Archdiocese of Chicago Catechetical Data Report Highlights

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1 Archdiocese of Chicago Catechetical Data Report Highlights The information in this report comes from the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry (OFCYM) Parish Catechetical Programs Data Survey, which was mailed out to 365 parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Out of these parishes, 296 or 81% returned the survey in time to be included in this report. The information on child and youth catechesis is supplemented by information from the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry Data Survey and the 2011 Parish Annual Report. The data on catechetical leadership is supplemented with additional information gathered by the office and personal visits to parishes. Here are some significant trends the data reveals this year. Catechetical Leadership It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Chicago that every parish has an approved catechetical leader or shares one with another parish (Archdiocese of Chicago Policies and Procedures, Book II, Part I, Title II, Chapter II, #801.1). The responses received and supplemental OFCYM data indicate the following: Employment Status Seventy-eight percent (284) of parish catechetical leaders are paid. Out of the 78%, 44% (161) are full-time and 34% (123) are part-time. Twenty-two percent (82) of parish catechetical leaders are volunteers. Out of these volunteers, 20 are pastors and the other 62 are lay volunteers. Leadership Formation Status As of June 2012, 36% (132) of parish catechetical leaders are approved, 30% (109) have only a file established with the OFCYM, and 34% (125) of parish catechetical leaders do not have a file with the office. Of all the 132 parish catechetical leaders, 21% (77) are also certified. This past year, three catechetical leaders were certified: two as Coordinators of Religious Education and one as Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation. This past year, 18 catechetical leaders renewed their certification: eleven as parish Directors of Religious Education, five as parish Coordinators of Religious Education and two as Coordinators of Youth Ministry. Catechist Formation and Certification It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Chicago that all catechists of children and youth should be certified or engaged in a process of certification (Archdiocese of Chicago Policies and Procedures, Book II, Part I, Title II, Chapter II, #1401.1). The responses to the survey (81% of the total number of parishes) indicate the following: There are 8,791 catechists in the parishes according to this year s data survey. Approximately 88% or 7,725 are catechists of children and 12% or 1,066 are catechists of adults. There are 22% (1,739) catechists who are certified, and 28% (2,131) catechists who are working toward certification. About 242 catechists are also working with youth ministry. Based on the OFCYM additional data: In June 2012, 631 catechists received certification after completing all required hours of formation. Out of those, 439 were parish catechists and 192 were Catholic school catechists. Out of the 439 parish catechists, 52 received certification through Polish language formation. 1

2 In addition, 49 parish catechists renewed their certification and 11 were certified as Catechist/Youth Ministers. During the fiscal year there were 43 sites throughout the Archdiocese that hosted catechetical formation classes. Of those sites the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry managed six. The OFCYM offered Fostering Faith Catechist Certification sessions in English (1), Spanish (1), Bilingual (1) and Polish (2) at various locations. Various parishes managed the remaining 37 sites. The parish sites offered the Fostering Faith program in English (27) and Spanish (9) and Catching the Spirit (1). Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation Programs The parish shall provide visible evidence of the primacy of adult religious education and formation (Archdiocese of Chicago Policies and Procedures, Book III, Title I, Chapter II, #201.1). This year s survey indicates the following: Participation in adult catechetical programs and sacramental preparation programs for parents indicates a percentage decrease of 7% since last year. During the year , 51% of participants were involved in sacramental preparation programs for parents and 49% of adults were involved for their own personal growth in faith (a decrease from previous year). Adult catechesis takes place in the RCIA, Scripture sharing/study groups, prayer groups, faith discussion groups, small Christian communities, adult enrichment, and ministry formation. Based on additional OFCYM data, there were about 370 adults who were confirmed this past year. Catechesis of Children (Pre-K to 8 th grade) The overall enrollment of children in parish catechetical programs indicates a percentage increase of about 7% from the previous year. There are 89,201 children enrolled in preschool through 8 th grade. Enrollment is still greatest in second grade when children celebrate First Eucharist. Based on this year s survey, about 20% of parishes only provide the sacramental preparation program for children instead of the systematic program. Catechesis of Youth (Freshmen to Seniors) Gathering data about catechesis of youth is a difficult task because the OFCYM survey does not reach all youth ministers who engage in catechesis for youth, and because not all catechetical leaders have responsibility for youth catechesis. Therefore this report may not include all the necessary information to give a complete report. A more detailed report is available in the separate Youth Ministry Archdiocesan report. This year reports indicate the following: There are 6,662 youth enrolled in 9 th through 12 th grade. This indicates a percentage decrease of about 4% from the previous year. The highest enrollment still remains in 9 th grade, due to confirmation preparation, and gradually decreases throughout the following years of high school. The following pages will present specific graphics and charts by catechetical area that will illustrate with more detail the findings of this year s Parish Catechetical Programs Data Survey. 2

