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Mission We believe that through our ministry we continue the mission of Jesus Christ by enabling the people of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois to develop the gifts given them by the Spirit. In carrying out this mission, we strive to provide resources, service and leadership to all who are part of the educational mission of the Church: religious education, early childhood, elementary and secondary schools, and adult education. We do this in the spirit of Jesus Christ.

Evangelizing Catholic P.2 Social Networking P.3 Book Review P.4 Parish Workshops P.5 St. Damien P.6 Caritas in Veritate P.8


he Office for Catechesis of the Diocese

3. Communication is difficult in a diocese that

of Springfield in Illinois is pleased to

covers 28 counties. COREnotes will allow us

present the first issue of COREnotes, our

to collect all of these items in a convenient

newsletter for catechists, teachers, DREs,

format without wasting paper or postage.


CREs, principals, pastors, and anyone

Jonathan Sullivan Director for Catechetical Ministries

else interested in the catechetical mission

What is COREnotes not? It’s not a list of

of the Church!

upcoming events (although we may include

Chris Malmevik Associate Director of Catechesis Cynthia Clemens Executive Secretary Jean Johnson Superintendent of Catholic Schools Marilyn Missel Associate Superintendent of Catholic Schools Barbara Burris Associate Director of School Planning Kyle Holtgrave Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries Beth Schmidt Secretary for School Personnel, Youth and Young Adult Ministries

information on significant events, like the

Why start a newsletter? Three main

Diocesan Adult Enrichment Conference). It’s


not a duplication of the diocesan Monthly Mailing. And it’s not a place to dump press

1. There are a lot of great things going on in

releases from our office.

the parishes and schools of our diocese: in catechetical programs, in sacramental prepa-

Our hope is that COREnotes will inspire,

ration, in youth ministry, and so on. We hope

edify and challenge you as we seek to share

to use COREnotes to share these stories and

our Catholic faith with the people in our par-

help spread best practices and good ideas

ishes and communities.

“from the field.” We will be bringing you COREnotes four times 2. From time to time a new book or interest-

a year in September, December, February and

ing article crosses our path and we want to

May. We would love to hear your thoughts

be able to share it with you. COREnotes will

on what topics you would like to see in

include links to articles in other publications

COREnotes; drop a line to

and the occasional book review.

Be an Evangelizing Catholic: 20 Ways to Be a More Effective Catechist

By Tom Quinlan Director of the Religious Education Office Diocese of Joliet

1. Pray for your children, your families … and for yourself! Pray privately and within the liturgical/sacramental life of your parish community. 2. Provide a gentle, firm, consistent presence. Be there early to welcome each participant by name. Strive to achieve respect prior to seeking to be liked. 3. Listen to and remember the significant things going on in your learners’ lives. (This presumes that an environment is fostered where they will feel comfortable sharing.) 4. Create a physical setting that is comfortable and conducive to meaningful learning. 5. Come to the session well-prepared … and thus, more confident and more relaxed. 6. Find ways to reach out and connect with parents (or guardians). Parents are much in need of re-evangelization and faith formation today. Strive to bring the learning home for families to continue together! 7. Minister in relationship to other catechists. The personal bonds and creative sharing will be a blessing to you and your ministry…and theirs! P.2

8. Pray well with your participants. This means: a. Dedicate sufficient time and quality to the experience; b. Incorporate a liturgical dimension (including ritual action) that fosters a Catholic sensibility in the children and makes Sunday Mass more meaningful; c. Allow them to participate in substantial and creative ways; d. Give them the opportunity to encounter the sacred up close and personal…incorporate a meditative silence, involve special items from their families, etc. 9. Help them to gain a command of: a. The Catholic approach to scripture; b. Distinctive elements of Catholic faith (i.e. various prayer traditions, the Pope and apostolic succession, Eucharist and our sacramental system, Mary and the saints, social justice teaching). 10. Remember that children (and adults) learn more, and more deeply, by doing than by listening…and the most by teaching. Use this to find creative ways to make the learning deep and lasting.

