Catechetical Conference

Saturday, October 27, 2018
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
St. John Neumann Pastoral Center
146 Metlars Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Registration   •   View/Download Brochure   •   Preview   •   Keynote   •   Schedule   •   Workshops


View/download 2018 Catechetical Conference Brochure

Registration Notes:
•  Our facility is handicapped accessible.
•  Morning hospitality and lunch are included. We are happy to provide refrigeration for those who bring personalized, well-marked food.
•  All participants will receive confirmation/schedule by mail or e-mail (time permitting) prior to the Conference.
•  For group registrations, please include a separate registration form for each person (completed as indicated). The registration check may be combined.
•  Sorry, no refunds.
•  Any questions? Any way we can help? Special requests? Please email or call 732-529-7930.

Preview of the Day 

8:30 a.m. Mass and Welcome
Keynote Address presented by Joe Paprocki
St. Ignatius told his followers to “go, set the world on re!” Today, more than ever, we need to fan the ames of the New Evangelization. We must also proclaim the Gospel with renewed energy and enthusiasm so that those we teach will share the experience of the disciples on the road to Emmaus who said, “were not our hearts burning within us as he spoke to us?” (Luke 24: 32-33)
In this keynote, Joe Paprocki, DMin, will identify 9 key steps for sharing God’s Word with
learners in such a manner their hearts will be on re for Jesus Christ.

•  8:30 a.m. Mass and Welcome - Bishop James F. Checchio 
•  Keynote Address presented by Rev. Msgr. Eugene Sylva, S.T.D.

Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” He replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him” (Acts 8:30-31). In this dramatic exchange between St. Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (see Acts 8:26-35), Luke gives us an image of the catechist as the evangelizer: one who, clutching the Word of God, eagerly runs to others with it, and invites them to share in the great joy of the Lord. As catechists, we are inspired and instructed on how to run with the word: in hope, trust, humility, and joy. In this keynote, Msgr. Sylva, STD, will dive into the essential relationship between catechesis and the new evangelization.

This day will include a panel discussion and workshops on deepening your relationship with Christ and practical ideas for catechists, parish catechetical leaders, Catholic school teachers, and principals.

Keynote Speaker 

Rev. Msgr. Eugene (Geno) Sylva, S.T.D., is the Episcopal Vicar for Diocesan Initiatives in the Diocese of Paterson. He most recently served for five years as the English Language Official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization in Rome. A native of Livingston, Msgr. Sylva graduated from Delbarton School, Morristown, and Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA. He holds a bachelor’s degree of Sacred Theology and a master’s degree in Religious Studies from the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. He earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) and a Doctorate of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) from Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome. Msgr. Sylva was ordained to the priesthood in 1993. His appointments include: parochial vicar, St. Anthony Parish, Hawthorne; president, DePaul Catholic High School, Wayne; director, St. Paul Inside the Walls: Catholic Center for Evangelization, Madison; and Episcopal Vicar for Evangelization, Diocese of Paterson.





Workshop #1 Our Lady of Guadalupe 101: For Catechists
Facilitator: Jodie D’Angiolillo

Bishop Checchio will be consecrating the Diocese of Metuchen to Our Lady of Guadalupe in December 2019 for the purpose of a new evangelization. This consecration will touch all the catechetical programs in our diocese as the Bishop calls all the faithful to engage in the consecration. This workshop will explain what a consecration is, what evangelization is, who Our Lady of Guadalupe is, and why she was chosen for this particular need at this time in our local church. This workshop will give you curriculum resources for your catechetical programs to help all engage in this consecration.

Workshop #2 Creating Your Lesson Plans through the Heart of Christ
Facilitator: Darrin Nelson

We have been entrusted in our roles as PCLs, principals, school teachers, and catechists to carry the Word of God and the tradition of the Catholic Faith to form children and adults alike. Saint John Paul II said catechesis should, “seek to understand the meaning of Christ’s actions and words and of the signs worked by Him.” Pope Francis says “people prefer to listen to witnesses: they thirst for authenticity and call for evangelizers to speak of a God whom they themselves know.” In this workshop, we will discuss and discover the significant relationship between catechesis and evangelization. You will walk away with key disciplines that will help you grow as a catechist and a personal witness to our faith.

