Published October 6, 2016
ATLANTA—More than 600 catechists representing 40 churches attended the 10th annual North and Northwest Metro Deanery Catechist Conference at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Atlanta Aug. 20.
“Prayer: The Faith Prayed” was the theme for the conference, with workshops offered to nurture catechists in their own faith and to prepare them to teach others about the faith. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory led the opening prayer and commissioned catechists to service. Catechists brought canned goods for North Fulton Community Charities to show solidarity with those in need and as witness to living the faith.
Archbishop Gregory and Father Luis Guillermo Córdoba delivered keynote presentations. Catechists were encouraged to draw closer to the Lord through a deeper and more faithful commitment to prayer, in private and with others, in communion with the sacramental life of the Church.
Amy Daniels, director of the Office of Formation and Discipleship, welcomed and thanked catechists for attending and noted the conference has grown to be the largest catechetical gathering in the Southeast.
Featured speakers included Sister Janet Schaeffler, OP; Thomas Ryan, Ph.D., of The Loyola Institute of Ministry; Nancy Bird from RCL Benziger Publishing; Matt Weber, author of the best-selling Loyola Press books, “Fearing the Stigmata” and “Operating on Faith”; Father Brian Sheridan, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Smyrna; Father Dennis Dorner, chaplain at Our Lady of Mercy High School in Fayetteville; and Kat Doyle, archdiocesan director of Justice and Peace Ministries.
Seventy-five workshops were offered in English and Spanish, from basic methodology, lesson planning, effective teaching, praying with children, art as a form of prayer, storytelling, teaching children about adoration to advanced theology as well as workshops required for catechist certification.
The Knights of Columbus of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Kennesaw brought grills and cheerful hearts to serve lunch to more than 675 people.
Coordinating parish staff represented were St. Ann Church, Marietta; St. Brigid Church, Johns Creek; St. Catherine of Siena Church, Kennesaw; Holy Family Church, Marietta; St. Joseph Church, Marietta; St. Jude the Apostle Church, Atlanta; St. Michael the Archangel Church, Woodstock; St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell; St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Smyrna; St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Alpharetta; and Transfiguration Church, Marietta.
Religious education publishers, local businesses, the Office of Formation and Discipleship and a grant from the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia supported the conference by hosting speakers, morning hospitality, lunch and items for catechist tote bags.
For additional conference information or to join the distribution list for 2017, visit www.catechistconference.wordpress.com or contact Joyce Guris, email@example.com.