July 22, 2019

Catechetical Congress 2014

Forming Communities of Missionary Disciples

Congress 2014

This years’s Catechetical Congress promises to be even more exciting, enjoyable, and rewarding than last year’s. The worship, keynote address, and many workshops will touch on every aspect of catechetical parish ministry, all focused on building communities of “missionary disciples,” as Pope Francis writes in “The Joy of the Gospel.” It will be an opportunity for renewal, formation, fellowship, and the chance to receive the blessing of catechists by Bishop Murphy. Please scroll down to browse workshops and for Pre-Registration instructions for parishes. Pre-Register Here.
When: Saturday, September 20, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Where: St. John the Baptist High School, 1170 Montauk Hwy, West Islip, NY 11795 (map)

Our Keynote Speaker

Fr Theo head shotFr. Theo Trujillo will be our keynote speaker. Fr. Theo is a native of Colombia, South America. He is a graduate from the University of San Buenaventura in Bogota where he earned a BA in Philosophy and a Licentiate in Theology. He holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Salesiana in Rome. Currently Fr. Theo is serving as Pastor of St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Simpsonville, SC since 2008 and was appointed Vicar of Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Charleston by Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone in 2011.

His keynote presentation will explore how as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ we need to understand how faith and identity become embodied in culture. He will share his insights and ways of promoting spiritual growth and true community by working prayerfully through conflicts and identifying models for effective pastoral responses, principles, and practices that shape fruitful ministry in intercultural settings.

Pre-Registration Instructions for Parishes (Please read carefully.)

Congress 2014 web post image bParishes who preregister before the July 1st deadline enjoy two important advantages: you qualify for the parish preregistration discount rate of $25.00/person, and you are first in line to choose the limited spaces in our many workshops, especially those that prove the most popular. One representative from each parish must fill out the online preregistration form for themselves and the number of participants who will accompany them from their parish. For example, if you want to preregister for ten (10) people from your parish, you need to preregister for you plus nine (9) guests, for a total of ten (10) participants for $250.00.

Congress 2014 web post image smOnce you submit your preregistration form, you will receive an email with instructions for you and your group to individually register for your individual workshops. You will also be given a coupon code for your parish that may only be used once per preregistered participant. For example, if you preregister for ten (10) people, the coupon code will be able to be used only ten (10) times.

Please note that each participant can ONLY register for TWO (2) workshops. Click here for a printable list of  workshops.

 Pre-Register Here


The Gospel of Mercy

Description: Looking at Reconciliation through the lens of  the Joy of the Gospel.

Presenter: Bishop Robert Brennan

Suggested for: Catechetical leaders, catechists, pastoral associates, youth ministers


Baptism Preparation for Today’s Church

Description: How do we design Baptism preparation programs that better engage the younger generation of minimally connected Catholics? This workshop will share how to parishes have taken a fresh approach by paying attention to people’s lifestyles, introducing them to the worshiping community, using technology, and successfully recruiting and keeping peer ministers.

Presenters: Sister JoAnn Bonauro CS. Pastoral Associate St. William the Abbot Parish; Diane Vella. BA Religious Studies, MA Theology, 33 years lay minister and college professor.

Suggested for: Child baptism team members, pastoral associates, clergy


Beyond English: ESL Ministry

Description: This workshop will focus on family faith formation and how our evangelization efforts can be strengthened by teaching non-English speaking parents English through a parish based ESL ministry.

Presenter: Bertha Keenan. Experience includes assistance to programs teaching English to speakers of other languages in the workplace, education and in the community. Catechetical Leader-St. Anne’s Brentwood.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, Pastors, Pastoral Team members


Building an Evangelizing Community in your Parish

Description: By Jesus’ divine mandate to, “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19), we are all called to go forth and evangelize the world. It is a primary duty of all Christian Churches to build their evangelism ministry. Utilizing the Bishop’s Pastoral Letter, “The Harvest Is Plenty” as a springboard for discussion in this workshop, we will strategize ways to develop and improve your parish’s evangelizing efforts.