11. Always strive to make connections that show relevance: a. Between the issues of the day/their lives… and what we believe. b. Between what we believe and how we are called to live … discipleship lifestyle.

16. Utilize a variety of learning modes so as to form the whole person. Since catechesis is much more than a strictly academic subject, care must be given to create a learning dynamic that attends to intellect, emotion, spirituality and human experience in proper balance.

12. Teach Catholic faith fully and faithfully. And share your faith experience insofar as it can strengthen the process of learning and integration.

17. If there is a parish Catholic school, make creative connections: a. Catechist-to-teacher; b. Student-to-student.

13. See yourself as more than just a medium to Catholic faith. The catechist is an embodiment of Christ and the Church!

18. Encourage your learners to be evangelizers, in their actions and in their words, at home and in the world.

14. Help your learners to experience Catholic faith and community as good news. We learn more when there is joy and humor, enthusiasm and hope.

19. Be open to the Holy Spirit, both in prayer beforehand and during the session. On occasion the lesson plan will need to be adjusted.

15. Don’t pretend to have all the answers. Be with them on this journey of faith discovery. Try to find answers from good sources, when possible. But also help them grow comfortable with the concept of mystery, the unknowable dimension of God.

20. See yourself as a work-in-progress. Engage in catechist formation that develops your knowledge, your skills and your interior faith life in a way that is integrative. Seek out opportunities to grow as a person of faith, not just as a catechist. (Remember to log your efforts that can count toward catechist certification, too.) © 2009, Tom Quinlan. Used with permission.

Social Networking: A Primer for Catholic Teachers and Catechists Your students are friending, your colleagues are linked in, and everyone is tweeting.

the Church’s teaching on social media, examined the most popular social networking sites, and offered guidelines for getting started in the world

What does it all mean?

of social networking.

This past October Jonathan Sullivan present-

A recording of the webinar

ed a one-hour webinar offering an overview of

was made and is available at

social networking for beginners with a special


emphasis on implications for Catholic educa-


tors and catechists. It included a brief look at


Book Review:

Treasures Old and New by Phillip Neri Powell, OP

. . . prayer is participation; that is to say to

Reviewed by Jonathan F. Sullivan

pray is to play, to go along with, to share in and contribute forward. When you pray for yourself and especially others, you are exercising your baptismal ministry as a royal priest. Think of praying as being submerged in water. Surrounded by God’s living grace, you live and move and work and play in his gifts. As a gift, you are at home among his gifts. Prayer is then our primary way of being with God, being in God, participating in his work and partaking in his divine nature. The supreme and insurmountable moment of prayer for the Christian is the Eucharist, that moment in our ecclesial life when Christ offers Christ to Christ through the priestly office of Christ for his Body, the Church!” ~from the introduction of Treasures Old and New

I’ve often said that one of the gifts post-Boomer Catholics are bringing to the Church is a reappropriation of faith traditions that were largely abandoned following the Second Vatican Council. While many younger Catholics never experienced the rosary, novenas or Eucharistic adoration as children, we are finding them invaluable practices as we grow into faith-filled adults. That today’s young faithful are rediscovering and embracing these traditions — in the context of their modern lives — completes, in many ways, the promises of ressourcement and aggiornamento that were the hallmarks of the council. Fr. Phillip Neri Powell’s new book, Treasures Old and New: Traditional Prayers for Today’s Catholics sits comfortably within this movement. Consisting of novenas, litanies, a new rosary, a selection of penitential prayers, and short morning and evening prayers, Fr. Powell has produced a prayer book that blends ancient prayer forms with a modern spiritual sensibility. Far from an easy pietism, these prayers both enlighten and challenge the reader to enter more deeply into the teachings of the Church. (Full disclosure: Fr. Powell and I were students together at Aquinas Institute of Theology while he was a seminarian.) Fr. Powell, a Dominican, is especially careful to balance the emotional aspects of these traditional prayers with a fidelity to the Church’s theological tradition. Fr. Powell quotes generously from St. Augustine, St. Cyprian, Pope Benedict XVI, and other intellectual giants of the Church. The result is prayers that are “not only devotional, but catechetical as well.” I was especially intrigued by the Way-Truth-Life Rosary, a scriptural meditation on John 15:5-6. Instead of focusing on Christ’s life, this rosary presents mysteries of his self-revelation. For instance, the “Mysteries of the Life” include 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Death of Death (Isaiah 25:7-8) Exchanging One’s Life (Matthew 16:26) Losing One’s Life (John 12:25) Sacrificing One’s Life (Mark 10:45) Eating from the Tree of Life (Revelation 2:7)