Workshop #3 Jesus on the Road to Emmaus: A Model for Accompanying Youth on their Faith Journey
Facilitator: Thomas Vresics

How do we get youth engaged with Jesus and join Him in the Paschal journey of faith that leads to New Life? The last thing youth want is another thing to worry over especially when many youth often feel so much anxiety and stress. Sponsored by PFLAUM Publishing Group, Tom will explore how we can authentically show youth that Jesus journeys with them by modeling accompanying techniques. These techniques will demonstrate how Jesus breaks into our human experience to invite us to new life, as He did for the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus.

Workshop #4 Reconciliation: A Pathway to Discipleship
Facilitator: Fr. Thomas Dente

Sponsored by RCL Benziger (a Kendall Hunt Company), Fr. Tom will explore the origins of the sacrament of Reconciliation and its importance in the faith development of a Christian. Catechists will deepen their understanding of ways they can foster within children and young people an encounter with the reconciling Christ. Participants will leave this presentation with practical ideas and strategies for use in their catechetical settings.

Workshop #5 Opening the Door of Faith in Your Classroom and Catechetical Program
Facilitator: John Collins

Parish religious education programs are each unique. But the bottom line is: Do students and parents feel welcome? How do we open the door of faith for our students and parents? This session will look at our mission, forming disciples, and HOW we do WHAT we do. Sponsored by William H. Sadlier, Inc., John will share some ideas, activities, and suggestions for forming disciples, nurturing students’ faith in the classroom, and sharing how students can help open the doors of faith to their parents.

Workshop #6 Our Lady of Guadalupe 101: For Catholic School Teachers
Facilitator: Jodie D’Angiolillo

Bishop Checchio will be consecrating the Diocese of Metuchen to Our Lady of Guadalupe in December 2019 for the purpose of a new evangelization. This consecration will touch all of the Catholic schools in our diocese as the Bishop calls all the faithful to engage in the consecration. This workshop will explain what a consecration is, what evangelization is, who Our Lady of Guadalupe is and why she was chosen for this particular need at this time in our local church. The work- shop will also share the curriculum that is being prepared to aid Catholic school teachers in communicating the message of this consecration in all classroom settings and will explore use in subjects other than religion.

Workshop #7 Youth Ministering to Youth
Facilitator: Msgr. Joseph Kerrigan & Theophany Center Retreat Team

This workshop will be led by the Theophany Center Retreat Team, teen leaders from Holy Family Parish who serve the parish as catechists and liturgical leaders. They have led a variety of retreat experiences in the Diocese of Metuchen. The retreats are offered for middle school and high school age parishioners and are about a variety of themes. This workshop will allow the group to share what they do and the many ways in which they minister to other young people. Led by Msgr. Joseph Kerrigan, pastor of Holy Family, the group is supported by parish clergy who avail themselves to lead Mass, prayer services, or presentations for them. Come listen and see this amazing group of young people!

Workshop #8 Cultural Diversity and Faith Formation
Facilitator: Sr. Ruth Bolarte, IHM

This workshop and panel discussion will off er an opportunity for catechists and faith formation leaders to share and address best practices as we promote and appreciate our cultural diversity and religious traditions in the parish/diocese.

Workshop #9 Proclaiming God’s Word in Your Classroom and Beyond
Facilitator: John O’Connor

If what happens in your classroom stays in your classroom, you will not be successful in forming disciples. We MUST teach our children how to listen to what God is saying to them and form them in their Catholic Identity so that they can live the life of a disciple. Just as the word “Mass” means “to be sent on mission,” catechists must inspire their students to take what they have learned in class and make it a part of their everyday lives. Sponsored by Our Sunday Visitor Curriculum Division, John will provide participants with strategies for building community and creating activities to engage children while encouraging them to live a life of discipleship.

Workshop #10 See You in the Eucharist!
Facilitator: Colleen Kelly-Rayner

We have been formed to practice the sacraments rather than being transformed to yearn for them. The Eucharist is the true presence of Jesus. We know it in our heads but, do we live it in our everyday lives? Can we see beyond what’s right in front of us? If your prayer life seems dull and Mass is just an obligation instead of a desire, then come! Let’s shake it up a bit! You’ll see the Eucharist differently!