hose who instruct others in faith formation programs include volunteers in parish programs and professional teachers. All of them are devout Catholics who are zealous to share their faith and to help impart that faith to the next generation.
In order to be a catechist (the official name for a teacher of religion), one must:
Be an active Catholic in good standing with the Church.
Be approved by the pastor and the director or coordinator of religious education.
Be cleared by a background check conducted by the diocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection.
Complete the prescribed Virtus training program required of catechists.
In recent years catechists have been certified through their participation in courses offered by the Institute of Pastoral Leadership (discontinued in 2005) and through viewing and discussion of the Echoes of Faith series of faith formation for adults. In addition, catechists have been offered the opportunity for theological education, biblical and liturgical formation, training in teaching methods and the use of particular textbook series, and renewal and retreat opportunities on parish, deanery, and diocesan levels. The parish’s DRE or CRE or the diocesan coordinator (listed with the Diocesan Board of Catechetical Advisors) can refer catechists to offerings in their area. Fire at the Beach, a biennial diocesan conference held in September 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2013. has been a major resource for catechists, parish ministers, and volunteers from across the state.
The Catechist Certification Requirements have been approved by Bishop Guglielmone. These requirements will assure that all catechists have the opportunity for appropriate background in Sacred Scripture, basic doctrine, liturgy and sacraments, Catholic moral teaching, Catholic social teaching, catechetical methods, and learning theory.