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How to become a better witness to our faith. 


Our most challenging life experiences help us put into practice our faith and total dependence on Christ.  In this time of suffering, illness, and uncertainty, we are challenged in a whole new way to care for one another; to offer a message of hope and to accompany those who need support.  It is in these gestures of kindness and love that we experience the loving grace of God and encounter the real face of Christ.  This encounter allows us to be faithful witnesses of Christ and can become vessels of his healing power.
I invite you to take the time to reach out to those who are struggling and are experiencing any type of isolation.  Reach out to the parents who have been patiently teaching their children from home and, at the same time, keeping up with all their employment responsibilities.  Reach out to those who live by themselves and remind them that they are truly loved and cared for by a broader community.  Please reach out to our loving priest and religious, who have been working and praying for our parish community.  Reach out to your neighbors who have been staying isolated or cautiously away.
It is in these times that we are called to be a witness of God’s love.  When we share our faith, hope, and love, we are providing witness to the beautiful works of God.  I invite you to take a look at the information below. It gives us tools and resources so we can bear witness to the wondrous works of our Lord.



Gustavo Rodriguez
Director of Evangelization and Catechesis
Join NCCL for a 2-week virtual event May 13-15 and May 19-21 featuring networking, professional development, workshops, resources, and opportunities for prayer. This virtual gathering will remind us of our mission and equip us to be bearers of hope, healers of hearts, and companions in pain. Let us be a witness to the Good News that is Jesus Christ


To access the free content, simply follow NCCL Witness at @ncclonline on facebook and/or come to nccl.org throughout the Witness event. You do not need to register in advance for to access this feature.
Learn more about this event and free sessions

A RELATIONSHIP BASED ON TRUST


This past Sunday (May 10) the Responsorial Psalm caught my attention as we prayed "Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you." What a comforting verse to hear as we begin to move forward in our response to the challenge of the pandemic. In the Gospel Jesus tells his disciples: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me."  Gustavo's beautiful reflection on the Road to Emmaus, mentions how the troubled hearts of the disciples are transformed by Jesus to hearts burning for mission. As we continue to work with the families in our parishes, recognizing that we are participants in that mission, let us put our faith and trust in the Lord who, as Pope Francis reminds us, "is living at our side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free us". Let not our hearts be troubled; he is with us!

VBS UPDATES
 
We will continue to add new resources for VBS as we become aware of them! 
The Catholic Brain company offers a virtual VBS in conjunction with Brother Francis Media that invites kids to learn about our Incredible Savior.  More info at https://vbs.catholicbrain.com/

Other resources mentioned in past newsletters:
 “How to Lead VBS even in the Year of Covid-19” – from Growing Up Catholic

 
Discovery Mission Catholic Vocation Bible School is filled with fun activities and meaningful content about marriage, priesthood, and religious life. 

 Cat.Chat has 6 different rock-solid Catholic VBS programs to choose from. Check them out here

Our Sunday Visitor Catholic VBS is developing a Catholic -specific at-home adaptation for Rocky Railway VBS. The VBS at Home adaptation for Rocky Railway will be available on Friday, May 15th, and Dr. Joseph White will host a webinar on Monday, May 18th to guide catechetical leaders and VBS coordinators through the resource. Here is the link to register for that webinar: 
Rocky Railway VBS-at-Home Webinar. More information at the website: vbs.osv.com.


 CATHOLIC DRAMA – suggested movies by Sr. Rose Pacatte
"The Mission" (Arguably the best movie about Catholicism ever made with the best score, too)

"Of Gods and Men" (My No. 1 favorite film of all time, for the moment. A community of Trappist monks discerns whether to stay or go in war-torn Algeria in the 1990s.)

"The Song of Bernadette" (No, it's not sentimental; it played a major factor in my entering the convent, along with "The Trouble with Angels," and they should be seen together for full effect.)

"A Man for All Seasons" (The film about St. Thomas More with Paul Scofield, or the Charlton Heston TV version — the actual play by Robert Bolt — if you can find it.)

"Noble" (Based on the life of Christina Noble, who rises from a harsh childhood in Ireland to make the world a better place)

"Diary of a Country Priest" and "First Reformed" (These edifying films about the inner life of a Catholic priest and a Protestant pastor respectively, decades apart by two great filmmakers, could be seen together; what conversations will be had!)


Questions for kids: Some questions to guide talking about movies with kids:

-What's the story about? (The younger they are, the more willing they will be to retell the story.)

-What techniques did the filmmaker use to get our attention? (Sound effects, special effects, camera angles, etc.)

-Who was your favorite character? Did that character grow and change during the movie? How?

-What did you think about _____? What would you have done in his/her place?

-How did the movie make you feel? (Then try to draw them out.)

-Were people, animals, the Earth respected in the film? What could the characters have done better?

-What did you like about the music or songs in the film?

-Is there anything in the film that bothered you? Let's talk about that.

