How Families Can Participate in Year of St. Joseph’s Indulgences

On December 1, 2020, Pope Francis announced a special year dedicated to St. Joseph starting from December 8, 2020 until December 8, 2021 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church, as well as the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady. 

Below is a summary of how families can receive the special indulgences granted by the Holy See for the Year of St. Joseph.

The plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic Communion, and prayer according to the intentions of the Holy Father) to the faithful who, with a spirit detached from any sin, participate in the Year of Saint Joseph on the occasions and in the manner indicated by this Apostolic Penitentiary: 

• Meditate for at least 30 minutes on the Our Father 

• Participate in a spiritual retreat of at least one day that includes a meditation on Saint Joseph 

• Perform a corporal or spiritual work of mercy 

• Recite the Holy Rosary in families and between the husband and wife 

• Entrust their work daily to the protection of Saint Joseph and to all believers who invoke with their prayers the intercession of the worker of Nazareth 

• Pray the litany of Saint Joseph (for the Latin tradition), or the Akathistos to Saint Joseph, in its entirety or at least part of it (for the Byzantine tradition), or some other prayer to Saint Joseph, typical of the other liturgical traditions, for the persecuted Church and for the relief of all persecuted Christians. 

• Pray any lawfully approved prayer or act of piety in honor of Saint Joseph, for example, “To you oh blessed Joseph,” especially on: o March 19th (Solemnity of St. Joseph) 

o May 1st (Feast of St. Joseph the Worker) 

o December 26th (Feast of the Holy Family) 

o The Sunday of Saint Joseph (according to the Byzantine tradition) 

o The 19th day of every month 

o Every Wednesday (a day dedicated to the memory of the Saint according to the Latin tradition) 

• The gift of plenary indulgence extends particularly to — o The elderly 

o The sick 

o The dying 

o All those who for legitimate reasons cannot leave their home 

Who, with the spirit detached from any sin and with the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three usual conditions, in your own home or wherever the impediment holds you, pray an act of piety in honor of Saint Joseph, the consolation of the sick and patron of a good death, confidently offering God the pains and difficulties of his life. 

The Catechetical Institute’s Online Formation Ministry Formation

At the Franciscan University of Steubenville



Young adults have a lot to bring to the table of evangelization and catechesis. They are or could be our catechetical leaders or youth ministers of tomorrow. If you are interested in learning more the Franciscan University might be for you. There are various areas of catechesis that are covered by Franciscan University.
The Diocese of Brooklyn has a special collaboration with Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Catechetical Institute!
We have chosen to partner with Franciscan University in order to give authentically Catholic resources that help to form those within your parish or school who are forming others. The catechists, RCIA teams, parish catechetical leaders, school teachers, and parents of your parish or school will have unlimited access to the Catechetical Institute’s online workshops in the comfort of their own homes.

The flexibility of the Catechetical Institute allows a diocese to choose the capacity in which to use these resources. Whether the diocese chooses to use the formation workshops as a part of the certification process or as an on-going formation for their staff and volunteers, all the workshops available on our learning platform are available to every person.

Everyone can sign up for $4.99 a month. The courses are eligible for Living and Leading by Faith credits. The following tracks are;
• Catechist (CT) Track
• Catechumenal Ministry (RCIA) Track
• Parish Catechetical Leader (PCL) Track
• Youth Ministry (YM) Track

If you have any questions, please Joann Roa at

Encountering the Father’s Heart of Saint Joseph

By Christian Rada

In Pope Francis’ new apostolic letter Patris Corde, he expounds upon the qualities of Saint Joseph’s fatherhood and how his fatherhood was an icon of God, the Father’s heart for us, His children. During this Advent season and during this Year of St. Joseph, may our hearts be led to reflect upon the Father through the fatherhood of St. Joseph!

One of the most astounding and mind-boggling works of the Eternal Father was to send His Only Son Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and to allow His Son to become a little Baby, who was vulnerable, weak and totally dependent upon a human mother and a human father, Mary and Saint Joseph. Indeed, Saint Joseph was and always will be the earthly father of Jesus! This was the will of the eternal Father for all eternity. And of course, Saint Joseph was the best of all earthly fathers. He is an example for all men, especially fathers.

Saint Joseph was a faithful son of the Eternal Father. God reveals in Saint Joseph that a father is a man who is obedient to God in an uncomplicated, sacrificial, and steadfast way. Saint Joseph was a faithful and loving spouse. Joseph trusted in the angel’s words to him and lovingly accepted Jesus as his own son. He provided a protective home for Mary and Jesus and accepted his call to be a husband to Mary and a father to the Son of God, even when he believed himself unworthy to do so. “Joseph’s attitude encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, without exception, and to show special concern for the weak, for God chooses what is weak” (PC, 4).

