Catechetical leader hopefuls look for ways to serve Church
By Rose O’Connor | Correspondent
Bill Schmidt is thinking about becoming more involved in his parish, St. Mary of the Lakes, Medford, after he retires from his job in August.
“I am trying to figure out how to best serve the Church,” Schmidt said during the March 30 recruitment fair held in the diocesan Chancery, Lawrenceville, for those interested in becoming parish catechetical leaders. “[I] received a lot of good information today.”
Denise Contino, diocesan Department of Catechesis director, said the recruitment fair was full of positive energy.
“They have a desire to discern their role in the Church,” she said of the inquirers she met. “People are searching for something, and this was a good opportunity to help people get where they need to be in ministry.”
Brian Jefferes, the department’s associate director, agreed. “I’m excited the Holy Spirit is calling them to ministry. They really want to be active in the Church.”
Among the information Contino and Jefferes shared during the three-hour fair, hosted by the diocesan Department of Catechesis, were particulars about the new, two-year Parish Catechetical Leadership certificate program that the department is initiating in the fall. All parish catechetical leaders in the Diocese will be required to complete the program. Sessions will be offered on Thursdays in Mary, Mother of the Church Parish, Bordentown, and on Saturdays in St. Dominic Parish, Brick. Interested candidates will need to complete an official application, obtain an endorsement from their pastor and take part in an interview with a staff member from the Office of Catechesis. The cost of the program is $200, which includes necessary materials.
Stacey Schear, catechist in St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson, who has taught students fifth, sixth and seventh grades and is also involved with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process for youth, said she was exploring potential catechetical endeavors because “I am passionate about my faith and feel a call to service.
“I believe God put in my hearts a desire to help children grow in their faith. They are the future of the Church,” she said.
Deacon Vincent Rinaldi, who ministers in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, is currently involved with baptismal preparation, but he is hoping to become involved as a catechetical leader.
“I need to be doing parish work. It is my calling,” he said.
Patricia Tolmayer from Sacred Heart Parish, Mount Holly, a catechist for 17 years who has taught first and eighth grades, said, “I feel like it’s time for me to take a more leadership role in my faith. It’s time for me to fill a void I feel is missing.”
For more information on the Parish Catechetical Leadership Program, visit https://www.dioceseoftrenton.org/parish-catechetical-leadership-program or contact Doreen Griffin-Gallway at [email protected].[[In-content Ad]]