Following on the footsteps of the Year of Faith Catechetical Gathering at the Vatican last month, the Fall Faith Formation Congress sponsored by the diocesan Office of Faith Formation was conducted Oct. 26 at St. Edmund Prep, Sheepshead Bay. More than 450 people gathered for prayer; a keynote address by Father Anthony Ciorra, S.J., a professor at Sacred Heart University, Bridgeport, Conn.; Mass with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio; and workshop presentations.
Topics included Praying Scripture with Children, RCIA and Prayer, Praying the Bible, Meditating on the Word, Using the Bible in Youth Ministry and Special Needs: Recognizing the Gift. Workshops were offered in English and Spanish.
In his homily, Bishop DiMarzio drew on the themes of the New Evangelization. He urged participants to teach not only by their words but also by their example.
Before the final blessing, Theodore Musco, director of the Office of Faith Formation, thanked Bishop DiMarzio, who recently marked 10 years of service to the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Deacon Ron Rizzuto, from St. Edmund’s parish, Homecrest, presented the bishop with an icon of Christ the Teacher on behalf of all those gathered at the congress.
The theme of the event was “Open the Door of Faith: Prayer and Scripture.” Father Sciorra’s talk, titled “The Bible: God’s Invitation to Beauty,” reminded those present that in order to serve God’s people as a catechist, one must know the love of God, a point that is often stressed by Pope Francis.
Near the end of his comments, Father Ciorra spoke about the Lectio Divina, a process used by many to meditate and apply Scripture to their daily lives.
Among the exhibitors displaying their goods at the gathering were Our Sunday Visitor, Pauline Books and Media Inc., Pflaum Press, Random Brilliants, RCL Benziger, Sadlier, Inc. and St. Mary Press.
Catechetical sessions through the next year will concentrate on the New Evangelization propositions that deal with a living encounter with Jesus; schools and programs that introduce the family to the beauty of faith; the importance of sacramental preparation; the establishment of formation centers and programs; and the focus of the Christian family as the domestic Church.