Catholic Catechists in U.S. Military Gather in Baltimore for Mid-Atlantic Congress

Archbishop Timothy Broglio to give talk on “The Role of the Family in Catechesis”

BALTIMORE—Sixty-nine religious educators and members of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) will be among Catholic lay leaders gathering in Baltimore, Md. this weekend for three days of training, discussion, and prayer at the 4th Annual Mid-Atlantic Congress (MAC) – Forming Catholic Leaders for Faith-Filled Service. The Congress, co-sponsored by the Association of Catholic Publishers and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, in partnership with the National Leadership Roundtable for Church Management, gives diocesan and parish staff and volunteers an opportunity to explore temporal challenges facing Catholic leaders in the areas of management, finances, human resources, and planning. The Congress will take place Feb. 12-14 at the Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt Street. More than 1,400 are expected to participate.

The AMS group, consisting of catechists and others from United States Military installations, mainly throughout the eastern United States, will focus on ways to develop catechetical leadership in faith formation programs for military families. On Friday evening, Feb. 13, at an appreciation dinner supported by Pflaum Publishing Group of Dayton, Ohio, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, will deliver a talk on “The Role of the Family in Catechesis.” The dinner will take place in the Peale ABC Room from 6:45 to 9:00 p.m. The Thursday-to-Saturday schedule is otherwise filled with roundtables, breakout sessions, speeches, and exhibits as well as the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.

Mr. Jose Amaya, AMS Director of Faith Formation, said:

“The Mid-Atlantic Congress is a wonderful opportunity for military catechetical leaders and catechists to nourish their faith journey with Jesus Christ and to strengthen their skills to teach the Catholic faith to all. Participants will find the liturgies, general assemblies, and the breakout sessions to be inspiring and vibrant moments to ignite the flame of faith to go out to make disciples for Jesus Christ. The Congress is also an opportunity to meet and interact with other colleagues and to find good resources for ministry.”

The AMS group includes representatives of the Pflaum Publishing Group and lay leaders from the following military installations:Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Meade, Dover Air Force Base, Carlisle Barracks, and Joint Bases (JB) McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst,Anacostia-Bolling, and Myer-Henderson Hall. Special guests include Dr. Harry Dudley, Assistant Director for Certification of Ecclesial Ministry of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Secretariat of Catholic Education; and Mr. Donald B. Campbell and Ms. Ann Marie Campbell of the Father Capodanno Guild.

AMS-sponsored workshops include the following:

  • A “Biblical Spirituality” that Makes Disciples: Mr. Michael Howard, a catechist formation facilitator at the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) at the University of Dayton, Ohio, explores how three essential movements in sacred scripture can inspire discipleship and evangelization. Participants will “touch the hem of His garment” while simultaneously being transfigured into “Imago Dei”—the “Image of God.” Thursday, Feb. 12, 4:30-5:30 p.m. (EST), in the Paca Room.
  • Nurturing the Faith of Catholic Families in Military Settings: Mr. Amaya provides an overview of the archdiocesan religion curriculum Guide, Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization. Friday, Feb. 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m. (EST), in the Stone Room.
  • The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and Its Canonical Requirements: Msgr. John J.M. Foster, J.C.D., AMS Vicar General, examines the Catholic Church’s juridical requirements for bringing unbaptized adults into and through the catechumenate to the celebration of the sacraments of initiation. Friday, Feb. 13, 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST), in the Stone Room.
  • Reaching Young Adults in the Military: Ms. Casey Bustamante, a U.S. Air Force Academy graduate currently working in the AMSOffice of Evangelization, shares how service skills and discipline in military life can contribute to the spiritual life. Friday, Feb. 13, 3:00-4:00 p.m. (EST), in the Stone Room.

In addition to those workshops, the AMS will staff a booth to promote vocations as well as the Cause of Father Vincent R. Capodanno, Servant of God; Archbishop Broglio, Msgr. Foster, and Dr. Mark Moitoza, AMS Vice-Chancellor of Evangelization, will participate in a roundtable on church management sponsored by the Diocesan Directors of Evangelization and the USCCB; Mr. Amaya will assist with MAC’s Spanish Mega Workshop; and Ms. Bustamante will take part in the Emerging Leaders Project.

Each of the three days is organized around a particular theme: on Thursday, it’s “Encountering Christ in Faith;” on Friday, “Encountering Christ in Worship;” and on Saturday, “Encountering Christ in Witness.”

In Los Angeles next month, a similar congress will be held for dioceses mainly in the western United States. The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, sponsored by the Office of Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will be held March 12-15 in Anaheim, Calif. The AMS is encouraging Catholic catechists serving U.S. Military populations in the western part of the country to attend. For more information, go here.