Archdiocese of Milwaukee - Office of Catechesis Newsletter
Email not displaying? View it in your browser.

In this Issue.....

May 5, 2022

Message from Gary:
  • Staff Transitions
  • Catechetical Sunday
Upcoming Events in the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis
  • Finish Line
  • Devoted Parenting Retreat
  • Arise Family Day
  • Catechetical Conference
Archdiocese News
  • Sacrament of Confirmation with Adults
  • Updated Mandatory Reporting Responsibilities
  • Pope Francis Wants Your Opinion
  • Employee Assistance Program
From Our Friends
  • Cor Unum
  • NALM Annual Conference
  • Catholic Summer VBS/Camp
District Meetings
Job Postings

Message from Gary

Staff Transitions

Every year, some 20 to 25% of our parishes experience a change in personnel related to faith formation – whether a DRE, youth minister, coordinator, or other role.  I would like to share some of the wisdom gained from those who have been through staff transitions. 
Even though there may be one position that changes hands, many people can be affected. Let’s consider some key roles.
Outgoing staff member –Unless you have a special arrangement that your time will overlap with your replacement, it is best to clear the way for the new person. If you belong to the parish, try to act like a parishioner, not staff.  If you want to offer help, say “call me if I can be of assistance.”  But don’t expect to be called, and do not feel slighted if you are not. An exception is when a staff member plans to retire and the parish brings someone on board to learn the ropes, with the veteran serving as mentor.  Handled skillfully, this kind of transition can benefit the parish. 
Prepare your office – Leave in your office, or with your assistant, easy-to-locate information about programs - calendars, budget, catechist lists, vendor contacts and so on.  Note what happened last year, and whether anything has been scheduled for next year.
Prepare others.  If you are able to do so graciously and enthusiastically, encourage volunteers and co-workers to work with your successor.  If circumstances make that difficult, the less said the better.  Then trust your people.
Newcomer – Meet people, ask for help. Respect your predecessor, those who remain involved, and their traditions.  Make changes when necessary.  The common wisdom is to give it a year to see how things are done and to assess along the way.  If change is needed, do it next year.  But that rule of thumb only goes so far.  The program or parish may need innovations sooner.  The point is, don’t change just to make your mark, change for the benefit of the people and parish  you serve.  At the same time, be aware of the grief or anxiety others may feel, as well as hurt feelings or loyalties to the past.  Be patient with others, and with yourself, as you all adjust to new relationships.
Supervisor or Pastor – Celebrate and show appreciation for the staff person who is leaving.  When you have hired a new person, introduce them to the parish, to co-workers, to key leaders.  Use the bulletin, website, and pulpit announcement to inform parishioners of the change.   Recognize that each person is unique.  The new person may fill the former person’s function, but may have a very different role to play among the relationships on your team.  Be careful when discussing the past.  Focus on the future.  Both criticizing the predecessor or expressing regret about the change can undermine trust.  Recognize that the new person brings their own style and expectations; help others to recognize this too. 
Co-Worker on staff - Be professional.  Do not talk about the past staff person, except to affirm their service.  Offer the new person assistance, but on their terms.  Let them take the field and learn the terrain.  To parishioners, speak well of both the former and new staff.
Staff at a neighboring parish – As within the parish, so too among neighbors, it is best to be professional, to be welcoming, and to make room for a new colleague to find their place among their co-workers in area parishes.
One of the greatest challenges to building up strong faith formation programs is instability.  A staff change can be particularly unsettling.  But the way in which the change is navigated by all involved can go a long way toward instilling trust and confidence in the program and in the parish.

Catechetical Sunday

Sunday September 18, 2022 will be Catechetical Sunday.  The USCCB has announced the theme:
“This is my body given for you" / "Esto es Mi cuerpo que se entrega por ustedes” (Luke 22: 19)
This reflects the USCCB’s Eucharistic Renewal during the coming years.  There are no resources or graphics available yet.  We will keep  you updated.

Upcoming Events in the Office of Evangelization & Catechesis

Finish Line - An End of the Year Gathering for all DRE's and DYMs

May 26th from 9am - 1pm
Catholic Ecology Center
Spend a morning Unplugged and in Nature with other DREs, Youth Ministers and Faith Formation Coordinators from across the Archdiocese at the Catholic Ecology Center.  There will be opportunities for all (even those who prefer to stay inside).  The day will include introduction to the Center and their mission by Joe Meyer, time to reconnect with other colleagues, time to reflect on the past year, as well as time to to explore the grounds, plant flowers/paint flower pots, and more.  After lunch, we will also recognize those who recently retired as well as those retiring this year.
We hope that you will take the time invest in yourself and allow yourself the space to reflect on the past year, relax & be present to the now.  
There is no cost to you to attend, but please register.  Registration Deadline: May 16th
Register Now

Devoted Parenting Retreat

Show your support for parents in your parish.  Tell them about this retreat specially designed for couples with children.  Help them encounter Christ and more deeply appreciate the beautiful gift of sacramental marriage.  Featuring Mike and Alicia Hernon of the Messy Family Project and Podcast.

