Find additional information & opportunities for young adults

Catholic Scouting

Catholic Scouting Recognition Ceremony Update

The continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the number of scouts earning religious emblems and other factors have provided an opportunity to discern how to best recognize scouts who have earned religious emblems. At this time, the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis is not planning on hosting the Catholic Scouting Recognition Ceremony in early February. We will continue to monitor the situation and are open to hosting the ceremony at a later date if circumstances change. In the meantime, Mark Capellazzi is willing to visit parishes who are interested in having him present religious emblems to scouts at a ceremony or Mass. For more information, click here.

Adult Recognition

There are several recognitions for adults that have made positive contributions to the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, especially when it comes to incorporating faith into the scouting experience. You can find nomination forms and more information about these adult recognitions here.

Scout Sunday 2022

Boy Scouts of America

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Boy Scout Sunday Ideas

Girl Scouts of the USA

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Girl Scout Sunday Ideas


Hands of Christ 2022

The Hands of Christ is a recognition program, sponsored by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, in which the Most Reverend Bishop Salvatore R. Matano affirms high school seniors of our parishes who have been the “Hands of Christ” in their churches, homes, schools and communities. Seniors will be recognized at one of three diocesan recognition ceremonies. The Office of Evangelization & Catechesis will share detailed ceremony information with seniors' families via email and mail. Basic ceremony information (including pre-registration) can be found here.

2022 Ceremony Information (ALL CEREMONIES BEGIN AT 7:00 P.M.)

  • Tuesday, February 15: St. Lawrence Church (Greece)
  • Wednesday, February 16: All Saints Parish- St. Mary Church (Corning)
  • Thursday, February 17: St. Lawrence Church (Greece)

Steubenville Youth Conference - Summer 2022

Peace of Christ Parish (Rochester) is planning to participate in the Steubenville Youth Conference this coming July, 2022 (either Main Campus 4: July 8-10 or Main Campus 5: July 15-17) and wanted to open it up to other parishes in the Diocese of Rochester who may also be interested in bringing a group. It might be a good opportunity to share transportation expenses and allow youth from across the Diocese to meet, form connections and grow together in faith. The youth conference is open to incoming 9th graders (Fall 2022) - graduating seniors (Spring 2022.) For more information, contact Emily Kwiatkowski here.

Sacramental Snippets

Sacramental Snippet: The Sacrifice of Christ

RCIA Registration for Rite of Election

As we come to Advent and the Rite of Welcoming for many parishes, we are also looking toward the Rite of Election in Lent. In order to help us plan, please register your catechumen and candidates here: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=fh8zfumab&oeidk=a07eiv16y9k42a89e9e

If you are not in charge of the RCIA, your pastor and RCIA coordinator should have received the link as well, but please share with them too.

What's New?

Parish Happenings

  • Best of Luck to Katey Bourne in her new role as Technical Coordinator/Assistant supporting Communications and the Office of the Permanent Diaconate. Those of you who have benefitted from Katey's technical expertise, know how much she will be missed in our department!
  • A warm welcome to Liana Wolford, who will be taking a new role at the Churches of the Assumption and Resurrection in Fairport, focusing on youth ministry and Confirmation.
  • We send a warm welcome to Amanuel Malik, the new Faith Formation Director of Holy Cross and St. Charles Borromeo. We wish him well in his new role!

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! We love to share your good news!

Available in Our Lending Library!

Great new book by Tim Hogan, PsyD : The Gift of Cultural Hurricanes: Tools to Rebuild Authentic Spirituality (RCL BENZIGER) Dr. Tim Hogan looks at the current state of faith in our country amidst much change and upheaval. His book is sectioned into three parts: Recovering the Present Moment, Restoring the Virtue of Gratitude, and Reclaiming Emotionally Intelligent Love. Each section reflects on the issues of our current day, connects to our Catholic faith and provides guided experiences of prayer and journaling. This is a great resource for leaders to use themselves and then pass on the experience to others they serve! There is hope on the horizon and we have a golden opportunity to reconnect with those who are seeking God in the midst of an uncertain world.

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

1. Encourage a Family Day of Service around Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Pray with families before and after service, review Catholic Social Teaching using the document from Catholic Relief Services and ask them to recognize Jesus in their midst as they serve. Hold a debriefing discussion on that topic when the service is completed. (1/9/22)

2. Host a children's story hour in person or on Zoom close to the Feast of The Baptism of Our Lord. Share the story "Water Come Down," and invite families to reflect on their Baptism stories. Take some time to involve families in some of the Wonder questions around the Sacrament. (1/9/22)

3. Send one of the Podcasts out to families and invite them to send you an email about one new thing they learned about the Sacrament of Baptism (1/9/22)

4. Hold a Baptism session for elementary aged families. Use the Walking Water Experiment to kick off the topic. Discuss how we are changed by the waters of Baptism. Refresh everyone's knowledge on the Sacrament using the Sophia Sketch Pad video and conclude with the quiz from the Writing section (1/9/22)

5. Keep the connection to your youngest parishioners by having a preschool morning where they enjoy water play around the theme of baptism, a story, and a tour of the Baptismal font. Provide parents with some helpful materials on building faith traditions in their homes and close the gathering by reading the Baptismal promises together. (1/9/22)

6. Engage families in the Works of Mercy lesson. Talk about our need to show others God's mercy as much as we ask for it ourselves. (1/23/22)

7. Invite families or teens to come to an evening of peaceful prayer around the topic of fears and/or healing. January is one of the most devastating months for mental wellness. This can be a great opportunity to invite important conversation and time for solace and peace (1/23/22)

8. Share story time with elementary age children using one of the books suggested. Connect the story to the scripture story of David and Goliath. Invite kids to share what they fear. Teach them about virtue of Fortitude. Follow the activity by inviting families to create a tree of Fortitude or Strength.(1/23/22)

9. Set up an obstacle course for all ages. After completing the obstacle course, invite families to hold discussions about overcoming obstacles. Talk about the power of the Holy Spirit and turning to the Spirit in prayer when life puts obstacles in front of you! (1/23/22)

10. Use other stories of fortitude from the Bible such as those of Daniel, Esther and Moses. Create prayer stations for each story that invite teens to reflect on how the particular figure from the Bible reacted when faced with a frightening or seemingly insurmountable situation. Help the teens to see that they, too, can choose to be courageous in difficult times. (1/23/22)

New on Pinterest

We've added to the following boards:

Mary, Mother of God

Catholic 101

Resources for Catechists and Parents

Follow us today and find new ways to share the faith with the children and families you serve!

New in Social Media Posts

We've created some posts that focus on peace and solace during the month of January, one of the most critical months for mental health and have added image posts of the Virgin Mary

New on YouTube playlists

We've added videos to our playlists on Exploring the Bible and Catholic 101

New in the SharePoint

We've added to our file Resources for Prayer in All Settings

New on our Website

We're changing up the website and streamlining it to make it easier for you to find things and for our little staff of three to maintain! Check it out and see what's new and keep coming back as we update it to serve you best!

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