Are You a Catechist?
Who is a catechist? There are many faces to catechists, and many ways to engage in catechesis. Consider sharing the journey as a catechist!
“A Catechist is a person who facilitates the process of faith formation. This is done first by echoing the word of God in his or her own life, and second by helping others to do so. . . Through your work with adults, families, adolescents, and children, you are passing on a lived faith.”
- Joe Paprocki, The Catechist's Toolbox
"Catechesis is nothing other than the process of transmitting the Gospel, as the Christian community has received it, understands it, celebrates it, lives it and communicates it in many ways." (General Directory for Catechesis #105) Jesus empowered the Church to continue His mission when He said, Full authority has been given to me both in heaven and on earth; go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of time. (Mt. 28:18-20)
This great commission has been handed to women and men, whom God has called, to proclaim the Good News. This ministry of teaching and forming has traditionally been referred to as catechesis.
The name of catechesis was given to the whole of the efforts within the Church to make disciples, to help people to believe that Jesus is the Son of God...and to educate and instruct them in this life and thus build up the Body of Christ. (Catechesi Tradendae #1)
The word catechesis comes from the Greek meaning "to echo the teaching" meaning that catechesis or the teaching of the faith is an interactive process in which the Word of God re-sounds between and among the proclaimer, the one receiving the message, and the Holy Spirit! Catechesis is a life-long process of initial conversion, formation, education, and on-going conversion. Through word, worship, service and community, it seeks to lead all God's people to an ever deepening relationship with God who reveals himself in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Catechesis takes many forms and includes the initiation of adults, youth and children as well as the intentional and systematic effort to enable all to grow in faith and discipleship.
Join our *NEW* email list that will regularly provide inspirational materials, great tips, useful links, short videos, and dates of local formation opportunities!
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Formation Courses
Level 1 (for those with children ages 3-6)
Part A: January 10-16 2020
REVISED DATE FOR Part B: TO BE DETERMINED
Carolyne-Marie Petch and Debbie Zeni - Formation Facilitators
Sister Bibiana Ikwun, and Regina Ramos-Urbano - Facilitators in Formation
Koreen Hrizai and Judith Vasquez - Hosting Team
Formation Team: Dr. Deb Zeni is a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Association of Canada (CGSAC) certified Level 1-3 catechist & formation facilitator who has facilitated courses across Canada. Carolyne-Marie Petch is a certified catechist and Formation Facilitator for levels 1-3. She is one of the founders and past board members of CGSAC.
- Participants do not require any pre-requisite courses.
- Ability to read, write and speak English (at times and at various locations there are courses available in other languages, please contact us if you are interested in other language opportunities)
- Click here for the Brochure.
- Click here to Register.
- Click here for Bursary Information.
Level 2 (for those with children ages 6-9)
Part A: February 11-17 2020
Part B: February 20-26 2021
Formation Leaders: Annette Witte and Nancy Wood
- Participants must have completed Level 1 training prior to beginning Level 2 training.
- Additional reading is required for Level 2 - A full reading guide will be sent upon registration.
- Contact Maureen Foster-Fernandes 204-832-4336 or e-mail email@example.com
- Click here for the Level 2 Brochure.
- Click here for Bursary Information.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Association of Canada (CGSAC) National Gathering information will be posted here when the next registration information becomes available.
Click here to view a past issue of the CGSAC newsletter. Membership is available for individuals or groups.
If you would like to learn more about this formation please contact the archdiocesan service of Catechetics or explore the links below.
Click here for a video introduction of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (3:14 minutes)
Click here for a video of children's and parents' experiences (3:47 minutes)
Click here for a video about the beginning of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (9:43 minutes)
Click here for an article Discovering God through Play - Are Children Innately Spiritual? CBC Tapestry
A parish's perspective...
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori- based religious formation for children starting at the age of 3. It seeks to create and facilitate a sacred, ‘hands-on’ space for children called an atrium, in which both the children and their catechists can listen, ponder and celebrate the most profound mysteries of the Christian faith as revealed in Scripture and Liturgy. Founded in Rome by Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi in 1954, the Catechesis has spread worldwide and is used by various Christian traditions to nurture the child’s relationship with Jesus. The course is presented in the Roman Catholic tradition but includes awareness of material adaptations to the Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox traditions.
There are three levels of training for adults interested in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd:
- Level 1 for children 3-6 years of age
- Level 2 for children 6-9 years of age
- Level 3 for children 9-12 years of age
Level 1 training must be completed before beginning Level 2.
Level 2 training must be completed before beginning Level 3.
The Level 1 course lays the foundation of the theory and practices of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for all three levels of CGS. This 90+ hour course concretely prepares the adult to work, to listen to the Word of God and to learn with and from children.
Fall Formation Sessions
Annual Fall Formation September Sessions are held for all catechists, coordinators, and those that walk with others in faith. These sessions are fully sponsored for you by the Service of Catechetics Archdioceses of St.Boniface and Winnipeg.
Thanks to all the participants and hosting parishes for the September 2019 series!
