August 16, 2019

New sessions added to archdiocesan event on evangelization and catechesis

By Natalie Hoefer

Three new sessions have been added to the archdiocesan Secretariat for Worship and Evangelization’s annual Gathering of Disciples event at Roncalli High School, 3300 Prague Road, in Indianapolis, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sept. 7.

The yearly event provides formation and training for those in parish and school ministry—for example, catechists, school teachers, liturgical ministers, parish evangelization teams and those interested in evangelization.

The theme for this year’s Gathering of Disciples is “Beauty, Goodness and Truth: Drawn to Discipleship.” The keynote speaker is St. Francis of the Martyr George Sister Johanna Paruch, associate professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio.

The keynote address, “How Beauty Evangelizes and Draws Us to Discipleship—by God’s Grace,” will be presented in English and translated for Spanish speakers. Breakout sessions, however, will be offered in both languages.

The three new sessions added to the roster focus on music during Mass, the Church environment during different liturgical seasons, and the importance of retreats. They will be offered in English with Spanish translation available.

In the “Dressing the Church: Environments for the Liturgical Seasons” session, participants will be challenged to revisit what the Church asks of this ministry and to enhance those things that enrich worship. The presentation will consider best practices, and the broad types and experiences of archdiocesan parishes. Dan McAfee, director of the Office of Worship in the Archdiocese of Detroit, will lead the workshop, which will take place in two sessions, before and after lunch.

In a panel discussion for liturgical ministers titled “Music in the Sacred Liturgy,” liturgical musicians will explore broad principles of sacred music, especially considering its connection to truth, beauty and goodness. Archdiocesan director of music Andrew Motyka will moderate a panel comprised of music directors from the archdiocese and draw upon their experiences in music ministry. Special attention will be given to challenges in music ministry, such as how to handle transitions, how to choose appropriate music to the liturgy, and how to draw the faithful into full participation through song.

The third newly added session is titled “Widening the Lens: The Importance of Retreat Ministry for Continuing Spiritual Formation.” Because retreats offer a different approach to process and integrate what is learned about the faith in parishes and in daily life, retreat ministry is an essential part of growing in relationship with God. This session will discuss the variety of programs and retreats available in the archdiocese. Georgene Beiriger and Cheryl McSweeney, director and associate director, respectively, of Our Lady of Fatima Retreat House in Indianapolis, will offer the session in English. Sara Castillo, campus minister for Cardinal Ritter Jr./Sr. High School in Indianapolis, will lead the session in Spanish.

Other breakout sessions in English include:

  • “Lesson Planning with Scripture;”
  • “Using Art in Lesson Planning: a Practical Workshop for Catechists;”
  • “Starting (or Jump-Starting) Your Parish Evangelization Team;”

Additional breakout sessions in Spanish include:

  • “Lesson Planning with Scripture;”
  • “ ‘That’s Just Your Opinion’: Teaching about Truth and Goodness in a Relativistic Society;”
  • “ ‘10 Things a Disciple of Jesus Does’: an Evangelization Resource.”

The day will end with a panel of local Catholic artists discussing how their medium draws them closer to God. The panel will include a poet, fiction writer, painter, musician and dramatist.

The cost, which includes light morning refreshments and lunch, is $30 for those in Indianapolis deaneries, and $25 for all others. Participants do not need to pay in advance, as the cost will be assessed to parishes.

Registration is required by Sept. 6. For more information or to register, go to (case sensitive).

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