Faith Formation Opportunities and Volunteer Clearance Process

"In catechesis "Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God,. . . is taught - everything else is taught with reference to him - and it is Christ alone who teaches - anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ's spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips. . . Every catechist should be able to apply to himself the mysterious words of Jesus: 'My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.'" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #427)

God calls many ordinary lay Catholics to serve in some way in the ministry of Catechesis (also kinown as Faith Formation, Discipleship, or Religious Education) for children, youth and/or adults. This ministry offers many personal benefits to Catechists and other members of the Faith Formation Team, including the joys of interaction with students, personal growth in faith and knowledge, and a deep sense of purpose in life. St. A's offers every adult and teen, regardless of their level of faith knowledge, opportunities to enjoy the benefits of assisting in the ministry of catechesis.  To learn about becming a catechist or helper in our Faith Formation programs, please read the information below and them call the Faith Formation Office.

Opportunities Available:  The Faith Formation team offers opportunities for  Catechists, Aides, special Events Helpers, and Hall Monitors in our Children's Weekly Program.  There are also opportunities for Activity Leaders and Small Group Leaders in our Power Week Summer Program and Vacation Bible School.  And finally there are unlimited opoprtunities for leaders in our Adult Faith Formation Programs. 

Wondering if one of these opportunities is right for you?  Read on...

Am I Called to Be A Catechist in Children's Programs? Catechists are responsible to prepare and lead classes. Catechists must be willing to dedicate time not only for teaching, but also for preparing lessons, participating in training and particpating in personal spiritual devotions. Catechists do not need exceptional knowledge or teaching experience, because the parish provides many resources to help them. Catechists do need to be loving and faithful in their participation in the Sacraments - because the grace of Christ is essential to empower them for their work. If you feel a desire or s trong call from God to pass on your faith and love for Christ to children, youth, or adults - if you feel a desire or calling to help your parish be a vibrant community of true faith - then you may be called to be a catechist. Please pray for discernment and call the Faith Formation Office to discuss opportunities.

Am I Called to Be an Aide, Special Event Helper, Small Group Leader, or Hall Monitor in the Children's Programs?   Aides, Hall Monitors, Small Group Leaders and Special Event Helpers do not teach or plan classes, so they need not have special knowledge and need not even be Catholic!  Aides serve a very important function in Faith Formation Classes for children and youth, helping to ensure a safe environment, assisting with activities and discussions, and developing caring relationships with students. Hall Monitors are also essential to assist with maintaining order and safety.  Special Event Helpers assist with special events, carpools for Faith Formation outings, Vacation Bible School, etc. By their example, they powerfully teach children how to be less selfish and materialistic, and to contribute meaningfully to the parish community.  For more information on any of these opportunities,  call the Faith Formation Office .

Am I called to be an Adult Faith Formation Leader?   Adult Faith Formation Leaders must be certified catechists or have other extensive experience/education which qualifies them to lead Catholic Faith Formation.  At St. Athanasius Parish, adult programs often use DVD based resources, so it is not always necessary to teach and plan classes.  Adult Faith Formation leaders must also know how to lead an adult level discussion or faith sharing session.  Adult Faith Formation leaders can lead a program for one of our existing groups, provide a single presentation, or create an entirely new group,l based on their preferences and expertise.

Catechist Formation Catechists and others in on-going catechetical ministry receive formational resources through our Catechist handbook, catechist guide books, and our periodic Catechist Meetings. Catechist certification courses are offered by the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and all catechists are expected to work toward certification.  St. Athanasius Parish offers one of the four required Catechist Certification Courses each year and cancels 5 Weekly Program classes so that catechists can attend the Certification Class. Click here for details on the Diocese of Pittsburgh Catechist Certification program.

Safe Environments Clearance Process All catechists, aides, hall monitors, substitutes, and parent volunteers must complete the Diocese of Pittsburgh's required "Safe Environments" clearance process. This process is also required for all those who wish to serve in other positions of trust, such as liturgical ministers (lectors, ushers, choir, Eucharistic Ministers, servers), coaches, and social ministers. The Safe Environments process equips everyone in these ministries to establish and maintain safe environments for children and other vulnerable persons. Further it establishes as much as is possible, that ministers in parish programs have clean records and are trained to interact appropriately in ministry situations.  Click here for details and printable FORMS for the Safe Environments Clearance Process.


Faith Formation