DRE, Catechist of the Year awards part
of annual KARE Conference
(At right, Steven Polley presents the Catechist of the Year Award to Loretta De La Rosa of St. Mary Parish, Garden City. DRE of the Year Sarah Weber, from St. Anthony Parish, Fowler, was unable to attend, and will be presented her award Sept. 19.)
Each summer in the last full weekend in July the four dioceses of Kansas host the KARE (Kansas Association of Religious Educators) Conference. At the conference, DRE’s, Catechists, Youth Ministers, Teachers, and RCIA Team Members have the opportunity to hear national speakers and participate in workshops and small group sharing sessions. But one of the greatest things about the conference is the chance to come together with others sharing stories and gaining insight that leads to greater ministry. This year’s theme was “Come To The Feast, The Revelation of God Through Liturgy” From topics of “Leading People to Sacrament” to “The Mass is Never Ending” participants did find a greater revelation of God.
Another major part of the Conference is the awards that each diocese gives to the Catechist and DRE of the Year. This year the Diocese of Dodge City presented Loretta De La Rosa from St. Mary’s Parish in Garden City the Catechist of the Year award. Because of foot surgery Sarah Weber from St. Anthony’s Parish in Fowler was unable to attend the Conference. She was awarded DRE of the Year and her plaque will be presented to her at Mass in Fowler on Catechetical Sunday weekend, Sept. 19.
Pat Nieman, DRE for St. Mary’s Parish in Garden City had this to say about Loretta: “She is one of the most dependable and giving people I know. She doesn’t just teach from the text book, she is a true catechist who shares her story and her heart. She has attended every possible session, workshop or in-service to better herself to help people form their faith. There are many things she does for the parish. When new programs begin at church, she is the first one to sign up and lead or join a group. This wonderful lady is such a giving person, she truly lives the Gospel message of our Lord. She has set such a good example for her friends, family and fellow parishioners.”
Sarah Weber this year’s DRE of the year, has served in Parish Ministry for over 20 years, serving as DRE the past two. Sarah possesses all of the qualities a pastor and diocese look for in a Director of Religious Formation.
One of the greatest tasks for any DRE is the searching for catechists to fill each open class. Sarah simply has a gift, a Charism of Hospitality and finding quality ministers to serve as catechists seems to come naturally. She has a welcoming spirit, that makes not only the kids coming to formation feel alive and welcome, but the same is true for each catechist serving St. Anthony’s Parish. She lends support and guidance as needed, and leads with a gentle heart felt voice that moves all people to a deeper faith.
In the many formational events that take place in our diocese, from catechist formation to ecumenical days, Sarah is present seeking new wisdom and direction for her ministry.