BALTIMORE—Sixty-nine (69) 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 5th Annual Mid-Atlantic Congress (MAC) – Forming Catholic Leaders for Faith-Filled Service. The Congress, co-sponsored by theAssociation 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. 4-6 at the Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt Street. More than 1,300 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. 5, at an appreciation dinner supported by Ignatius Press based in San Francisco, Calif., His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, will deliver a talk on “Proclaiming God’s Mercy with Joy to Military Families.” The dinner will take place in the Johnson AB Room from 6:45 to 9:00 p.m. (EST). The Thursday-to-Saturday schedule is otherwise filled with roundtables, breakout sessions, speeches (in English and Spanish), and exhibits as well as the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.
“The Mid-Atlantic Congress is a great continuing education opportunity for military catechetical leaders and catechists to nourish their faith journey with Jesus Christ, to strengthen their skills to teach the Catholic faith to all and to connect with other military and civilian leaders nationally. Participants will find the liturgies, general assemblies, and the breakout sessions to be inspiring and formative to continue the mission to go out to make disciples for Jesus Christ. The exhibit hall is an excellent place to meet with Catholic publishers and converse about resources for ministry.”
The AMS group includes representatives of Ignatius Press and lay leaders from the following military installations: Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.; Fort Meade, Md.; Dover Air Force Base (AFB) Del.; Andrews AFB, Md.; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.; Joint Base (JB) Anacostia-Bolling, D.C.; JB Fort Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.; and JB Langley-Eustis, Va.
At the recommendation of the AMS, the Mid-Atlantic Congress granted scholarships to six military catechetical leaders to participate in two special tracks at the Congress. Four of them will be participating in the Emerging Leader Boot Camp designed for those who have been in ministry leadership positions for three years or less: Fran Horvath of JB Langley-Eustis, Jeanne Colopietro of the Aberdeen Proving Ground, and Mary Wiley and Melissa Weeks from Fort Meade. The other two will participate in the Mentors’ Boot Camp for emerging leaders: Genevieve Hughes, who will focus on religious education, and Christine Kieser, who will focus on youth ministry, both from JB Langley-Eustis.
AMS-sponsored workshops include the following:
- #2.09 Faith Formation for Ministry with the Special Needs Community (Friday, Feb. 5, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.): Ms. Mary O’Meara, Executive Director of the Archdiocese of Washington’s Department of Special Needs Ministries, will guide Faith Formation Leaders in best practice models, methodologies, and resources using the AMS curriculum, Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization, as the teaching guide to better help special needs students and families grow in the knowledge, understanding, and living out of their faith as valued members of their parish community.
- #4.14 Belonging Starts Here; Welcoming Persons with Disabilities in Your Parish (Saturday, Feb. 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 am): Ms. O’Meara will explore the journey of persons with Special Needs moving past being simply recipients of the faith, toward becoming “AGENTS” of the Gospel Message.
- #5.05 The RCIA’s “Particular Circumstances” and Their Canonical Requirements (Saturday, Feb. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 am): Reverend Monsignor John J. M. Foster, J.C.D., AMS Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, examines some of the canonical issues encountered when celebrating the Christian initiation of children of catechetical age, adults in exceptional circumstances, and adults in danger of death.
In addition to those workshops, Archbishop Broglio and Msgr. Foster will participate in the MAC Bishops’ Workshop, sponsored and facilitated by the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management. Mr. Amaya will assist with MAC’s Track for Spanish speakers.
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.”
Meanwhile, in California, the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, sponsored by the Office of Religious Education of theArchdiocese of Los Angeles, will be held February 25-28 in Anaheim. The AMS will hold an AMS Leadership Appreciation Dinner on Friday, Feb. 26, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (PST). The Dinner will be in Room 206 of the Anaheim Convention Centerat 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, Calif. Ms. O’Meara will present the same two workshops she presents in Baltimore, co-sponsored by the AMS and Loyola Press. More than 80 AMS leaders are expected to attend the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, including some from Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.; JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii; Nellis AFB, Nev.;JB Lewis-McChord, Wash.; Edwards AFB, Calif.; Naval Base San Diego, Calif.;Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.; Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.; and Los Angeles AFB, Calif.
There is still time to register to attend the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress and the AMS Dinner. For more information, gohere.