Catholic Faith Formation and Education
Catechist Formation
In the Diocese of Albany

Why do I need training, or certification, to be a catechist (or youth minister or Catholic school religion teacher)? The training that you are expected to take part in is meant to help catechists to be able to faithfully and effectively pass on the faith to others.

Men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds are called to share in the Church’s catechetical mission: proclaiming the good news of the Gospel by sharing the light of faith with young and old alike. They bring a wide variety of talents and abilities to their task and have differing levels of experience and competence in catechesis. The Albany Diocese provides many opportunities for the training or formation of those teaching our faith in its parishes and schools and recognizes their achievement through its process of diocesan certification.

Following the lead of various Vatican and Bishops’ documents including the General & National Directories for Catechesis and The Catechist in the Third Millennium, catechists (of children, adults and in intergenerational programs), youth ministers (working with teens) and Catholic school teachers in our diocese are expected to take part in the equivalent of four, two hour courses each year (8 hours). The courses should not only expose them to content (“what to teach”), but to methodology (“how to teach it”), as well.

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.

The National Directory for Catechesis calls on parishes to develop comprehensive catechist formation programs that lead to formal, diocesan certification (NDC 55-F). The explicit process of catechist formation leading to certification is a way of assuring that growth includes all aspects of Catholic faith and practice. It is also a public way of stating that the parish or school and the individual take this obligation for ministerial and life-long formation seriously. The parish  or school community can be confident in the competence in knowledge and skills of those engaged in its catechetical ministry.

Questions regarding our program and the requirements for the formation, training and certification of catechists of children, youth ministers, catechists of adults, intergenerational catechists and Catholic school religion teachers should be referred to:

Stephen Mawn
Director: Catechist Formation
Catholic School Office