Evangelization & Family Life Updates

Thanks to everyone who attended our first-ever Small Christian Community Summit. Leaders from more than twenty of our parishes where this ministry is already in place or that are looking to get started were present.



SEFL eBulletin 

November 4th, 2015




Secretariat for Evangelization & Family Life
Secretariado de Evangelización y Vida Familiar

Diocese of Orlando 
50 East Robinson Street, Orlando, FL 32801
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A message from the Secretary…

Thanks to everyone who attended our first-ever Small Christian Community Summit. Leaders from more than twenty of our parishes where this ministry is already in place or that are looking to get started were present.
My gratitude to members of the board of the North American Forum for Small Christian Communities for providing us with this professional develop opportunity. Their message to us was very clear: discipleship is key! The Church holds-up the priority for adult catechesis for good reason. Because it drives our focus toward comprehensive, systematic, lifelong, and ongoing discipleship. The important thing to keep in mind is that the Church’s first catechetical priority is adults, not exclusively, but so that catechesis might trickle-down to the other younger age-demographics (e.g. emerging adults, adolescents, and children). Why does the Church call us to this model? Because disciples, by definition, are those who follow in the footsteps of another while also apprenticing themselves. Therefore, we must aim our best efforts toward those mature disciples among us who can ensure that the faith is passed-down to the younger neophytes; in this way the apprenticing model is thereby sustained. Who is critical in this paradigm? Our catechists!…
Today’s parish must be focused on fostering mature discipleship with intentionality. Parish communities must be places that are familiar (i.e. intimate, participatory, and supportive) as well as challenging (i.e. growth-centered and engaging) in order to nourish and sustain the life of God’s People in the world. Ironically, we often (and quickly) recall the promises that parents make when their children are baptized. We are usually less responsive in recalling the commitment we make as the ecclesial community — to support the baptized and their families. We promised to be communities of faith for Christians. And, people have a right to expect this from us. Again, who is critical in this paradigm? Our catechists (e.g. a small-group facilitator/leader is a catechist)!…
Small Christian Communities make tremendous sense in today’s Church. They provide an intimacy that the larger parish-wide community struggles to emulate. Small-group faith-sharing communities are able to connect with people in the margins and cubby-holes of their lives in ways the more formal aspects of Church cannot reach. Small Christian Communities complement the broader efforts of the pastoral outreach that a parish provides. YEAH!!!…
At this moment in history, our best education models utilize small-groups. In days past we highlighted this category of small-group formation because they employed what we referred to as adult-learning processes. Today, these approaches are just as relevant for children and youth and they are regularly used in primary and secondary schools where small-group learning is fully-integrated. Therefore, present lingo no longer describes this genre of learning as “adult” but instead defines the processes as part of what we call discovery-based learning. Doesn’t this make great sense for us who seed discipleship? Isn’t discovery learning precisely how our faith and catechesis unfold? We seek God; God seeks us — and vice-versa.
In a few weeks we will inaugurate the Year of Mercy at the behest of Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome. His hope is to engage the Church in the margins of people’s lives. With this endeavor comes some great opportunities for your parish community. Why not visit every person residing in your parish territory — regardless of whether Catholic, non-Catholic, non-religious, or no-faith? Why not create various opportunities for Small Christian Communities to grow and engage your parish (and others) on the path of discipleship? If you need help, call me. The SEFL-Team stands ready, and willing, to assist.
Click here to get the PowerPoint from the SCC Summit training.

