The Catechetical Formation Series


The Catechetical Formation Series by Loyola Press is an online training and formation experience for catechists and others seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills for faith formation and evangelization ministries. Developed by Joe Paprocki, D.Min., participants will be formed in areas critical to their vocation as a catechist: being, knowing, and doing.

The ten online formation sessions (averaging 45-60 mins each) are co-hosted by Joe Paprocki, D.Min, and Deirdre Mullane, MAPS. Paprocki (a Master Catechist) and Mullane (a former catechetical leader) provide practical and easy-to-digest content that can be accessed in a variety of settings—at home on the individual level or in a group setting for an entire catechetical team.

Click here to download the Catechetical Formation Series at-a-glance document for more information on the content of the series, including recommended reading from Joe Paprocki’s The Toolbox Series.

In addition to the content, each learning session is enhanced by a downloadable worksheet with questions to review information and initiate meaningful discussions on topics covered. These worksheets can be submitted to your parish catechetical leader, who will work with your diocesan directors to determine the extent to which your participation can be applied to local catechist certification requirements. Likewise, diocesan directors can utilize the worksheets to facilitate additional or expanded sessions to synthesize the learning that takes place in the sessions.

Below are brief summaries of the topics covered in each session, as well as information on how to access the online learning sessions and downloadable worksheets.

All learning sessions in the Catechetical Formation Series are hosted on a third-party website that may require additional software to access and view the learning session. Internet is required to access and participate in all learning sessions.

Learning Session 1: Getting Started and Getting to Know Your Learners

In this session, catechists will learn the importance and benefits of long-range and short-range planning, as well as development, learning styles, and appropriate activities for each age group they catechize.

Recommended reading: The Catechist’s Toolbox (chapters 1-5 and 12)

Learning Session 2: The Catechetical Process

In this session, catechists will gain an understanding of the four steps of the catechetical process, the eight components of the language of mystery, and how the two come together to help catechists achieve learning outcomes for each session.

Recommended reading: Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox

Learning Session 3: Prayer and Leading Prayer

In this session, catechists will come to a deeper understanding of prayer. There will be a focus on how to lead others in prayer, including reflective, liturgical, spontaneous, and traditional prayer-styles.

Recommended reading: Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox and A Simple Life-Changing Prayer

Learning Session 4: Facilitation Skills and Handling Difficult Situations

In this session, catechists will learn how to handle difficulties that arise in catechetical situations. From maintaining discipline and responding to disciplinary concerns, as well as how to handle difficult situations that may require notifying others (i.e. the catechetical leader, the pastor, or parents).

Recommended reading: The Catechist’s Toolbox (chapters 6, 10, 11, and 15) and Preparing Hearts and Minds (chapter 2)

Learning Session 5: What We Believe—The Creed

In this session, catechists will further develop their understanding of the basic beliefs of our Catholic faith, as well as an in-depth exploration of the Creed and its components.

Recommended reading: A Well-Built Faith (Introduction and chapters 1-6)

Learning Session 6: What We Believe—The Sacraments

In this session, catechists will deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Catholic sacramental life and the Sacraments of Initiation, Healing, and Service of Communion.

Recommended reading: Living the Sacraments

Learning Session 7: What We Believe—The Moral Life

In this session, catechists will explore the concepts of human dignity, conscience, and sin, with a special emphasis on the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. Catechists will also learn about the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.

Recommended reading: A Well-Built Faith (chapters 12 through 15) and Practice Makes Catholic (chapters 10 through 13)

Learning Session 8: What We Believe—Prayer

In this session, catechists will pick up where we left off in Learning Session 3 as they deepen their understanding of prayer in all its forms and expressions. Catechists will also learn about the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours, and the Eucharistic Liturgy.

Recommended reading: A Well-Built Faith (especially chapters 16 through 18) as well as chapters 2, 8, and 17 of Practice Makes Catholic and Living the Mass

Learning Session 9: Understanding God’s Word—Scripture

In this session, catechists will further develop their foundational knowledge of the Word of God found in Scripture with an emphasis on learning how the Bible is put together, how to navigate it, how to locate passages and characters, and how to interpret what we read.

Recommended reading: The Bible Blueprint

Learning Session 10: The Person of the Catechist

In this session, catechists will deepen their understanding of their vocation as a catechist and explore the unique spirituality of the catechist.

Recommended reading: The Catechist’s Backpack