Evangelization and Catechesis: Helping others know Christ Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Eric Schiedermayer, Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, Diocese of Madison   
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

One major mission of the Church is that of “teaching” (see Matt. 28:20 where Jesus gives “the Great Commission”), and a sizable portion of the Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA) money goes to support diocesan activities related to this work.

Such activities include everything from kindergarten religious education programs to seminarian formation and marriage preparation. Some of these activities are coordinated by the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis (OEC).

Work of diocesan office

As one might expect, much of the work of a diocesan office involves the more mundane tasks of administration, coordination, and consultation. The ACA does support the staff of the OEC responsible for these things.

For the OEC, such efforts often involve the community of parish catechetical leaders: directors and coordinators of religious education, youth ministry, and adult faith formation. Some of this work includes:

• Acting as a liaison between the bishop and the parishes by surfacing needs and concerns to the bishop and disseminating guidance and directives from the bishop to the parishes.

• Serving as a consultative resource to parishes and schools in their faith formation efforts, helping staffs thoroughly understand the vision and mission of evangelization and lifelong catechesis, developing strategies to pursue this vision, and understanding the resources available to them in this effort.

• Helping parishes and schools form effective catechists and faith formation personnel, especially through the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute.

• Providing catechetical resources shared at a diocesan level, such as a curriculum library, AV lending library, Web site, and electronic newsletters.

• Coordinating diocesan participation in regional, national, and international catechetical and youth ministry opportunities such as World Youth Day.

Special initiatives

Contributions to the Diocese of Madison’s Annual Catholic Appeal (ACA)support the ministries that serve the people of our diocese.This monthly series seeks to highlight a few of the many ministries supported by the ACA.

For more information on the Annual Catholic Appeal, contact the Office of Stewardship and Development, 702 S. High Point Rd., P.O. Box 44983, Madison, WI 53744, or visit

However, the OEC also facilitates a number of efforts of greater interest to the average reader of the Catholic Herald, such as speakers, rallies, retreats, classes, programs, and events which may be beyond the scope of an individual parish, especially a smaller one.

Three great examples of such initiatives supported by the ACA include YOUTH 2000 retreats, the Love Begins Here summer service program for youth, and the Seat of Wisdom Diocesan Institute for adult faith formation. (See photos on this page.)

One area of the OEC’s efforts will be specifically highlighted in a future column of this series — that of helping parishes support marriages and families, especially through programs of marriage preparation, Theology of the Body for adults and teens, and training in Natural Family Planning.

All efforts of the OEC are solidly grounded in the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church.

Find out more about these and other works supported by the ACA on the Web at

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