The Office provides leadership and training for the formation and education of children, youth and adults in the Catholic faith. It supports families in their role as primary educators of their children in passing on the gift of our faith.
For those who are Catechetical Leaders – Directors and Coordinators of Religious Education, a yearly Leadership Training Conference is held in August, along with bi-monthly meetings to receive updating on issues related to catechesis. Regional meetings are also provided to give catechetical leaders the opportunity to network with others in the ministry. On-site visits and support are provided to Directors and Coordinators throughout the year.
Catechist training and workshops are offered in parishes, and also regionally when requested. In addition, for Catechists and others who are interested in adult faith formation, the Diocesan Catechist Formation and Certification Program is offered regionally. A retreat is included as part of the requirements of the program, and is open to anyone interested in attending for their own spiritual development. The Catechist Certification program consists of 48 hours of updating ‘knowledge in faith’ as well as practical application for teaching.
The Office of Religious Education also holds the annual Religious Education and Youth Ministry Conference in October that provides a variety of workshops for catechists, youth group leaders, and those interested in adult faith formation. The training, workshops, and certification are made available to help catechists “acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to communicate the gospel message effectively”(NCD 211).
The Religious Education office has on hand materials and resources that are recommended for catechesis, and networking is encouraged in sharing ideas for more effective catechesis. The Office provides information and resources in Catechesis for persons with disabilities, as well as coordinating the annual Mass with Bishop Joseph J. Tyson celebrating our gifts as One People of God.
The ministry of catechesis is central to the life and mission of the Church. The Religious Education Office recognizes that for catechesis to be effective, the Church “is bidden to offer catechesis her best resources in people and energy, without sparing effort, toil or material means, in order to organize it better and to train qualified personnel” (Pope John Paul II, Catechesis in Our Times #15).