For more than 30 years, since the late Terence Cardinal Cooke established the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office, catechists and leaders of parish religious education programs have had at their disposal and, more recently, at their fingertips some of the most highly regarded formation programs in the United States.
On June 1, the Catechetical Office will complete a year of celebrating, reflecting and renewing our commitment to the people of this archdiocese. His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan will be principal celebrant of the Sacred Liturgy on Sunday, June 1, at 2:00 pm in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Sr. Joan Curtin, CND, director of the Catechetical Office, invites all catechetical leaders and catechists to join us. Yes, the cathedral is full of scaffolding but we’ll manage. It’s our mother church.
The Catechetical Office exists in order to help assure that the more than 95,000 children who are in our parish catechetical programs learn their faith and how to live it every day of their lives. We do this by providing spiritual, theological and pedagogical training for catechists. This is available either in a traditional classroom format or online. We also provide the basic and advanced leadership training that gives the parish director or coordinator of religious education the knowledge and the confidence to be an effective administrator.
Our training makes all the difference between a so-so program and one that is vibrant and engaging for our children. Why? Because we are constantly evaluating this training, improving it where needed, and making it responsive to the needs of 21st century Catholics.
We serve parents, too, by providing for every religious education program a family catechesis component. This enables parents to fulfill their own duty, which is to be the primary catechists of their children, and also to renew their own knowledge and practice of the faith. Our website, www.nyfaithformation.org, is updated daily.
Save a thought (and a prayer, too) for us on June 1 and join us, if you can, as we celebrate our past and turn our faces to the future in the service of God and God’s people.