Archdiocese of Milwaukee - Catechesis & Youth Ministry
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In this Issue.....

June 6, 2019

Message from Gary: Change and Communication
Guest Column
  • National Gathering of Catechetical Leaders
  • Sunday Mass & Catechetical Ministry V
CYM News
  • Request for Workshop Proposal
  • NCCL Membership
  • Publicize your Summer Activities for Catholic Kids
Upcoming Events
  • Catechetical Calendar
  • Reach Out Reach In
  • Catechetical Conference
  • New Directors Institute
Archdiocese News
  • Safe Environment Office Updates
  • Nazareth Family Day at Holy Hill
From Our Friends ​​
  • NET Retreat
  • Corpus Christi at Holy Hill
  • 2019-2020 Mareda Board
  • Follow-Up to Christ is Alive / Christus Vivit
  • Catechetical Sunday
  • 175th Anniversary Patch
Job Openings
District Meetings

Message from Gary

Change and Communication

This is a season of change in parish catechetical ministry.   Every year, it seems about 20% of our parishes experience a change in personnel related to faith formation – whether the DRE, a youth minister, director of lifelong faith formation.  These job changes may also be related to other changes in a parish – perhaps sharing a program between two parishes, creating a new position, or reducing overall staff. 
  1. Even though there may be 1 position that changes hands, many people are involved in the transition.  The outgoing staff member, the newcomer, the supervisor or pastor, and co-workers all have roles to play in making for a fruitful transition.  If you are involved, consider these Thoughts on Parish Staff Transitions.
  2. If you are leaving a catechetical position, are retiring, or are changing positions, please keep the Office of Catechesis informed.  If you are aware of someone newly hired for your parish or in your area, let us know.   It is helpful when we know who is serving in a parish.  Please email Gary or Jennifer or call the office.
  3. If your parish or cluster is planning a change in the status of one of your programs, please contact the Office of Catechesis.  This does not mean changes in books or schedule or activities within your program, but changes that impact the overall structure of the program, the parishes served, or the location.  We offer a flyer on Change in the Status of a Religious Education/Faith Formation Program.  Your planning and change process will be unique to your parish situation.  But whatever your situation, please keep our Office informed along the way.
May the Lord bless and accompany all who are in transition.


Guest Column

National Gathering of Catechetical Leaders -  LeAnn Rogan

The Spirit was a-movin’ in Southern California for the National Conference of Catechetical Leaders (NCCL) in May!  I’ve attended only the last two of this not-to-be-missed annual event (Chicago and Anaheim), but believe in the power of making this conference a priority (Next stop: Dubuque NCCL 2020).  For me, attendance seemed a no-brainer.  I love to be surrounded by passionate people who “get it”, who want to meet the Church where she is and take her further.  I care deeply about the Catholic Church and it’s future and the future of the children we serve.  I’m looking for allies, support, inspiration, and truth.  All are to be found among the Catechetical Leaders who attend NCCL.  The keynote speakers, forum facilitators, NCCL leadership and attendees are all people I can call friends.  Bishop Robert Barron was among them this year and he has a certain “Star Power” in the Church.  I arrived early to claim a front row seat and fell into deep conversation with a few others who did the same.  After laughing, crying, learning and loving, we’re all still hungry for more. Each day of the NCCL the Holy Spirit was present in the people, the prayer experiences, the presentations, and each day during and thereafter I’ve felt moved to cooperate with that ever-present Holy Spirit to do my part in building up the Church.  Each of us has a responsibility to keep learning and growing in the Faith, to contribute to the deposit made to the next generation.  What we gain we give out lest our talents be buried under a bushel.  “Come and follow Me,” the Lord calls to His Church.  To borrow from a beloved Iowa baseball film: “If [He] builds it they will come!”  Perhaps He’s calling us all to Dubuque next May.  “Come and see" what you’ve been missing!

Save the Date:  NCCL Convocation - May 17-20, 2020

The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership will hold the next Convocation May 17-20, 2020 in Dubuque, Iowa.  Located right on the Mississippi River, this Convocation will be just a 3 hour (maybe 3 1/2 hour) drive from where you are right now.  We will share details as they are available.  Mark your calendar.

Sunday Mass and Catechetical Ministry - Part V

Katie Coyne, Co-Director of Children's Ministry at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, shares her efforts to encourage and support Sunday Mass participation:
Here are some ideas that I use:
  • We began a Children's Choir to teach the parts of the Mass as well as encourage regular Mass participation. I cannot sing, but I do all of the coordination. This falls under Children or Youth Ministry as we know the kids.
  • We have Children's Liturgy of the Word at all Masses during Advent and have now added it at 8:30 as well as 10:45 Mass. During Advent, the children were told that it was ongoing so they had to come back each week.
  • Children preparing for Sacraments attend Mass at least once a month with me.
  • Children preparing for Sacraments must have the "purple sheet" filled out.  It can't be completed in 2 or 3 weeks so children learn who does what at Mass and they have to come to get it completed.
  • I greet children at the door, ask them to help out with little jobs and make them feel welcome.
  • Next year, we are adding more roles for children at Mass and I will coordinate that.
  • I still believe a simple personal invitation is the best way to get families to Mass and to keep them coming back. 
  • I spend time talking about a part of the Mass each time we meet. If you asked me to go to an opera every weekend, I would not be happy because I don't understand it - it's the same for families and children. the more they know, the more they will attend and pray!
Peace ~

CYM News

Request for Workshop Proposal

Gigs, Geeks and God will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2019 at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Milwaukee.  This training day for parish staff and volunteers is aimed at helping parishes understand and integrate technology in their education programs, communications, and parish administration.

