Catechetical and Diaconal Vocations Program — Summer classes and activities

CHICAGO, IL [MW Communications] — The Catechetical and Diaconal Vocations Program of the Diocese of the Midwest has seen an explosion of local classes and cohorts of students. Classes established over the course of last year in Livonia MI, Chicago, IL and Cincinnati, OH, are moving forward with subjects in Spirituality and Old Testament respectively.  A new class in Lincoln, NE has begun the cycle of courses with a record class size of 14 students, all from St. John of Kronstadt Orthodox Church.  A new mission station in Jacksonville, IL has scheduled their first class in August, also with a fairly large number of people from a single parish committed to attend.

A few locales (Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Missouri) are interested in hosting the Program.  We are looking for additional students to round out those classes.  Please contact us!

Direct local teaching remains the emphasis of the Program.  Video conferencing has begun to be used as a supplement. The Diocesan Director, Fr. Elijah Mueller, is looking for input and help from all the Deaneries.

Fr. Elijah and Mat. Rebecca Mueller, Chicago Program Faculty, recently ran educational activities for the local Deanery Camp as well.  Photos can be viewed here.  One of the classes included using the image of the heart as an altar and place of prayer in the Bible and in the Fathers.  This helped the kids to see the way the Divine Liturgy guides us in allegorical use of the scriptures for own prayer life. The tie-in activity was making little scrolls of “arrow prayers” or “monologistic” prayers with use of a single scriptural verse, a practice which is basically what gets standardized as the Jesus Prayer.  Kids shared the verse that they chose and talked about their reasons and the needs they addressed with the Psalm-verse.  Two standard examples:  Psalm 70:1  Make haste, O God, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O LORD! and Psalm 70:5  Make haste to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay. were well received by the campers.

A diocesan gathering of all Catechetical and Diaconal Vocations Program students and faculty is in the planning stage, tentatively located in Chicago.  Please watch the Diocese of the Midwest website for an announcement and further information.

The Catechetical and Diaconal Vocations Program Faculty page is under development.  The list of faculty will not be exhaustive but will provide interested students a taste of the high level of quality available in the Program.  The Chicago Deanery has a well-established faculty.  The Indianapolis and the Kansas City Deaneries are well underway to also being well-established. We are still looking for local instructors in these and other deaneries.  If you would be interested, please see the faculty page for necessary qualifications.

Some local and perhaps academic area meetings for faculty are being sought with the intention of developing connections with one another and greater standardization of curriculum and goals.

The Catechist and Diaconal Vocation Program would be very glad to help with curriculum ideas and suggestions, as well as materials for Church school and adult education programs.

If you are interested in teaching a class or being a student, please contact Fr. Elijah Mueller at 312-714-9775, or email for more information.

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