February 19, 2014

DLJ Photo01-Color 070807



Dennis Johnson, Jr., Secretary of Evangelization & Family Life


Committees with a purpose, encounters that will grow you, and five motivations!

I serve on an NCEA Committee that is creating a professional resource for parish catechetical leaders. It is an interesting project involving representatives from different parts of the country. Our goal is to create a best practice toolbox specifically for the parish catechetical leader or those who are discerning service in that role. We hope to meet a publication deadline that would enable an unveiling at NCEA 2015 (hosted here in the Diocese of Orlando). The committee’s work overlaps with the work of another ad-hoc group I am involved with for NCCL, the Certification Standards Committee, whose task is raise awareness and participation in the national certification process for parish ministry professionals. Both of these projects engender themselves to the USCCB’s visionary document, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord (2005) and the consortium publication, National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers (2003).

It has been a decade since the Standards were formulated and while their implementation has been gradual and somewhat inconsistent they have served to establish a baseline for ministry that promotes professionalism, consistency, and competency. Since the quality of ministry often correlates to the abilities of the minister it is essential that we hold high standards. As you keep that in mind this spring, you may want to pursue a professional development opportunity with one of the various national organizations that support ministry professionals. Both NCCL and NCEA/NPCD have their annual convocations coming-up before the summer season.

If travel or time away is a factor, I encourage you to pursue an opportunity through our online partnership with the University of Dayton’s Virtual Learning Community. Or, if you are more inclined toward academic study, you may want to pursue a degree through our ongoing relationship with the University of Loyola New Orleans (either online or via extension), through Felician College, with Catholic Distance University, at Barry University, or Saint Leo University. The point is, we have something for almost everyone to foster mature discipleship with comprehensive, systematic, lifelong, and ongoing formation in our Catholic faith and heritage. WHY? Here five basic reasons:

1. Our mission is EVANGELIZATION.


3. We must sustain the first-home where Jesus Christ is encountered, THE FAMILY.

4. We must increase our competence to minister across broad CULTURAL REALITIES.


Onward and upward, ad multos annos

Buena Nueva FM Update


Marjorie Durante, Director of Buena Nueva FM

Buena Nueva FM, the radio ministry of the Diocese of Orlando, had a Morning of Reflection with the volunteers who produce and host the various radio shows. It was a great opportunity to share and to grow as a ministry, but also to brainstorm about the ministry’s future adventures. One of the biggest endeavors is the RadioThon –our semiannual fundraiser. This year we are going to have the “Easter RadioThon” starting on Monday, May 12 at 8am and finishing up the week on Friday, May 16 at 8pm. During these 60 hours of live broadcasting we want to have the opportunity to know our diocesan community better and would like to invite you to plan to be with us that week. We know there are amazing stories that happen in our parishes and communities so please share your stories with us, that we may have a great RadioThon while we let our listeners know about what God is doing among us. Please contact Marjorie Durante at 407-246-4884 or mdurante@orlandodiocese.org if you have any stories to share. To listen to Buena Nueva FM log on to www.buenanueva.fm  

Family Life Update

Gigi Santiago, Co-Manager of Family LifeSantiago-GIGI-150x

Thank you to over 150 married couples who attended the 2014 Wedding Anniversary Mass Diocese of the Orlando. It was a glorious event as Bishop Noonan celebrated the mass and a reception which followed. Bishop Noonan was gracious to pose for pictures with all the couples who attended; it was a beautiful event showcasing the Vocation of the Sacrament of Marriage. Our gift bearers, Donald and Patricia Dilsner, are celebrating their 60th anniversary and one of the couples is celebrating 71 years together. These couples witness to us and society, in their years of living the vocation, the Church’s teachings on the importance of marriage; it’s impact on the world and its importance as the first place of sharing the faith as the “domestic church”.

This day was made special especially by the efforts of the Marriage Ministry Groups of, Marriage Encounter, Renovacion Conyugal, Couples for Christ and Retrouvaille. Without their help and generous donations of food items and cake, our reception would have been lacking. The couples of these ministries also helped at the sign in tables, as members of the liturgy as hospitality greeters, ushers, in the choir, serving as EMHCs, just all round making the day run smoothly.

A special thank you to the Cathedral of St James’ parish staff, sacristan, Director of Worship, Bruce Croteau, and pastor, Fr. John McCormick, for graciously hosting this Mass and reception again. 