If I had one complaint, it is that only some of the individual prayers have introductions. I enjoyed the background information and would have loved more “behind the scenes” thoughts on the theology of the prayers. That having been said, Treasures Old and New is a welcome addition to my book shelf and I’m looking forward to two more promised volumes of prayers from Fr. Powell.


Welcoming Parish Workshops Barb Burris, Associate Director of School Planning

Funded by the Tracy Family Foundation, approved

Evaluating the effectiveness of your parish’s

by the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, and

“people engagement” efforts are conducted by

facilitated by the Institute of School and Parish

a true - false - somewhat test taken by a small

Development (ISPD), a dynamic long-range

committee that assesses:

planning process is being conducted for ten

•people engagement principles

schools of our diocese. As part of the process,

•organization and structure

ISPD associates are also conducting educational

•building a “warm” church

workshops to assist parish leaders.


The last workshop was “Affirming, Welcoming

As part of the “people engagement” process the

and Engaging More People into the Life of Our

parish conducts a parish-wide survey designed to

Catholic Parishes”. ISPD has generously allowed

identify present and future needs in a number of

us to share this material with all the parishes of


our diocese. The goal of this workshop was to assist Parish Councils in creating an organized and dynamic process to welcome, engage and affirm members of the parish. Please use the linked box to the right to access the PowerPoint presentation handout of the workshop and help your parish renew the engagement of your parish families. Each page includes two slides.

Prayer for Charity in Truth ~ Caritas Prayer Father, your truth is made known in your Word. Guide us to seek the truth of the human person. Teach us the way to love because you are Love. Jesus, you embody Love and Truth. Help us to recognize your face in the poor. Enable us to live out our vocation to bring love and justice to your people.

Holy Spirit, you inspire us to transform our world. Empower us to seek the common good for all persons. Give us a spirit of solidarity and make us one human family. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


St. Damien

“Hero of Molokai” a Model During Year for Priests By Rev. Daren J. Zehnle

Pope Benedict XVI has described the saints as “the true bearers of light within history” (Deus caritas est, no. 40), as those who “shine with [Christ’s] light and so guide us along our way” (Spe salvi, no. 49). This light is reflected in countless ways through the lives of the saints. One of these lights to whom I am particularly drawn is Saint Joseph Damien de Vuester. In Damien,

could. When the bishop sought volunteers in 1873 to minister to the lepers on Molokai, he found four priests who would go, each taking a three-month shift. Father Damien volunteered to go first and after he arrived requested to stay permanently. For the next sixteen years he worked among them and loved them with the love of Jesus Christ. He contracted the dread disease himself because of his close interactions with the lepers and died in 1889 at the age of forty-nine. When he first arrived at the leper colony, Damien was not trusted because the people did not know his motives. He slowly won them over by eating from the same poi bowls, sharing a pipe with them and speaking their language. When he was sent to the lepers he was told to stay several feet away from them, lest he, too, contract the disease. Those who had gone before him followed this advice, but he ignored it; instead, he bent down to touch and embrace the lepers. In Damien, the people could say, “We have never seen anything like this” (Mark 2:12).

I have had the blessed privilege of twice visiting the island where the Hero of Molokai labored so faithfully and spent his life in service to his people. The example of this holy priest who, according to his own words, the people could say, “We have never found his “greatest pleasure is to serve the Lord in his poor children seen anything like this” rejected by other people” has long (Mark 2:12). attracted me.

