September 28, 2018

Group honored for its support of catechetical leaders

By John Shaughnessy

The affection and admiration that Connie Powers and Mary Jo Thomas-Day have for each other shows first in their joyful embrace, and then in the way they smile and drape their arms around each other when they pose for a photograph.

Yet beyond the personal appreciation, they share a professional bond as catechetical leaders who have a deep commitment to sharing their Catholic faith in their respective parishes and across the Church in central and southern Indiana.

So there was a nice symmetry when both Powers and Thomas-Day were called forward to accept the archdiocese’s Excellence in Catechesis Award.

The award recognized the efforts of the Association for Parish Catechetical Leaders, an organization dedicated to connecting and supporting catechetical leaders of all kinds across the archdiocese.

Powers serves as the current president of the organization while Thomas-Day was one of the three original members who formed the group in 1977.

“We saw how important it was to support each other,” says Thomas-Day, the director of religious education at St. Monica Parish in Indianapolis for 41 years. “Throughout the past 41 years, many catechetical leaders have been enriched in their faith through workshops, speakers and retreats. We’ve shared support, prayers and love.”

Powers says the organization has helped her “bring the love of God to everybody” in her roles as the youth minister and the coordinator of religious education at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Aurora.

“It really helps us to realize that the Church is bigger than our own little parish,” Powers says. “Being in connection with the archdiocese strengthens our mission because we all support one another.” †


Related story: ‘We’re all called to be teachers,’ Archbishop Thompson says

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