By Marnie McAllister, Record Editor
The Archdiocese of Louisville’s annual Faith Formation Celebration honored 75 people at the Flaget Center Sept. 27.
Catechists and others who work in faith formation are essential to the church’s mission of evangelization and missionary discipleship, said Art Turner, director of faith formation for the Archdiocese of Louisville.
Within that mission, there are two parts, he said: The capacity to relay the teachings of the church and to witness to one’s personal faith.
“We need both of those,” said Turner. “It’s not only the ability to know the doctrine but to share your faith — why I am Catholic — is important. That’s where evangelization happens — in the personal witness. And it calls people forward to be missionary disciples. That’s the direction catechesis is moving”
Turner noted that interest in a Catholic Bible study has increased and the Office of Faith Formation plans to respond to that interest. There’s also a need to meet people where they are — right now, that’s social media, he said. The office is looking into the possibility of creating short videos related to faith formation.
Turner also said there’s a growing need for catechists to be prepared to teach students with special needs, such as autism. He and his staff are exploring how they might meet that need.
Turner praised the dozens of catechists and other volunteers honored at the Faith Formation Celebration Sept. 27.
The archdiocese presented four people with Roncalli Awards. The award, named for St. John XXIII (Cardinal Roncalli), recognizes “catechists who have been ignited by the spirit of Vatican II to spread the faith through catechesis.”
This year’s Roncalli Award recipients are:
- Ernest Beeson, a member of All Saints Church in Taylorsville, Ky. Beeson “takes a Star Wars approach” to an innovative Saturday morning Scripture program for teenagers, said Turner.
- Edward Campbell, a member of St. Gabriel Church, has served for 10 years in Confirmation formation and makes good use of social media to connect with his students’ parents.
“He’s very conscientious” with his formation of students, “he works with the parents, too,” said Turner.
- Anthony and Marsha Palaisa, members of St. Peter the Apostle Church, received the award together because they work together in a variety of ways.
“They do RCIA adult formation and they even work with Catholics who left the church and were coming back. The ministry was described as subtle and serene,” Turner said.
The award recipients were selected from 12 nominations. Turner noted that some years there is only one winner.
The other honorees were:
- Ten people completed training to be coordinators of RCIA. They are: Shirley Beavin, Deacon Gregory Beavin, Brian Bradshaw, Janet Buntain, Sarah Buntin, George Kaissieh, Cyndi Marlow, Jacqui Rapp, Carmen Rendon and Julie Stieren.
- Nine people earned certificates in youth ministry: Sierra Altenstadter, Robby Baker, Melissa Fisackerly, Jason Garvey, Jennifer Heitkamper, Mirna Lozano, Rodrigo Lozano, Jordan Mattingly and James Read.
- Four people completed the discipleship program. They are: Molly Chesney, Gretta Manni, Anna Shrader and Rob Shrader.
- Three dozen catechists who have completed 20 hours of formation classes were named associate catechists.
- Seven catechists who have completed the associate level plus 120 hours were named advanced catechists. They are: Sandra Blanford, Mary French, Stephanie Hagan, Stacy Johnson, Julie Stieren, Elizabeth Strobel and Deborah Tucker.
- Nine catechists who completed the advanced level plus 80 hours were named master catechists. They are: Mary Dyar, Kathleen Fehder, Steven Finch, Lisa Mattmiller, Deacon Michael Shumway, Renelle Stallings, Sheila Stocksdale, Shannon Tanner and Kathleen Williams.