Webinars land Martocchio a national catechesis award

Michael Martocchio is the director of the diocesan office of Catechesis and Christian Initiation.

CHARLESTON—A series of innovative webinars designed to teach catechetics to church and school personnel has landed Michael Martocchio an esteemed Wineskin Award.

Martocchio, director of the diocesan office of Catechesis and Christian Initiation, developed a series of instructional videos in 2014 as a way to reach more people in need of catechetical certification.

“All fulltime faculty teachers — no matter what they teach — are required to have a catechist certificate,” he explained.

A catechist is someone who can provide instruction in Catholic doctrine and the essentials of Christian faith and morals. Certification requires 30 hours of instruction, which was available through in-person seminars.

Now people can tune into live webinars or watch the archived videos and answer  questions there. Martocchio said they now have about 57 hours of video in archive that people can watch anytime on their own. There is also a wide variety of subject matter available, including topics on theology, sacred Scripture, the sacraments, Catholic social teaching, and more.

Martocchio said he prefers in-person seminars because personal contact is essential to the ministry, but he considers the videos a supplement; another way to reach out and promote the new evangelization efforts.

“If we’re asking people to [obtain 30 hours of instruction], we should provide a way they can do it in their pajamas,” he said.

Martocchio is humble about the Wineskin Award — a reference to passages in Scripture — which recognizes parishes and diocesan offices for creative ways of addressing adult formation. He said the webinars are a simple concept, just a dude with a camera, that any diocese can do.

“We’re just trying to find a way to make it more convenient for people who already give generously of their time,” he said.

For more information on the webinars, visit charlestondiocese.org/catechesis-and-christian-initiation.