3 Catechetical Leadership Archdiocese of Chicago Parish Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education/Catechesis It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Chicago that every parish shall have an approved catechetical leader or share one with one or more parishes (Archdiocese of Chicago, Policies and Procedures, Book II, Part I, Title II, Chapter II, #801.1). As of June 2012, 21% (77) of all catechetical leaders were certified. Thirty-six percent of all parish catechetical leaders have an approved status and 34% do not have a file with OFCYM. Of the 365 reported parish catechetical leaders in the archdiocese, 44% are paid full-time employees, 34% are paid part-time employees, and 22% are volunteers not paid for their services as catechetical leaders. Adult Faith Formation Leaders/Coordinators of Adult Faith Formation (CAFF) To make adult faith formation ministry effective, certain leadership roles are necessary. In addition to the pastor, effective parish programs should have as an objective identifying an adult faith formation leader who promotes and supports adult faith formation ministry. This person may be a parish full or part-time staff person or a volunteer parishioner prepared for ministry. The position may be salaried or volunteer. (Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, no. 135) This year s reported data on Adult Faith Formation Leaders shows the following: 70 English-speaking, 25 Spanish-speaking and 7 Polish-speaking. 3

4 Catechist Formation and Certification Archdiocese of Chicago The information on catechists and catechist certification is gathered from the Parish Catechetical Programs Data Survey, which was returned by 81% of the parishes in the archdiocese. These parishes report 7,725 (88%) catechists of children (Pre-K to 8 th grade) and youth (grade 9-12) and 1066 (12%) catechists of adults. It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Chicago that all catechists of children and youth be certified or engaged in a process of certification (Archdiocese of Chicago, Policies and Procedures, Book II, Part I, Title II, Chapter II, #1401.1). Half of these catechists (50% or 3,870) are either certified or are working toward certification. The number of catechists that have been certified or that are in the process of certification has a percentage increase of about 6% from last year. The charts that follow indicate how this data is represented among those different languages. 4

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7 Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation Programs Archdiocese of Chicago The U.S. Catholic Bishops in their pastoral plan for adult faith formation, Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, write that our parish and diocesan communities cannot exist without a strong, complete and systematic catechesis for all its members. a catechesis that nurtures a profound, life-long conversion of the whole person and sets forth a comprehensive, contemporary synthesis of the faith, as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, no. 4) Scripture and tradition form the core content of all adult catechesis, for the Church has always considered them the supreme rule of faith. (Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, no. 88) Besides providing for a wide variety of special forms of adult catechesis a majority of our parishes are making efforts to move toward a complete and systematic catechesis for their adult members as outlined in the Bishops pastoral statement. Experience demonstrates that small and large parishes throughout the archdiocese can conduct effective faith formation programs if the following elements are present: Commitment to the vision and practice of lifelong growth in Christian faith for the members of the parish community by the pastor; An authorized and recognized parish adult faith formation leader; Support and initiative from a small core group of parishioners, e.g. an adult faith formation team; and Competent, experienced facilitators and teachers. This past year there were eight different sites offering adult confirmation classes around the Archdiocese of Chicago. Approximately, 370 people received their sacrament of confirmation, in the following languages: English, Spanish and Polish. The following charts and graphics reflect the responses given by the parishes on the status of adult catechesis in English, Spanish, Polish and other languages. 7

