DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG GUIDELINES FOR CATECHIST CERTIFICATION

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1 DIOCESE OF ST. PETERSBURG GUIDELINES FOR CATECHIST CERTIFICATION Introduction The dimensions of formation: being, knowing, and savoir-faire The formation of catechists is made up of different dimensions. The deepest dimension refers to the very being of the catechist, to her/his human and Christian dimension. Formation, above all else, must help her/him to mature as a person, a believer and as an apostle. This is what the catechist must know so as to be able to fulfill her/his responsibilities well. This dimension is permeated by the double commitment s/he has to the message and to others. It requires the catechist to have a sufficient knowledge of the message that s/he transmits and of those to whom s/he transmits the message and of the social context in which they live. This then is the dimension of savoir-faire, of knowing how to transmit the message, so that it is an act of communication. {General Directory for Catechesis #238} The Diocesan Catechist Certification Program is intended for those who serve as parish catechists, Catholic School teachers, R.C.I.A ministers, youth ministry catechists, and other adults serving parishes in catechetical ministry. The Catechist Certification Program is concerned with the faith development of the catechist as well as with doctrinal content and methodology. The intention of this program is to assist the catechist in nurturing a faith-love relationship with God and, in turn, to foster a faith-love relationship with God in those whom they catechize. Thus will the dimensions of formation: being, knowing and savoir-faire be realized in the catechetical ministry of the Diocese. ELEMENTS OF CATECHIST CERTIFICATION Adult faith formation also benefits children and youth. An adult community whose faith is well-formed and lively will more effectively pass that faith on to the next generation. Moreover, the witness of adults actively continuing their own formation shows children and youth that growth in faith is lifelong and does not end upon reaching adulthood. {Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us, A Pastoral Plan For Adult Faith Formation In The United States, #40} The Catechist Certification Program combines varying elements and opportunities to gain religious knowledge, strategies in methodology and spiritual enrichment. The Catechist Certification Program will employ adult formation principles with the goal of fostering a well- 1

2 formed and lively faith in the catechist enabling him or her to more effectively pass that faith on to the next generation. A. Certification Program Safe Environment Training is required of all volunteer catechists and Catholic school teachers. Please refer to the diocesan web-site under OFFICES for the Safe Environment Office or call (727) ex Certification Levels There are three levels of certification: Basic, Advanced and Master Catechist. Each level is made up of training modules and consists of instruction, methodology and formation appropriate to the level. 2. Certificate of Completion Non-Catholics who are teaching in a Catholic School will complete the modules of the program. They will receive a Certificate of Completion rather than a Catechist Certificate. 3. Orientation Prior to taking the Catechist Modules of the Basic Level of certification, each participant is to attend the Catechist Orientation where foundational methodology, materials and the outline of the over-all Diocesan Catechist Certification Program is shared. 4. Evaluation At the beginning of each Module, participants will be assigned to work in small groups to complete an evaluation project. The projects will be created by the small groups and will be based on the information, both theological and practical, gained from attendance at the Module. The small groups work will be evaluated by the Instructor and the other small groups according to the guidelines given at the first session of the Module. Further, the participants will complete a Module content/instructor evaluation. 5. Continuing Catechetical Growth In conjunction with the certification program, participants are encouraged to participate in the ADVANCED LEVEL Catechist Certification program and to attend a variety of programs like seminars, Diocesan and parish workshops and retreats, and even consider participating in the Diocesan Lay Pastoral Ministry program (LPMI). Following initial certification, credit for attending local, regional and national conferences, seminars, workshops, or spiritual formation opportunities may be applied to renewal of the Basic Level Catechist Certificate. Catechists may also use preapproved on-line or distant learning courses to earn credit. Please note the majority of the ADVANCED LEVEL Catechist Certification is on-line. B. Pre-approval of Continuing Catechetical Growth Credit may be obtained toward the renewal of Basic Level by contacting the Diocesan Catechist Certification Office for approval of related courses of instruction, seminars and workshops not included in the certification program. If the course, seminar, workshop, 2