Presenter: Maria Davidson. DRE, St. Lawrence The Martyr Parish, Sayville, Ed.S/MA Counseling Psychology, MA Theology, BA English/Secondary Education.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, clergy, and all involved in parish ministry


Can God Still Hear Me Even if I Cannot Speak?

Description: Learn how to engage children who have autism or other special needs in a religious education program.

Presenter: Kathy Russell Sica. Associate DRE. Certified Special Education Teacher, Associate Degree, Early Childhood, MS ED Special Education, MA Candidate Theology.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, Parents, Catechists


Canon Law and RCIA

Description: A workshop exploring how the law applies to those entering the RCIA program and marriage status.

Presenter: Deacon Tom Rich, D.Min, JCL, MA. Diocesan Judge.

Suggested for: Those in RCIA ministry


Creative Catechesis For Multiple Intelligences

Description: A joyful presentation integrating the use of  Scripture, music, art, and prayer using a  Christocentric approach of instruction.

Presenter: Susan Martin. Director of Faith Formation, Our Lady of Grace Parish. B.S. Early Childhood, MA Religious Education, DRE for 30 years.

Suggested for: Catechists, Catechetical Leaders (Session I –geared towards Grades 1-3; Session II-Geared towards Grades 4-6)


Does The Language of Volunteerism Apply To The Church?”

Description: “I am among you as the one who serves.” (Luke 22) The Gospel of Jesus speaks  across time and space. Creating an environment of mutual participation in the continuing story of salvation can lead to personal and communal transformation. Explore the distinctive aspects of the mindset of Jesus and the effect it has upon parish life.

Presenter: Estelle Peck. BA Education, MA Theology, Pastoral Associate in Liturgy and Family Life in St. Brigid Parish, Westbury, Director, Pastoral Formation Institute, Diocese of Rockville Centre

Suggested for: Pastoral Staff members, catechetical Leaders, Pastoral Associates, Catechists, Pastoral Council members.

 Fostering Meaningful Conversations In Our Parishes

Description: How can we talk with one another in ways that matter, make a difference and foster relationships within our parishes? What kinds of opportunities can we create or build upon to build up our parish communities among catechists and parents? This will be an interactive workshop where we can learn from each other. Bring your ideas for “meaningful conversations”.

Presenter: Sister Diane Morgan OP , MA University of Notre Dame (Theology/Liturgical Studies); MA Boston College (Pastoral Ministry)

Suggested for: Catechetical leaders, clergy, Pastoral Associates

How To Catechize Using the Children’s Bible

Description: In this workshop you will see how easily the Children’s Bible adapts to any program and how much children enjoy learning from it. Sample lesson plans will be discussed.

Presenter: Ellen Zafonte. MA Pastoral Studies, MS-Elementary Education, Associate Director for Children & Youth, former DRE.

Suggested for: Catechists (all levels)

Immigration Issues and The Impact on Families

Description: With the invitation by Pope Francis to be a missionary Church this talk will explore the cultural and social impact of the immigration issues to affected families specifically in relation to the Long Island immigrant community and see how the LI Catholic community can help address these issues.

Presenter: John Gonzalez. Parish Social Ministry Developer For Advocacy & Community Development, Adjunct Professor at Molloy College, D. Min Candidate Fordham University.

Suggested for: Catechetical leaders, Youth Ministers, clergy, Pastoral associates


Keys to Building A Partnership In Faith

Description: Practical tools to assist catechetical leaders in building a “Partners In Faith” program for parents, catechists and children focused on lifelong discipleship of Christ.

Presenter: Lee Hlavacek. DRE Cure of Ars Parish, MA Pastoral Studies, Elementary School Teacher, Product Development-Sadlier.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders


Liturgical Prayer For Catechists

Description: Catechists will explore the use of symbols in their preparation of class prayer.

Presenter: Mary Alice Piil, CSJ. Director of Faith Formation- Diocese of Rockville Centre.  PhD from the University of Notre Dame; MA in Liturgy; BS in Education. Sister Mary Alice served as Professor of Liturgy at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and Director of Deacon Formation for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Co-host of Every Day Faith Live, a Telecare weekly news show.

