Catechetical Formation

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.

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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.

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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.

See All Requirements

 

Check out our FAQ page for general questions and information about Catechetical Formation.

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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

Formation Requirements

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.

See Dates

Step Three: LEAD 2.0

After the face-to-face formation session, you will receive log in instructions for LEAD, the online learning portal of The Leadership Institute. If you choose to complete formation offline, you will be given a workbook at the end of the face-to-face formation session.

Deadline for completion: June 1, 2020

The initial formation for all current catechists must be complete by June 1, 2020.

Ongoing Formation

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.

Resources

Face-to-face Formation Sessions

Thursday, January 09, 2020
Formation for Catechists
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… Read More
Monday, January 13, 2020
Formation for Catechists
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… Read More
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Formation for Catechists
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… Read More
God has chosen you, my friends, as he has chosen me, to be his hands and feet and voice in the world to pass on the Good News, which is at the heart of catechesis. Always remember, if Christ has called us to this, Christ will give us the means by which we can do it effectively.
—  Bishop Frank Caggiano

General FAQ

I’ve been teaching for a long time, why do I need formation?

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.

Are the requirements the same for Catholic school teachers?

Yes. Though the Catholic school teachers will host their own face-to-face sessions, the formation process is essentially the same.

If I do not participate, will I be fired as a catechist?

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?

If I am a liturgical minister (reader, musicians, EMHC) and participated in formation for one of those ministries, do I still have to participate in this formation?

Yes. This formation is completely different and structured to help you become more effective in your ministry.

What if my parish is not hosting a face-to-face session?

There are nearly 20 face-to-face sessions around the diocese. You may choose any one to attend.

Can I show up to a face-to-face session without registering online?

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.

How do I begin online formation?

At the end of the face-to-face session, you will be given instructions on how to enroll in formation online. You can also choose to take a workbook and complete the formation offline.

How will my parish know that I have completed everything?

Parishes will receive a weekly report of those who have completed formation.

I heard something about letters of recommendation. Are those necessary?

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.