Saint Joseph was present to his child and to his wife. God entrusted the Holy Family to Joseph and worked through his creative courage to guide and protect the Holy Family. “Arriving in Bethlehem and finding no lodging where Mary could give birth, Joseph took a stable and, best he could, turned it into a welcoming home for the Son of God come into the world” (PC, 5).

Saint Joseph was willing to sacrifice for his family. Work is a means of participating in the work of salvation. Joseph’s work as a carpenter provided a means for the Holy Family to thrive and to remain hidden in Bethlehem. Joseph taught this work to Jesus. “Saint Joseph’s work reminds us that God himself, in becoming man, did not disdain work” (PC, 6).

At the conclusion of Pope Francis’ letter, he added a prayer to St Joseph, which he encourages all of us to pray together. Let us pray for the grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to God’s commands

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.

Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil. Amen.

How Can I Increase My Knowledge of My Faith?

Have you ever been asked a specific detail of your faith and found yourself unsure of the answer? Does your understanding of Catholicism give you confidence to defend your faith or educate your children? For these reasons and possibly others, many have wondered how to learn more but unsure exactly where. The Diocesan Office of Faith Formation wants you to know that it’s not just for the Parish Religious Education programs, but they also offer help, guidance, and classes in the faith that range from those that want to become Catholic to those that just want to learn more.

The Living and Leading by Faith program has long been established as a faith formation program for adults seeking more knowledge, curiosity over catholic traditions, or wanting a way to get closer to Jesus Christ by knowing and understanding more. The program has evolved and has changed names, but in the end, the same course purpose still exists to evangelize and share the knowledge of our faith.

We have had an online course available since 2013, which grew at a slow pace over the years. It wasn’t until the Covid-19 pandemic that more people turned to online learning because we could not come together in a classroom. The core pillars of our faith, Creed, Life in Christ, Prayer, and Sacraments, are needed to understand our faith.

Go to and skim through our various choices of online classes. The Initial component of Living and Leading by Faith starts with Creed, Life in Christ, Prayer, the Sacraments, Introduction to the Bible, and Ministry of Catechesis. Or you might choose to explore other courses like History of the Church or the Gospels. Our online classes have video, vocabulary, printed text, and it is in small manageable chapters. You can start and stop anytime and pick up right where you left off. We even have a collaboration with Catholic Distance University for FREE online classes.

The responsibility to expand what we know of our faith, grow closer to Jesus Christ, and do what He has asked, to go forth and evangelize. We hold those three things in our control. The Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis wants to help you on this path.

If you have any questions on where to start your journey, contact our office.

Young Adults can contact our Director of Adult Faith Formation, Joann Roa 718.965.7300, ext. 2440 or

Couples and parents can contact our Director of Marriage, Family Formation, and Respect Life Education, Christian Rada 718.965.7300, ext. 5541 or

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.

A Night to Remember

RENEW International invite you to join them on THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2020 at 7 PM to their 21st Annual Gala, an online Gala program. It will be a night to remember

“At this year’s annual gala, we will honor four dedicated Catholics who live their faith in their homes, parishes, and workplaces,” said Sr. Terry Rickard, O.P., RENEW International’s president and executive director. “Each of our honorees—Jeanette Walton and John Clark Walton; Bobby Gregory, and Theodore Musco—are models of Catholic values in their personal and professional lives.”

The President’s Award will be given to John Clark Walton and his wife, Jeanette Walton. They are champions of Catholic education who support schools and students affected by poverty and volunteer their expertise and finance skills with the inner-city Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Bobby Gregory will receive the Spirit of RENEW Award. He is a faithful Catholic, an avid citizen, and a supporter of community life. The president of New Jersey Tin and Galvanizing, he has generously shared his leadership skills, supporting youth activities and sports teams, and serves as a board member of several nonprofits.

RENEW will present the Msgr. Thomas Kleissler Award to Theodore Musco. Ted is a lifelong professional lay minister, a leader in Catholic education, and evangelization. He is secretary for evangelization and catechesis in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Working in one of the most diverse areas of the country, Ted has used digital-learning technology to provide contemporary adult education and formation for teachers and catechists.  

RENEW International’s gala raises funds each year to support the organization’s mission of renewing personal faith and revitalizing parishes through small-group faith sharing.


