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March 16 workshops to address faith formation on many levels

By LISA SCHULTE
The Catholic Voice


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What: Two workshops address national faith formation on youth and adult levels

Who: For pastoral leaders of the Archdiocese of Omaha

When: Thursday, March 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Leo Church, 1920 N. 102nd St., Omaha

Why: To find ways to improve faith formation in the Archdiocese of Omaha and to link the formation across the lifespan

Cost: $25 before March 10, $30 after March 10; lunch included

To register: Contact Office of Religious Formation, 554-8493

Looking ahead: A one-day conference for all parish leaders called 'Becoming a Church of Lifelong Learners" will be held April 27 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, 3304 Fourth Ave., Council Bluffs, Iowa. Conference sponsored by the Generations of Faith Project and the Center for Ministry Development.

Pastoral leaders in the Archdiocese of Omaha will have the opportunity to attend two workshops for the price of one next month.

Two workshops addressing faith formation will be held March 16 at St. Leo Church, 102nd and Blondo streets, Omaha. The day is considered an in-service for pastoral leaders, including priests, campus ministers, Catholic school educators and coordinators of religious education, youth ministry and adult formation.

During the morning workshop from 9 a.m. to noon, Dr. Robert McCarty, executive director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, will speak about the results of the National Study of Youth and Religion, a six-year research project on the influence religion and spirituality has on the lives of American adolescents. Discussion will also address cultural and institutional practices, and the parental influences with regard to youth and religion.

This will be one of the first opportunities people have in the Archdiocese of Omaha to look at the issue on a wide scale.

It's important for every one involved in faith formation, not just those working with high school youth, to come to this workshop because it will show what is working in the archdiocese and what needs to improve in the area of faith formation, said Rita Ramos, assistant director of youth ministry for the archdiocese. Parents are invited, too, because of their influence on their own children regarding faith, she added.

The afternoon workshop from 1-4 p.m. will explore the key concepts found in the new National Directory of Catechesis, which came out in May 2005. The workshop will also help participants consider how this directory will affect catechesis in the Archdiocese of Omaha, with particular attention given to both adolescent and adult catechesis.

Daniel Mulhall, assistant secretary for Catechesis and Inculturation for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will lead the afternoon workshop.

'For anybody doing any kind of faith formation, [the directory] is kind of the Bible of where we should be going, what dioceses should be doing, what parishes should be doing to get us moving in the right direction for catechesis in this country," said Cathi Snyder, catechist certification coordinator for the archdiocese.

The workshop will study the implications for the archdiocese and the parishes, and address where changes need to be made and what needs to be focused on, she said.

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