Suggested for: Catechists (all levels)


Master Catechist Model in Religious Education

Description: How to develop, design, recruit and implement. Why the master catechist model? What are the benefits?

Presenter: Ellen Zafonte. MA Pastoral Studies, MS-Elementary Education, Associate Director for Children & Youth, former DRE.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, Pastors


Necessary Principles on Human Dignity When Teaching Middle School Students

Description: This workshop will explore Respect Life principles, the dignity of the human person, and how we understand it in the light of Christ. Emphasis will be on support, education, and resources in “theology of the body” (TOB).

Presenter: Allison O’Brien. Director of Respect Life Office, Diocese of Rockville Centre

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, catechists, youth ministers


Online Resources for Catechesis: Children, Youth and Adults

Description: With the Hispanic community growing in number in our parishes it would be helpful to have in hand on line resources in Spanish that could help us to evangelize. Come to this workshop and explore some of the valuable and interesting web sites that could be useful tools in our catechesis.

 Presenter: Diana Pizarro. Associate Director, Spanish Speaking Population, BA Education, MA Candidate in Theology.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, catechists, youth ministers

Praying With Children

Description: As catechists we have done a wonderful job of passing on our rich heritage of praying but have we taught our children to pray? How do we move the children from “prayers” to “prayer” to the quietness necessary to listen and respond to God?

Presenters: Lee Abseck. MA Theology, Graduate of “Companions for Prayer” Program (Loyola Press). Susan Mirabella. MA , Advanced Certificate in Pastoral Ministry, Graduate of “Companions for Prayer” Program (Loyola Press).

Suggested for: Catechists


Preparing Children To Be Disciples

Description: This hands on workshop will share suggestions on how we can evangelize our children so they can encounter Jesus-“walk the talk” and be his disciples.

Presenter: Debbie Hurley. Faith Formation Coordinator, St. Catherine of Sienna Parish. Has developed programs for catechists and children. Coordinated youth ministry programs sacramental programs and Bible study.

Suggested for: Catechists


Principles for Good Liturgy in a Religious Education Program

Description: This workshop will seek to discuss good foundational liturgical principles that can be used to prepare appropriate liturgical experiences.

Presenter: Msgr. Joseph DeGrocco. D.Min-Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, MA Liturgical Studies, University of Notre Dame, M.Div-Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.

Suggested for: Catechetical leaders, Grade level coordinators, catechists, parish liturgy committee members


RCIA: The Catechumenate Process

Description: An overall look at how parishes establish the RCIA team; the difference between a program versus a process; and resources and practices.

Presenter: Suzanne Richards. MA Religious Studies/Education. BS Finance/Economics, Director of Parish Faith Formation, adjunct Molloy College.

Suggested for: RCIA team members, pastoral staff


Religious Freedom in the School and Religious Education Environment

Description: Students in public schools have extensive and well defined religious freedoms. Knowing these rights is critical to students and their families.

Presenter: Barbara Samuells. BS Education, MS Accounting, Co-founder Catholics For Freedom of Religion.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, catechists, youth ministers (middle school and high school)


REVEAL: Authentic Love

Description: A presentation highlighting an overview of topics and tools for effective chastity presentations.

Presenters: Maureen Brady-High School Abstinence educator –Long Island Teen Freedom; Nolan Reynolds-Theology Teacher, Youth Minister, Campus Minister.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, Catechists, Parents


Six Ignatian Rules For Families

Description: A workshop for participants to learn to apply Ignatian spirituality as a means to cultivate a spiritual life for themselves, their families and their students. Material will be drawn from their book, Six Sacred Rules For Families (Ave Maria Press).

