In parishes, catechesis for children takes many forms:
1. The Baptismal Catechumenate
2. First Sacramental Preparation
3. Catechetical Programs for Children
4. Intergenerational Catechesis
5. Family Catechesis
6. Catechesis for those with Disabilities
7. Vacation Bible School
9. Special Events.
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.
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 children and moves them to develop a “living, conscious and active” faith. The goal is ongoing conversion and discipleship to Jesus Christ.
Strong Catholic Family Faith
This curated site is designed to assist parish and school catechetical leaders in supporting and resourcing families in their efforts to offer quality faith formation for children and families
Best Practices for Parishes
(Paulist Evangelization Ministries)
A set of tools for assessment of 7 areas of parish life.
A How-To-Do-It Resource (Fr. Robert Duggan)
A resource from NCEA (National Catholic Education Association) for developing a comprehensive strategic approach to catechesis for dioceses, parishes and schools.
Faith Formation 2020
A website to guide parish leaders to imagine new directions and strategies for faith formation of people of all ages, using 21st century designs and methods to engage them in new ways to meet their spiritual needs.
Indicators of Vitality (Archdiocese of Washington)
"A self-assessment tool for clarifying current needs and strategically planning for full and active participation in the mission of the New Evangelization." Focuses on 5 key areas of parish life.
Liturgical Year Lent
Vacation Bible School
NEW! Resources for Parents of Children Celebrating Sacraments (PDF)
List prepared by the Diocese of Joliet Religious Education Office of recommended resources for catechetical leaders seeking to evangelize parents, especially those whose major point of contact is their children's sacrament preparation.
Praying for our Children
In reading John 17:1-26 we find ourselves at the feet of Jesus before his death. These words are profound and can guide us as to how we should pray for our children. We see in this passage that Jesus prayed for: (more)
The Six Tasks of Catechesis from
The National Directory for Catechesis
Christ’s method of formation was accomplished by diverse yet interrelated tasks. His example is the most fruitful inspiration for effective catechesis today because it is integral to formation in the Christian faith. Catechesis must attend to each of these different dimensions of faith; each becomes a distinct yet complementary task. Faith must be known celebrated, lived, and expressed in prayer. So catechesis comprises six fundamental tasks, each of which is related to an aspect of faith in Christ.
Age Development and Special Needs in the Classroom
An overview of the characteristics of preschool through adult learners as well as a look into the area of special needs education. This webinar also introduces the Social Media Guidelines.
Praying with Children
An overview of the importance of providing a broad range of opportunities of prayer with children of all ages. Specific ability to develop appropriate prayers services, liturgies and other prayer opportunities for children of all age levels.
Special Needs Catechesis
All baptized persons with disabilities have a right to adequate catechesis and deserve the means to develop a relationship with God. See the following links below for more information:
A Place for All
Mary Therese Harrington (S. H. Liturgical Press, 1992) Reflections on the lived experience of catechesis, liturgy and sacramental initiation with those who have significant developmental disabilities.
Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities
(US Conference of Catholic Bishops) ISBN 1-57455-027-6
Catechists for All Children
(Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 2002) ISBN 1-931709-37-8
Celebrating the Sacraments with those with Developmental Disabilities:
Sacramental/Liturgical Reflections’, Foley, Edward (ed.) Developmental Disabilities and Sacramental Access. Liturgical Press, 1994.
Let the Children Come to Me
Pauline Books and Media, 2003 Guidebook and laminated cut-out figures to teach Scripture stories and parables.
Ellen Javernick (Pauline Books and Media, 1999)Small child size book of the objects we see in church. Simple explanations and pictures.
Who is Jesus?
Institute for Pastoral Initiatives University of Dayton, Dyton, Ohio 1 888 532 3389
William H. Sadlier, Inc, 9 Pine Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10005 (001) 221- 5175
Share the Light (Bernadette Farrell, 2000)
Includes CD-ROM with Quick Time video shoing sign language gestures to use with songs. Baptism - A Promise to Disabled People
Institute for Pastoral Initiatives
University of Dayton
Religious Recognition for Scouting
Girls in grades 9-12
The Spirit Alive
This program assists Catholic high school youths in the senior level of Girl Scouts or Horizon Club and Teens in Action of Camp Fire in discovering how the Holy Spirit moves in their lives, calling them to a greater participation in the church’s ministry. (Separate guide for adults is available.)
Girls 9-11 years old in grades 4-6
I Live My Faith
Youths learn to appreciate more deeply the place that God and religion occupy in their daily lives. Action-oriented activities help them focus on developing an awareness of their potential as they grow in relationships with their friends, family members, neighbors and within their faith community. (Booklet includes a guide for adults.)
kindergarten or first grade
God is Love
The God Is Love program is designed to promote growth in faith by teaching youth about God's Love.
The program helps students discover an appreciation that God created, cares for, and loves us all.
A companion to the God Is Love program, the prayer card invites children to embrace God's love for them and the world, and to share that love with others. Students earn this medal (and purchase an accompanying patch) by completing the God Is Love Catholic religious recognition program.
girls 12-15 years old in grades 7-10
Mary, the First Disciple
Young Catholics grow in their appreciation of Mary and in understanding themselves. They will meet Mary in Scripture as a young teenager and follow her journey, as she becomes a woman and the Mother of God. This revised version of the Marian Medal Project book demonstrates the importance of Mary for all generations and cultures. (Separate guide for adults is available.)
Our Catholic Faith Patches
This series is designed for girls grades 1-12