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9 Catechesis of Children (Pre-K to 8 th grade) Archdiocese of Chicago The information on child enrollment is from the Parish Catechetical Programs Data Survey which had a 81% return and is supplemented by information from the Parish Catechetical Programs Data Survey and the Parish Annual Report. The overall enrollment of children (Pre-K to 8 th grade) in parish catechetical programs has been decreasing since The enrollment still remains highest in second grade when children celebrate their First Eucharist. The following charts and graphics reflect the responses given by the parish on the status of child (Pre-K to 8 th grade) catechesis in English, Spanish, Polish and other languages. 9

10 The charts that follow show a 16-year comparison of elementary and high school enrollment. The elementary enrollment has been increasing until the year 2000 and then it started to gradually decrease. High school enrollment has been increasing until year 2006 and then it started to gradually decrease. While most parishes provide systematic catechetical program, about 20% of parishes provide sacramental classes only. 10

11 Catechesis of Youth (Freshmen to Seniors) Archdiocese of Chicago The data reports 6,662 youth (Freshmen to Seniors) enrolled in parish catechetical programs. The highest enrollment still remains in 9 th grade when the youth receive the sacrament of confirmation and gradually decreases throughout the following years of high school. High school enrollment has a percentage decrease of 19% from The following charts and graphics reflect the responses given by the parish on the status of youth catechesis in English, Spanish, Polish and other languages. Of all the data reported, 3,536 are enrolled in English programs, 605 in Spanish programs, 264 in Polish programs, and 205 in other languages. There are about 2,052 youth in parish catechetical programs throughout the archdiocese that parishes did not report in which language they participate. 11

12 Archdiocesan Planning Issues Catechesis and Youth Ministry 2012 and beyond The Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry continues its work towards the improvement of all areas of catechesis and youth ministry in the archdiocese. The OFCYM has completed the implementation of the Decisions Catechetical Recommendations entrusted to the office in 2002, and will continue in an ongoing process to maintain and update the implementation as needed. To improve life-long catechesis in all the parishes of the archdiocese the OFCYM will continue collaborating with episcopal vicars, deans, pastors and other archdiocesan departments and agencies. What follows are the general short and long term plans we will work on during OFCYM Staff Transitions Due to the closing of the Jegen Media and Resource Center, and the loss of two staff members, the OFCYM will evaluate and assign elements of these roles to other present OFCYM staff members. This adjustment will insure the main mission and works of the OFCYM are continued in our efforts to better serve the needs of the parishes and in archdiocese. We are in the process of interviewing candidates to fill the Vicariate I Catechetical Ministry/Adult Faith Formation vacant position. Strategic Pastoral Plan: Year of the Sunday Mass The OFCYM will continue serving as a resource in the implementation of the Archdiocesan Strategic Pastoral Plan in this Year of Sunday Mass. Catechist Formation and Certification It is the policy of the Archdiocese of Chicago that all catechists of children and youth be certified or engaged in a process of certification (Archdiocese of Chicago Policies and Procedures, Book II, Part I, Title II, Chapter II, #1401.1); therefore: 1. The OFCYM is currently planning next year s catechetical formation sites in the archdiocese, taking into account the needs of the various vicariates according to the diverse languages and cultures. Currently, programs are offered in English, Spanish and Polish. Catching the Spirit intentionally addresses the culture of Black Catholics. Plans for similar consideration of the Asian Catholic community are being explored. 2. The OFCYM will continue working with the Office of Catholic Schools to improve the quality of catechist formation for parish catechists as well as for Catholic school catechist-teachers. The revised Archdiocesan Fostering Faith Catechist Certification process is already in place. Catechetical Leadership It is the policy of the Archdiocese that every parish have one or more qualified and fully salaried catechetical leader (DRE, CRE, CYM, CAFF) or share one with another parish who can attend to the faith formation of adults, youth and children in the parish as needed (Archdiocese of Chicago, Policies and Procedures, Book II, Part I, Title II, Chapter II, #801.1). There is a general concern among parish catechetical leaders, lay as well as ordained, that more and more parishes are dismissing their professional salaried DREs, CREs or CYMs and hiring in their place other parishioners who are not adequately prepared to do the ministry, or the position is being replaced by pastors or other priests for whom this is one of many responsibilities. This situation seems to be caused by difficulties in finding the funds to pay for the salary of a qualified catechetical leader, or the difficulty in affording the costs for adequate preparation of the lay catechetical leader. 12