The day includes workshops on topics of interest to religious educators, business managers, youth ministers, clergy, parish council members, teachers and volunteers. Dynamic presenters and innovative workshops are crucial to the effectiveness of the day.  The Technology In Faith Formation Committee invites proposals for workshops.  For more information regarding presenting or if you are interested in presenting at the 2020 Gigs Geeks and God Conference, please click here.

Become a NCCL Member through the Archdiocese

The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) promotes catechesis and evangelization in the Church and enhances the ministerial effectiveness of its members. For more information on NCCL Membership visit the NCCL website.
Parish Catechetical Leaders (PCLs) can become NCCL members as part of our Archdiocesan Membership.
  • If you serve in a parish in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, in a catechetical leadership role, you may now enroll as a member and receive all benefits, at a greatly reduced cost.
  • PCLs include directors or coordinators of religious education, faith formation, youth ministry, child ministry, evangelization, adult formation, and so on.
  • During 2019, membership through the Archdiocese is available for a $24 contribution to NCCL, instead of the normal membership fee of $102.
To join NCCL:
  1. Register through the Archdiocese by using the link below.  Provide contact information and submit.
  2. Once your PCL status is verified, you will receive instructions for activating your membership via the NCCL website.  It will be on the NCCL webpage that you will pay the $24 contribution.
Note:  If you are already a member of NCCL, we will send information about renewing your membership, which will also require the $24 contribution this year.

Publicize your Summer Activities for Catholic Kids

In “8 Steps to a VBS that Attracts Families to Your Church,”  Hal Seed, a non-denominational pastor, explains 4 goals for their summer kids camp:
  1. Disciple the children of our church in an intensive, week-long program.
  2. Develop leadership and ministry skills in our youth and adult volunteers.
  3. Deepen our unity by asking members of every generation to serve together that week.
  4. Attract unchurched families and enfold them into the family of God.
Does your parish share these goals?  Do you see the potential of VBS to attract unchurched families?  With planning, great hospitality, and follow-up, a summer program can indeed attract new families.
Expand your publicity by listing your programs on the archdiocesan website.  By listing your program on the archdiocesan website, you get free publicity which means new families may connect with your program and you are contributing to the combined effort of proudly publicizing the many summer opportunities offered by Catholic parishes.

Click here to find instructions on how to post events.  Don't forget to tag the event by selecting 'vacation bible school' and/or 'summer youth program'

Upcoming Events

Download the Catechesis & Youth Ministry Office Calendar to stay up to date on events.
CYM Calendar

Reach Out Reach In - July 14-19, 2019

Reach Out Reach In is a local summer service week, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, for teens aged 15 through 18, who have completed 9th grade and who want to be involved in direct service and social action.  The sites, located around the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, include homeless shelters, adult day care, community organizations, meal programs, organic farms, child care and more. The experience includes community, simple living, prayer, and justice education.  The cost is reasonable ($265).
More information can be found on the flyer or by visiting our website.

Catechetical Conference - Registration Now Open

The Office of Catechesis and Youth Ministry will be hosting our 3rd Annual Catechetical Conference August 23-24, 2019 at the Mary, Mother of the Church Pastoral Center in Milwaukee.  The conference will offer presentations for catechists, catechetical leaders, and others who pass on the faith.  
The Conference will begin on Friday with a general session and will include round table sharing, workshop sessions, Mass, as well as time to visit exhibitors and network.  The Conference continues on Saturday with general sessions and multiple workshops.  Friday's sessions will focus on topics pertinent to Catechetical Leaders while Saturday will offer sessions for both catechetical leaders and catechists.  You may attend Friday, Saturday or both days. Visit the conference webpage for the schedule, speakers and to register.


New Directors Institute

The New Directors Institute is designed to provide information, support, materials, and resources that will be helpful to a new youth minister or director of faith formation as their ministry unfolds. All directors of religious education, youth ministry and lifelong faith formation who are new or nearly new to ministry, or new to archdiocese are encouraged to join us.
Institute sessions are scheduled every three weeks or so, beginning September 17th.  They are held on a Tuesday or Thursday, 9:30 am – 2:00 pm and include lunch.  Visit the New Directors Institute page for more information, session dates, and to register.

