Secretariat for the New Evangelization
In my August 18th blog, I shared the July 1st establishment of The Secretariat for the New Evangelization— restructuring the Office of Faith Formation, Campus Ministry, and the Pro-Life Apostolate into one consolidated ministerial and administrative department. The Secretariat will continue the ministry and service offered in these areas while also exploring opportunities to expand evangelization efforts and overseeing the work needed on the diocesan level for the upcoming Vatican Synod and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Eucharistic Revival Project.
The formation of the Secretariat for the New Evangelization was first envisioned in the final report of the 2019 Diocesan Commission on Youth. I’m delighted to see it coming together so beautifully under the direction of David Carvalho, formerly the diocesan Senior Director for Youth, Young Adult and Family Life Ministries, now the Secretary for the New Evangelization.
We recently announced additional staff hiring, how the restructuring affected other diocesan offices, and some of their future plans on the Fall River Diocese page; I invite you to read that announcement here.
The Church will celebrate Catechetical Sunday on September 19, 2021, with this year’s theme: “Say the Word and My Soul Shall be Healed.” This day is an excellent opportunity for our parishes to commission those who serve as catechists.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website offers several videos and downloadable resources that may interest anyone who provides any type of faith formation in our Diocese. Catechetical Sunday offers a time to acknowledge and thank everyone, either working or volunteering to pass on the faith to our children. I am personally so grateful for the hard work and dedication of our Diocese’s Catechists, Directors of Religious Education, Catholic School Educators, Administrators, and Catechetical Leaders.
I wanted to share this painting titled Christ Healing the Blind (ca. 1570) and the reflection that accompanies it on the USCCB website.
“This image by the famed artist, El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), illustrates the Gospel account of Christ healing a blind man by anointing his eyes.
The past year has highlighted the urgent need for healing–physical, spiritual, emotional–in ourselves and in our world. As our world struggles to heal, complete healing is not possible without Jesus as the Divine Physician.
The words we pray at Mass, “Say the Word and My Soul Shall be Healed”, have the power to remind us to open our eyes to the healing that Jesus offers us in the Eucharist. We humbly ask him to say the word, and with that prayer, we have faith that, with the fantastic and improbable prospect of Jesus entering under our roof, our souls shall be healed.”
Conferring Confirmations – Youth and Adult
As Faith formation programs begin again for the fall, so does the celebration of Confirmation across the Diocese. Conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation is one of my greatest privileges and joy as a Bishop and something I very much look forward to throughout the year.
Adult Catholics (ages 18 and older) who have been baptized, received first Eucharist, but have not celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation, are invited to complete full initiation into the Catholic Church by celebrating this important Sacrament.
Various parishes offer an Adult Confirmation program (a parish directory can be found here). Additionally, the Office of Faith Formation offers a Diocesan Adult Confirmation program that parishes may utilize. Diocese-sponsored classes begin in October; see the fall schedule listed below. For more information, including the first steps to start the process, please visit the Secretariat for the New Evangelization Adult Confirmation page here.
Fall Schedule 2021
Online Zoom Sessions: Thursday Evenings from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on Oct 7, 21, 28, Nov 18 (Zoom links will be sent in September to registrants).
In-Person Sessions: Saturday Mornings from 10 am to 12 Noon on Oct 16, Nov 6, Dec 4, St Julie Billiart Church Hall, 494 Slocum Rd, North Dartmouth, MA 02747.
Conferral: December 9, 2021, at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, Fall River
Please know of my continued prayers for you, your families, and parish communities. Although we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic—witnessing students return to classrooms and faith formation programs meeting in-person again—are great harbingers of hope.
Yours in Christ,
Bishop da Cunha