Boot Camps


Join a small group of colleagues as you explore a topic in-depth, led by an expert in the field at the 2020 Mid-Atlantic Congress on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.

Plan on spending your Thursday morning with us from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at one of the boot camps led by our collaborators and sponsors. 

Fee: $25


B1: When Current Events Make You Cringe

Speaker: Andrea Chavez-Kopp  

In today's divisive society, the only thing people can seem to agree upon is that they disagree. This boot camp will look at how to discuss current events in the classroom with a Catholic lens while building skills for civil dialogue among students. Real news stories will be examined and discussed and participants will participate in sample activities. Resources will be shared. Be prepared for participant interaction and collaboration during the session.  Bringing a laptop or tablet would be helpful but is not required.

Sponsor: NCEA

B2: Tango with Technology. Using Smartphones to become One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic

Speaker: Steve Botsford 

Tango with Technology Bootcamp Level I attendees will explore ways of using technology to unite, teach, live, and share the faith. Using Smartphones as a platform, participants will engage with deep learning and deliberate practice to increase professional learning and leadership leading to increased efficiency using technology in and out of the classroom. Several basic tools available on your device will be explored, all of which can be applied within the context of meaningful use with catechists, students and parents.  Segments include: Building Community with Facebook and Text Messaging; Teaching using Smartphone apps; Creating communication using Various Technologies; and Sharing our Creations. In addition to learning to use the tools, participants are exposed to application strategies that can be used with catechists, parents, and students. Required aptitude: Beginning to Intermediate.

Sponsor: William H. Sadlier

B3: FOCCUS Facilitator Training

Speaker: Mike Koley

A training to facilitate the FOCCUS marriage formation inventory. The facilitation of the FOCCUS inventory by trained, compassionate facilitators is oriented to foster the strengths of each engaged couple while intentionally bringing to light a couple’s differences and issues they have not yet thought about or discussed. The end goal of FOCCUS is not simply communication. FOCCUS exists to promote lifelong communion and conversions for engaged and married couples.

Sponsor: FOCCUS

B4: Going Beyond the Divide and Putting our Values into Action

Towards a Church that is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic

Speaker: Nell Bolton

In a church and world that seem increasingly polarized, it is critical we know how to effectively reach out across the invisible divide and move forward together. Catholic Relief Services understands this reality well from years of working in parts of the world where conflict and tensions are commonplace. During this bootcamp training, we will explore & practice techniques & skills to intentionally engage persons & groups with strongly-held viewpoints that differ from our own. In doing so, we will learn how to initiate conversations about difficult topics, to use story-telling as a tool for prompting change in heart & mind and to identify a way forward in working towards a church that truly is one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

Sponsor: Catholic Relief Services

B5: Asian Fusion: Going Beyond the Popular Culinary Trend to Build Strong Catholic Communities

Speaker: Corinne Monogue 

Description: Discover how the new USCCB pastoral response, Encountering Christ in Harmony, can assist in your outreach, development and relationship with all youth and young adults as they navigate different cultural realities. This session will include framework, discussion and ideas for leaders to use in parish and school settings to strengthen relationships and form deeper bonds between Catholic diversities, focusing on the Asian Pacific Catholic experience.

Sponsor: USCCB

B6: College Campus Ministry That Works

Speakers: Fr. Michael Martin, OFM, Conv., and Lisa Lytwyn

We've all seen the data--most young people leave their Catholic faith before the age of 23. The question campus ministers ask is, "What can we do about it?" Successful campus ministry programs know the answer to this question and it's not found in another program. Rather, keeping students Catholic is about five simple dimensions of ministry: small groups, liturgical excellence, retreats, funding and outstanding leadership. This workshop is designed for newer campus ministers and campus missionaries who seek a fuller understanding of what it takes to bring ministry from "good to great". Rather than maintain what you did last year, why not focus with laser-precision on the mission of Jesus on your campus?

Sponsor: Catholic Campus Ministry Associat

B7: A New GDC: What Will It Mean for You and Those You Serve?

Speaker: Dr. Joseph White

The new general directory will frame catechetical ministry in this new decade. This session will highlight key themes in the new GDC and offer participants an opportunity to reflect on the practical implications of this new document for their role in catechesis. Come prepared to brainstorm on how new approaches can make this fresh catechetical vision a reality!

Sponsor: OSV

B8: Baptism Preparation: An Evangelizing Experience for Families

Speaker: Mary Foy, MPS

Parents bring their children for baptism for a wide variety of reasons. While we always hope that they will come because they want to pass on their faith to their children, whatever brings them to our door is a cause for rejoicing. In this workshop, we will learn tools that will transform sacramental preparation into an evangelizing experience, preparing parents and godparents to fully enter the sacrament with their child and inviting young adults to participate in the life of the parish. This bootcamp will offer you best practices for welcoming and engaging parents, help you bridge the catechetical gap, and introduce innovative tools such as Baptism Matters (RENEW’s new baptism-prep program).

Sponsor: RENEW International

B9: “Open Wide Our Hearts”: The Bishops’ Pastoral Letter and an Intentional Approach to Catechesis

Speakers: Danielle Brown, Rev. Mr. Matt Halbach  

Considering how biases form during childhood—a critical period of faith formation—we will examine, together, the principles of catholicity (mutual exchange of gifts) and inculturation in light of the documents of Vatican II and the 2019 U.S. Bishops’ “Pastoral Letter Against Racism, Open Wide Our Hearts.” We will learn why catholicity and inculturation are critical components of catechesis. We will also talk about the mission of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, and the kinds of support it can offer catechists and catechetical publishers.

The session will include a keynote, followed by small group discussions that will examine the catechetical community’s challenges and opportunities involved in presenting a truly inculturated gospel message, and identify common pitfalls of cultural/racial bias and prejudice in catechesis. 

Sponsor: USCCB