Lay Ministry Formation
The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium

On Thursday, September 27, 2012 The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium was introduced to the catechetical community of the eight dioceses of New York State at a daylong meeting of the bishops, pastors and catechetical leaders of our state at Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens. This document, which highlights the importance of catechetical leadership in transmitting the faith in today’s world, was developed collaboratively by the Catholic Bishops of New York and the state’s Council of Diocesan Directors of Religious Education.

The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium is intended as a complement to the 1998 document, The Catechist in the Third Millennium. The introduction to the new document states that “the Church in New York State, having journeyed already one decade in this century, needs a renewed commitment to the call, recruitment, formation and affirmation of women and men of faith as parish catechetical leaders.” It identifies five areas in which catechetical leaders must display proficiency and is expected to set the vision for the catechetical leaders in parishes throughout the Empire State for the next few decades

The term “catechetical leader” in our diocese means all called to share the doctrine, traditions, scripture, theology, prayer and liturgy, spirituality, and skills that will enable each child, youth, and adult to become disciples of Jesus Christ in our world.  In Albany, a catechetical leader can be a person who directs and coordinates programs and processes for children or adults, a youth ministry leader who embraces catechesis as one of the most fundamental tasks of comprehensive youth ministry, a staff member of a diocesan office, a Catholic school principal, and a pastor who, representing the Bishop, is the chief catechist of a parish community.

This document calls us to affirm and support those called to this ministry as the need has never been more important due to the culture and times we live in and the critical need to partner with and support our pastors to insure that faith formation remains a vital part of the mission of the parish.  It identifies five areas that need to be part of the on-going formation for the catechetical leader in these times: evangelization, the changing parish landscape, the family, cultural realities, and the rapid expansion of technology.

The Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium – a Statement of the Catholic Bishops of New York State

Comprehensive Plan for the Formation of Catechetical Leader in the Third Millennium