By Melissa Enaje and Tim Harfmann
Catholic leaders from across the Brooklyn diocese, nation and Vatican gathered for the seventh annual Catechetical Congress at Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, April 6.
Organized under the theme, “So, be Bold!” the day was sponsored by the Brooklyn diocese’s Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis and included workshops in Spanish and English, keynote speakers, vendor exhibits and Mass with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio as the main celebrant.
“They have to have courage,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “They have to try to do things that maybe they’re a little bit afraid to do, or they have to reach out beyond the limits.”
The Catechetical Congress was an opportunity for participants who serve in evangelization efforts across the diocese to come together as one faith-filled mission-driven community in order to deepen ones relationship with God.
That’s because efforts to continue to build and strengthen the Church as missionary disciples would only be made possible, first, by prayer. That was one of the messages by keynote speaker Julianne Stanz from the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisc.
For Roseanne Barber, her deep faith and enlivened relationship with God called her to a life of ministry as an active member at her church, St. Gregory the Great in Crown Heights.
“I know that I am walking the walk of Jesus,” said Barber. “I know that I am doing what He is calling me to do.” She’s originally from Trinidad and Tobago and arrived in the United States in 1975.
Migration was a topic that the Vatican’s evangelization Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst reiterated when he spoke about the Brooklyn diocese.
“The migration challenge can be an occasion for evangelization,” said Bishop Elst. “So, we are the universal Church in different languages, different cultures; but we are able to fight together, to stick together in this unifying faith.”
For the director of religious education at Our Lady of Light parish in St. Albans, Lisa Sampson said the information from the Catechetical Congress will help with “new ways to enliven our programs according to society and the needs of the people in our parishes. And I came away with a lot of good tips and ideas.”