-If the film prompts any action such as care for the Earth or acts of kindness, make a list of things to do later.


RESOURCE LINKS

DIOCESE OF AUSTIN WEBSITE:
HOME CATECHESIS: https://www.austindiocese.org/home-based-catechesis-corona

RCIA: https://www.austindiocese.org/rite-of-christian-initiation-of-adults-rcia

TEACHINGS ON THE MASS: https://www.austindiocese.org/catechesis-on-the-mass

MASS ONLINE OR ON TV/RADIO: https://www.austindiocese.org/mass-on-the-air
 
WEBINARS IN LITURGICAL CATECHESIS:
From Liturgy Training Publications (Baptism, Liturgical Ministries, RCIA, RCIA for Children):https://ltp.org/products/subject/MMEVWC/virtual-workshops-current 

From the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions: a very comprehensive choice of resources for all ages and liturgical ministries:  https://fdlc.org/covid  


RETREAT OPPORTUNITIES

ONLINE:
“Christ, Our Light in the Darkness”: 6  30min sessions presented by Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley.  Begin here: https://www.bostoncatholic.org/virtual-retreat-cardinal-sean-night-1-prayer 

“Finding Joy: Dare to Hope” Retreat – scroll down page to this online retreat. . https://www.stjohnsp.org/findingjoy/#primary 

CEDARBRAKE
July 23, Let Go and Let God
The Let Go and Let God retreat is July 23 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.at Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Temple. Cindy Isaacson will explain what keeps us from letting go and instead clinging to things or situations that bring us sadness or harm.  Cost is $40 and includes lunch. To register or for more information, call (254) 780-2436.

Aug. 4, Cedarbrake on the Road in Georgetown
 Aug. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Helen Parish in Georgetown. Franciscan Father Albert Haase will explore practical ways to grow in a deeper relationship with God by learning how he speaks in our everyday lives.  The cost is $40 and includes lunch. To register or for more information, call (254) 780-2436.

Note: Participation in a spiritual retreat is required at each level of catechist certification. 
 
Maryrae Stein
Assoc. Director for Catechesis & Formation 

 
2020 Summer: Full Registration Coming Soon!

June is right around the corner and online registration is open for all our summer June classes. We are in the process of finalizing our online registration page for July and plan to make it "live" for our newsletter next week. The class gatherings this summer will be different since not in-person classes but Zoom has been a great resource for all our April and May classes and the participation has been a huge success. 

A few points to remember when you or your team members are registering:

 

  • Participants must register online and payment is due during the registration process.
  • All June and July classes incur a registration fee.
  • Please use your camera and audio during sessions.
  • Individuals must attend the complete sessions for certification credit.
  • No makeup work for missed sessions will be granted.
  • Books will be mailed to the address used during registration.
  • Zoom links will be emailed to the email address used during registration.
  • No refunds will be granted.
  • Due to the current circumstances, we are unable to invoice schools and parishes. We ask for your understanding in this matter.
  • Please do not share Zoom links as non-registrants will not receive participation credit.

JUNE SCHEDULE BELOW

Catholic Adult Formation 16-hour Courses in English

 
June 1-4, 2020 (M-Th) Catholic Social Teaching 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
June 8-11, 2020 (M-Th) Old Testament/Sacred Scripture 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
June 15-18, 2020 (M-Th) New Testament/Christology 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
June 22-25, 2020 (M-Th) Sacramental Theology 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Effective Catechetical Leadership Classes in English
 
June 4, 2020 (Thur) Called by Name 6:30-9:30 p.m.
June 11, 2020 (Thur) Catechetical Leadership 6:30-9:30 p.m.
June 18, 2020 (Thur) Developing Disciples of Christ 6:30-9:30 p.m.
June 25, 2020 (Thur) Cultivating Your Catechists 6:30-9:30 p.m.
 
 Classes in Spanish

 
June 9, 2020 (Tues) Catechesis & the Law (Spanish Part 1) 7-9 p.m.
June 23, 2020 (Tues) Catechesis & the Law (Spanish Part 2) 7-9 p.m.
June 20, 2020 (Sat) Chaste Living /TOB (Spanish) 10 a.m. - noon
June 27, 2020 (Sat) Chaste Living /TOB (Spanish) 10 a.m. - noon


To register for English classes, visit:  https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=9p7hde

To register for Spanish classes, visit: https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=XxwjyJ