3 etc., is outside of this Diocese, pre-approval from the Diocesan Director of Evangelization and Lifelong Faith Formation is required as well as proof of attendance. C. Location Catechist Certification sessions are offered at various Catholic Schools and parishes throughout the Diocese. Every attempt is made to offer certification as conveniently to all participants as possible. D. Participant Fee A participant fee will be charged to defray the cost of textbooks, related course materials, and other administrative expenses. The amount of the fee may vary according to the certification level and will be announced prior to the beginning of each session. Fees are to be paid at the time of the first session. E. Record Keeping The responsibility for record keeping will be shared jointly with the participant, the Parish Catechetical Leader or Catholic School Administrator as applicable, and the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation: Catechist Certification. The Diocesan Catechist Formation Office will keep a record of on-going participant Forms. 1. The Orientation Instructor will return a copy of the signed Orientation Verification Form to the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation. The participant is to retain a copy for their own records and give a completed copy to either their parish Catechetical Leader or Catholic School Administrator. 2. Participants should maintain all Attendance Forms for the Modules. If the participant has attended all five sessions of the Module, the Instructor will sign the form. The Instructor will return the original copy of the form to the Diocesan Office of Catechist Certification and give a copy to the participant. The participant will keep one copy of the form for his or her own personal file (see inside pocket of the blue Participant s Guide) and will make a copy for his or her Parish Catechetical Leader or Catholic School Administrator. Make-up sessions can be scheduled with the Instructor, if feasible, or by attending the missed session(s) at another site. If the participant needs to attend the missed session(s) at another site, the participant should keep the Module Completion Verification Form and take the form to the make-up session. That Instructor will sign the form once the participant has attended the missed session(s). Two sessions can be made up, however participants who have missed more than two sessions will be required to repeat the Module. The signed Orientation and Module Verification Forms are the official evidence of participation in the program. 3

4 F. Application for Basic Level Certification or Completion It is the responsibility of the participant to notify his or her Parish Catechetical Leader or Catholic School Administrator that he or she has completed the Orientation and all four Modules of the Basic Level Certification (including making up any missed sessions). The Application for Certification or Certificate of Completion for Non-Catholic Educators Form can be found on the Diocesan CCP website. The participant will complete the form, acquire the signature of the Parish Catechetical Leader or Catholic School Administrator and send it with all documentation supporting the completion of the certificate to the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation: Catechist Certification. Once all information is verified, either a Catechist Certificate or Certificate of Completion will be awarded. G. Renewal Requirement for Basic Level Certification Participants who have completed the Basic Level Certification must keep records of any pre-approved courses, seminars and workshops, etc. that they wish to have accepted toward renewal of certification on the form(s) provided on the Diocesan CCP website. In the case of non-diocesan courses, seminars and workshops, etc., participants must provide a copy of a certificate of completion or other signed evidence of completion to the Parish Catechetical Leader or Catholic School Administrator and the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation: Catechist Certification. Basic Level Certification is renewable FOUR years from the date of issuance of the Catechist Basic Level Certificate. It is renewed by accumulating 40 points/clock hours of Continuing Catechetical Growth. These 40 points/hours may be acquired in a variety of ways: by taking Advanced Certification Courses, by accumulating 40 points from Local, Diocesan or National Inservice Programs, participating in pre-approved on-line or distance learning or by accumulating any combination of the above. See the schema of the Diocesan Catechist Certification Program in this guide. All supporting documentation must be sent to the Diocesan CCP Faith Formation Office. See the forms to use found on the Diocesan CCP website. H. Application for Advanced Level Certification When a participant has completed the requirements of all courses of instruction for the Advanced Level of Catechist Certification (see the schema of the Diocesan Catechist Certification Program in this guide), it is his or her responsibility to notify the Parish Catechetical Leader or Catholic School Administrator that the requirements have been completed. The Advanced Level Application Certification Form can be found on the Diocesan CCP website. The participant will complete the form, acquire the signature of the Parish Catechetical Leader or Catholic School Administrator and send it with all documentation supporting the completion of the certificate to the Diocesan Office of Catechist Formation. The Advanced Level Certificate will be issued upon verification that the requirements have been met. Upon completion of the Advanced Level, participants are encouraged to pursue the MASTER s LEVEL Catechist Certification. 4

