More than 200 participate in a day of workshops on the Catholic faith featuring ‘a great lineup of presenters and topics’
By Dan McWilliams
The diocese held its sixth Ministries Day on Aug. 19 at All Saints Church in Knoxville, and more than 200 people took part in a morning and an afternoon of workshops on the Catholic faith.
The event was open to all who share the faith, including parents, student youth leaders, coordinators of youth ministry, RCIA teams, adult educators, liturgy and ministry teams, directors of religious education, and catechists and assistants. More than 20 individual workshops were offered, including a Spanish track.
“This year we had a great lineup of presenters and topics,” said Father Richard Armstrong, assistant director of the diocesan Office of Christian Formation, the Ministries Day sponsor. “The feedback that we have received has been very positive. Based upon the comments, I would say this was the most successful Ministries Day to date.”
Thirty-one parishes registered for Ministries Day, with 248 people in attendance, including presenters.
The theme for 2017 was “Missionary Disciples for the New Evangelization.” Previous themes were
“Sharing Gifts in Faith” (2011); “Answering Our Baptismal Call” (2012); “The New Evangelization: Forming Disciples of Jesus Christ” (2014); “Families Together in Christ” (2015); and “Merciful like the Father” (2016). There was no Ministries Day in 2013 because of the Eucharistic Congress.
This year’s workshops included a two-hour afternoon session on “Catechist Orientation,” led by Jason Gale, director of the Catechist Formation Program at Aquinas College.
Father Michael Sweeney presented two one-hour workshops on “Apologetics.” Father Sweeney is the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Harriman, St. Ann Parish in Lancing, and St. Christopher Parish in Jamestown.
Additional one-hour English workshops and presenters were:
- “The Almost Christian Formation of Teens,” Deacon Thomas Franklin of Notre Dame in Greeneville;
- “Alpha Program,” Deacon Dave Pecot of St. Thomas the Apostle in Lenoir City;
- “The Best Our Christian Authors Have to Offer,” Deacon David Lucheon of All Saints in Knoxville;
- “Cross Catholic Outreach/Box of Joy,” June Lawrence;
- “The Familial Approach to Evangelization and Discipleship,” Jason Gale;
- “Evangelizing the Domestic Church,” Bob Hunt;
- “The Corporal Works of Mercy: Practical Ways to Live Out God’s Call for Mercy,” Deacon Scott Maentz of Holy Ghost in Knoxville;
- “Evangelization 2,000 Years Later: The Mission and Its Challenges,” Sister Anna Marie McGuan, RSM, director of the Office of Christian Formation;
- “Evangelizing Utilizing Technology,” Jim Wogan, director of communications for the Diocese of Knoxville;
- “Evangelizing Ourselves, From Good To Better,” Deacon Bill Jacobs of Our Lady of Fatima in Alcoa;
- “Forming Teen Disciples,” Deacon Al Forsythe, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Knoxville;
- “Handmaids of the Precious Blood,” Jimmy Dee and Gisela Chaparro;
- “Hands-On Help for Catechists,” Arlene Webb;
- “Introduction to the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd,” Becky Frye;
- “Mercy and End of Life Decisions,” Paul Simoneau, vice chancellor for administration and director of the Office of Justice and Peace for the Diocese of Knoxville;
- “Missionary Discipleship: Local Action for a Global Impact,” Deacon Brian Edwards of St. Edward in Nashville;
- “Sacred Icons: Learning to See as God Sees,” Father Richard Armstrong;
- “We Are Called to Bear Much Fruit,” Brittany Koepke, Hispanic youth and young adult minister for the Diocese of Knoxville; and
- “You Had Me at Hello! Hospitality as the Gateway to Evangelization,” Marian Christiana, coordinator of the Diocese of Knoxville’s Office of Marriage Preparation and Enrichment.
Hispanic workshops were presented by Father Julián Cardona, Esteban González, Lilian Isaac, and Alicia Mora.