Atlantic Catechetical Conference
Thirteen people from our diocese attended this conference in Moncton, NB from May 27 – 29, 2011. The keynote speakers were Dr. Reginald Bibby, widely recognized as one of Canada’s foremost experts on social and religious trends, and Ms. Carol Kuzmochka, Director of the Centre for Ministry Formation at St. Paul's University, Ottawa.
Both speakers created a sense of hope and purpose for those involved in catechesis, indeed for the whole church. Dr. Bibby reminded us that family life is important to Canadians, and if we want to touch people, we must touch their families. Carol reminded us that “we need to move from children to adults, from programs to process, from information to transformation, and from membership to mission”; to be the stranger on the Road to Emmaus, ask the thought-provoking questions and engage in critical reflection with the adults. As the title of the conference implies, the onus is on us to meet these challenges.
Participants were given the opportunity to attend smaller focus sessions as well. One of those sessions was given be Joanne Chafe of the National Office of Religious Education. She explored with her group the new document from the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops – On Good Soil: Pastoral Planning for Evangelization and Catechesis with Adults. This is available from www.cccbpublications.ca