Presenters: Tim & Sue Muldoon. Tim is a professor of theology; works in the Division of University Mission and Ministry at Boston College; author of seven books. Sue is a therapist and a Director of Religious Education at a parish in Wayland, MA; co author.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, Family Life ministers, catechists, parents


Small Christian Communities “The” Vehicle for Evangelization in our Times

Description: This workshop will give a brief overview and experience of Small Christian Communities. It will include an experience of Faith sharing and resources that can be used in classrooms and by parishes for Adult Faith Formation.

Presenter: Sister Honora Nolty, OP. MA Moral Theology. MS Educational Administration and Supervision, Post Masters Degree in Spiritual Direction.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders,Catechists, Adult Faith Formation Directors, Clergy


Social Justice: Living The Gospel

Description: This workshop is designed to make faith formation relevant by teaching young people of middle school age how to live the gospel by incorporating social justice into the religious education program.

Presenter: Justin McMahon. MA Social Justice, Institute of Pastoral Studies Loyola University Chicago.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, middle school catechists, youth ministers


Teaching Reconciliation

Description:In this workshop an approach to reclaiming and revitalizing sacramental reconciliation will be discussed.

Presenter: Julie Upton, RSM. Professor of Theology at St. John’s University, member of the Liturgical Commission of the Diocese of Brooklyn, author of several books including , A Time For Embracing: Reclaiming Reconciliation.

Suggested for: Clergy, Catechetical Leaders, Catechists


Theology of the Body: The Key To Catechetical Foundation in the New Evangelization

Description: This presentation will describe the foundations and essentials to optimizing “theology of the body” (TOB) in the foundation and discipleship of catechetical leadership.

Presenter: Damon Owens. (Sponsored by Ascension Press) Executive Director of The Theology of the Body Institute

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, Catechists, Youth Ministers, Clergy


The Road To Emmaus Faith Camp

Description: Come and learn how to develop a summer program designed to immerse children in a program of deep spiritual enrichment as they begin their journey on the road to receive the sacraments.

Presenter: Maggie Martin. MA Theology, DRE St. John of God Parish, Central Islip.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, Pastors


The Universal Language of Inclusion

Description: A practical guide to advocating for accessible buildings and inclusive formation in parishes.

Presenter: Mary Anne Russo. MS Elementary Education,; MA Theology, Associate Director-Ministry With Persons With Special Needs.

Suggested for: Priests, Catechetical Leaders, persons involved in other parish ministries.


Touching Hearts With Technology

Description: Utilization of apps and other digital materials and platforms in the catechetical classroom.

Presenter: Teresa Chapman (St. Mary’s Press). Eastern Consultant for St. Mary’s Press, BA Theology/Art History, Former DRE.

Suggested for: Catechetical Leaders, catechists (Grades K-8)


Spanish Only Workshops

El Evangelio de la Misericordia

Tema/Descripción: Una mirada al sacramento de la Reconciliación a la luz de La Alegría del Evangelio

Presentador: Bishop Nelson Perez

Público-Líderes de la Catequesis, Catequistas, Líderes de Grupos Juveniles y Párrocos


Edu-comunicación: Usted y yo, y casi todos somos parte de los Medios de Comunicación, y ahora quién podrá ayudarnos?

Tema/Descripción:Aprender y conocer  su ABC. Podemos ser protagonistas o víctimas de los medios, conozca su potencial y evite sus riesgos, están aquí para quedarse y aprender a usarlos nos ayudará a guiar mejor a las presentes y futuras generaciones.

Presentador: Marta Moscosco. Editora del periódico – Fe Fuerza Vida. Productora en AGC Media & Corporate Communications. Bachiller en Periodismo. Maestría en Planeamiento para el desarrollo, Columbia University-School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

César GonzalesPromotor y Coordinador  en Radio María, NYEscritor, reportero y fotógrafo. Bachiller en Comunicaciones Sociales y Periodismo, Maestría en Comunicaciones Sociales.

Público : Líderes de la Catequesis, Catequistas, Clero


La Espiritualidad del Catequista

Tema/Descripción : El papa Francisco nos exhorta a ir a compartir nuestra experiencia de Dios con los demás. Alimentar la vida espiritual y su comunión con el Señor fortalece la dignidad, vocación y misión del catequista para comunicar esa experiencia como discípulos de Jesucristo.

