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
Our Catholic Faith Patches
This series is designed for girls grades 1-12
• foster Catholic identity
• encourage youth to learn more about their faith
• encourage youth to serve their community
• encourage youth to grow in holiness
The Catholic Faith Patches are Women in Scripture and Models of Faith
Women in Scripture
The Women in Scripture series focus on individuals who lived lives of courage and faithfulness. These women often fanned the flame of faith in their families and communities and were the backbone of the church and faith since the very beginning of Jesus' ministry. Learn more about these strong faith-filled women.
Models of Faith
Throughout the long tradition of the Catholic Church, women and men have been inspired by the Holy Spirit to stand up for the faith in the midst of great trials and at deep personal risk. Learn more about these great Models of Faith.
Catholic Church and GSUSA Patch
The requirements for this patch help girls celebrate the relationship between the Catholic Church and Girl Scouting by encouraging them to explore the rich traditions of the Catholic faith and inspiring them to become stronger members of their Catholic community. To see the requirements of this patch click here.
Girl Scout religious recognition books can be purchased through
Jackie Hopper at JHopper@RCDB.org or (208) 350-7541
or the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry's online store.
Medals and patches are only available through diocesan offices. Please contact
Jackie Hopper at JHopper@RCDB.org or (208) 350-7541
for pricing and additional information.