“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, so that believing they might have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life and thus build up the Body of Christ.” (Catechesis Tradendea #1)
- Catechesis is a much richer process than intellectual formation. It seeks to be transformative in helping one grow in relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church through the implementation of the six tasks of catechesis outlined in the General Directory for Catechesis:
- Promotion of knowledge of the Faith
- Promotion of liturgical worship and participation in the sacramental life of the Church
- Integration of moral formation into a Christian way of life
- Teaching to pray in Christ, with Christ, and in communion with the Church
- Initiation into the life of the local church community and active participation in the life of the Church
- Promotion of a missionary spirit to witness to Christ in society
Adult Catholics are calling on the Church to quench their thirst for a deepening of their lived faith. Parishes throughout the Diocese of Grand Rapids are responding to the need by offering a variety of adult faith formation opportunities.
Catholic Event Finder
Resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Our Hearts were Burning Within Us: A Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States
Children and Youth
“The most important task of the catechesis of children is to provide, through the witness of adults, an environment in which young people can grow in faith." (NDC 48) Parents, through their own experience and practice of faith, are the primary catechists in their child’s life of faith which begins within the family.
Parishes in our diocese offer catechetical programs for families, children and youth not attending a Catholic school or they collaborate with neighboring parishes to offer such programs. Parish catechetical curriculum is designed to:
- Invite ongoing conversion and an encounter with Jesus Christ in holiness of life (formation)
- Educate on the basics of the Catholic faith (doctrine)
- Call each person, in their own unique way, to act as a disciple (discipleship)
We provide formation training, resources, and support for parish catechetical programs, sacramental preparation and safe environment awareness.
Persons with Disabilities
"Every parish should seek out its parishioners with cognitive, emotional and physical disabilities, support them with love and concern, and ensure that they have ready access to a catechetical program suited to their needs and abilities." (National Directory for Catechesis 61)
Strengthened in Faith is an initiative of the Diocese of Grand Rapids to include all children and youth in catechetical and youth ministry programs. We assist parishes in opening their doors to welcome persons with disabilities, and their families, into the full life of the Church. Consultation and formation opportunities are available that promote lifelong catechesis, sacramental preparation and total parish access for every baptized Catholic. Strategies, best practices and resources exist that support the inclusion of diverse learners.
Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities
Pastoral Statement by U.S. Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities
Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a sensory rich learning experience for children ages 3 to 12. This approach to the religious formation of children is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church and the principles of Maria Montessori. It provides the opportunity to grow in love and knowledge of God through the Christian tradition.
Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of the Christian faith.
Welcome! We are glad that you are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith. Perhaps a major life moment such as an engagement, marriage, or the arrival of a child has caused you to become interested in knowing more about the Catholic Church or Catholic belief and practice. Maybe you want to learn about the process of becoming Catholic. Whatever has brought you here, we welcome you and hope that this information will provide answers to some of your questions or offer pathways to help you continue your inquiry.
Catechists and Catechetical Leaders
The apostolic work of the catechist springs from the sacrament of Baptism. It is strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation. The call to the ministry of catechist is a vocation, an interior call, the voice of the Holy Spirit. Catechists need to be practicing Catholics who participate fully in the communal worship and life of the Church and who have been prepared for their apostolate by appropriate catechetical training. Their commissioning by the Church is a participation in the divine calling to teach as Jesus did. (National Directory of Catechesis, 228-9)
The Catechetical Certification program in the Diocese of Grand Rapids was developed to assist catechists who have heard God’s call to share the Gospel with others. To be effective in this ministry, the catechist must understand, love, live and proclaim the Christian message with enthusiasm and a sense of conviction. This proclamation of the Gospel in the parish community strives to lead students to a deepening knowledge about the faith, a greater participation in the liturgy, a prayerful connection to God and a dedication of service to others.
The purpose of catechist formation is to:
- Provide opportunities for the spiritual growth of the catechist
- Provide an increase in the theological knowledge of the catechist
- Provide opportunities for the catechist to expand their skills in teaching.
Parish Catechetical and Youth Ministry Leaders
Catechists (en Español)