Hispanic Ministry Update

Tomas Evans, Director of Hispanic MinistryEvans-TOMAS-150x

The Academia Inmaculada Concepcion invites you to a graduation ceremony which will be held at Holy Redeemer Parish in Kissimmee on Friday, February 28, 2014. The ceremony will take place after the 7:00PM daily Mass.  The Academia Inmaculada Concepcion is an adult formation opportunity offered in Spanish to parishes and the Associations of the Faithful in the Diocese of Orlando. The Academia curriculum consists in Sacred Scripture Liturgy, Sacraments, Mariology, Apologetics, Ecclesiology, and Pastoral Ministry. The classes are presented in a module system. Participants who complete all the modules are invited to the graduation ceremony.

If you want more information of the Academy for your parish, please call the diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry at 407-246-4931.  

Adult Faith Formation Update 

OrlandoValeta Orlando, Manager of Adult Ministry

The Parish Rite of Sending of Catechumens to Election

All parishes sending Catechumens to the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent must celebrate a parish Rite of Sending during the weekend liturgy (see RCIA 106-117). The catechumens are to sign the parish Book of Elect, and the Book is to be brought to the Cathedral for the Rite of Election. Parishes needing to purchase a Book of Elect may find one here.

The teamrcia website has some suggestions for rehearsing the Rite of Sending:

Fr. Robert Barron’s new Lenten CD

Fr. Robert Barron has a new 2-CD set titled Tre Ore: The Seven Last Words of Christ. It is a recording of a 90 minute presentation given by Fr. Barron at a Good Friday service at St. Patrick Cathedral in New York For more information click here

Youth & Young Adult Ministry Update

Focus 11 Vocation Event

Today is your last chance to register your youth ministry high-schoolers for Focus 11. Click here for all the details!

Young Adult Ministry Update

UCF Women’s Day of Retreat

Please make this March 22, 2014 event available to the young adults in your parish.

Promotional flyers and more information:

Click here for color version of flyer.

Click her for a black and white version of flyer. 

Learning About L.I.F.E.

Becker-for-igenti-2Mike Becker, Manager, Catechist Formation

Parishes are required to implement the Learning about L.I.F.E. program in the family-format on an annual basis in order to be in compliance with the mandates established by the USCCB Charter for the Protection of Young People and Vulnerable Adults. This is not a new initiative and is part of our commitment to provide the safest environment for ministry possible. This important initiative is primarily managed under the Human Resources department because they oversee the annual audit and other aspects of our overall safe environment program. However, the Secretariat for Evangelization and Family Life team will assist you with whatever formation support you need. Recently, many of you attended the training hosted by my staff and I. Our goal was to clarify the program implementation and management protocols.

Next week, we will begin following-up to personally ensure that you have plans in place and the help you need to offer this program in your parish prior to the end of the current fiscal year. Attached is the Powerpoint Presentation we used at the recent training event.For many parishes, the results of this program have been overwhelmingly positive as several attested to during the training. Parents and participants find the content helpful and the pedagogy enables better communication between parents and their children on very sensitive subject matter.

Click HERE for the Powerpoint. 

Please contact me, djohnsonjr@orlandodiocese.org or 407.246.4913 if you have any questions or concerns.





Loyola Information Night (Bilingual)

WHAT: An opportunity for graduate level study for those in ministry. A new two year certificate program in Spanish is beginning along with the traditional 4 year degree program. Come hear all about it!
WHEN: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:00pm
WHERE: St. John Vianney Parish:6200 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando 32809
FOR: Those in ministry with a high school diploma or equivalent able to study at a post-secondary level. Programs available in English and Spanish.

For a flyer on the Spanish certificate program CLICK HERE.

02•21 – 23•2014

Experiencia Cristo Retreat For High School Age

Experiencia Cristo uses lectures, meditations, group work and prayer as methods of learning to grow in the Catholic faith. Young people are the church of the present and future. The opportunity to know Christ and be an active member in the community begins today! This retreat gives youth the opportunity to meet new friends while having fun with dynamics, games, music and activities. Sponsored by: Secretariat for Evangelization and Family Life and St. Isaac Jogues Church


WHEN: February 21-23, 2014, starts Friday at 6:30pm.
WHERE: Central Florida Bible Camp, 23813 County Road 44A, Eustis, FL 32736.
COST: $75.00 per person (includes accommodation, meals and materials)

If you are interested in registering or want more information, please contact your parish or the Secretariat for Evangelization and Family Life: sefl@orlandodiocese.org or 407.246.4910.

