Men and women from a wide variety of backgrounds are called to share in the Church’s catechetical mission. Most are volunteers. They bring a wide variety of talents and abilities to their task. They have widely divergent levels of experience and competence in catechesis. Programs of formation should be designed to help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to hand on the faith to those entrusted to their care and assist them in living as disciples in Christ. (National Directory of Catechesis, 55A)
The Diocese of Richmond takes seriously the need expressed by the Catholic Church to sufficiently train and support her catechists by offering a catechist training program called Pathways. All parish catechists in our diocese are required to attend this one-day, instructor-led, interactive program of prayer, learning and reflection. This training is for all who hand on the faith to adults, youth and children in our parishes. Also, all new Catholic School Teachers of Religion are asked to participate in Session One of the Pathways training day during their first year of teaching in the Richmond Diocesan Schools.
Who is a catechist?
- Adult Faith Formation Leaders (i.e. Bible Study Leaders)
- RCIA Team Members
- Sacramental Preparation Teams (i.e. Marriage and Baptism)
- Youth Group Facilitators
- All who catechize our youth and children, and more.
As is stated in Called to be Disciples, all catechists should be fully-initiated Catholics in good standing and those that work with minors must have completed a VIRTUS in-service regarding Safe Environment and a Screening One background form. See Background Screening.
What can I expect at Pathways?
Pathways is a full day of learning. All curriculum materials are provided to the catechists for use during the training and for continued study and reflection at home.
The day begins at 8:30 am with registration, concludes around 4 pm and includes:
- Session One: Vocation of the Catechist and Scripture & Creed
- Lunch (included in registration)
- Session Two: Methodology for the age you catechize; Adult, Youth or Child.
After completing a day of Pathways, parish catechists are certified in accordance with Called to Be Disciples. A certificate will be mailed to the catechist’s catechetical leader. Ongoing learning of three hours each year maintains certification. See Ongoing Catechist Formation.
Catholic School Religion Teachers completing Session One earn 3 hours toward their certification requirements listed in Handing on the Faith Religion Formation for Catholic School Teachers. They are invited and encouraged to stay for both Sessions for additional certification hours.