Pastors and religious education leaders from Brooklyn and Queens gathered Sept. 14 at the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, for the second annual Catechetical Summit with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Auxiliary Bishop James Massa and the staff of the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis.
The evening began with dinner, followed by Evening Prayer led by Bishop DiMarzio in the main chapel.
The summit continued in the nearly filled auditorium where the Secretary for Evangelization and Catechesis, Theodore Musco, addressed two priorities that face all religious education teachers: collaboration with catechetical partners, parishes, schools and academies, the diocesan offices and agencies, outside agencies and companies, colleges and universities, and other dioceses; and the need to identify and serve those who were baptized but have not become part of parish programs of religious education or Catholic academies/ parish schools.
Bishop DiMarzio’s talk began by thanking the pastors and catechetical leaders for their outstanding contributions to the faith formation and religious education, and then focused on the five components found in “The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium,” a document published five years ago by the bishops of New York State.
Five Major Areas
Bishop DiMarzio reminded those in the auditorium that the five major areas for the contemporary, competent catechetical leader include: evangelization, the changing parish landscape, the family, cultural realities and the rapid development of technology. He called for all of those who serve as an extension of his episcopal ministry to be collaborators in this important catechetical work of the Church and to establish these five components as the framework of teaching the faith.
Father Joseph Gibino, coordinator of the diocesan School of Evangelization within the department of adult faith formation of the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis, led a panel highlighting success stories and the new initiatives of the secretariat. The panel consisted of four secretariat directors: Joann Roa, director for adult faith formation; Paul Morisi, director of youth and young adult faith formation; Christian Rada, director of marriage, family formation, and respect life education; and Musco, who also serves as director of children’s faith formation.
Among the new initiatives this year will be an enriched Pre-Cana program, changes to membership in the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), and the new Holy Spirit Institute for Service and Leadership were discussed.
The evening concluded with remarks made by Bishop Massa, moderator of the curia and vicar for evangelization. Bishop DiMarzio closed with a blessing.