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Catechist Formation & Certification


Mission of Catechist Formation

"My teaching is not from myself; it comes from the one who sent me." (John 7:16)

As, catechists, our definitive aim must always be "to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ." (GDC 80, CT 5) We must present a complete authentic instruction of the faith, faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church so that the fruits of the Church may not go unnoticed or unpracticed.


Role of the Catechist

"My brethren show not partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory... for whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it... what does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or a sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead... you see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone." (James 2:1, 10, 14-17, 24)

Christ is the Divine Teacher. He is the ultimate catechist who constitutes all that we proclaim to be true. In keeping with Christ as our ultimate Divine Teacher, we find evidence in the Gospel where Jesus is seen "day after day sitting in the temple teaching" (Matthew 6:25; 24:1-14; Lk. 14:15; 20:1-8). Christ’s teaching was part of His missionary work on earth. The proclamation of the Gospel by Christ involved catechetical instruction to the un-catechized. The primary objective for all catechists is to teach the mystery of Christ. A revelation occurs in the Person of Christ through God’s eternal design for all mankind. Through this revelation, catechesis is established not as a means of promoting one’s own teaching or someone’s personal mastery of a subject, it is the establishment of the teachings of Jesus Christ because He is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." (John 14:6)


Characteristics of the Catechist

  • The first and primary role of the Catechist is to be a primary witness to the Catholic faith to students.
  • That faith must also be put into practice resulting in the catechist being an active model of Christian charity for all to see, especially the student being catechized.
  • In the act of faith and works, a catechist exemplifies the model of catechesis as a systematic, organic presentation of the faith rooted firmly in the teachings of the Catholic Church and visibly expressed through participation in the sacraments, the commandments, beatitudes, and prayer.
  • The missionary mandate of Jesus, the supreme evangelist, was to proclaim the kingdom of God. In proclaiming the Kingdom of His Father, Jesus preached of the joy of the kingdom and the fruits that would be shared in the kingdom. (General Directory of Catechesis 34)


St. Francis De Sales Basic Catechist Formation Program

The aim of the St. Francis De Sales Basic Catechist Formation Program is to form catechists. A catechist is a person who desires to teach the Catholic faith and become an effective witness of the Gospel. The primary emphasis of this program is to form faithful catechists. Throughout this journey, catechists will become familiar with basic catechetical concepts; understand the role of the liturgy, the RCIA process, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, proper methodology, lesson planning, and so forth in the areas of catechesis and catechetical instruction.

More information


My Catholic Faith Delivered

My Catholic Faith Delivered provides another option for basic certification by participating in their on-line Basic Catechist Certification Course.




Paola Quintero-Araújo
Director St. Junipero Serra Institute

Marlon De La Torre, MA MEd.
Department Director for Catechesis

Lucia Romo Sanchez
Administrative Assistant


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