All Youth and Families are welcomed to the BCYD 2020

The Youth Ministry Committee of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis would like to encourage all students to make a short video that will be transmitted on the upcoming Brooklyn & Queens Catholic Youth Day on November 21, 2020.

There are 2 theme options, (you are encouraged to do both if preferred):

  1. A 30 to 60-second video max where they say the phrase “I am a child of God” and “I am a daughter/son of God”. There needs to be a 3-5 second gap in between each phrase.
  2. A video where you show your talent/gifts such as reciting poetry, dance, playing an instrument, etc.

To send the videos or form more questions please email Lucia Morales at







Click the image to download the flyer of the event.

My Daddy Is Going To Change The World

On March 15th, 2020, my world changed when the pastor of our parish announced that it was our last Mass, and that all church programs and activities were suspended indefinitely.  One could see the concern on his face. It felt like a tsunami wave had just rolled over us. Did Father just say that the church would be closing? Not the church! This is God’s House; this is where we come when bad things are happening so we can be assured that everything is going to be all right. This is our port in a storm. “September 11” immediately came to mind.  The church is where everyone ran to, but this was different. The church was shutting us out. Then, an overwhelming feeling of fear, emptiness, and sadness came over me. The pandemic (COVID-19) had come to our doors and shut us down. It seems like I was in a time warp something out of the movie “Star Trek.”  What followed was one nightmare after another.

There was a quietness in this City that was haunting. Then came a wave of haunting sounds, screaming ambulance sirens, one after another; nonstop; all day, and all night. There were so many it was heartbreaking. This got to me; I could feel death. At one point, I began to count them, but I lost track; and instead, I would whisper a prayer; “Dear God let that one makes it”.

Our lives changed forever. All the things we took for granted were taken away in one day. New York came to a stop. We were told to shelter in place-stay indoors.  The images coming from our television sets were mind-boggling. Death had surrounded us and taken over our City. The numbers each day were unbelievable.  This was a war zone. The fight the first responders put up was incredible. There was so much anxiety in the voices of our Governor and our Mayor as they tried to reassure and guide the residents of New York through this unmatchable monster, COVID-19.

Then, out of nowhere another wave hit us, May 25th. This time it was the entire country that was under siege. This wave had a name of hate and it came to the forefront in the tragic event of the death of George Floyd. The whole world was watching. I could not believe what I was seeing then the tears began to flow. Within days, all the “monsters” were loose and there were no superheroes to save us. What followed was paralyzing; the ugly demon of hate took its stand and this country, and others across the world, were ablaze. There was so much pain, properties were burning, there were looting, and hundreds of thousands of angry people in the streets marching for justice. A little girl on her dad’s shoulder saying, “My daddy is going to change the world”, was shown over and over again on television and seen around the world.  Little did she know how powerful those words were.

The week before our lives were turned upside down, the sixth season of “Why Catholic?” ended. Since our next season would not begin until October 4th, 2020, almost seven months, the group suggested that we find a spiritual bridge to tide us over until then. The closing of the church and the events of the past few days left us downhearted. We needed something to lift us up as our faith was being tested. In times of doubt, fear, and uncertainty, where do we go? For me it is to the foot of the Cross; you see, there is where our Father Changed the World.   The Spirit led me to call our Parish coordinator, who suggested that we explore the book “Rediscover the Saints” by Matthew Kelly from Dynamic Catholic.

The first Saint of which I knew nothing about, left me most humbled after reading the prologue. His story was a heartbreaker. Abandoned and left to fend for himself when he was only five years old; Dismas turned to a life of crime, stealing, breaking the law, and hurting people.  He never liked doing these things, but that was the only way he could live. Even when he was old enough to work, no one would hire him.  Meeting Jesus’ eyes he felt love and compassion such as he had never felt before from any human being, and there on that hill, on the cross, Jesus Changed His WorldYou see he was the thief that was granted forgiveness, and a place in God’s Kingdom, Saint Dismas, Amazing Possibilities!

Rediscovering the Saints had several other amazing stories that helped us to realize that saints are ordinary people too.  I always thought them to be mysterious, pious, and godly. After reading with the group and all the discussions that went on, I do believe that there are many saints still to be discovered. We will continue to read about the saints and hopefully, on our journey recognize and discover some saints in our community.

Submitted by: Daisy Frankson, Kevin & Debbie Williams, Collin & Bernice Retemeyer, Patrick and Cynthia Bernadine, Jean Morris, Joan Williams (Parish of St Vincent Ferrer)

A Call to Personal Accompaniment in the Family Through the Lens of Catechesis

by Christian Rada

The theme of pastoral accompaniment has been extensively discussed in the life of the church for several years. In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis points out to the personal accompaniment in the process of growth. He writes, “ordained ministers and other pastoral workers can make present the fragrance of Christ’s closeness and his personal gaze. The Church will have to initiate everyone – priests, religious and laity – into this “art of accompaniment” which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other (cf. Ex 3:5). The pace of this accompaniment must be steady and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates, and encourages growth in the Christian life.” (EG 169) What does this mean to the family life and how does this accompaniment play out in the family’s daily life?

The COVID pandemic has affected many families in a unique way like never before. Families have learned to navigate technology and distance learning.  They have also been relying on technology, including video chatting, to stay connected with grandparents and friends. This has directed families to become more creative in their ways of sharing and teaching the gospel message. We have seen many families develop new ways and activities to foster a dynamic approach to family formation and catechesis. Nevertheless, their focus has never changed. These creative ways of view at the center of the family is Christ himself.

By way of catechesis, the family has turned from viewing catechesis as not just passing on information, but as formation which leads to transformation. The aim of family catechesis is that parents become so strong in their own faith and knowledge that they naturally shared it with their children. In other words, parents and guardians become not just teachers of the faith but more importantly witnesses of the faith.

How does becoming a witness of the faith lead us to personal accompaniment? The premise of religious education for a child, especially in the home, is to know that the child is loved by God and is part of the family. The child experiences that love through the actions that are expressed by the family as a whole. It is the responsibility of the family to be examples of authentic love that a child will see and experience.

What are some ways that families can develop and foster a personal family catechesis? First, understanding your roles as parents and guardians in the faith. Parents need to know the faith in order to share. How can a person give what they do not first have? How are you help your family members “meet Jesus”? How are they growing in “grace and wisdom” (Lk. 2:52) during the years you have them under your roof? Do your children see you taking the time to pray and grow in your faith? The habits and attitudes you model are the most important ones in your child’s life and make the most impact especially in matters of religion. Second, what is your attitude to faith? Your attitude can make a world of difference to your children. Weekly class attendance, family discussions about what was covered in class, and general attitudes on going to Mass, praying together, and involvement in the parish have an effect on your child. Third, pray daily for holiness in your family and for the spiritual needs of your parish community. Intercessory prayer is a lost tradition in the family life. Making time to intentionally praying for one other as a family can provide key moments of encountering Christ at a personal level and at a familial level.