Presentador: Dulce M. Jimenez Abreu (Patrocinada por Sadlier). Directora  de los Programas en Español para Sadlier. Bachiller en Educación. Maestría en Ciencias Sociales y Maestría en Literatura Española. Ha contribuido en el desarrollo de materiales bilingües de Sadlier. Es profesora y traductora de materiales para la catequesis. Ha estado involucrada en la preparación de material catequético para la población hispano-parlante en los EEUU y ha presentado numerosos talleres acerca de la integración de la catequesis con la cultura de habla hispana y de maneras prácticas de cómo enseñar a los niños bilingües.

Público –Líderes de la Catequesis, Catequistas


Nueva Evangelización: La Alegría del Evangelio

Tema/Descripción : Como nosotros re-evangelizamos a un mundo secular como respuesta a la exhortación apostólica, “La Alegría del Evangelio”.

Presentador: Diácono Francisco Cales. Director de la Nueva Evangelización-DRVC. Bachiller en Filosofía. Fue ordenado al diaconado en 1989 .

Público: Líderes de la Catequesis, Catequistas, Líderes de Grupos Juveniles


Palabras que inspiraron o destruyeron a estas generaciones.

Tema/Descripción: Las palabras expresan algo más que información y son una herramienta fundamental para la transformación de la familia y la sociedad.

Presentador: Marta Moscosco. Editora del periódico – Fe Fuerza Vida.Productora en AGC Media & Corporate Communications. Bachiller en Periodismo. Maestría en Planeamiento para el desarrollo, Columbia University-School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

César GonzalesPromotor y Coordinador  en Radio María, NY. Escritor, reportero y fotógrafo. Bachiller en Comunicaciones Sociales y Periodismo, Maestría en Comunicaciones Sociales.

Público : Líderes de la Catequesis, Catequistas, Clero


Rezando como Familia 

Tema/Descripción: Este taller tratará sobre la importancia de la oración en la familia.

Presentador: Altagracia Arias. Maestría en Trabajo Social. Certificación para el Catecumenado de la Arquidiócesis de NY

Público: Líderes de la Catequesis, Catequistas


Recursos en línea para la Catequesis: Niños, jóvenes y adultos 

Tema/Descripción: La comunidad hispana viene creciendo en nuestras parroquias, es importante tener al alcance recursos en internet que nos ayuden en nuestro trabajo de evangelización. Ven a este taller y explora algunos de los interesantes y valiosos sitios en la web que servirán de herramientas para nuestra catequesis

Presentador:: Diana Pizarro. Directora Asociada para la Población de Habla Hispana. Bachillerato en Educación. Candidata en una Maestría en Teología

Público:Líderes de la Catequesis, Catequistas, Líderes de Grupos Juveniles y Párrocos


Renueva Tu Visión: Construyendo el Puente entre Educación Religiosa y el Ministerio para Jóvenes 

Tema/Descripción: Este taller fue inspirado por el documento “Renovemos la Visión” de USCCB, con la esperanza de un plan más efectivo y completo para el Ministerio con Jóvenes. ¿Cómo encaja la Educación Religiosa en el plan para el Ministerio de Jóvenes de tu parroquia? Este taller brindará al catequista y ministro de jóvenes ideas simples y prácticas de como conectar el trabajo de estos dos ministerios en la parroquia. “Renovemos la Visión” es un desafío al liderazgo de cómo trabajar para construir la “Civilización del Amor”.

Presentador: Juan Rodriguez. Pastoral Asociado/ Director y Fundador de Defensores de la Santísima Trinidad

Público: Líderes de la Catequesis, Catequistas, Líderes de Grupos Juveniles y Párrocos



Tema/Descripción: Cómo presentar la catequesis a los adultos que buscan a Dios.

Presentador: Rev. Gonzalo Oajaca LópezMaestría en Divinidad.

Público: Catequistas

Click here to download the list of workshops.