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Parish Faith Formation

Adult Faith Formation

We seek to form parishes that are vitally alive in faith.  These communities will provide a parish climate and an array of activities and resources designed to help adults more fully understand and live their faith.  We seek to form adults who actively cultivate a lively baptismal and eucharistic spirituality with a powerful sense of mission and apostolate.  Nourished by word, sacrament, and communal life, they will witness and share the Gospel in their homes, neighborhoods, places of work, and centers of culture.

(Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: United States Bishops’ Pastoral Plan on Adult Faith Formation)

The Office for Discipleship Formation offers consultation, training and support for Adult Faith Formation leaders and teams so that they are equipped to animate this ministry in their parishes and vicariates. 


Intergenerational Faith Formation

In giving attention to the individual, it should not be overlooked that the recipient of catechesis is the whole Christian community and every person in it.
—The General Directory for Catechesis)

The Office for Discipleship Formation offers consultation, training, and support for parish teams in building and sustaining models of intergenerational faith formation so that the parish can grow into a community of disciples.


Sacramental Formation

Formation for a sacrament is a spiritual journey that seeks to deepen faith and conversion to Jesus Christ and his way of life.  It is a specified period of time where children, youth and/or adults are immersed in the mystery they are about to celebrate.  The liturgical rites – prayers, Scriptures, symbols, gestures – are the content of sacramental catechesis. “Liturgical catechesis fosters a deeper sense of the meaning of the liturgy and the sacraments”

(National Directory for Catechesis)

The Office for Discipleship Formation seeks to provide parishes with assistance in designing models and processes for sacramental catechesis that emphasize its unique character.  Such models are

  • Separate and distinct from regular catechetical programming
  • Liturgically-based
  • Inclusive of the parish community

Consultation and resourcing are available for Baptism of infants/children, Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), First Communion, First Reconciliation, and Confirmation.  

Becoming Catholic: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Welcome!  Are you thinking of becoming Catholic?  Would you like to know about the process of becoming Catholic?  

We would like to assist you in your search for answers to questions you may have about becoming Catholic.

What made you decide to seek information on becoming Catholic?

Perhaps you are married to a Catholic….or you have many friends who are Catholic....or you just feel something is missing in your life.  Perhaps you have a desire to know Jesus Christ more fully…. or to experience the Sacraments of the Church.   There are many ways that God calls a person into relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church and we are happy to help you in this journey!

Want to find out more?

Contact the Catholic Church in your area and let them know you are interested in exploring becoming Catholic.  If you are not sure which parishes are in your area, go to the Diocese of Albany’s website, www.rcda.org and click on “Parishes” in the banner.  This will give you a list of Catholic Churches by county.

If you would like some more information, but are not quite ready to contact a Church, you may contact the Office of Prayer and Worship at  prayer&worship@rcda.org  or 518-453-6645, or the Office for Discipleship Formation at 518-453-6670 

Catechetical Leadership

“The single most critical factor in an effective parish catechetical program is the leadership of a professionally trained parish catechetical leader” (National Directory for Catechesis)

The Office for Discipleship Formation supports pastors and parish life directors in the recruitment and formation of catechetical and youth ministry leaders. Catechetical and youth ministry leaders are offered initial and ongoing formation opportunities in the areas of administration, theology,  ministry skills, and spiritual growth leading to certification as professional leaders. Please go to the Diocesan Portal for further information.