The NAFSCC is revising their resource listing so we will forward that once it is available.
Similarly, I joined several of our priests at a seminar on spiritual gerontology led by psychologist Richard Johnson, PhD (no relation). The focus of his work is to enhance the Church’s spiritual outreach to senior-aged persons. Obviously, as a retirement destination, central Florida (i.e. our Diocese) has a vested interest in this topic.
The spiritual life of disciples develops over time in correlation with life-cycles (cf. Erik Erikson on the Stages of Psychological Development) and mature discipleship involves a process of evangelization (i.e. proclamation, initiation, and catechesis). Consequently, the competencies (i.e. defined behaviors) of catechesis differ based on life needs — particularly as people advance through the various stages of development (especially in adulthood). The Six Tasks of Catechesis remain the same, but the way and proportions in which they are developed will adjust based on the various ebbs and flows we experience in daily living. This is what makes faith development unique and customizable to every individual; it is the motivation that drives ministry professionals (clergy and lay) and parishes to provide a broad array of discipleship-making ministries. The aforementioned is the best evidence for why the Church has been steering-away from school-based models of catechesis in favor of more interrelated and integrated approaches of forming disciples. And, Small Christian Communities traverse the full panoramic of these transformational elements.
Next Spring, 23 April 2016, we will inaugurate our first-ever diocesan Men’s Conference, Rise Up! Every parish is invited to participate. The first-step is to identify a male contact to serve as your parish captain. This person will serve as the lead promoter/inviter for your parish. You may send your contact to: sefl@orlandodiocese.org and we will get them involved with the planning team. The Saturday-morning event will include renowned small-group faith-sharing experts, Peter Herbeck and Danny Abramowicz. Father Benjamin Lehnertz will be the emcee and Mass will be celebrated by Father Jeremiah Payne. Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. The event will take place at Holy Family in Orlando. For parish marketing materials (posters, brochures, etc.) please contact us (sefl@orlandodiocese.org). Also, checkout the event website: www.orlandodiocese.org/RiseUp.
Mature discipleship includes moral development from a Catholic faith perspective. However, it is increasingly more challenging to address this topic in today’s pluralistic “anything goes” culture. One response that is timely for catechesis today is to involve and support parents in providing the conscience formation of their children. How do we tool parents and help them effectively pass on the moral fabric of our faith that helps people live their faith better? Dr. Joseph White has been developing some research in this area and will be coming to Orlando to share his insights in a leadership morning of reflection event for ministry professionals and catechists. Please save-the-date with your parish leadership and catechists. More information will be available soon.

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Catechist Formation Update

UDayton VLCFF e-course fees
The UDayton Institute for Pastoral Initiatives has announced an increase in course fees for e-courses and e-seminars beginning January 1, 2016. The fees for Diocese of Orlando participants will increase $10 so that 5 week e-courses cost $50 and 3 week e-seminars cost $40. While this is the first fee increase for UDayton online courses in 15 years, the VLCFF course fees are still less than that charged by most other Catholic entities for 4-5 week correspondence courses or 25-35 contact hours of online learning.
Catechist Formation Update
Upcoming Classes. For November 14th there is one scheduled class – 202A Journey Through the New Testament, hosted at Blessed Sacrament, Clermont. This course requires completion of 103 Introduction to Scripture before it can be taken. Coming up on November 21st is 105We Live Our Faith: Catholic Moral Teaching, one of our most popular courses. It is offered at Our Lady of Lourdes in Daytona Beach.
More Added Classes. Last week we announced the addition of 210Catechesis and Human Development at St. Thomas Aquinas, Saint Cloud, February 20, 2016. This week we have added two classes at Holy Redeemer in Kissimmee – 102We Believe: Catholic Faith and Life, March 5, 2016, which is the pre-requisite to 215World Religions, April 2, 2016. Central Deanery South should take notice of these three additions. To sign up visit https://www.orlandodiocese.org//catechist-formation-classes.



Catechist Formation DCCP Classes

To Whom:          Catechists, Catholic School Teachers, and Catechetical Leaders
Cost:                      $15 Registration Form.
Registration:   Ten days before the class meets. All registrations are online.

Click Here to Register

Class Times:    Classes are 9:00 am – 4:30 pm except where posted.
Contact:             mbecker@orlandodiocese.org or (407) 246-4912.

