Road to Renewal team hosts encounters
“Encounter and Accompaniment” was the theme of three meetings that the Road to Renewal team held this past November and December. Over 350 parish ministry leaders and others, including priests, deacons, youth and young leaders, faith formation directors and coordinators, and school principals, received an overview of the Renewal process by Father Bryan Zielenieski; Deacon Greg Moran; and myself, Ted Musco, director of Renewal Mission, Evangelization and Formation, who moderated the sessions.
The second part of the evening provided an opportunity for those gathered to identify how they encountered our Lord at various times in their life, and how that encounter helped them grow in faith. We also heard about how accompaniment during their faith journey made a tremendous difference and helped keep them connected to Jesus and his Church.
These gatherings provided an opportunity for the Renewal staff to meet and greet parish leaders and for parish leaders to meet and greet one another. Since these gatherings, several meetings with individual leaders as well as groups of leaders have taken place. Youth ministry leaders, young adult leaders, and others have provided valuable insights into how the diocese can provide support and resources needed to meet the needs of all we are called to serve.
Since the new year began, progress has been made in a variety of ministry areas. A gathering for all youth ministers will take place in early March (the Feb. 4 date was postponed because of the fear of inclement weather and Covid). More information will be available soon. I am collecting current contact information from all youth and young adult leaders and that information should be sent to email@example.com. A recent email I sent to all youth ministers and pastors/parish administrators was the catalyst for continued conversation and a mechanism for arranging additional meeting to discuss youth ministry and young adult ministry opportunities. Activities and events are in the planning stages and updates will be provided on a regular basis.
Very often questions regarding faith formation opportunities for parish leaders, catechists, and those adults wanting to learn more about their faith arise. As director of Renewal Mission, Evangelization and Formation, me and my committee are preparing to provide opportunities for adult faith formation and training for particular parish ministers and staff in a diocesan-wide process Formation for Missionary Disciples. Pope Francis, in “Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel),” writes: “Of course, all of us are called to mature in our work as evangelizers. We want to have better training, a deepening love and a clearer witness to the Gospel. In a sense, we ought to let others be constantly evangelizing us,” (EV, #121).
As a collaborative effort under one umbrella, each department of the diocese will have an opportunity to choose courses, workshops, events, etc. that will be part of a well-developed and updated formation process where individuals can be trained and grow in the faith, depending on their needs and the needs of the Family of Parishes. There will be something for everyone. Among our partners in this new endeavor are Catholic Faith Technologies and St. Bernard School of Theology and Ministry in Rochester.
In anticipation of the National Eucharistic Revival Launch on June 19, a number of formation opportunities are being planned:
- The Joy of Evangelizing Monthly Series
- Diocesan-wide Discovery Day
- RCIA Coordinators workshop
- Pre-Cana and Cana workshops
- Eucharist Adult Formation courses and workshops
- Life in the Eucharist Program
- Living the Eucharist Program for small faith sharing groups
- ALPHA Program
- Missionary Disciples Convocation
- Young Adult Socials
- Youth Minister Gatherings
- Lenten Reflections
- Advent Reflections
- Other evangelization and renewal programs, processes, and gatherings
Information regarding these opportunities will be posted soon on the Diocesan website and communication through email. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-847-8302 for more information or to volunteer to assist with planning or implementation.