Download a flyer
Info and Registration

Arise Family Day 

Saturday, July 16
There is something for everyone of all ages at Arise Family Day! Competitive yard games, entertainment, crafts for kids, rock climbing, and so much more. Bring your family for a day filled with fun outdoor activities, enjoy a picnic dinner and then end the night with Arise Worship Night under the stars!  Register now at

Catechetical Conference

August 25-27, 2022
Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center, Milwaukee
Save the Date for the 2022 Catechetical Conference.  The theme for the conference will be "Lord, to whom shall we go?" Thursday and Friday are intended for catechetical/formation staff.  Saturday is open to parish staff, catechists, small group leaders, and all others who pass on the faith.  Please mark your calendar for yourself, your catechists and friends.  Registration will open later this month, but for now, you can learn more and pre-register here so you know the minute it opens. If you pre-register, you'll get a code for $5 off your conference cost, too!  

Archdiocese News

Sacrament of Confirmation with Adults

This year Archbishop Listecki will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation with Adults at 3:00 PM on Pentecost Sunday, June 5, 2022 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson Street, Milwaukee, WI  53202-3807.
If you have been preparing adults for this Sacrament, and wish to have them participate in this liturgy, register here. We ask that you register both the candidate and their sponsor. Once the registration has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation email. Please register your confirmands and sponsors no later than Monday, May 23, 2022 – earlier is always better.

Updated Mandatory Reporting Responsibilities

The Safe Environment Office has updated the mandatory reporting handouts to help clarify the situations in which you should contact child protective services versus law enforcement.  Download the Handout (in either English or Spanish) here.

Pope Francis Wants Your Opinion!

Over the coming months, Catholics from around the world will be participating in a worldwide Synod, or consultation process. Lend your voice to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's response to Pope Francis' Synod on Synodality! What would you like the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and Pope Francis to know?  Visit, or and share your thoughts.

Did you know????

As a parish employee – if your parish participates in the St Raphael Health Plan – you have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  You are eligible, even if you yourself do not have insurance through the St. Raphael Plan.   The EAP offers help with stress, depression, parenting and family needs, workplace concerns, substance abuse, financial and legal issues, and more.  
Benefits include:
  • 24/7 On-Demand Emotional Health Support by phone
  • Visit with a Behavioral Health Provider – you are eligible for up to three visits per problem, per family member, per plan year at no cost to you
  • Virtual Visits
  • Financial or legal consultation – at no cost to you
  • Other helplines and training.
Access to the EAP Program is easy, confidential, and available 24 hours a day.  Personal information is never shared with your employer.

From Our Friends

Cor Unum: Masters Program and More

Sacred Heart School of Theology offers Cor Unum (One Heart), a graduate program combined with spiritual formation and pastoral skills for your ministry.


Formation Resources

Discover free-of-charge resources to supplement or enhance your lessons.  Videos, lesson plans and other resources have been vetted by our review team, and are listed by general topic and by age group.  Visit:
Do you have a favorite resource to share?  Send us your suggestions under "Submit a Resource."

Catholic Summer VBS/Camp

During the cool months of the year, parishes are planning activities for the warmest months – summer Vacation Bible School or Catholic Camps.  There are several publishers who offer Catholic programs or Catholic supplements to their VBS programs.   Click on the image to see a listing of Catholic programs.

District Meetings

Washington County
May 23 @ Noon
St. Michael, Kewaskum
Dodge County
June 15 @ 5:00 pm
Cookout & Evening of Reflection
Discher Park, Horicon
Milwaukee County SW/SE
May 17 @ 12 noon
Explorium Brewpub, Greendale
*** To have your district meetings included in the newsletter,
please send your meeting information to:

Job Openings

To see all job listings in the Archdiocese,

Contact Us

Gary Pokorny
Jennifer Murphy
Program and Event Coordinator
This ministry is supported by the Catholic Stewardship Appeal.
Do you have an article, event or district meeting you would like included in the newsletter???  
Please send information to:
Facebook Twitter
This email was sent by: Office of Evangelization & Catechesis
3501 South Lake Drive
St. Francis WI 53225