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Pentecost Sunday Message from Bishop Vasquez

 
Please share the link with Catechist and Parents 

English 

Spanish

Looking Ahead


As we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost on Sunday, I reflect on Bishop Vásquez’s message. During this time of uncertainty, we anxiously await as our state and parishes continue the reopening process. I am reminded that we must trust in the Lord and rely on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

I personally want to thank all our parish catechetical leaders.  We are truly blessed as a diocese to have an abundance of leaders with so many gifts. Your commitment to parish programs is evident in the work you do and your desire to plan for the months ahead.

The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis has been working in collaboration with the Office of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry, who are also part of our secretariat, to better serve our parishes.  Our three main areas of focus will continue to be family catechesis, communication, and formation of our parish leaders. We are continuously working to develop and provide the resources that can help you move forward during this pandemic. Below you will find several resources for Pentecost, VBS, state guidelines and formation opportunities. The diocesan-wide deanery meetings have allowed us to hear your needs and concerns, which have been valuable input for us. You will also find future deanery meeting dates for June. 


Please know that we continually have all of you, your families and your programs in our prayers.
 


Gustavo Rodriguez
Director of Evangelization and Catechesis

THE "POWER FROM ON HIGH"

And [behold] I am sending the promise of my Father* upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.  -Luke 24:49
Standing before the bishop, our sponsor’s hand on our shoulder, we hear the words “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit” as we are anointed with the oil of Chrism. The gift of the Holy Spirit – the promise of my Father – received in baptism and strengthened in confirmation, unites us in mission to continue the work of Jesus in our families, our communities, and our world. Let us take a few minutes this week, as we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, to reflect on how we, as a member of the Body of Christ, can respond to the gift which clothes us with power from on high. Following are some resources you can share with your family and those in your parish.

PENTECOST RESOURCES TO SHARE WITH FAMILIES
This Pentecost Resource Kit from Sadlier contains prayers and activities to prepare for and celebrate the feast of Pentecost. Kit includes:

  • Courage Mini Magazine
  • The Story of Pentecost Activity
  • Fruits of the Spirit Activity
  • Pentecost People Prayer Card
  • Prayer for Pentecost Tongue Prayer Card            Download your Kit  here!

Watch this 2minute video from Busted Halo on Pentecost. Be sure to discuss it afterward!
Try this Pentecost Crossword Puzzle or this one for younger children or try this Holy Spirit Jumble

VBS UPDATES
Vacation Bible School has become a favorite summer activity for many parishes, and an opportunity to evangelize families. In this year of the pandemic, parishes wishing to offer VBS have several options: a totally virtual experience, a blended program, or an in-person gathering that complies with the distancing, hygiene, and screening protocols. Here are some great options for online designs: 

The Catholic Brain offers a virtual VBS in conjunction with Brother Francis Media that invites kids to learn about our Incredible Savior. Available as a family or a parish subscription. Information and previews here. 

Cat.Chat has 6 different rock-solid Catholic VBS programs to choose from that can be adapted to provide online. Check them out here

Our Sunday Visitor Catholic VBS has developed a Catholic -specific at-home adaptation for Rocky Railway VBS. More information at the website: vbs.osv.com. 

The Pastoral Center offers guidance on offering VBS in consideration of Covid-19 along with several VBS programs:  https://pastoral.center/vacation-bible-school  

IN-PERSON VBS Gatherings should comply with regulations established by the Texas Governor’s Covid-19 Strikeforce for worship spaces, day camps, and summer schools. Those links are provided below. If your parish would like to offer VBS, you are required to have a plan in place should a staff member or participant become ill. Here are some considerations for directing VBS drawn from the guidelines:

Staff must be trained on cleaning, hygiene, distancing protocols, and the symptoms of covid-19. They must be screened daily for symptoms or possible exposures. Staff wears masks. Carries hand sanitizer.
Group children so 6ft of space is between them and others. Mark the floor with tape. Space groups 30ft apart and keep group members the same all week. Classroom limit is 11 individuals (includes leader).
Most VBS programs have activity areas that children rotate through. For example:

Bible Story area – pre-mark listening spots to maintain distancing, sanitize floor or chair after each group

Crafts – no shared supplies; each student should have their own set of supplies in a marked Ziplock to use each day; tables and chairs sanitized between groups

Games – modify to avoid shared objects; sanitize equipment and area between groups; do outside!

Snack – no buffet or family style snacks; disposable plates/cups; sanitize hands
before and after

Music and Skits – usually done at beginning and end. Pre-mark participant and group areas.  

During transitions, traffic flow will need to be designed to minimize crowding or bunching at doorways. Allow more time and be creative. Bathrooms must be monitored and cleaned at regular intervals. Parent drop off and pick up will take longer than usual, as it must be coordinated to maintain proper distancing. Parents should wear masks.   Please review these websites prior to planning:

GUIDELINES FOR YOUTH CAMPS

GUIDELINES FOR CHURCHES

GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOL SUMMER PROGRAMS


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
 

 
Maryrae Stein
Assoc. Director for Catechesis & Formation 

 
"THANK YOU!" 

As we wrap up the April and May Zoom classes, I would like to say "thank you" for sharing these opportunities with your catechetical teams. We thoroughly enjoyed the vast audience we had for the Effective Catechetical Leadership classes in April and the Basics Teachings classes in May. Both the English and Spanish classes were filled with great conversation and reflections!

June is right around the corner and next week we begin with our first 16-hour course on Catholic Social Teaching on Monday through Thursday.  The rest of June consists of Sacred Scripture, Christology and Sacramental Theology. Register now while practicing social distancing as we offer these classes via Zoom. 

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 SPANISH CLASSES - REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
 
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 the July Spanish classes is now open! Please share the link below with your teams--all Spanish classes will continue to be offered via Zoom.

https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=u3EsiM
 


Carolyn Martinez

Coordinator of Catechesis 

 

Diocesan Wide DRE Deanery Meeting - May 28

JOIN US! May 28 at 10 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting:
https://austindiocese.zoom.us/j/96911648116

Meeting ID: 969 1164 8116
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,96911648116# US (Houston)
+12532158782,,96911648116# US (Tacoma)

Find your local number: https://austindiocese.zoom.us/u/a4ndoa9aq


Currently, over 35 DREs have RSVP'd to participate in tomorrow's meeting. If your plans have changed and you can join us, feel free to use the link above! We look forward to seeing you!


PLANNING AHEAD FOR JUNE

Diocesan Wide June DRE Deanery Meetings are scheduled for:
June 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. 
More information to come! 
Questions: carolyn-martinez@austindiocese.org 

 

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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