The Department of Religious Education gathers with parish leaders on a monthly basis from September to May. Parish religious education leaders are encouraged to attend the gathering in their area if free to do so and are welcome to gather with any group even outside your area if doing so is more convenient in your schedule. (find current schedules above) These gatherings serve three principle purposes.
First: We, as religious educators, are challenged by the Church to help build communities of faith and as Jane Regan indicates in the quote above we generally teach more by what we do than by what we say. We gather as a community of religious educators to pray and to support one another in ministry to the Gospel. We do this because we are Catholic and we are formed by the reality that our salvation is accomplished as a community and not as isolated individuals. We share resources and insights but more important than any of these we share time and presence and prayer and food. We strive to be the community we desire for the communities we serve.
Second: These gatherings function primarily as networking sessions. Leaders are encouraged to share their successes to spread the good news and to seek support for challenges and problems. These meetings also serve as our (Diocesan Department of Religious Education) most essential communication channel. These gatherings are the place where we listen to the issues and challenges you face so that we can attempt to shape both policy and resources to support your work. We also share with you anything the Bishop, our chief teacher, wishes you to know or to do.
Third: The third purpose for these gatherings is to provide you with on-going education and formation in support of the work you do. The four essential tasks of catechesis (message, community, worship, and service) are used as the basis for these reflections and we cycle through them in rotation. We generally provide articles or a video for discussion around the theme in the regional gatherings. Then, typically in November and March, form larger groups as we offer longer educational sessions where we bring in speakers for a 10-3 presentation. All leaders are strongly encouraged to attend the end of the year retreat (usually in June).