By GEORGIA BULLETIN STAFF | Published June 13, 2019
ATLANTA— The Atlanta Catechist Conference is an annual gathering of volunteer catechists, core teams, parish catechetical leaders, youth ministers, RCIA teams and Catholic school teachers. The theme of this year’s conference, to be Aug. 17, is “Jesus, Walk with Us.”
The day of workshops closes with Mass and will be held at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel & Convention Center, 2450 Galleria Parkway, Atlanta.
The event supports the ongoing formation and enrichment of parish volunteers and lay ministry leaders who serve the church’s mission of evangelization and catechesis. The day features national and local speakers leading workshops on theology, spirituality, methodology and more topics. Participants earn catechist certification credit in the Archdiocese of Atlanta for all workshops attended.
The Office of Faith Formation of the archdiocese and the metro deaneries host the event.
Tony Alonso is the 2019 keynote speaker. Alonso is a theologian and composer whose work is animated by the diverse needs of the contemporary church. A Cuban-American, Alonso’s compositions embrace multicultural musical expressions and reflect a commitment to strong ritual song. His music appears in compilations and hymnals across Christian denominations throughout the world.
Early bird pricing for the conference is available through Saturday, July 13 at a cost of $25 per participant. The pricing increases at different levels as the conference date draws nearer. English and Spanish language programs are available, and lunch is included.
“I love that we can give our catechists access to national speakers, feed them spiritually, theologically and physically,” said Joyce Guris, director of religious education and youth ministry at Transfiguration Church, Marietta.
She was instrumental in planning and executing the first conference more than a decade ago.
“Obviously, I’m biased, but catechetical ministry is huge—weekly planning, weekly teaching and praying—for almost nine months out of the year.”
The Catechist Conference will include special focus tracks, designated for specific ministries but open to all. Participants may choose all of their workshops from one track or select workshops from multiple tracks.
Focus tracks include:
Youth ministry workshops are designed for youth ministers, catechists and core team members who minister to middle and high school youth.
Adult faith formation workshops are designed for volunteers and leaders who lead adult faith formation. These workshops may also be relevant to parish catechetical leaders who lead parent meetings or administer family catechesis.
Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) workshops focus on the process of Christian initiation. The workshops are for both RCIA leaders and team members.
Parish catechetical leader (PCL) workshops are for people who lead faith formation programs at a parish. Typically, this is a paid staff member but in some cases, a volunteer will function in this role. (English only).
Scholarships are also available for the conference.