2122.1 Regulation

Diocesan Board of Education
Diocese of Belleville

Regulation 2122.1

ADMINISTRATION

Parish Catechetical Leader – Appointment and Functions

Who Is a Catechetical Leader?

According to the 2005 National Directory for Catechesis the Bishops are primarily responsible for catechesis. They share this responsibility with the pastor, priests, permanent deacons, women and men religious, and other lay parish ministers. ( NDCCh.8)

Parish Director of Religious Education or Catechesis

Role and Job Description

The Director of Religious Education ( DRE ) has the pastor’s delegated responsibility and authority to develop and implement a plan for lifelong comprehensive and systematic catechesis. This responsibility may be exercised in collaboration with parish staff members who share the responsibility for catechesis.

The parish Director of Religious Education is “the person who organizes and directs the program of lifelong faith formation for all parishioners under the direction of the pastor and in collaboration with the pastoral staff.” (National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers serving as Parish Catechetical Leaders, USCCB/CCA, ©2003 p.16)

The following responsibilities of the Director of Religious Education are based on the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers serving as Parish Catechetical Leaders.

Vision and Program Design

  • Develops and implements a plan for comprehensive and systematic catechesis for children, youth and adults based on the plan for comprehensive and systematic catechesis of the Diocese of Belleville
  • Establishes long range and short term goals and outcomes for effective parish catechesis
  • Develops Sacramental Preparation
  • Works with parents to ensure the support and involvement of the family in the parish catechetical program.

Administration

  • Implements the catechetical policies and recommended outcomes of the Diocese of Belleville
  • Directs the parish catechetical programs from adults to children.

  1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation including RCIA and Adult Confirmation
  2. Junior High and Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments
  3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments
  4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs
  5. Christian Initiation of Children
  6. Catechetical programs for other languages
  7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation
  8. Home Catechesis
  9. Special Needs

According to the National Directory for Catechesis “The single most critical factor in an effective parish catechetical program is the leadership of a professionally trained parish catechetical leader. Depending on the size and scope of the parish catechetical program, parishes should allocate their resources so they are able to acquire the services of a competent and qualified catechetical leader (or someone in the process of becoming qualified and competent) or to share those services with another parish.” (54 B 5)

  • Selects appropriate catechetical materials based on the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and Diocesan guidelines
  • Provides catechetical programming in other languages as needed
  • Evaluates effectiveness of all catechetical programs
  • Maintains accurate records on student enrollment, attendance and sacramental preparation and submits requested data to the Office Education
  • Ensures a pastoral approach for all in setting program structures, e.g. calendar dates, scheduling use of facilities, procedures for registration and fee collection
  • Publishes a handbook which contains parish programs and sacramental policies and procedures
  • Engages pastor and parish pastoral staffs in annual process of assessment, planning and evaluation
  • Establishes a representative catechetical advisory council to ensure quality total parish catechesis
  • Sets the environment for procedures for management of sessions and discipline
  • Implements the guidelines for mandated reporting of legal issues according to Diocesan policies
  • Assures adequate supervision of minors during the entire time they are on the parish premises for catechetical activities
  • Implements conflict management procedures when appropriate
  • Ensures maintenance and safety of premises according to local procedures
  • Prepares annual budget and oversees expenditures after its approval by the pastor

Recruitment and Formation of Catechists and Ministers of Catechesis

  • Recruits and screens candidates for the role of catechist
  • Trains catechists and volunteers at all levels
  • Provides on-going spiritual formation for catechists and volunteers at all levels through appropriate means such as retreats, evenings of prayers, workshops, conferences, courses, etc.
  • Ensures that all their catechists are certified according to the guidelines of the Diocese
  • Assists catechists in the selection of teaching aids and lesson planning
  • Provides continued support for catechists by being present before, during and after the teaching assignments
  • Consults with catechists, both experienced and newly recruited, to mutually assess their
  • methodological and theological needs in order to design and implement appropriate training sessions

Among the main responsibilities of parish catechetical leaders is the “Implementation of diocesan and parish catechetical policies and guidelines, including the areas of catechist certification and supervision and administrative policies related to negligence, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and the safety and protection of minors.”