Born in Belgium in 1840, Joseph entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts and took the religious name Damien. When his brother grew ill just before he was to leave for the missions in the Hawaii islands, Damien went in his place in 1864 and remained there until the end of his days. For nine years he labored on the Big Island of Hawaii, building churches with his own hands and serving the people in whatever way he


The man who “would gladly give my life” for his people accepted the cross of leprosy with true faith and humility. He said, “Having no doubts about the true nature of the disease, I am calm, resigned, and very happy in the midst of my people. God certainly knows what is best for my sanctification and I gladly repeat, ‘Thy will be done.’”

When I landed in Honolulu on July 3, 2008 with a group of young pilgrims on our way to Sydney, Australia for the World Youth Day, I learned that that very day Pope Benedict XVI announced his intention to canonize Father Damien on October 11, 2009. I knew then that I wanted to be present for this long awaited day. By God’s grace I was present in Rome at the Mass of Canonization and distributed Holy Communion in the Basilica of St. Peter and I was present in the Basilica of St. John Lateran for a Mass of Thanksgiving, when the Bishop of Honolulu, the Most Rev. Clarence Silva, was given a relic of the saint. Both were profound experiences of faith. lepers at Fr. Damien’s burial

The great joy of the people of Hawaii and of Belgium was evident to all who encountered them in the streets of the Eternal City and I gladly rejoiced with them. The witness of this leper priest, who overcame tremendous obstacles in his proclamation of the Gospel in word and deed, can inspire each of us to follow the Savior with greater fidelity and less reserve. Particularly in this Year for Priests, the example of Father Damien shines brightly before me and, by God’s grace and his intercession, I pray I will be able to imitate his zeal for souls, his tireless dedication and his acceptance of suffering with joy and gratitude for the salvation of others.

“The political and journalistic world can boast of very few heroes who compare with

Fr. Zehnle is Pastor of Sacred Heart parish, Virden, and of St. Patrick parish, Girard, Illinois.

Father Damien of Molokai. It is worthwhile to look for the sources of such heroism.” – Mohandas Gandhi

Responding to Pope Benedict XVI’s message


aritas in Veritate

This past June Pope Benedict XVI released his third encyclical letter, Caritas in Veritate. In it, Pope Benedict addresses the moral dimensions of poverty, globalization, human rights and the environmental movement. Here are some suggestions from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for studying and responding to Caritas in Veritate.


• Visit the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development Web page on Caritas in Veritate at for several useful reflection materials, including: • An individual study guide to help you reflect on several important themes found in Caritas in Veritate. • A group study guide to use with your parish or other community to reflect on the teaching document together.


• Use the Prayer for Charity in Truth to the left in your own prayer life and in group settings. • Read parts of the encyclical that you find challenging or that you seek to understand better. • Work with the liturgy planning team at your parish to create intentions for use during the Prayers of the Faithful based on themes found in Caritas in Veritate.


Families • Take time to consider: How well are we practicing charity toward others in our family and local community? What changes might we make in how we spend time and money to engage regularly in charity and action for justice? • As a family, explore some of the resources listed in the Citizens section below, to learn how Catholics can respond to issues affecting our world. • Reflect on these sections of Caritas in Veritate: 6-7, 15, 18, 43-44, 48-51, 53, 68, and 78-79. Workers • In Catholic teaching, work is a way to support one’s family, express one’s dignity, and promote the common good. Take time to consider: Does my work allow me to use the gifts God has given me for the good of others? How can I apply the values of my Catholic faith and promote justice and charity in the work place? • Reflect on these sections of Caritas in Veritate: 18, 25, 32, 40-42, 62-64, and 69.