Archdiocese News

Safe Environment Office Updates

In the June Safe Environment Office Updates, there was information regarding The Two Adult Rule, Vacation Bible School Volunteers and how to handle those who just turned 18 in Volunteer situations and on Mission Trips.  Learn More


Nazareth Family Day at Holy Hill – just $25/family – is Sunday, July 14

Bring your family to Nazareth Family Day at the beautiful Basilica and National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians, at Holy Hill, Sunday, July 14! This annual celebration is the only archdiocesan-wide, family-friendly event of its kind. It’s a day that mixes faith and fun, and gives families from 10 counties the chance to play, pray and enjoy the summer together. Best of all? Registration is just $25 per family (yes, really!). Experience live music, games, food, dunk tanks and more summer fun, beginning with 11:30 a.m. Confessions and 12:30 p.m. Mass with Bishop James Schuerman. For more information and to register, visit

From our Friends

You Can Book a NET retreat in  2019-2020 for your parish/school

The National Evangelization Team is coming to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee November 2019 for a few days and for a longer time in Jan/Feb 2020.  Here are the dates that are still open for you to book your retreat:
  • November  14, 15, 17, 19
  • January 29, 30, 31
  • February 3, 4, 7, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19
For more information on date availability, cost and what is all involved, please contact our Archdiocesan coordinator for the NET team:  Debbie Olla at or 262-781-3480 x252.  You can also find more information on our website as well as on Net Ministries Website.


9th Annual Ballpark Day of Faith - Sunday, June 23rd

It began at a tailgater. A few friends gathered around a smokey joe over some beers, sharing in their love of sports, family, and faith. Each year, the party just keeps getting bigger. Now,  your invited to join the party.  The day includes Sunday Mass and a tailgater before the Brewers game vs the Reds.  Info and Tickets at:

Corpus Christi Mass & Procession

Corpus Christi at Holy Hill
Sunday June 23, 2019

Help to invite your First Communion families to participate in Mass and Procession on Sunday, June 23 at Holy Hill. 
It is the custom of the Friars to extend an invitation to First Communicants to take part in the solemn procession, wearing their first communion attire.  This is an opportunity for families to honor the Lord, to express their devotion to the Eucharist, and to feel a part of the broader church beyond their parish. Click here for more information


2019-2020 Mareda Board

Mareda, the association of catechetical leaders in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, installed their new board of directors in May.  Here are the current officers and representatives:
Corpus Christi Mass & Procession
  • Chair: Denise Murre
  • Vice-Chair: Taylor Baar
  • Treasurer: Maureen Rotramel
  • Membership Secretary: Bryan Ramsey
  • Recording Secretary: Kristin Kebis
  • At-Large Member: Debbie Kusch
  • WDREF Representatives: Kristin Adsit, Linda Guokas & Dennis Vlasak
Blessings in the year ahead.


Follow-up to Christus Vivit / Christ is Alive

Last issue, we briefly introduced Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation entitled “Christ Is Alive!”  If you would like to hear more of the national conversation about the Synod on Youth and the Pope’s writing, check out the free webinars offered by NFCYM.
NFCYM is offering a 4-part webinar series on Implementing Synodality: Unpacking the Universal Church’s Recent Work on “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.”
Parts 1 and 2 are past, but recordings are available.   Parts 3 and 4 will air during the next two weeks.
Register for 3 & 4, or watch past recordings at:

Catechetical Sunday - September 15

Catechetical Sunday, a national day to celebrate the ministry of passing on the faith, will be September 15, 2019.  The 2019 theme is: “Stay with Us.”
The USCCB offers prayer cards, certificates and posters for purchase online.  
The USCCB normally provides articles and graphics for parish use.  As of this writing, the new resources have not been posted yet.  But use our Catechetical Sunday page as your starting point for the catechist commissioning service, and other resources.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee 175th Anniversary Patch

Here's a great way to get kids connected with our Archdiocese's history.  Archdiocese of Milwaukee is offering a patch commemorating our 175th Anniversary.  Patch can be earned by young people in grades 1st - 12th by completing the activities that help them learn about the history of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.  This is a great activity for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, youth groups, classes, families or any young Catholics. Adults who assist youth with requirements and activities are eligible to earn the patch as well. When requirements are complete, patches are purchased online through the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.   Learn more about the 175th Anniversary patch and download activities.
Looking for other 175th Anniversary resources, visit the Archdiocese's 175th Website Page.

Job Openings

Youth Minister/Assistant to the Director of Christian Formation: Family and Youth Programs - St. Joan of Arc, Nashotah / St. Catherine of Alexandria, Oconomowoc
*** To have your job openings included in the newsletter,
please send information with a link to:

District Meetings

*** To have your district meetings included in the newsletter,
please send your meeting information to:

Contact Us

Gary Pokorny
Jennifer Murphy
Program and Event Coordinator
This ministry is supported by the Catholic Stewardship Appeal.
Do you have am article, event or district meeting you would like included in the newsletter???  
Please send information to:
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