National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)

“Dioceses and parishes should actively seek to identify potential parish catechetical leaders and, with the help of Catholic colleges and universities and organizations, provide them with opportunities to develop the competence and skills necessary for effective leadership and thorough knowledge of the faith.”

National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)

Supervision of Catechists, Ministers of Catechesis, and Support Staff

  • Develops role descriptions for catechetical personnel and support staff
  • Provides regular evaluation for catechists at all levels and support staff
  • Supervises ministers of catechesis such as:

  1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation including RCIA and Adult Confirmation
  2. Junior High and Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments
  3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments
  4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs
  5. Christian Initiation of Children
  6. Catechetical programs for other languages
  7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation
  8. Home Catechesis
  9. Special Needs

Collaboration/Communication

  • Collaborates with the pastor, other parish ministers and appropriate committees, boards and councils to develop catechetical vision, establish catechetical policy, and facilitate the understanding of catechetical ministry within the larger community
  • Works with the parish staff to provide formation for adults and youth in the parish
  • Cooperates with the principal of the Catholic School to present a united approach to total parish catechesis
  • Communicates program information to parish community
  • Networks with other catechetical leaders
  • Assists in the planning of liturgical celebrations in the parish
  • Cooperates with inter-parish planning for the development of regional programs
  • Works with the Office of Education in assessing catechetical needs
  • Participates in Office of Education deanery and cluster meetings and other diocesan meetings as appropriate

Continuing Education and Professional Development

  • Takes responsibility for his/her own professional and spiritual development
  • Enrolls in courses and attends workshops related to responsibilities
  • Maintains membership in professional organizations
  • Participates in the on-going formation opportunities for DREs provided by the Office of Education

Formation

General Requirements

  • Practicing Catholic who fully adheres to and models the Church’s teachings in faith and morals (Cf. National Directory for Catechesis, 54 B 5)
  • Active participation in parish life
  • Appropriate mental and physical health to accomplish the tasks

Specific Requirements – Graduate Level Theological and Ministerial Formation

  • Masters’ Degree or MDiv in Catholic Religious Education, Theology or a related field from a Catholic University or equivalent In processing the candidate for approval and certification as a Director of Religious Education, the candidate’s background and studies will be evaluated against the following:

A. Core Theological Competencies

  1. Scripture – Old Testament
  2. Scripture – New Testament
  3. Christology
  4. History of the Catholic Church
  5. Ecclesiology
  6. Sacramental Development and Theology
  7. Liturgy
  8. Catholic Morality: Life in Christ
  9. Spirituality and Prayer

B. Ministerial Courses and Other Formation

  1. Human Psychology, Faith and Moral Development
  2. Foundations of Religious Education, Learning and Curriculum Development
  3. Evangelization, Catechesis and Culture
  4. Child Protection Policy
  5. Intercultural and Anti-Racism Training

“Preparation for service as a parish catechetical leader should include advanced studies in theology, Scripture, Liturgy, catechesis and catechetical methodology, education psychology and theory, and administration, as well as practical catechetical experience with adults, youth, and children.”

National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)

Who Is a Catechetical Leader?

According to the 2005 National Directory for Catechesis the Bishops are primarily responsible for catechesis. They share this responsibility with the pastor, priests, permanent deacons, women and men religious, and other lay parish ministers. ( NDCCh.8)

Parish Coordinator of Religious Education or Catechesis

Role and Job Description

The pastor has the canonical responsibility for the pastoral care of his parish and for developing a comprehensive plan for lifelong and systematic catechesis in his parish. In parishes where the pastor has hired a DRE , he may also hire one or more Coordinators of Religious Education or Parish Catechetical Ministers to assist in the ministry of catechesis. However, in the absence of a certified DRE , the pastor actively assumes the responsibility to direct the religious education of the parish. To assist him he may employ a Coordinator of Religious Education ( CRE ).