02•21- 22•2014

Revelation in a Day Seminar

WHEN: Friday, February 21, 2014 and Saturday, February 22, 2014
WHERE: Divine Mercy Parish, Merrit Island, FL
SPEAKER: Jeff Cavins
For details and to view a video click here.
For a registration flyer click here.


Focus-11-for-Youth Ministry-2

WHAT: A Focus 11 Event: Come, Follow Me (click HERE for flyer)
WHO: 11th and 12th grade students and their parents
WHERE: Holy Family Catholic Church (Orlando)
WHEN:   Sunday, February 23, 2014 1:30-7:30pm 

WHAT: Called to Holiness: An evening with Young Adults who seek to respond to the call to holiness (Click HERE for flyer)
WHO: Young Adults 18-39
WHERE: Holy Family Catholic Church (Orlando)
WHEN: Sunday, February 23, 2014 6:00pm-9:30pm



Cycle 2 – University of Dayton (UD-VLCFF) Online Courses

Registration opens Jan 15, 2014 and closes Feb 26, 2014 for courses in Cycle 2, which runs Mar 02 – Apr 05, 2014. The online program supports adult faith, catechist and lay ecclesial leadership formation – anytime and anywhere via the internet.

WHO: All in ministry
WHEN: Jan 15, 2014 – Feb 26, 2014 enrollment period
COST: $40 per 5-week course
REGISTER: go to vlc.udayton.edu to become a new student and register for a course.
CONTACT: Mike Becker at (407)246-4912 or mbecker@orlandodiocese.org for questions.


Day of Reflection for the Elect

WHEN: Saturday, April 12, 2014
WHERE: Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, Oviedo FL
LEADER: Rev. Ben Berinti, CPpS
FOR: Adults over the age of 18 who celebrated the Rite of Election and will be baptized at the Easter Vigil



Cycle 3 – University of Dayton (UD-VLCFF) Online Courses

Registration opens Mar 03, 2014 and closes Apr 23, 2014 for courses in Cycle 3, which runs Apr 27 – May 17, 2014. The online program supports adult faith, catechist and lay ecclesial leadership formation – anytime and anywhere via the internet.

WHO: All in ministry
WHEN: Mar 02, 2014 – Apr 23, 2014 enrollment period
COST: $40 per 5-week course
REGISTER: go to vlc.udayton.edu to become a new student and register for a course.
CONTACT: Mike Becker at (407)246-4912 or mbecker@orlandodiocese.org for questions.


2014 Diocesan Youth for Life Rally – SAVE THE DATE

WHEN: All Saints Day – Saturday, November 1, 2014
WHERE: Bishop Moore Catholic High School, 3901 Edgewater Dr., Orlando, FL
TIME: Registration 4pm – 5pm; Event: 5:00pm – 8:30pm; Closing Liturgy – 8:45pm
PRESENTER: Nationally recognized Speaker and Musician: Steve Angrizano

For more information, contact the Office of Advocacy and Justice, Diocese of Orlando at 407-246-4820 or email: advocacyjustice@orlandodiocese.org.



Thank You Retreat Attendees


Kudos to those who were able to attend this year’s retreat for Parish Ministry Professionals. Although it rained, the time together was over the rainbow (sorry!). Making time for retreat is essential and spending it with colleagues builds community. Special thanks to Father Ben Berinti, CSSP for being our retreat master. We will never look at the “Oz” the same way again. Many commented that it would help to get the retreat off Wednesday because it is such a busy night in parishes (what night isn’t?). We will explore our options for next year keeping in mind that our goal is to provide a chance for parish ministry professionals to “get away (at least as far as the beach)” without pricing the opportunity out of reach. I was encouraged this year by those pastors who “gifted” this retreat to staff members and also by the broader representation of ministry genres (parish catechetical leaders, parish youth and young adult ministry leaders, business managers, catechumenate directors, etcetera – and, of course spouses) who were present.

