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‘Spring Forward’ offers renewal, fellowship

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'SPRING' TIME: The annual Spring Forward conference, held last year in the St. Therese Parish Social Center in Del Cerro, provides an opportunity for spiritual renewal and fellowship at the midpoint of the catechetical year. (Credit: Leonardo Fonseca)

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SAN DIEGO — Catechists in the Diocese of San Diego will have three opportunities to attend the annual “Spring Forward” conference.

Spring Forward is a mid-year catechetical conference sponsored by the diocesan Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry.

Diocesan Chancellor Marioly Galván, who directs that office, described the event as “a day of spiritual renewal, fellowship and community-building” for catechists as they enter the second half of the faith-formation year.

For catechists in San Diego County, “Spring Forward” will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 20, at St. Michael Parish’s Holy Family Center in Poway. There is a $25 cost to attend.

The presenter will be nationally-known speaker and author Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy, who has served in Catholic education and diocesan catechetical ministry for decades. This past summer, she retired as director of faith formation for the Diocese of Honolulu.

Mondoy’s presentation, titled “Out of the Ordinary,” was inspired by a quote from Pope Francis: “God is hidden in our life. He is always there; He is concealed in the commonest and most ordinary situations in our life.” Her presentation will expound on this theme by reflecting on three biblical stories involving Jesus’ friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus.

“We will engage in Jesus’ method of using every day, common, ordinary moments as the perfect context for ‘kerygmatic catechesis’: communicating God’s saving love in Jesus Christ so that we may have the fullness of life,” she said.

Mondoy added, “I hope that attendees will gain increased confidence as ‘kerygmatic catechists’ – both in and beyond the classroom – who joyfully share the message of salvation in Jesus Christ (‘kerygma’) in the context of our everyday lives.”

In the Imperial Valley, “Spring Forward” will be presented by Dr. Dora Tobar, who has a doctorate in Dogmatic Theology and serves as senior associate for Hispanic Ministry and Hispanic Family Ministry in the Diocese of Lafayette, Ind.

The conference will be offered in Spanish from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Jan. 26, at St. Patrick Parish in Calipatria, and in English from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 27, at the same location. The cost to attend will be $10 for the Jan. 26 conference and $15 for the next day’s.

Tobar explained that she will be giving two talks during the Jan. 26 event. The first will reflect on “the ministry that God has entrusted to married couples, as spouses and parents.”

“With the grace of God shared in their daily lives, spouses and parents build the Domestic Church and become witness of the salvation of the cross for the rest of the Church and society,” she said.

The second talk will explore the importance of good communication within families and will be accompanied by a practical “effective listening” exercise.

Meanwhile, Tobar said, the Jan. 27 event will cover similar ground. It will explain how married couples are the “ministers” of the Domestic Church; offer material that will help parishes to form couples and parents in that role; show how to listen and communicate effectively within the family; and conclude with a prayer for healing from our emotional wounds.

Register for the Spring Forward conferences at sdcatholicdisciples.net/events or (858) 490-8232.

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