The Coordinator of Religious Education ( CRE ), under the direction and supervision of the pastor, coordinates and implements specific catechetical programs from early childhood to adult as designated by the pastor. This responsibility must be exercised in collaboration with parish staff members who share the responsibility for catechesis.

The parish Coordinator of Religious Education, under the supervision of the pastor, shall be responsible to implement the parish catechetical plan and policies according to the Religious Education Policies and Procedures of the Diocese of Belleville.

Vision and Program Design

The Coordinator of Religious Education, under the supervision of the pastor or his delegate:

  • Coordinates and implements various aspects of the parish catechetical plan for children, youth or adults based on the plan for comprehensive and systematic catechesis of the Diocese of Belleville.
  • Administers the long range and short term goals and outcomes for effective parish catechesis
  • Works with parents to ensure the support and involvement of the family in the parish catechetical program.

Administration

  • Implements the catechetical policies and recommended outcomes of the Diocese of Belleville.
  • Coordinates specific parish catechetical programs from adults to children as directed by the pastor.

This may include

  1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation including RCIA and Adult Confirmation.
  2. Junior High and/or Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments
  3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments
  4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs
  5. Christian Initiation of Children
  6. Catechetical programs for other languages

According to the National Directory for Catechesis “The single most critical factor in an effective parish catechetical program is the leadership of a professionally trained parish catechetical leader. Depending on the size and scope of the parish catechetical program, parishes should allocate their resources so they are able to acquire the services of a competent and qualified catechetical leader (or someone in the process of becoming qualified and competent) or to share those services with another parish.” (54 B 5)

Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation

Home Catechesis

Special Needs

  • Selects appropriate catechetical materials based on the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and Diocesan guidelines
  • Provides catechetical programming in other languages as needed
  • Evaluates effectiveness of catechetical programs in coordination with the pastor
  • Maintains accurate records on student enrollment, attendance and sacramental preparation and submits requested data to the Office of Education
  • Ensures a pastoral approach for all in setting program structures, e.g. calendar dates, scheduling use of facilities, procedures for registration and fee collection
  • Coordinates the catechetical advisory council
  • Communicates procedures for management of sessions and discipline
  • Implements the guidelines for mandated reporting of legal issues according to Diocesan policies
  • Assures adequate supervision of minors during the entire time they are on the parish premises for catechetical activities
  • Communicates parish program and sacramental policies and procedures
  • Implements conflict management procedures when appropriate
  • Ensures maintenance and safety of premises according to local procedures
  • Prepares annual budget and oversees expenditures after its approval by the pastor

Recruitment and Formation of Catechists and Ministers of Catechesis

  • Recruits and screens candidates for the role of catechist
  • Ensures that all catechists are certified according to the guidelines of the Diocese
  • Provides for ongoing spiritual formation for catechists and volunteers at all levels through retreats, evenings of prayers, workshops, conferences, courses, etc.
  • Assists catechists in the selection of teaching aids and lesson planning
  • Provides continued support for catechists by being present before, during and after the teaching assignments
  • Ensures that volunteers at all levels are trained

Supervision of Catechists, Ministers of Catechesis, and Program Coordinators

  • Provides regular evaluation for catechists under their supervision as directed by the pastor
  • Supervises ministers of catechesis as directed by the pastor which may include:

  1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation including RCIA and Adult Confirmation
  2. Junior High and/or Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments
  3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments
  4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs
  5. Christian Initiation of Children
  6. Catechetical programs for other languages
  7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation
  8. Home Catechesis
  9. Special Needs

Among the main responsibilities of parish catechetical leaders is the “Implementation of diocesan and parish catechetical policies and guidelines, including the areas of catechist certification and supervision and administrative policies related to negligence, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and the safety and protection of minors.” National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)

