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Free workshops for faith leaders

PALM BEACH GARDENS | Drawing on an ongoing relationship that the Diocese of Palm Beach has with Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, speakers from the university’s Catechetical Institute are set to present free workshops for those working in the diocese as faith formation leaders, RCIA directors and their teams, catechists and permanent deacons.

Two leaders from the Catechetical Institute — William Keimig, associate director, and Mark Ginter, strategic partnership liaison fellow — will appear starting Saturday, March 11, to give presentations at the following times and locations:

For RCIA directors: “The New Order of Christian Initiation for Adults,” led by Keimig, Monday, March 13, 9-11 a.m. or 7-9 p.m., Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola’s Family Life Center, 9999 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens.

For faith formation directors: “The How-To’s of Mentorship and Transformational Leadership,” also includes a breakout on how to use the FranciscanatHome portal, offered by Keimig, Wednesday, March 15, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (lunch included), Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola.

For catechists: “Encountering Christ: Transforming the Classroom Experience,” led by Keimig, Wednesday, March 15, 7-9 p.m., Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola.

For faith formation directors: “The How-To’s of Mentorship and,” offered by Ginter, Thursday, March 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (lunch included), St. Joseph Parish Annex, 1200 E. 10th St., Stuart.

For catechists: “Encountering Christ: Transforming the Classroom Experience,” led by Ginter, Thursday, March 16, 7-9 p.m., St. Joseph Parish Annex.

A separate session for deacons will feature “The New Order of Christian Initiation for Adults” workshop by Keimig on Saturday, March 11, beginning with Mass at 8:30 a.m., until 12:30 p.m., Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola. Deacons need to contact Deacon Dave Zanotelli at

Liliana Soto-Cabrera, diocesan faith formation coordinator, said the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, which for decades has been the process for adults becoming Catholic, is being updated. The new name will be the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults, and she believes it will also address confusion in the RCIA process that has been seen at the parish level. The new process will get everyone on the same page, she added.  

Keimig, presenter of the OCIA workshops, is serving on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ standing committee for the OCIA implementation, Soto-Cabrera said. The revised instructions have been approved by the USCCB and are being considered by the Vatican.  

“Since a new rite book has not yet been published, we are still using the RCIA book from 1985,” she said.

Soto-Cabrera urges all who are involved in teaching the faith — be they deacons, school principals and teachers, parish catechetical leaders, youth ministers, catechists, parish ministers or interested parishioners — to take advantages of these educational opportunities.

She said that, thanks to a grant from a generous donor, the diocese is partnering with Franciscan University to offer workshops through Franciscan at Home, the university’s online portal, which can be accessed at Franciscan’s Catechetical Institute works with more than 100 dioceses in the United States and around the world to offer workshops for ongoing formation.

There are tracks for catechists, parish catechetical leaders, RCIA teams, youth and youth adult ministers, school teachers, clergy and lay ministers, parents, pro-life leaders, music ministers, diocesan officials and others who just want to further their understanding of the faith. Generally, the workshops are offered in English, but many are available in Spanish.

“Because of this grant, anybody in the diocese can get on the portal,” Soto-Cabrera said. “Whoever you are, especially if you’re a parent, you would want to be on. Or you’re a catechist or you’re thinking about being a catechist. What’s good about this is that ideally it could be done with a mentor. 

“All you have to do is create your email and say that you’re in the Diocese of Palm Beach, what parish you belong to and you’re in, and then the wealth of it is all at your fingertips,” she said.

For more information and to R.S.V.P. for the upcoming in-person workshops, contact Soto-Cabrera at 561-775-9549 or For faith formation programs in the diocese, visit