Catholic Faith Formation and Education
Faith Formation (Catechesis) for Different Ages, Stages & Needs

Faith Formation or “catechesis” is not just for children or teens. As an esteemed term in Christian tradition its purpose is to make a person’s “faith become living, conscious and active, through the light of instruction.” It is a lifelong process for the individual and a constant and concerted pastoral activity of the Christian community.

Programs and activities for faith formation should be based on materials and structured to take into consideration the age and maturity level of the participants. Thus, here in the Albany Diocese we can see parishes – and the diocese itself – providing intentional opportunities, resources and programs for the following age groups, stages in life or needs:

Adult Faith Formation

Young Adult Ministry

Youth Ministry

Faith Formation for Children

Intergenerational Faith Formation

Sacramental Preparation

Catechesis for Persons with Special Needs

Parishes can offer faith formation opportunities through a variety of different models.
Catechesis means to “echo” or resound. Through words, actions, attitude and skills we resound God’s living word. We are a living Gospel that touches others and helps them to know Jesus and discover their own call.

Guidelines & Policies for Parish Catechetical / Faith Formation Programs

The Albany Diocese has established certain guidelines, policies and procedures for the operation of faith formation / catechetical programs in its parishes. While the full set of administrative, safety and crisis management, formation & certification guidelines and polices are available for program leader on the diocesan intranet site, we have prepared an Overview of the OCFFS’ Guidelines & Policies for Parish Catechetical Programs which is an outline of the entire manual, including associated appendices (forms and documents) and supplemental resources.

Diocesan Curriculum Framework for Parish Catechetical Programs

On Catechetical Sunday 2015 (Sept. 20), Bishop Edward Scharfenberger officially published the Diocese’s new Curriculum Framework for Parish Catechetical Programs. The new framework addresses each content area from the perspective of learning, living and treasuring and introduces faith concepts gradually at appropriate age ranges (primary grades, intermediate grades, early adolescent and later adolescent). The Bishop believes that the Framework will help pastors and catechetical leaders at the parish level to design and develop their faith formation programs.