Collaboration/Communication

  • Meets regularly with the pastor
  • Collaborates with the pastor, other parish ministers and appropriate committees, boards and councils to implement catechetical vision, administer catechetical policy, and facilitate the understanding of catechetical ministry within the larger community
  • Works with the parish staff to provide formation for adults and youth in the parish
  • Cooperates with the principal of the Catholic School to present a united approach to total parish catechesis
  • Communicates program information to parish community
  • Networks with other catechetical leaders
  • Assists in the planning of liturgical celebrations in the parish as related to the catechetical program
  • Works with the Office of Education in assessing catechetical needs
  • Participates in Office of Education deanery and cluster meetings and other
  • Diocesan meetings as appropriate

Continuing Education and Professional Development

  • Takes responsibility for his/her own professional and spiritual development
  • Enrolls in courses and attends workshops related to responsibilities and ongoing certification with the Office of Education
  • Maintains membership in professional organizations
  • Participates in the ongoing formation opportunities for CREs provided by the Office of Education

“Dioceses and parishes should actively seek to identify potential parish catechetical leaders and...provide them with opportunities to develop the competence and skills necessary for effective leadership and thorough knowledge of the faith. Only fully initiated, practicing Catholics who fully adhere to the Church’s teaching in faith and morals and who are models of Christian virtue and courageous witnesses to the Catholic faith should be designated as parish catechetical leaders….A comprehensive knowledge

of the General Directory for Catechesis and the Catechism of the Catholic Church is essential. In accord with diocesan policies, pastors who employ parish catechetical leaders should formulate a clear and specific agreement with them that lists the responsibilities of the position and elements of equitable compensation. Parish catechetical leaders should be full members of the parish pastoral staff and attend all its meetings.

“The functions of such positions vary from parish to parish, but parish catechetical leaders are not simple administrators or general pastoral ministers. The need for systematic training and study should not be minimized. They are catechists first. They should continue their personal, spiritual, and professional development and participate in diocesan programs of inservice training and formation, catechetical institutes, conventions, retreats, and accredited programs.” National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)

“Preparation for service as a parish catechetical leader should include advanced studies in theology, Scripture, Liturgy, catechesis and catechetical methodology, education psychology and theory, and administration, as well as practical catechetical experience with adults, youth, and children.”

National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)

Formation

General Requirements

  • Practicing Catholic who fully adheres to and models the Church’s teachings in faith and morals
  • (Cf. National Directory for Catechesis, 54 B 5)
  • Active participation in parish life
  • Appropriate mental and physical health to accomplish the tasks

Specific Requirements – Undergraduate Level Theological and Ministerial Formation

One of the following:

  • Diocesan Catechist Certification
  • Certificate of Studies in Theology from an accredited Catholic institution plus additional catechetical courses as needed
  • Equivalent theological and ministerial courses from the “Diaconate Program,” “Ministerial Formation” and/or CEU from Diocesan approved institution of higher education plus additional catechetical courses as needed
  • BA with a major in Religious Education from an accredited Catholic institution plus additional catechetical courses as needed
  • In processing the candidate for approval and certification as a Coordinator of Religious Education, the candidate’s background and studies will be evaluated against the following:

A. Core Theological Competencies

  1. Scripture and Tradition: Revelation
  2. Profession of Faith: Creed
  3. Church: History and Theology
  4. Sacramental Development and Theology
  5. Liturgy, Spirituality and Prayer
  6. Catholic Morality: Life in Christ

B. Ministerial Courses and Other Formation Requirements

  • Human Psychology, Faith and Moral Development
  • Foundations of Religious Education, Learning and Curriculum Development
  • Evangelization, Catechesis and Culture
  • Child Protection Policy Training

Approved: November 5, 2009

Office of Education

Diocese of Belleville


The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton

Bishop of Belleville

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