& Youth Minister Formation & Certification Program
The word “catechist” comes from a Greek word meaning “to echo”. Through your life and your teaching as a catechist – no matter what age group you are working with – you are a person who echoes the Word of God. While we are all called by our Baptism to “share the light of faith”, some are called to more specific catechetical roles be they serving as catechists of children, adults or in intergenerational programs, as youth ministers working with teenagers, or as religion teachers in our Catholic schools.
Men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds are called to share in the Church’s catechetical mission. They bring a wide variety of talents and abilities to their task. They have widely divergent levels of experience and competence in catechesis. According to the National Directory for Catechesis “programs of formation should be designed to help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to hand on the faith to those entrusted to their care and assist them in living as disciples of Christ.” Recognizing its responsibility for providing for the formation of catechists, youth ministers and Catholic school religion teachers, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, through its Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family Life (OECFL), provides many opportunities for the training, formation and certification of those involved in this ministry.
You might be wondering “why do I need to be certified to be a catechist (or youth minister or Catholic school religion teacher)?” The process of certification allows you to become formed in your own adult faith. While nurturing your own growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ your initial and ongoing formation as a catechist, youth minister or Catholic school religion teacher will also provide you with sufficient knowledge and background to carry out your ministry effectively in your parish or school. You are charged with bringing others to a fuller understanding of the challenge of the Gospel message and the Church’s living out of that message. To do that well, you must be formed yourself.
This section of the OECFL’s website consists of two main parts:
In addition, we have some shortcuts to some frequently requested information and materials:
Catechists resound the Gospel message. They reflect the richness and vitality of the faith in the Christian community. Their ministry is not to be lightly undertaken. Development of catechists’ knowledge, skill and spirituality enables them to accomplish their essential task and it is hoped that the opportunities for initial and ongoing formation and the other resources provided here will help them share the faith with others.
Questions regarding the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany’s program or requirements for the formation, training and certification of catechists of children, youth ministers, catechists of adults, intergenerational catechists and Catholic school religion teachers, the content or objectives of its certification courses or the development, purpose or design of the other courses to be offered in connection with the Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family Life, should be referred to Stephen Mawn, Associate Director for Catechist Formation (518) 453-6630.