Upcoming Catholic Youth Day
Our Catholic Youth Day will take place this Saturday, October 1, on the grounds of Cathedral Camp. This free, one-day event, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., will bring our youth a healthy dose of community, fellowship, fun, food, prayer, and worship.
Last year, in my talk at Catholic Youth Day, I reminded the young men and women of the importance of always remaining connected with God in what is a very busy world and of knowing they can turn to their faith to help them face the challenges they will inevitably encounter in life.
This year the theme for Youth Day is “Remember Me,” which is a reference to the Institution of the Eucharist when Jesus told His disciples, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
For the event, the Diocese is blessed to welcome a special guest, Chika Anyanwu. She is a Catholic evangelist, former Confirmation coordinator/youth & young adult minister, and the author of “My Encounter: How I Met Jesus in Prayer.” Through testimony, scripture, and honest conversations about the difficult realities of faith and life, she’s had the opportunity to evangelize at the National Catholic Youth Convention (NCYC), Steubenville youth conferences, FOCUS SEEK conferences, and The Catholic Feminist France pilgrimage. She’s also a contributor to “Blessed Is She” as well as “Connected” and “Venture: the Bible Timeline” by Ascension Press.
Chika’s presentations will be coupled with fellowship, a Catholic rap concert, and Mass, at which I will be the principal celebrant and homilist. I am hopeful the day will enkindle in our youth a fire of faith which will become the source of their help in a busy world.
Registration is for groups only and will need to be completed by a parish leader. You can find the form “Catholic Youth Day 2022” at: https://form.jotform.com/yyafamily/catholicyouthday22
Safe Environment Update
In July, the Diocese of Fall River took part in a triennial onsite audit conducted by an outside firm to assess our compliance with the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. You’ll likely recall that that document, adopted by the bishops in 2002 in Dallas, provides a comprehensive uniform set of procedures for dioceses to follow to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors. It’s often referred to as the ‘Dallas Charter.’
I am very pleased to report that our Diocese has been found to be in full compliance with the Charter.
To ensure accountability to its full implementation, the Charter requires annual audits of dioceses around the nation by an outside independent entity to assess compliance. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops hired StoneBridge Business Partners of Rochester, N.Y., to conduct these audits. They usually consist of data collection and review, except every third year when an onsite visit is conducted for a more in-depth audit. This year it was our turn for the onsite visit.
In preparation for the visit, our Safe Environment Office provided over 100 documents to StoneBridge to corroborate our adherence to all articles of the Charter covering the period from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2022. For three days in July, two auditors from StoneBridge were here, interviewing a broad range of diocesan staff who play important roles in implementing the Charter. They met with me, our Chancellor, General Counsel, the Directors of Safe Environment and of Communications, and members of the Ministerial Review Board. They also visited four parishes and two schools to assess Charter compliance in our institutions. An additional auditor worked remotely to support the process.
At the conclusion of the audit, I met with them to discuss our strengths and areas for improvement. I am grateful for their outside perspective and feedback that can assist us in striving for continuous improvement in child protection, education and training, and pastoral response to survivors of abuse.
You can read the official acknowledgement of compliance from StoneBridge here.
Complete information on our Safe Environment enterprise is here.
Fall Adult Confirmation Preparation
The Diocesan preparation program for those adults (18+) who want to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation is intended to provide catechetical instruction in the faith, as well as spiritual support to compliment the parish in the formation of candidates who are completing their initiation in the Catholic Church.
Prior to registration, candidates must begin this process by meeting with their pastor to gather the necessary canonical documents—to determine if there are any barriers to the reception of the Sacrament and to talk about their desire to receive the Sacrament.
This preparation program consists of seven sessions in total, with both virtual and in-person sessions. The online sessions will take place via Zoom Thursday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The In-person sessions will be offered on three Saturdays throughout October and November from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St Julie Billiart Church Hall, 494 Slocum Rd, North Dartmouth, MA 02747. More information and dates are available here: www.fallriverfaithformation.org/adult-confirmation
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha