CATECHIST FORMATION OVERVIEW
God calls you to be the BEST catechist you can be.
"Diocesan pastoral programs must give absolute priority to the formation of lay catechists." ~GDC, 234
For more information regarding the Catechist Formation Process, please contact Patty Rodriguez at:
Patricia.Rodriguez@rcan.org or 973-497-4297.
Frequently asked questions
What is Catechist Formation?
Formation is a process by which we grow in the knowledge and skills necessary to be effecitve catechists.
Why do I need catechist formation?
Catechist formation is necessary because we desire to serve the young people entrusted to our care to the best of our ability. Investing in this process equips you for the mission and will help you grow in your own relationship with God.
What are the Catechist Formation requirements for the Archdiocese of Newark?
Where and how are the courses offered?
- The Archdiocese of Newark offers live courses throughout the year at various locations throughout the Archdiocese. CLICK HERE for a list of live workshop dates and registration. We also partner with the University of Dayton and online courses are offered through their website. For additional online options and local parish opportunities contact your Parish Catechetical Leader / Director of Religious Education.
How do I begin the process?
How long will take me to complete the process?
Everyone works at his/her own pace. Catechists should aim to have taken the "Vocation of the Catechist" and "Methodology" within the first two years of their ministry as a catechist. On average, Basic Certification can take between and 4 years to complete.
Once I take a course, do I have to continue taking the courses in the same way?
Courses from any track may be used to fulfill requirements. You can mix and match the type of courses that you take according to your personal preferences and the your availability. (e.g. You may take the a live course for the "Vocation of the Catechist" and then take courses for other areas online.)
How do I keep track of my progress?
How do I get the certificates?
Certificates for the live courses are typically presented the day of the course. Online course certificates are sent by mail. Catechists receive a certificate each time they complete a course in a specific area. When a catechist completes all the courses required for all 3 areas of certification (e.g. Vocation certificate, Methodology certificate and Doctrinal certificate) he/she receives a certificate for Basic Catechist Certification. This final certificate is typically sent to the local parish and is presented there by the parish catechetical leader.
What happens after I am finished?
The Dimensions of Formation:
Being, Knowing and Savoir-faire ~ GDC, 238
"The deepest dimension [of formation] refers to the very being of the catechist, to his/her human and christian dimension. Formation, above all else, must help him/her to mature as a person, a believer and an apostle."
~ GDC, 238
"The formation, above all, nourishes the spirituality of the catechist, so that his/her activity springs in truth from his own witness of life." ~ GDC, 239
"To "be" catechists! Not to "work" as catechists. Catechesis is a vocation: "Being a catechist", is the vocation. Not "working" as a catechist." ~ Pope Francis, Congress on Catechesis.
"The catechist will be able not only to communicate the Gospel accurately, but also able to make those being taught capable of receiving it actively..." ~ DCG, 112
“Catechists do not merely instruct their students about Christ; they lead them to him.” ~ NDC, p241
"This synthesis of faith should be such as to help the catechist to mature in his own faith and enable him/her to offer an explanation for the present hope in this time of mission." ~ GDC, 241
Ongoing formation for catechists is to:
Help them harmonize the human, spiritual, doctrinal, and apostolic dimensions of their apostolate.
Keep them abreast of the life of the Church - its needs, new documents, and so on - and of changing social, cultural, ethnic, and religious circumstances
Help them overcome discouragement and burnout