A Process for Change

With this in mind, NIAC wanted to provide a process that would empower communities to become vibrant parishes and schools that will provide a fertile ground for youth and their families to grow in their faith. Transforming Adolescent Catechesis is a response to the call that if we want to be more effective in our  “efforts to make disciples, to help men 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, thus building up the body of Christ.” (CCC 4) than we must address the very culture in which catechesis occurs.

Transforming Adolescent Catechesis is a process that helps re-envision how communities think about and engages in adolescent catechesis, in order to cultivate the most fruit within youth and help them grow in their Catholic identity. It capitalizes on the gifts and strengths of a community—recognizing that each parish, each school is unique and one size will not fit all. This is not just a program for your parishes and schools; it is a process for transformation.

Through Transforming Adolescent Catechesis parishes and schools will assess the current landscape of adolescent catechesis in their communities, identifying strengths, gaps, and trends. Using this inventory along with learning seminars, communities will design a new map for catechesis that reflects the gifts, needs, and culture of the community. Once this vision has been created, the process includes steps on how to implement the plan.

We envision that this process will create communities of disciple-making, communities that will engage the head, heart, and hands of young people and their families. We envision communities that see evangelization and formation as integral to all aspects of their ministry.

Transforming Adolescent Catechesis is built upon some of the best principles of change management blended with the pastoral understanding of evangelization and catechesis. The development of the process has engaged training and consulting experts as well as practitioners who serve in a variety of ministerial and cultural settings.

The premise behind Transforming Adolescent Catechesis is that although the each community is unique in its gifts and spirit, if we effectively foster the foundational elements the culture of catechesis will be transformed. 

The process itself involves:

  • Assisting interested parishes and schools to identify, form, and train a team that will guide the change process for their community
  • Conducting an inventory of the community that will focus on the foundational elements
  • One on-site formation day and e-learning sessions throughout the process
  • Local coaches trained in the change process that will offer guidance and support for each community
  • A step-by-step guide that will enable the development a customized plan for each community
  • Tools for engaging the entire community-especially parents
  • Resources for continued growth

Next: Benefits for Dioceses, Parishes, and Schools