13 Some of the ways OFCYM is addressing these issues are the following: 1. Promoting and encouraging pastors to hire qualified catechetical leaders (DREs, CREs, CYMs) for their parishes. 2. Continuing the preparation of catechetical leaders from the various cultures and languages, who are not able to participate in Graduate Programs, through the Certificate of Studies in Catechetical Leadership, in collaboration with the University of St. Mary of the Lake. 3. Continuing the implementation work on Recommendation #13 that deals with just compensation and recruitment of the catechetical leader, securing funds for supporting poor parishes and candidates who cannot afford training or hiring a full-time catechetical leader. 4. Revision of the catechetical leader ministerial formation courses for DRE, CRE and CYM in Spanish and English. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation Programs Several years ago, following the USCCB pastoral plan Our Hearts Are Burning Within Us, the OFCYM began focusing on faith formation of adults and catechists for adults in English, Spanish and Polish. The OFCYM will continue accomplishing this in the following manner: 1. Implementation of the specialization for training, forming and certifying parish Coordinators of Adult Faith Formation (CAFF). This specialization will be offered in English this year and later on in Spanish and Polish as needed. 2. Continuing with other adult formation initiatives such as the formation of RCIA catechists and coordinators and the adult confirmation sessions in English and Spanish. 3. Continuing to offer CCSS this year in English and Spanish in the various centers of the Archdiocese. Continue working on developing a practicum year to prepare those who graduate from the four years of study to be small group facilitators for their parishes. 4. The OFCYM will continue work on efforts to personally invite, welcome, evangelize and catechize women and men in their twenties and thirties in all states of life. Catechesis of Children (Pre-K to 8 th grade) Although the participation of children in parish programs of preparation for First Eucharist has remained steady, during the last years there has been a general decrease in enrollment of children (Pre-K to 8 th grade). The enrollment of youth (grade 9-12) in parish catechetical programs has remained steady; there is a gradual decrease in participation in the years following confirmation. To increase participation and enrollment of children and youth in parish catechetical programs the OFCYM will continue to: 1. Provide workshops for families and parents as primary educators of the faith. 2. Address the preparation for confirmation of children and youth outside the RCIA process. 3. Develop a specialized program for family catechesis and for catechetical home schooling. 4. Continue working with the Office of Catholic Schools in presenting the new developed Elementary Religion Curriculum of the Archdiocese of Chicago to catechetical leaders and principals. 5. Develop a specialization course for certified catechists that address the areas of catechetical methodology and classroom management. 6. Continue the training and formation courses geared to youth ministers/catechists. Catechesis and Youth Ministry (High School Age) The OFCYM will continue the services and programs directed to youth and youth ministry leaders, such as Formation of Youth Ministers, Coordinators of Youth Ministry, Parish Youth Ministry teams, peer ministers and other evangelization and catechetical programs directed to adolescents (Junior High and High School Age). 13

14 High School Religion Curriculum The Religion Curriculum of the Archdiocese of Chicago has been expanded to include High School (grades 9-12), building upon the foundation of the Elementary Religion Curriculum (grades K-8). The High School Curriculum develops the ten themes from the Elementary Curriculum in ways that are appropriate to the ages of the students and continue to deepen knowledge and practice of the Catholic religion. Over the next year, OFCYM will: 1. Initiate the development of the Parish Adaptation for the High School Religion Curriculum. 2. Create a workshop for Coordinators of Youth Ministry and youth catechists to introduce them to the High School Religion Curriculum and its application in the parish setting. World Youth Day in Chicago The OFCYM will prepare an archdiocesan gathering of youth to correspond with the celebration of WYD in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. General 1. Continue directing and supervising the staff and work of the OFCYM. 2. Work on the preparation and execution of the Chicago Catechetical Conference. 3. Complete the revision of the Catechetical and Youth Ministry policies. 4. Finish the translation of the Elementary Religion Curriculum and the Fostering Faith Catechist Certification Curriculum and process into Spanish and Polish. 5. Complete the revisions of the Vicariate Youth Ministry Coordinator and the Vicariate Catechetical Ministry Coordinator Manuals. 14

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