Scheduled Classes through the end of the
2015-2016 academic year shown below

**Please contact the parish to enroll.




Hispanic Ministry Update

Evaluación de la Misión Mariana 2015
Aún con el recuerdo vivo de nuestra celebración de la Misa de clausura de la Misión Mariana y Fiesta de la Hispanidad, queremos pedirle un momento para que complete una corta evaluación.

Por favor haga click en el siguiente link para acceder la evaluación: HAGA CLICK AQUI .  Si tiene preguntas por favor comuníquese al 407-246-4931.
Pronto estaremos iniciando el trabajo de planificación de la próxima Misión Mariana 2016. Gracias por su aporte.




Family Ministry Update

Marriage Preparation….continued
In the Catholic Church we do a relatively good job of preparing couples for marriage. We use inventories such as FOCCUS or Fully Engaged to help couples see where there might be differences that need to be addressed.  We pair an engaged couple with a trained married couple to help facilitate some of those discussions.  We provide additional formation in the parish or send the couple off to a one-day or weekend Pre-Cana workshop to learn effective methods of communication, about families of origin, intimacy, parenting, finances, the Sacramentality of Marriage and more.  Then what?

What kind of support do we provide to couples in the first year of marriage? When they begin having children or can’t have children or have a child with special needs?  When couples are entering the teen years with their children or have become empty nesters or are looking at retirement?  The tools and skills demonstrated and learned during marriage preparation have a limited shelf life.  How can we sharpen those tools and skills and provide marriage ‘preparation’ for those already married?

I would like to hear from parishes that are offering any type of marriage enrichment, so I can share your wisdom and experience.  St. Mary Magdalene will be hosting a marriage conference in early March for married couples; your parish will be receiving information about this very soon.  Marriage Encounter has programs to offer in several formats.  Your parish can form Small Christian Communities for married couples. There are other options we can explore together if your parish or a group of parishes in your area would like to offer some type of enrichment.  These are just a few ideas and I will be sharing the input I receive from parishes in the next few weeks.

Thank you for all you do for the people you serve.





Bible Verse of the Week

“ Love does no evil to the neighbor;

hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.”

Rom 13:10







From November 15–21, 2015, the USCCB invites families, parishes, schools, and other Catholic groups to participate in National Bible Week in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Dei Verbum.

This year’s theme, The Bible: A Book for the Family, builds on this year’s Synod of Bishops on the Family and Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families.
National Bible Week
Resources include:
Resources for Families >
Enthroning the Bible in the Family 
Sharing the Word of God at Home
See More >
Resources for Parishes >
How to Start and Sustain Parish Bible Study
Family Retreat (“Nourishing Our Family with God’s Word”) 
See More >

Articles >
The Senses of Scripture
The Word of God as the Foundation of the Church’s Mission 
See More >

The Diocesan Calendar is now set up to include all Diocesan events. If you have an event which you would like the rest of the Diocese to know about, submit your event to the Communications Office using the link below. Once processed, your event will end up on the main calendar on the Diocesan website, categorized by ministry.
Use the color coded tabs along the bottom to view events pertaining to a particular ministry. We hope this will aid communication about events between different parish communities. Let us know what you think!


Link for Diocesan Event Calendar
Link to Submit an Event to the Diocesan Event Calendar





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Dennis L. Johnson, Jr.
Secretary, Evangelization & Family Life
Rev. Ben Berinti
Director, Campus Ministry UCF
Rev. Gaetan Boursiquot
Director, Haitian Ministry
Kimberly (Kimmy) Zeiler
Director, Youth Ministry

Tomás Evans
Director, Hispanic Ministry

Lynda Monckton
Director, Family Ministry

Mike Becker
Manager, Catechist Formation

Yahaira Olmeda
Administrative Assistant

Tony Marco
Campus Ministry, UCF

Sheila Henry
Administrative Assistant

Diana Jiménez
Administrative Assistant
Edna Miro
Administrative Assistant

Elizabeth Ruiz
Administrative Assistant