We are grateful to all our catechists and want to offer them support, resources, and formation. To make sure the young people and adults in our communities are served by those who are well-formed, all those who serve their parishes as catechists are required to enter into ongoing formation.Required Formation
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What is a Catechist?
What are the prerequisites?
What are the formation requirements?
More information about Catechetical Formation
A Catechist is a person of faith who leads others in understanding the faith teachings according to the official teachings of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church. To learn more about the goals and offerings of a catechist, please click the button below.
Several months ago, all parishes were asked to make sure catechists serving in this important position were noted as such in the Virtus database. This notation must be done by someone in the parish with access to the Virtus database by placing a check mark next to the “role” of catechist. That list will be used to invite people into formation. If you are a catechist and do not receive an invitation to formation before October 1, 2019, please contact your parish.
There are many steps required for becoming a catechist such as affirmation by your parish, face to face formation, and online learning sessions.
Check out our FAQ page for general questions and information about Catechetical Formation.
What is a Catechist?
The Catechist is a person of faith who leads others in understanding the faith teachings according to the official teachings of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The role of the catechist is a vital ministry to the Church. It is a gift that has tremendous value to the world community at large because through the catechist’s word and action, the message of Christ continues to have a place in all human affairs.
The primary goal of a catechist is to model God’s love to others. As a result, the primary requisite of a catechist is a love for God and a love for children. A catechist develops a lesson plan and uses that plan to teach in the classroom. By creating the lesson plan the catechist ultimately designs and structures experiences for students that help them grow in their personal faith and spirituality. The catechist passes on to students a set of shared meanings and values that are Catholic and Christian. A catechist also initiates others into the faith community, into its life, its worship, symbols and practices.
We are grateful to all our catechists and want to offer them support, resources, and formation. To make sure the young people and adults in our communities are served by those who are well-formed, all those who serve their parishes as catechists are required to enter into ongoing formation beginning September 1, 2019. The formation will be both online and face-to-face, and will be conducted by The Leadership Institute of the Diocese of Bridgeport. For those without consistent computer access, an offline workbook will be available.
Those required to participate include:
- Catechists in parish school of religious education
- Volunteers in Vacation Bible Camps or other pre-school programs
- RCIA team members
- Pre-Cana team members/sponsor couples
- Pre and Post Baptism team members
- Adult education team members
Step One: Affirmation by the parish
Since you will have already been marked as a catechist in the Virtus database, no application or letter of recommendation is required to enter formation.
Step Two: Face-to-Face Formation
Unlike the grandfathering phase of formation for liturgical ministers, the online/offline learning will not begin for catechists until a face-to-face session is complete. There are several options to attend face-to-face formation.
Step Three: Online Formation
After the face-to-face formation session you will receive log in instructions for the online learning portal of The Leadership Institute. Enrollment in the online platform will be rolled out incrementally parish by parish.
Deadline for completion: August 15, 2020
The initial formation for all current catechists must be complete by August 15, 2020.
All catechists will be required to participate in ongoing formation. This will likely take place online in the form or a module or two that is chosen by the catechist according to his/her own interest. The idea is not to penalize those who graciously volunteer their time, rather to give them an opportunity to grow in the faith they seek so earnestly to pass on to others.
Face-to-face Formation Sessions
Every good teacher is committed to life-long learning. The commitment to catechetical formation is not meant to be overwhelming. Rather, it is an opportunity to learn more about the call you have received to teach others the faith.
Yes. Though the Catholic school teachers will host their own face-to-face sessions, the formation process is essentially the same.
Let’s ask the question another way: don’t the young people you serve deserve the very best? Do they not deserve someone who is well-formed and well-prepared?
Yes. This formation is completely different and structured to help you become more effective in your ministry.
There are nearly 20 face-to-face sessions around the diocese. You may choose any one to attend.
You are strongly encouraged to register for a face-to-face session at www.formationreimagined.org. Failure to register ahead of time will slow the session down and extend the time it takes to finish.
Invitations started going out in late March 2020. Enrollment will happen parish by parish on a rolling basis. If you have attended a face-to-face session and have not received an invitation, please be patient.
Parish leaders can contact the Institute at any time to ask which catechists have completed formation.
Letters of recommendation are only required for those who wish to begin serving as a reader or EMHC in their parish or school. They are not required for catechists.