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Faith formation essential, catechists told at congress

Janet Benestad, right, the archdiocese’s Secretary for Faith Formation and Evangelization together with a group of attendees, participate in the opening prayer service at the Catechetical Congress at Lantana’s in Randolph Oct. 24. Pilot photo/Robea Patrowicz

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RANDOLPH -- Prayer and continued faith formation needs to be central to the life of a catechist, both on a personal level and in teaching their students about the Catholic faith, speakers at an Oct. 24 archdiocesan conference on catechesis told participants.

The Archdiocese of Boston’s Office of Religious Education hosted its annual Catechetical Congress at the Lantana function hall. The conference attracted over 600 attendees, many of whom are involved in faith formation of young people and adults through their roles as catechists in parish faith formation programs, youth ministers, and Catholic school religion teachers. The meeting was bi-lingual, offering separate keynote addresses in both English and Spanish, and separate breakout sessions for speakers of both languages.

The conference opened with a multi-lingual prayer service led by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, which offered prayers in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Portuguese, and Creole. Following the service, English and Spanish speakers adjourned to attend separate sessions.

Susan Kay, the assistant director for catechetical leadership in the religious education office of the archdiocese, presented the winners of the 2009 Sister Marion O’Connor, RC Award for Excellence in Catechetical Leadership. The winners were Frances Taylor, the religious education director at Sacred Heart Parish in Lynn and Sister Elisette Signor, MSCS, of the Brazilian apostolate at St. Anthony Parish in Allston.

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