November 2010 Meeting Minutes

LIFELONG CATECHESIS COMMISSION

Meeting Minutes – November 18, 2010

Members Present:  Joyce Archuletta, Martha Becker, Marianne Dunne, Laura Fisher Escalera, Brother Harry Gonzales, Alicia Massarotti, Mary Ralph, Bobbie Jo Stupnik, Joe Chrisman – Director of the Worship Office, Sister Betty Werner – Director of Lifelong Catechesis

Members Excused:  Susan Johnson, Marilyn Marinelli, Shirley Rodriguez

Sacramental Guidelines – Joe Chrisman joined the group for this discussion regarding the following additions, clarifications and necessary changes:

#2 Is “a suitable period of instruction for parents or legal guardians and sponsors” too vague?  Since the instruction varies according to the needs of individuals, this statement should remain open and not be changed.

#4 What about the pastor who considers the age of 7 as absolute?  The pastor makes the subjective determination as to whether an individual has reached the age of reason, which is normally 7.  This statement needs to remain as it is stated because a norm cannot be set based on one pastor.

#5 second dot – Should “reasonable hope for the infant’s upbringing in the faith” be more clearly explained?  Canon law uses the word “well founded hope.”  Diocesan guidelines need to mirror what is in Canon law and not make the sacraments unreachable. 

#6 This statement could be expanded a bit to include not denying baptism based on whether the parents are confirmed or not.  Parishes should not make the sacrament of Baptism unattainable.

#9 Add something like “It is important for the celebration of Baptism to take place on Sunday because it enables the community to be aware of who is being baptized and becoming new members of the community.”  The final decision needs to be left to pastoral discretion.

#16 Two bullet points should be added to what Baptismal preparation and instruction should include:

  • Include preparation of the Rite of Baptism
  • Use approved USCCB materials

#20 Pastoral Note 1 – Is the word “reared” the best word to use in the phrase “the child would be ‘reared’ in the Catholic Faith.”  The word “reared” was left because it was taken from the new RCIA guidelines at the bottom of p. 7.

#20 Pastoral Note 3 – The numbers should read 17-20 and not just 17.

#20 After Pastoral Note 4, first dot – Make this dot #21 and give it the title “Christian Witness.”  A third note could include “A question in this area could be referred to the Canon Law Office.

#26 now #27 – Eliminate “to” in the second line.

#28 now #29, second dot -  “pace” should be spelled “place.”

#30 now #31 – This number should include the statement, “legal names as they appear on the birth certificate.”  A copy of the birth certificate should be presented to the parish prior to Baptism.

Suggestion:  It would be helpful for Msgr Plewka to give another workshop on record keeping guidelines for Staff members at the parish level.  The Bishop should check Baptismal records during official parish visits.

#32 Something could be added regarding appropriate Christian names.

General Discussion Regarding Guidelines for Eucharist

  • A minimum of two years in a parish program is the norm.
  • Ongoing involvement in the life of the parish needs to be stressed.
  • Parents are the first and primary educators of their children.  We cannot assume that faith is not lived at home.  Who are we to say it has to be “my program.”
  • A concern was expressed that some parishes will not allow first communion until children are in the third grade.

General Discussion Regarding Guidelines for Confirmation

  • “While the majority of young people in various dioceses are confirmed during their High School years, the trend does seem to be changing to younger ages.
  • Archdiocese of Denver confirms between the ages of 12-14 
    • Diocese of Colorado Springs – moving to 7th and 8th grade
    • Diocese of Cheyene – 7th grade
    • Archdiocese of Sante Fe – High School
    • Dodge City Diocese is in the midst of a current study and is considering restoring the order.
  • Should confirmation be delayed until High School as an incentive for students to stay in religious education programs?  Many parishes seem to think so. 
  • Should the order of the sacraments of initiation be restored and the focus be placed on a youth program to keep youth connected with the Church?  What has been the experience in Dioceses where the order has been restored? 
  • A Diocesan youth director was strongly favored, and the group agreed to submit a request to the Bishop asking that a Diocesan Youth Director be hired.

Participation in the University of Dayton Program

  • It was agreed that Commission members would participate in the first course, “Survey of Catholic Doctrine,” as a group.  The course begins January 23rd and ends February 26th. 
  • Father Tomas and several Spanish speaking folks will take a course and let us know how the needs of Spanish speaking people can be met using the Dayton Program.  

Report on Sister Betty’s Pastor / DRE / CRE Visits

  • Visits are completed in the Durango Deanery and part of the Grand Junction Deanery. 
  • Parishes are using a variety of programs.
  • DRE’s / CRE’s and pastors have been very open to the visits.
  • There is an openness to participating in the Dayton program.  Some expressed concern about the money.
  • A summary report will be given once all visits are completed.

Commission Membership Terms

  • Current terms will last until the end of 2011.
  • Members are eligible for two terms.
  • Current members and their terms are as follows: 
    • Joyce Archuleta – 2009 – 2012 (2nd term)
    • Martha Becker – 2008-2011 (1st term)
    • Marianne Dunne – 2008-2911 (2nd term)
    • Laura Fisher Escalera – 2008-2011 (1st term) 
    • Brother Harry Gonzales – 2009-2012 (2nd term) 
    • Susie Johnson – 2008-2011 (1st term)
    • Marilyn Marinelli – 2008-2011 (1st term) 
    • Alicia Massarotti – 2009-2012 (2nd term)
    • Mary Therese Ralph – 2008-2011 (1st term) 
    • Shirley Rodriguez – 2008-2011 (1st term) 
    • Bobbie Jo Stupnik – 2009-2012 (2nd term)
  • It was suggested that the committee consist of ten to twelve members representing youth, young adult, and elementary catechists.

Approval of Minutes from the August 19th Meeting

  • The minutes were approved and found helpful.
  •  Susie Johnson and Sister Betty’s name need to be included in the members who were present at the meeting.

Discussion Related to Follow-up Items

  • Shield the Vulnerable
    • Parishes need another reminder about completing “Shield the Vulnerable” on line.
    • Theresa Farley needs to stress that the Bishop supports the program.
    • Let everyone know that a group format is possible.
  • Dayton program
    • Begin the program with catechetical leaders and catechists.
    • Prison ministers, charismatic leaders, speakers, and courses for Deacons could be encouraged later. 
  • Ministry Congress
    • The traveling concept should continue, but Monday evening should be avoided.
    • The focus needs to be more clearly identified. 
    • It would be great if Father Mike could give his presentation on the Holy Spirit for the next Ministry Congress.
  • NCYC
    •  Since each parish is on their own, a reminder should be sent to youth directors about securing hotel reservations now. 
    • Questions could be referred to Bobbie Jo or Mary Ralph.
  • World Youth Day
    • The Durango Deanery is planning a Deanery wide event since many are not able to travel to Spain.
  • Laura will make a list of topics that could serve as helpful hints for new DRE’s and CRE’s.  These could be developed and put on the Diocesan website.
  • A concern was expressed that nothing is happening on the topic of marriage.
  • Current practices for the Quinceañera program will continue unless Bishop Isern gives different instructions.

The meeting Closed at 3:00 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for March 3, 2011.