JULY ENGLISH SCHEDULE BELOW

June 29, 2020 (M) Ecumenism 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
June 30, 2020 (Tues) Principles of Adult Formation 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
July 1, 2020 (Wed) Strategic Planning 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
July 6, 2020 (Mon) Methodology of Theology of the Body 1:30-4 p.m.
July 6-9 (M-Th) Catechesis of Human Love FAMILY LIFE OFFICE
July 9, 2020 (Thur) Excellence in Ministry 6:30-9:30 p.m.
July 13, 2020 (Mon) Basic Teachings--Scripture 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
July 14, 2020 (Tues) Basic Teachings--Creed 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
July 15, 2020 (Wed) Basic Teachings--Sacraments 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
July 16, 2020 (Th) Basic Teachings--Morality 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
July 16, 2020 (Thur) All God's People 6:30-9:30 p.m.
July 17, 2020 (Fri) Basic Teachings--Prayer & Spirituality 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
July 20-21 (M-Tues) Building Intercultural Comp. in Min. 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
July 22, 2020 (Wed) National Directory for Catechesis 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
July 23, 2020 (Th) Catechesis & the Law* 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
July 27, 2020 (Mon) Media & Technology 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
July 28, 2020 (Tues) Christian Leadership 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
July 29, 2020 (Wed) New Evangelization & Catechesis* 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
July 30, 2020 (Th) Conflict Management 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
*Due to instructor scheduling conflicts, the dates for these two classes have been swapped. These are the amended dates.

 JULY SPANISH SCHEDULE BELOW

 
July 10, 2020 (Fri) Building Intercultural Competence in  Ministry  (Spanish Part 1) 6:30-9:30 p.m.
July 11, 2020 (Sat) Building Intercultural Competence in Ministry (Spanish Part 2) 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
July 14, 2020 (Tues) Principles of Adult Formation (Spanish   Part 1) 7-9 p.m.
July 28, 2020 (Tues) Principles of Adult Formation (Spanish   Part 2) 7-9 p.m.

 
REGISTRATION FOR ALL CLASSES LISTED FOR JULY IS CURRENTLY PENDING. PLEASE CONTINUE TO VISIT OUR SUMMER CERTIFICATION WEBPAGE FOR UPDATES, COMPLETE LISTING OF ALL JUNE AND JULY CLASSES AND DESCRIPTIONS:
https://www.austindiocese.org/summer-classes


Basic Teachings

The Basic Teachings Program in both English and Spanish is being offered via Zoom. We only have a few sessions left and we want to thank all of you for making this a successful. As a reminder due to a huge response, registration for these sessions has closed. 

IMPORTANT NOTE

  • Please use your camera and audio during sessions.
  • Individuals must attend both sessions for certification credit.
  • No makeup work for missed sessions will be granted.
  • These are being offered at NO CHARGE to all participants.
  • Books will not be provided; however, handouts will be emailed.
Schedule below for English and Spanish:
 
May 14, 2020 Basic Teachings--Sacraments Part 2 1-3 p.m. / Thursday
May 18, 2020 Basic Teachings--Morality Part 1  1-3 p.m. / Monday 
May 19, 2020 Basic Teachings--Morality Part 2 1-3 p.m. / Tuesday
May 26, 2020 Basic Teachings--Prayer & Spirituality Part 1 1-3 p.m. / Tuesday
May 27, 2020 Basic Teachings--Prayer & Spirituality Part 2 1-3 p.m. / Wednesday
 
May 14, 2020 Ensenanzas Basicas--Sacramentos Parte 2 7-9 p.m. / Thursday
May 18, 2020 Ensenanzas Basicas--Moralidad Parte 1 7-9 p.m. / Monday 
May 19, 2020 Ensenanzas Basicas--Moralidad Parte 2 7-9 p.m. / Tuesday
May 26, 2020 Ensenanzas Basicas--Oracion y Espiritualidad Parte 1 7-9 p.m. / Tuesday
May 27, 2020 Ensenanzas Basicas--Oracion y Espiritualidad Parte 2 7-9 p.m. / Wednesday

 
DRE CERTIFICATION PLANS 
"Thank you!"  to those of you who have reached out about DRE Certification. I am happy and available to assist with creating a certification plan for your DRE track or a Youth Ministry track or any other certification you might be interested in completing. 
 
Please reach out to me at carolyn-martinez@austindiocese.org and we can discuss how to begin the process or how to complete it. 

I look forward to hearing from some of you and helping guide you towards certification!


Carolyn Martinez
Coordinator of Catechesis 
 

Deanery Meetings Scheduled for May

JOIN US!
May 21st or 28th
10 a.m.

Please RSVP to carolyn-martinez@austindiocese.org to receive the Zoom link!
E & C Staff will participate in both sessions.
Share with DREs throughout the diocese! 

Gustavo Rodriguez
Director, Office of Evangelization & Catechesis
Ph. (512) 949-2542 
Maryrae Stein
Assoc. Director for Catechesis & Formation
Ph. (512) 949-2469

Carolyn Martinez
Coordinator for Catechesis
Ph. (512) 949-2461

Sue Durango
Administrative Assistant
Ph. (512) 949-2492
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Diocese of Austin - Pastoral Center
6225 Hwy 290 E, Austin, TX 78723
Phone: (512) 949-2400
Fax: (512) 949-2520

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