Owners, managers, and investors • Business and investment decisions have moral implications. Take time to consider ways that your position offers you the opportunity to influence treatment of workers, protect the environment, share knowledge and technology; protect human life and dignity; and promote the common good of local and global communities. • Reflect on these sections: 22, 25, 32, 35-42, 45-46, 48-51,58, 62-63, 65, 69, 71, and 73. Consumers • Consumers have social and moral responsibilities (66). Take time to consider: As a consumer, how am I called to live more simply? How can I change my purchasing choices to support companies that defend human life, treat workers fairly, protect creation, and reflect the values of Catholic moral and social teaching? • Reflect on these sections of Caritas in Veritate: 22, 25, 43, 45-46, 48-51, 61, and 66. Citizens • Take some time to explore the following Web sites, each of which offer opportunities to learn about, and respond to, issues that the Holy Father highlighted in Caritas in Veritate. • Visit USCCB’s Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development to learn about issues mentioned in the encyclical and to respond: • Become one of a million Catholics who are part of Catholics Confront Global Poverty sponsored by US CCB and Catholic Relief Services: and • Contact the diocesan director for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to learn how you can join the efforts of local groups working to address issues affecting those living in poverty: and • Explore Catholic Teaching on Economic Life at the USCCB Web page: • Visit the USCCB Faithful Citizenship Web page for ideas on how you can advocate for human life and dignity year-round: • Learn about the work of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities: • Consider the issues facing immigrants and refugees. Visit USCCB Migration and Refugee Services: • Campaign to End Poverty in America with Catholic Charities USA: • For more ideas on how Caritas in Veritate calls citizens to respond, reflect on these sections: 6-7, 20, 25, 28, 32, 35-45, 48-51, 53, 58, 60, 65, 67, 71, 75, and 78-79. Copyright © 2009, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. (photo by: Agência Brasil / Wikipedia)


Upcoming Events • Catholic Schools Week January 31 - February 6, 2010 Catholic Schools Week is a nationwide event recognizing educational excellence For more information, visit: The strongest proof that we are made in the image of the Trinity is this: love alone makes us happy because we live in a relationship, and we live to love and to be loved. – Benedict XVI

This work is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoncommercialShare Alike 3.0 United States License.

On the Incarnation There is a story of a young king in the olden days who really cared about his people, and was grieved to know how much they suffered from hunger and cold and pestilence. He did what he could by gifts of clothes and food, but his own resources were scanty, and the people were often too ignorant to do the best for themselves. When the king tried to teach them better ways of farming and building, the people made little response. ‘It’s no good telling the King of troubles,’ they would say. ‘He could never understand what it is to work or to be hungry and cold.’ The young king felt discouraged and went to a wise old minister and asked his advice. ‘How can I win the confidence of my people?’ he said. ‘I want to show them how to put an end to some of their misfortunes, and help them to bear the others with courage. They do not know their king cares about them — tell me how I can make them understand.’ ‘There would be only one way, I think, Your Majesty.’ ‘Tell me, for God’s sake.’ ‘If Your Majesty could go and live amongst them, not as king, but as one of themselves….’ That night a poorly-clad man left the palace; no one recognized the King and no one knew his secret but the old minister and two or three trusted servants. It was given out that the King had gone on a foreign journey. For months he lived in a poor hut, and lived and ate and worked as a peasant, tended the sick and helped the workers. His fellows soon got to love him and came to him for help and advice, and were very sorry when he said good-bye to them. When he reappeared at the palace and once more went amongst the people in royal fashion, he was soon recognised by those who had known him as a labourer. The story spread, and thenceforward his people loved and trusted him because he had shown that he loved and cared for them. To make us understand God’s love for us was the purpose of the Incarnation. - Rev. F.H. Drinkwater, Catechism Stories Part I: the Creed (1939)

COREnotes Issue 01 Feast of Mary, Mother of God 2010

Office for Catechesis 1615 W. Washington • P.O. Box 3187• Springfield, IL 62708-3187 217.698.8500 ph • 217.698.8620 fax •

COREnotes - Issue 01  

Feast of Mary, Mother of God, 2010 Download the PDF at

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