The new faith formation year began on Thursday, Sept. 13, for catechetical leaders in the diocese.
Pastors, priests, directors of faith formation, coordinators of religious education, coordinators of adult ministry, young adult ministry, youth ministry, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and the RCIA Adapted for Children, school and academy principals, pastoral associates with catechetical responsibilities as well as lay leaders for marriage ministry assembled at St. Bernard Church in Mill Basin for Mass celebrated by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio followed by dinner.
This year’s gathering took on special significance because the theme for this catechetical year as well as for Catechetical Sunday, celebrated nationwide Sept. 16, is “Catechists and Teachers as Agents for the New Evangelization.” Following Mass and dinner, Bishop DiMarzio reminded the gathering that everyone is called to participate in the New Evangelization by making the love of Christ known to all those we encounter. He reminded the catechetical leaders that the Year of Faith, called by Pope Benedict XVI, begins Oct. 11.
Catechetical leaders were given a copy of the newly printed and assembled Office of Faith Formation resources binder that contains several foundation documents that aim to support and guide the lifelong faith formation programs. A digital binder containing the same information can be found at www.bqfaithformation.org.
This year, a main goal of the Office of Faith Formation is to implement the vision of the new pastoral letter, written by the bishops of New York state, titled “The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium.”
Bishop DiMarzio spoke of the need for qualified catechetical leaders and the great gift that the diocese is able to provide by supporting the hiring of new catechetical leaders or increasing current positions from part-time to full-time through grants provided by the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Trust.