“The fundamental task of catechesis is … the formation of disciples of Jesus Christ.” (National Directory for Catechesis)
The Sacrament of Confirmation
In 2019, Bishop Coyne chose to lower the Confirmation age from grade 10 to grade 6. This transition is happening gradually, according to the chart below. For more information on this change, please see the two videos included here.
|Academic Year||Grades to be Confirmed|
|2019-2020||8, 9, 10|
Confirmation Guidelines & Related Forms
Totus Tuus is a week-long camp offered at local parishes for grade-school children during the day and high schoolers at night. For more information (schedule, contacts, hiring), visit our dedicated Totus Tuus page here.
Parish Catechetical Leaders (PCLs)
Guide to Planning for Religious Education, 2020-2021
This guide is to help parish catechetical leaders (PCLs) successfully plan for religious education in the 2020-2021 year. By following this guide, we are confident that your parish can be prepared for multiple scenarios this year. Please read this guide, work with your team, and let us at the diocese know how we can help further. With some creativity and flexibility, you can continue making disciples of Jesus Christ this year!
Religious Education COVID-19 Safe Protocol 2021-2022
As you plan your year, please refer to the above guidelines, which apply to any in-person religious education programs this year. Feel free to use this health screening template (an Excel download) as a way of keeping track of your health screening in each session. Please edit the form to suit your needs.
Beginning in August 2019, Vermont’s PCLs began a new certification process in partnership with Franciscan University’s Catechetical Institute. Each catechetical leader has two years to complete this 12-workshop certification. For more information please see our PCL Certification Information & FAQs. To sign up for this program go here!
Are you a new PCL?
PCL stands for parish catechetical leader. Each parish religious education program has (usually) one PCL – often called the Director of Religious Education, Coordinator of Faith Formation, or something similar.
Contact the manager of religious education and catechesis to get connected with the Diocese and ask any questions you may have as you start in your ministry.
PCL Monthly Newsletters:
Each month, the diocese sends out a newsletter specifically tailored for PCLs with need-to-know information and tips that will help you in your ministry. If you aren’t receiving the newsletter, please contact Michael Hagan at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure you are added to the list.
Policies & Child Protection
Read the Religious Education Policies and Guidelines for Catechetical Leaders.
Safe and Sacred and Circle of Grace information can be found on the Protecting Our Children pages.
Formation Opportunities for Catechists & PCLs:
2020 Featured Workshop
Our featured workshop for 2020 is “Scripture and Catechesis,” which includes opportunities for formation, fellowship, and prayer for your catechists. See the graphic for a sample schedule of the event. If you would like to bring this event (or explore other topics) to your parish team of catechists, please let me know!
- Annual Pastoral Ministries Conference: Each year, in the fall, we offer a conference for those in all forms of pastoral ministry. This conference features a keynote speaker and workshops relevant to different areas of ministry – including catechesis!
- Annual St. John Bosco Conference for Religious Educators: This Monday-Thursday conference in Ohio is a unique and wonderful opportunity to learn new skills as a religious educator, learn from national speakers about topics that matter to you and enjoy a retreat-like atmosphere at Franciscan University. We have had groups of catechists and parish leaders attend the conference in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Ongoing Adult Formation
Growing in relationship with God and learning about faith is a process that never ends. “Ongoing catechesis is ‘a lifelong process for the individual and a constant and concerted pastoral activity of the Christian community’” (National Directory for Catechesis). Check with your local parish for opportunities to continue your faith formation journey. Additionally, check out the useful resources below.
- Diocesan Lay Formation Program: This diocesan program, as part of the Institute for Missionary Discipleship, seeks to form laity to assist in leadership roles in their parishes.
- St. Joseph’s College online theology programs: Vermont Catholics receive a 10% discount on online courses through our diocesan partnership.
- Formed: This is an online library of Catholic study programs, movies, videos, etc. Check with your parish to see if they already have a subscription.
- United States Catholic Catechism for Adults: This resource for the teachings of the Catholic faith is offered free online from the USSCB.
- United States Conference of Catholic Bishops resources on:
Books to grow in your faith:
- “Be Holy: A Catholic’s Guide to the Spiritual Life” by Father Thomas Morrow
- “Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus” by Sherry A. Weddell
- “Introduction to the Devout Life” by St. Francis de Sales
- “Catechism of the Catholic Church”
- “United States Catholic Catechism for Adults” (an adaptation of the above book)