Some catechists think of themselves merely as “parish volunteers.” They are in fact much more than that. Catechesis is an ecclesial endeavor. The person who agrees to teach religion is not just doing someone a “personal” favor. A catechist is standing for the entire Church whenever she or he ministers to others in the name of Christ. This meaningful endeavor is as old as the Gospel it proclaims.
Your parish has conferred upon you the honor of being a catechist in a particular faith community. With this privilege comes responsibility and an element of trust. Knowledge of Scripture, Tradition and Church teaching is essential to authentic catechesis. Good catechists are not only competent teachers of the faith; they are agents of change. The goal of all catechesis is to lead others to a personal relationship with the living Christ. The responsible catechist is one who continues growing in his or her own faith while consciously learning how to pass that faith on to others in a credible manner.
The Office of Religious Education offers three certificate programs for catechists:
1. Provisional Certification
2. Basic Certification
3. Master Catechist Certification
All catechists are expected to complete the requirements for Provisional Certification. Once this has been achieved, the catechist might pursue one of two paths: (1) Basic Certification OR (2) Master Catechist Certification. One does not have to complete Basic Certification before embarking on the requirements forMaster Catechist Certification.
After consultation with the Office of Religious Education, certified DREs may offer any of the courses leading to certification. After consultation with the Office of Religious Education, certified DREs and CREs may facilitate any of the Echoes of Faith Plus modules. Echoes of Faith Plus modules must be completed in their entirety, including the booklets.
All records will be maintained by the Office of Religious Education. Instructors and facilitators must submit record information in a timely fashion.
All certification is granted by the Office of Religious Education for a specific time and will expire unless maintained as described herein.
The Office of Religious Education highly recommends the VLCFF on-line program of the University of Dayton. The Diocese of Worcester is a partner diocese which reduces the cost for each course. Participants earn university CEUs through this program. Go to: vlc.dayton.edu
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact: Barbara Ramian at (508) 929-4308, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Provisional Certification is the fundamental program for all catechists. It includes two multi-session courses that could be completed within one year. The courses are:
1. Introduction to the Ministry of the Catechist
2. Overview of the Creed – 3 options
N.B. Provisional certification expires after three years unless the catechist has begun the next level of certification
Once a catechist has been granted provisional certification, the requirements for Basic Certification may be completed through the DVD-assisted resource Echoes of Faith Plus. Echoes of Faith Plus includes four 8-hour modules beyond “I Believe/We Believe” which was covered in the requirements for provisional certification:
N.B. Certification at this level should be completed within four years. Once achieved, certification must be maintained by completing one CEU every two years. Facilitators must consult with the ORE before offering any of these modules. (1 CEU = 10 hrs)
*Candidates for Master Catechist Certification must complete an Introduction to the Creed beyond the Echoes of Faith Plus I Believe/We Believe