Session 1 – Catechists Named for Mission! (PowerPoint)
Catechist Fall Faith Formation 2018 topic was Being a Catechist with Enthusiasm! Thank you to all the participants! Preparing, supporting, learning and praying together for the upcoming year was a wonderful way to engage with enthusiasm as a catechist or helper!
Catechist Fall Faith Formation 2017 topic was Sacraments (for all catechists and those in catechetical leadership). Thank you to all the participants. Click here to read an article by Denise Wallyen about the fall formation days 2017.
Upcoming Regional and National Conferences
The Western Conference of Catholic Religious Educators (WCCRE) invite you to mark your calendars for November 12 - 14 2020 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan!
Past Regional and National Conferences
HE THIRSTS FOR YOU APRIL 4-6 2019
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, through the Episcopal Commission for Evangelization and Catechesis, hosted the 2019 National Conference on Evangelization and Catechesis on 4-6 April 2019, at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel - Ottawa Airport. The theme of the conference, He Thirsts for You, is inspired by John 4: 4-26 – The Woman at the Well.
Highlights of the Conference included an opening play, He Thirsts for You, written and performed by Catholic playwright Elisa Lollino, as well as the following keynote speakers: the Most Reverend William McGrattan, Father Ron Rolheiser, O.M.I., and Dr. Josephine Lombardi. Additionally, each participant had the opportunity to choose four workshops on a variety of topics related to evangelization and catechesis.
The Western Region of Canada had about thirty participants! Thank you to all participants for a successful conference.
Online & Distance Faith Formation Courses
St. Paul's College - University of Manitoba
Click here to learn more about St.Paul's College situated on the University of Manitoba.
Newman Theological College (Edmonton, AB)
Newman Theological College offers a comprehensive selection of courses on various aspects of the Catholic faith. All are offered online, so you can study from the comfort of home and work around your personal schedule. Take an individual course for interest, or work toward one or all of the six specialized Certificates in Catholic Studies.
This program is open to adults and youth of all backgrounds and education levels.
The college has recently created the Benedict XVI Institute which offers a Certificate in Catechesis through non-academic on-line courses. To see about the program and courses offered click here ...
Online Faith Formation Courses and Programs
We offer a comprehensive selection of courses on various aspects of the Catholic faith. All are offered online, so you can study from the comfort of home and work around your personal schedule. Each course runs five weeks. Take an individual course for interest, or work toward one or all of the 22 specialized Certificates in Catholic Studies.
This program is open to adults and youth of all backgrounds and education levels in all countries.
University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IL)
Tips & Tools for Parish Coordinators and Pastoral Leaders while Social Distancing
Running a Remote/Online Meeting Tips Leading Small Groups (from Blessed Is She)
Click here for Zoom
Click here for Google Hangout
Click here for Go To Meeting.
Click here for Facebook Live.
Click here for YouTube.
There are many online resources and Live feeds you may choose to participate as well as taking time for personal prayer at this time.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Click here for our section with Lent & Easter Online Resources.
Click here for our Catechesis Main Menu page with A Faith Response to the Coronavirus & Other Pastoral Tools.
Finding God 2013 - Loyola Press
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Immediate Catechesis (Sacraments):
- We Prepare for Reconciliation - Novalis
- We Share in the Eucharist -Novalis
- Alive in the Spirit - Novalis
- Come Join Us at the Table - Novalis
- Blessed -Dynamic Catholic
- Decision Point -Dynamic Catholic
- Others in consultation with the Service of Catechetics
Planning a retreat for Confirmation, Youth Group, or Families?
Here are some links to ministries that provide retreats for youth and others:
NET Canada (National)
FACE 2 FACE (in Saskatoon, SK)
Three Minute Retreat
Click here or on the photo below for the Loyola Press Three Minute Retreat: A Work in Progress.
Called to be a catechist?
Catechist Online Support & Webinars from Home
Thank you for saying yes to the ministry of the catechist!
Today, growing as a catechist can be convenient and customized to fit your personal schedule. If you have your own family or a demanding work schedule or aging parents to care for, your vocation as a catechist can still be a nourishing and fulfilling response to God's call. A vareity of formation opportunities await you. Just a click away there is information, support and formation ready to meet you where you are in your journey of faith as you hear and echo the Word of God to others.
Finding God 2013 (Loyola Press)
Our ongoing parish and home catechism program Finding God has many online support resources for catechists and coordinators (DREs). There are also parent materials available. Click here to explore the support materials available.
In this series of seven webinars, parishes and catechists Loyola Press presents ways to introduce you to the program for grades 1--6 and assist you in planning a successful, and reflecting on a faith-filled year using Finding God.
3-Dimensional Catechist (Catechist's Journey)
In this pre-recorded series of Webinars, Forming a 3-Dimensional Catechist, Joe Paprocki leads catechists through formation exercises designed to help them grow in these three critical areas: Being, Knowing, and Doing. Published on 3 Sep 2013 Learn more at www.catechistsjourney.com.
Documents and Reference Materials
New Resources for Formation
Visit our Resourse Library Section of the website for New Arrivals and to reserve materials.
The Archdiocese of Saint Boniface Resource Library contains a wide variety of religious materials: videos, DVDs, cassettes, CDs and books. These materials are available to enrich any religious education program as well as one's spiritual journey.