Diocese of Corpus Christi

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1 Office of Evangelization and Catechesis 620 Lipan St. Office of Laity, Family, and Life Corpus Christi, Texas Office of Youth Ministry Fax: October 9, 2017 Dear Catechetical Leader, First, we would like to thank you for your service to our children and families and your dedication to faith formation. We are writing to update you on the progress of the new parish catechist certification program. As we proceed, please allow us to explain where we are with the certification process, and what your role as a parish leader will be. We will provide you with a list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the new certification program. This process is a collaboration of the Offices of Evangelization and Catechesis; Laity, Family, and Life; and Youth Ministry. The Development of the Process On June 9, the Diocese of Corpus Christi began a pilot program with thirteen parishes representing the eight deaneries in our diocese. Approximately seventy participants enrolled in the online parish catechist certification program. The pilot program concluded on August 9, Any needed adjustments will be made before our official launch on November 7, The Role of Parish Catechetical Leaders in Preparation for the New Program Because we are entering a period of final adjustments to our new certification program, it is important that our catechetical leaders do the following: Continue to follow our Flocknote updates which will include information on the new parish catechist certification program. Familiarize yourself with the new certification program. Encourage your catechists to register for the new catechist certification program. Continue to give us your feedback during this phase as you read our updates. Prepare your parish to adjust to this new program by attending our soon to come orientation live webinar training session on Thursday, November 2, 2017 (Time TBA). Attend scheduled deanery meetings for updates and detailed information.

2 The Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation We have engaged in a two year process of discernment and feedback with clergy, catechetical leaders, youth ministers, and catechists throughout our diocese. The newly established Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation is a result of this process. All Diocesan sponsored lay ministry formation and trainings from our three offices will now be under the auspices of the institute. The website and digital registration platform is As our three Offices have partnered, we will continue to improve the certification and ongoing formation process. Our goal is to support our parishes with strengthening Catholic Identity and improving Catholic instruction. To accomplish these goals, we will be working with our parish catechetical leaders, RCIA coordinators, adult formation coordinators, youth ministers, and marriage preparation coordinators. We believe the changes made to our catechist certification process will allow us to be flexible when it comes to certification requirements, timing, and cost. By making the certification shorter and bringing online ongoing formation, we hope to help you as catechetical leaders strengthen the Catholic Identity of your parishes, as well as build a community of authentic witnesses of the Gospel. If you should have any questions please feel free to reach out to us: Dr. Therese Recinella Director of Catechesis Mrs. Elizabeth Nguyen Director of Laity, Family, and Life Mr. Jaime Reyna Coordinator of Youth Ministry

3 FAQ Will catechists receive credit for courses taken in the St. Paul School of Catechesis? Yes. This is the equivalency chart: St. Paul School of Catechesis Courses Taken between Prayer and Spirituality One of the following: Old and New Testament Scripture Elective Course Catholic Doctrine Church History Elective Course Catholic Morality Liturgy and Sacraments One of the following: *Evangelization and Catechesis *Religious Education Elective Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation Called to Teach-Serve-Witness Level 1 Catechist Certification Prayer and Spirituality Creed and Scripture Introduction to Christian Morality Introduction to Liturgy and Sacraments Ministry of Catechesis (Catechesis 101) * It is recommended that catechists that took either of these courses also complete The Ministry of Catechesis online as there is a methodology and lesson planning component. However, it is not required. Will there be a cost for certification? Yes there is a minimal cost for each level. Scholarships may be addressed through a participant s parish. It is recommended that those completing courses for certification receive a 50% scholarship reimbursement from their parish upon completion of a course. Who needs to take Level I? All catechists for parish religious education programs and youth ministry programs who are just starting the certification process need to complete certification Level I. The program is designed to be completed in one year. Parish Catechetical Leaders that did not complete course work for Commissioning through the St. Paul School of Catechesis or through the Pastoral Institute are asked to complete Level 1 Catechist Certification. A Parish Catechetical Leader Certification is in development. As a Catechetical Leader, you should encourage your catechists to start this program after the launch date. You can register your catechists or they can do it themselves by going to How will Catechetical Leaders be a part of this certification process? As a parish faith leader, you will be able to view the online progress of your catechists and be informed when they meet all online requirements or complete a live course. You will be able to organize your catechists as a group cohort and register them in an online certification course. Who takes Level II? Catechists that complete Level 1 and the Level 1 Certification Retreat may continue with Level II. Catechists who complete Level 1 Certification have two years to complete their Level II Certification.

4 Who takes Level III? Catechists that have completed all course work through the St. Paul School of Catechesis and have been commissioned, catechists that are working towards recommissioning may continue in Level III. Catechists that are completing certification beginning with Level I, continue with Level II. Once Level II and the Level II retreat is completed these catechists may continue to Level III ongoing formation. What are the steps to begin? All participants set up a log-in through our new website: Is it necessary to have an address? Yes, all participants must have an address. Who will be the administrator? Each parish is assigned one log-in administrator. The pastor of each parish will designate the admin. Usually this will be the parish catechetical leader and/or youth minister. Each parish admin will be given access to track formation for their parish catechists. Will there be a training? Yes. A live webinar training will be offered shortly before our Go Live Date. An online admin toolkit will be accessible for all admins and include additional information. The Live Webinar Training is Thursday, November 2, 2017 (Time TBA). When does the new catechist certification program begin? The Go Live Date is Tuesday, November 7, Will there be live courses? Yes, live courses will be offered. The online courses and the live courses for Level 1 and Level II are the same. The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis will continue to provide instructors for the live courses. Will courses be available in Spanish? Yes. Courses are available in Spanish online. A Diocesan approved instructor may also teach live courses in Spanish.

5 Diocese of Corpus Christi Institute for Parish Leadership and Ministry Formation New Catechist Certification Program for all Parish Catechists of Religious Education and Youth Ministry Programs. Level 1 Initial Catechist Certification: Called to Teach Within 1 Year 22 Lessons 1 Retreat Level II Advanced Catechist Certification: Called to Serve Within 2 Years 29 Lessons 1 Retreat Level III Ongoing Formation: Called to Witness 15 hours a year for three years (total of 45 hours) that encompasses all three areas of formation: spiritual, theological, and ministry. Spiritual Formation I: Living Our Faith 3 Core Lessons: Online or Live 1 Retreat Onsite Spiritual Formation II: Living Our Faith 5 Core Lessons Online or Live 1 Retreat Onsite Renewal includes online courses through CDU; CDU Certifications or Specializations; workshops, and conferences of a religious nature sponsored by Catholic institutions, and parish adult formation programs such as Bible studies, parish missions, and parish retreats. Theological Formation I: Understanding Our Faith 12 Core Lessons Online or Live Theological Formation II: Understanding Our Faith 19 Core Lessons Online or Live Every 3 years Ministry Formation I: Transmitting the Faith Ministry of Catechesis 7 Lessons Online or Live Ministry Formation II: Transmitting the Faith 5 Core Lessons Online Only

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