Visit for all the details on how to: Register/ Sponsor /Donate; Bid on auction Items, and Purchase Super 50/50 tickets

For more information contact Mary Beth Howath at 908.769.5400 x114


Catechetical Sunday

Each year in September, Catholics all over the United States gather to celebrate “Catechetical Sunday”. Many may ask what is this all about? The answer is very simple: the Word of God! The ministry of the Word is the major element of evangelization through all its stages because it involves the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God: “The word of God nourishes both evangelizers and those who are being evangelized so that each one may continue to grow in his or her Christian life” (National Directory for Catechesis). So Catechetical Sunday recognizes those volunteer Evangelizers who proclaim the Word of God to children, teens, young adults, and adults in all of our parish faith formation programs.

This yearly celebration began in 1935 when the Vatican published On the Better Care and Promotion of Catechetical Education, a document that asks every country to acknowledge the importance of the Church’s teaching ministry and to honor those who serve the Christian community as catechists. Many Catholics have used the word “catechism” for years, and they know it has something to do with the Church’s teachings. The root word, “catechesis,” is from a Greek word meaning “to echo or resound.” Catechesis is the act of resounding or bringing the Church’s teachings to the world. A catechist is one who teaches in the name of the Church. It is an extremely important ministry in today’s world.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Catechesis is intimately bound up with the whole of the Church’s life . . . her inner growth and correspondence with God’s plan depend essentially on catechesis” (no. 7). This ministry of teaching in the name of the Church has a profound dignity, which is why catechists are formally commissioned by the Church. It is only fitting that we set aside a day to highlight this ministry and invite the entire parish community to think about our responsibility to share our faith with others. Faith sharing is crucial to the continued growth of par-ish life. All members of the parish, from the youngest to the oldest, must use words to express the deepest longing of our hearts: knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. This celebration also gives us the opportunity to highlight the domestic church.

Parents and guardians are truly the primary catechists of their children. They prepare the soil and plant the first seeds of faith. On Catechetical Sunday, we not only highlight the work of catechists in parishes and schools, but we also commend parents and guardians and encourage them to take seriously their role of making their Catholic households a place where faith is passed on to the next generation. This is why the rite of blessing of catechists used on Catechetical Sunday includes a blessing of parents and guardians. Pope Francis, at the latest World Meeting of Families, said: “That is why our families, our homes, are true domestic churches. They are the right place for faith to become life, and life to become faith.” The 2020 Catechetical Sunday theme is taken from St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, “I received from the Lord what I also Handed on to You.” The theme focuses on the primary substance of catechesis, which is an invitation to a whole new life given by Christ Himself. It emphasizes that living faith necessitates movement, inspiring all those who hear the Word to share it as witnesses of the true and living God.

Throughout this week as we begin our religious education year, let us pray for our Catechists: Loving God, Creator of all things, you call us to be in relationship with you and others. Thank you for calling our parish catechists, for the opportunity to share with others what you have them. May all those with whom they share the gift of faith discover how you are present in all things. May they come to know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. May the grace of the Holy Spirit guide their hearts and lips, so that they may remain constant in loving and praising you. May they be witnesses to the Gospel and a minister of your truth. May all their words and actions reflect your love. Amen.

Spotlight: Bridge to Life

The Bridge to Life is a nonprofit that depends on donations. It is trying to help save the lives of the unborn.

As the Coronavirus swept through the world, our country stood still in fear and anxiety. The outbreak hit New York City with such force, declaring Queens as the epicenter. People were quarantined, businesses shut down. Yet, The Bridge to Life, a pregnancy crisis center located in Flushing Queens, stood firm in considering our operations as an essential service. And it continued helping families in need. The center persevered and implemented a continuance of operations plans without disruption. Bridge to Life would meet with families by appointment only. Families would receive baby clothes and supplies through curbside pick-up.  The center has helped pregnant women and new moms in an effort to help women avoid abortion and keep their babies. It provides counseling and referrals for medical services like sonograms as well as clothes and baby supplies — all for free.


Francesca Yellico, Bridge to Life’s executive director, said “Three babies are alive today because we were opened during this time!” She pointed out that, from March 16, 2020, to the present day, Bridge to Life helped approximately 500 mothers and children as they faced many unprecedented difficulties during the pandemic.” With major stores closed during the pandemic, women could not get the basic needs for their babies. Francesca noticed the looks of appreciation and gratitude from the women (even though a facemask). “We are here for anyone who needs our help. This is truly a ministry to the people in need.” This ministry has helped alleviate some of the stress, fears, burdens, and financial difficulties brought on by this unexpected outbreak.


The Bridge to Life is a nonprofit that depends on donations. It is trying to help save the lives of the unborn

If you wish to donate by visiting our website: Or sending their donation to:

The Bridge to Life

147-32 Sanford Ave. 2nd Floor

Flushing, NY 11355