5 I. Completion of Master Catechist Level Master Catechist Certification is granted in one of the following ways: a Master's Degree in Religious Education or approved related field (recency of credit and appropriateness of degree field is determined by the Diocesan Director of Evangelization and Lifelong Faith Formation) or successful completion of the Diocesan Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute with a concentration/practicum experience in Catechesis (see schema of Diocesan Catechist Certification Program in this guide). A Master Catechist also must have recent and substantive (3-5 years) experience in Catechetical Leadership. Continued professional development and updating is expected of those who attain Master Catechist Level. J. Recognition of Catechist Certificates from other Dioceses The Diocese of St. Petersburg, at the discretion of the Diocesan Director of Evangelization and Lifelong Faith Formation, recognizes Catechist Certificates from other dioceses provided that the certificate is current and that a copy of the certificate is submitted to the Diocesan Office of Faith Formation: Catechist Certification. It is expected that a catechist new to our diocese will continue to pursue renewal status according to the previously described criteria. K. Catechist Certification Course Offerings Posted on the Diocesan Web-site As much as possible, the various catechist certification courses will be posted on our diocesan web-site: Click on Ministries and go to CATECHIST FORMATION. Once you have found that page, on the left side, click on CATECHIST CALENDAR. Scroll through the year long calendar to find which courses meet your schedule. You can register on-line for courses held throughout the diocese. On the right side of the screen, click on the boxes marked: BASIC, ADVANCED and MASTER for the level you are seeking. BASIC LEVEL ORIENTATION AND MODULES ORIENTATION: An overview of the Basic Level Certification Program is presented with a focus on the theological content of the four modules based on the four pillars of The Catechism of The Catholic Church. The relationship between the Modules and the Diocesan Curriculum Guidelines and the Diocesan Guidelines For The Sacraments of Initiation and Penance is emphasized throughout the entire program. Emphasis is placed on creating a faith community and the praxis methodology is explained as well as the practical use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Total hours: 2 Master In-service Points=2 MODULE 1- CREED Topic: Profession of Faith (CREED) Practical Strategy: Shared Praxis Assigned Texts: The Catechism Handbook, Liguori Publications, 5

6 I Believe, We Believe Video Companion Booklet, RCL Video Presentation: Echoes of Faith PLUS, I Believe, We Believe, RCL Course Description: four two hour instructional sessions plus one two hour session of evaluation presentations Total hours: 10 Master In-service Points=10 Profession of Faith Overview One God is the Creator of all that exists God reveals Godself to us in human history and calls each of us to a relationship with God God s revelation is given to us through the primary modes of Scripture and the Tradition of the Church Jesus Christ is the fullness of God s revelation to us Faith is our response to God s call God is a Trinity of Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit The Incarnation expresses the truth that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully human The Holy Spirit gives life to us and binds us together as a community of faith The Church is the Body of Christ, the community of believers Creeds are summary statements of the community about its core beliefs The Nicene Creed expresses the central truths of our faith In addition, the practical strategy for Module I, Shared Praxis, will be taught and it, along with a variety of catechetical methods, will be modeled and incorporated into each session. MODULE 2- SACRAMENTS Topic: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (LITURGY AND SACRAMENTS) Practical Strategy: Curriculum/Assessment/Evaluation Assigned Texts: The Catechism Handbook, Liguori Publications, The Celebration of The Christian Mystery Video Companion Booklet, RCL, Catechist s Companion: The Liturgical Year OSV. Video Presentation: Echoes of Faith PLUS, Liturgy and Sacraments Course Description: four two hour instructional sessions plus one two hour session of evaluation presentations Total hours: 10 Master In-service Points=10 The Celebration of the Christian Mystery Overview The meaning of ritual The nature of liturgy The relationship of liturgy to the Paschal Mystery The celebration of liturgy in a cycle of time The role of space, music, and cultural expression in liturgy The importance of the assembly in liturgical celebration 6