A Week Behind, A Week Ahead – Small Christian Communities and Buena Nueva FM

Last weekend was the annual gathering of the Space Coast Alliance for Small Christian Communities in Melbourne. It was a great event and the perfect motivator for enhancing SCC’s among our parishes. There are many resources available for SCC use and for lots of other adult faith formation opportunities, too. Valeta Orlando is ready to assist you in this arena – give her a call and put her to the test! Looking ahead, the Space Coast Alliance has asked for some training opportunities in the area of small-group facilitation techniques. Valeta will be responding to this need and will be happy to expand the purview beyond the Southern Deanery. This weekend marks the gathering of our diocesan radio subcarrier community. Buena Nueva FM involves numerous radio programs and personalities; it has tremendous potential beyond its shortwave broadcast as programming can be web-streamed or podcast. It can be a great service to parishes if one thinks creatively about expanding formation opportunities (and formats) with streaming/podcast enhancements. Could Buena Nueva FM help your parish create customized broadcast programming for your parish? YES!!! Could Buena Nueva FM be a tool for broadening parish outreach and presence? YES!!! Could Buena Nueva involve more people in your parish – IN YOUR PARISH? YES!!! Should you contact Marjorie Durante to forge new opportunities for your ministries (especially youth and young adults who are already living a predominately web-based existence)? YES!!! Here’s her email: mdurante@orlandodiocese.org. 





Scheduled Classes through the end of the academic year shown below.

Who: Catechists, Catholic School Teachers, and catechetical leaders
Cost: $15 / person for all classes.
Registration: ten days before the class meets. All registrations go through your parish or school.
Class Times: classes are 9:00am – 4:30pm except where posted.
Contact:      mbecker@orlandodiocese.org or (407) 246-4912


02•06 & 07•2014

Celebrating the Eucharist: The Source and Summit of Our Faith   Catechist Class 205-E12

Father Lopez Catholic High School, Daytona Beach
Class Times: 2:30pm-6:00pm
Enrolled: 15


Celebramos nuestra fe: Catequesis y Liturgia   Catechist Class 106-S09-SP
Our Lady of Lourdes, Melbourne
Enrolled: Class cancelled due to low enrollment


Leading People to Sacraments: Sacramental Catechesis   Catechist Class 104-S07

Holy Spirit, Mims
Enrolled: 13

Ecclesiology: The Mystery of the Church   Catechist Class 206-C18
Annunciation, Altamonte Springs
Enrolled: 24

Catechesis and Human Sexuality   Catechist Class 211-W10
Resurrection, Lakeland
Enrolled: 22


Creemos: La vida y la fe Católica   Catechist Class 102-S03-SP
Our Lady of Lourdes, Melbourne
Enrolled: 3

Introduction to Scripture   Catechist Class 103-C25
St. James Cathedral, Orlando
Enrolled: 12

Leading People to Sacraments: Sacramental Catechesis   Catechist Class 104-N04
St. Mary of the Lakes, Eustis
Enrolled: 5

We Live Our Faith: Catholic Moral Teaching   Catechist Class 105-E07
St. Peter, Deland
Enrolled: 29

We Celebrate Our Faith: Catechesis and Liturgy   Catechist Class 106-N06
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Candler
Enrolled: 11

A Journey Through the New Testament   Catechist Class 202-W07
Holy Spirit, Lake Wales
Enrolled: 11

Catechesis and Social Ministry   Catechist Class 208-C19
St. Francis of Assisi, Apopka
Enrolled: 16

A Journey Through the Old Testament   Catechist Class 201-S10
St. Joseph, Palm Bay
Enrolled: 19

“Who Do You Say I Am?”: The Person of Jesus Christ   Catechist Class 203-E11
Our Lady of Hope, Port Orange
Enrolled: 10

A Journey Through the Old Testament   Catechist Class 201-E08
St. Peter, Deland
Enrolled: 12


Religiones del mundo   Catechist Class 215-S14-SP
Our Lady of Lourdes, Melbourne
Enrolled: 1


Celebrating the Eucharist: The Source and Summit of Our Faith   Catechist Class 205-C17
All Souls, Sanford
Enrolled: 16


A Journey Through the New Testament   Catechist Class 202-E09
St. Peter, Deland
Enrolled: 9


* * * * * * * *Academic Year ends * * * * * * * *

Schedule for June classes TBD. Planning guidance for parishes/schools will be issued in February.