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Children's Catechesis

Office of Catechesis


The Coordinator of Children’s Catechesis supports the mission of the Diocese of Boise by assisting the Bishop in carrying out his role as the chief catechist of the diocese. The Coordinator works collaboratively with clergy, catechetical personnel, and other diocesan staff to develop, strengthen, and promote authentic and effective faith formation experiences for elementary age children throughout the diocese. Specifically, the Coordinator provides consultation, support, leadership formation, and resources to those engaged in children’s catechetical ministry.




The Office of Coordinator of Children’s Catechesis is no longer vacant!  Beginning May 1, I joined the Office of Catechesis staff as the new Coordinator.  I am so excited to be back at the Diocese and begin this new adventure in my ministry!  I am very passionate about bringing energy, new ideas, and passion for Children’s Ministry to the entire state.  I want to hear from evey parish what the dreams are, what the needs are, and what the realities are.  I look forward to hitting the road and meeting everyone!  Please do  not hesitate to call me or drop me an email. 

I am here to serve you! 



Catechetical Sunday 2014- September 21



The 2014 Catechetical Sunday theme is: "God's Gift of Forgiveness". Resources are available for download from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.



Some Tips for a Great Vacation Bible School 

If you're reading this, you're excited, scared, nervous, or a combination of all three. You're about to embark on a thrilling journey, because there's no greater outreach ministry to children than Vacation Bible School . In this article, you will find valuable resources and ideas that will help make your VBS the success that God wants it to be.


While this is not an exhaustive list of what you need to consider, it will get your blood flowing and ideas popping for leading a tremendous VBS in 2014.


First Things First
Take a deep breath. If God called you, He won't abandon you, but will see you through to success. Get ready to work hard and trust Him.


Pray for wisdom and direction. This may seem obvious, but prayer can be too quickly placed on the backburner when tackling a giant like VBS. The ideas below will offer ideas on how best to pray.


Take a Look in the Rearview Mirror
Find out what's been done in the past. Did your church host a VBS last year? If this is the first year, are there any similar events your church sponsored that could serve as a resource? Pull what you can from the past. Don't reinvent the wheel.

Read the full article here.  


What your RCIA team needs to know about the Bible (webinar) 


Date: Thursday, June 5, 2014

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Mountain / 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Pacific
We’ve all heard it said that Catholics don’t know the Bible. But what is it that we truly need to know? And what do we have to hand on to the catechumens? In this webinar we will discuss the bare-bones basics that every RCIA team member needs to know about Scripture. Specifically, we will discuss:

     • Why is biblical literacy important for Catholics?
     • What is the Bible? How is it different from and the same as the Word

        of God?
     • What do we need to know about the Bible?
     • How are we to read the Bible?
     • What impact will greater knowledge of the Bible have on our RCIA


We will be looking at these questions specifically through the lens of catechumenate ministry, but any Catholic volunteer or leader will benefit from our discussion. Invite your friends and colleagues to join us. All are welcome!
Click here to reserve your spot now!





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What is the goal of Catechesis?


The Catholic Church is to proclaim the Gospel message in such a way that it may take root in those being catechized and foster conversion to the person and message of Jesus Christ. Catechesis is an essential component of the Church’s mission of evangelization. Its definitive aim “is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ.” (National Directory for Catechesis #19B) Catechesis echoes the faith of the multicultural Church as it is believed, celebrated, lived and prayed. It is a gradual and lifelong process with Jesus Christ at its center. A Catechist’s vocation is to communicate the Gospel message and the teachings of the Church in a way that connects with the lives and experiences of adults, youth and children and moves them to develop a “living, conscious and active” faith. The goal is ongoing conversion and discipleship to Jesus Christ. In parishes, catechesis takes many forms:
     1. Evangelization
     2. The baptismal catechumenate
     3. Adult faith and spiritual formation
     4. Small Christian Communities
     5. Sacramental preparation
     6. Intergenerational catechesis
     7. Family catechesis
     8. Catechesis for those with Disabilities
     9. Youth catechesis
     10. Catechetical programs for children
     11. Vacation Bible Schools


Catechesis is the responsibility of the entire community and is most effective when there is a real partnership between the parish community, the family and those who serve as catechists in parish programs.


What about the Office of Catechesis?


“Catechesis is so basic to the life of every particular Church, that no diocese can be without its own catechetical office.”-General Directory for Catechesis 267


“The Catechetical Office is “the means which the Bishop as head of the community and teacher of doctrine utilizes to direct and moderate all the catechetical activities of the diocese.”-GDC 265


The National Directory for Catechesis singles out the following ways in which the Catechetical Office exercises its competencies:
     1. by analyzing the state of catechesis in the diocese and identifying the catechetical needs;
     2. by developing and implementing an effective plan of action to address these needs;
     3. by providing formation for catechists
     4. by providing to the parishes guidelines and materials for catechesis, and ongoing assistance in

         the choice of catechetical texts, materials and the use of contemporary communications

     5. by organizing, establishing, and supporting the programs; structures, and groups which cause

         and direct effective catechesis in the Diocese;
     6. by collaborating closely with the Liturgical office especially for catechumenal and initiatory

     7. The mission and mandate of the Catechetical Office is to provide the leadership, policy,

         guidelines and structures for Catechesis of the highest quality in every parish and to every

          parishioner of the culturally rich Diocese of Boise.


So for Children’s Catechesis?


We must dream and believe that together we can put in place resources, events, retreats, activities, and more that allow us to minister effectively and with unbound enthusiasm!  I want to hear from you what you need to be the most effective DRE, Children’s coordinator,  CRE, VBS organizer,  First Sacramental prep coordinator you can be!  Let’s dream and begin to build a new and effecti8ve way to bring the Good News to our children!


Social Media Updates


     Be sure to “like” the Boise Diocese Office of Catechesis Facebook page.
     The Resource Center is now on Facebook!  Be sure to “friend” the Resource Center page.



Catechist Certification


The Office of Catechesis has developed a 4-level Catechetical Certification process based upon the National Standards for Lay Ecclesial Minister Certification. Those who fulfill the 4-level certification process will be eligible to apply for a National Certificate through the Alliance for the Certification of Lay Ecclesial Ministers in association with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation (USCCB/CCA). 


Boise Diocese Office of Catechesis Certification Process chart


Class Request Form: to request Echoes of Faith, Basic or Intermediate Courses please submit this form at least 4 weeks prior to the requested class date.  English   Spanish


Program Prospectus Form: to request continuing education credit for certification, please submit this form at least 4 weeks prior to the requested class date.     English     Spanish


Catechist Certification Formation


If your parish or school would like to host any of the courses, retreats or workshops, please call anyone in the Office of Catechesis to schedule these.  We are willing to work around your schedule!  Any questions you may have about ongoing formation and certification, please contact Sr Chela Gonzalez, OP




Jackie Hopper


Coordinator of Children's Catechesis


Jackie Hopper


(208) 350-7541 - direct line

(208) 880-8662 - cell



Office of Catechesis home page


 Youth and Young Adult Catechesis


 Adult and Family Catechesis


 Resource Center 



Girl Scouts Books and Medals



 Policies, Procedures and Guidelines


First Holy Communion

from diocesan Policies & Practices



 Approved Textbooks




Sr. Chela Gonzalez, OP



Office of Catehcesis

Sr. Chela Gonzalez, O.P.

(208) 342-1311