7 The way in which symbolic actions express meaning and allow us to participate in the saving action we celebrate A basic understanding of the sacramental principle The relationship of the seven sacraments of the Catholic tradition to the fundamental experiences of human life The centrality of Eucharist in the Christian life Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist as the Sacraments of Initiation Penance and Reconciliation, and Anointing of the Sick as sacraments that celebrate healing The sacraments of Holy Orders and Matrimony as celebrating the two central vocations for the service of communion Brief exposure to catechetical documents and their development In addition, the practical strategy for Module II, Curriculum/Assessment/Evaluation will be taught and it, along with a variety of catechetical methods, will be modeled and incorporated into each session. MODULE 3- MORALITY Topic: Life In Christ (MORALITY) Practical Strategy: Classroom Management/Supervision Assigned Texts: The Catechism Handbook, Liguori Publications; Life in Christ Video Companion Booklet, RCL; and Catechist s Companion: How to Manage Behavior OSV Video Presentation: Echoes of Faith PLUS, Catholic Morality, RCL Course Description: four two hour instructional sessions plus one two hour session of evaluation presentations Total hours: 10 Master In-service Points=10 Life In Christ Overview Human dignity and community as the foundations of the moral life The meaning of virtue and its foundations in the teachings of Jesus The implications of the Beatitudes for daily life The meaning and validity of objective morality The sources for arriving at objective moral truth The delicate relationship between objective moral truth and subjective, or personal, responsibility Moral actions as the responses one makes to the grace offered by a loving God Moral actions as a combination of act, intention, and circumstance The nature, origin, and degrees of sin The effects of sin on the individual and the community The nature of conscience and the process for informing one s conscience The timeless quality and universal validity of the Commandments The relationship of the Commandments to the new law of Jesus Christ 7

8 In addition, the practical strategy for Module III, Classroom Management/Supervision, will be taught and it, along with a variety of catechetical methods, will be modeled and incorporated into each session. MODULE 4- PRAYER Topic: Christian Prayer Practical Strategy: Special Learning and Social Needs Assigned Texts: The Catechism Handbook,Ligouri Publications; Prayer and Spirituality Video Companion Booklet, RCL and Catechist s Companion: Multisensory Methods in Catechesis OSV Video Presentation: Echoes of Faith PLUS, Prayer and Spirituality Course Description: four two hour instructional sessions plus one two hour session of evaluation presentations Total hours: 10 Master Inservice Points: 10 Christian Prayer Overview The basic dynamic of prayer is listening and responding to God s call The Angelus prayer of our tradition demonstrates the dynamic of prayer Mary is the perfect model of acceptance and response to God s call Personal prayer is always joined to the community of faith There are various prayer forms through which we make our response to God Our life experience places obstacles in the way of our prayer The Holy Spirit is the source of our prayer response The three foundations of the spiritual life are prayer, service, and asceticism The Our Father is the bedrock of Christian prayer Emphasis on the Liturgy of the Hours In addition, the practical strategy for Module IV, Special Learning and Social Needs, will be taught and it, along with a variety of catechetical methods, will be modeled and incorporated into each session. 8

9 DIOCESAN CATECHIST CERTIFICATION PROGRAM THREE LEVEL SCHEMA BASIC LEVEL CERTIFICATION Orientation Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 RENEWAL PERIOD: 4 Years RENEWAL MENU: Certification (renewable) Completion (no renewal) A. 40 Points from Advanced Certification Courses B. 40 Points from Continuing Catechetical Growth C. 40 Points (any combination of A or B above) Continued Catechetical Growth Options 1. Advanced Level Catechist courses (15 pts each) 6. Province of Florida In-service 2. Participation in the Diocesan Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute 7. Diocesan In-service Opportunities 3. Pre-Approved Local Parish Speakers/In-service 8. Pre-Approved Distance/Electronic 4. Pre-Approved Parish Mission/Retreat Learning (webinars) 5. Pre-Approved National Meetings/In-service ADVANCED LEVEL CERTIFICATION (revised August 2013) See CHART next page Successful Completion of all of the following Advanced Certification Courses: 1. Pre-requisite Vatican II (on-line) 7. Liturgy and Sacraments (on-line) 2. Scripture (taught in gathered sessions) 8. Morality (on-line) 3. Catholic Social Teaching (taught in gathered sessions) 9. Eucharist (taught in gathered sessions) 4. Christology (on-line) 10. Mary and the Saints (taught in gathered 5. Ecclesiology (on-line) sessions) 6. History of the Church (on-line) PLUS 2 ELECTIVES see CHART MASTER CATECHIST CERTIFICATION A Master s Degree in Religious Education or approved related field (recency of credit and appropriateness of degree field is determined by the Diocesan Director of Faith Formation) or successful completion of the Diocesan Lay Pastoral Ministry Institute Program with a concentration/practicum experience in catechesis. A Master Catechist also must have recent and substantive (3-5 years) experience in Catechetical Leadership. In all programs, 1 clock hour of participation will be awarded one point for Certification/renewal Leadership. Revised 8/2014 9

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