Vision and Outcomes

Vision and Outcomes Statement for the National Initiative on Adolescent Catechesis

A Vision for Adolescent Catechesis

Young people grow in their Catholic faith by falling in love with the person and message of Jesus Christ, and mature in faith when they let that love form and transform them within the Church, a community of disciples.  Adolescent catechesis is one stage of a lifelong process of embracing the Catholic way of life that forms young disciples by empowering them to know and follow Christ in their daily lives, thus becoming leaven for the Kingdom of God in the world. The following are foundational and interdependently connected elements in this process:

  • Empowered Parents and Faith-Filled Families:  Catholic parents and families must be primary in thinking, planning, and programming so that they are empowered to develop a rich and vibrant Catholic faith within the home as domestic church.  Parishes serve as lifelong partners with parents in this effort ;
  • Vibrant, Youth-Friendly Parishes:  Youth must find welcome and meaningful engagement in parishes alive with rich and vibrant faith, requiring collaboration among parish leaders working together for the renewal of parish life;
  • Fruitful Partnerships: Because “it takes a whole church,” intentional and mutual partnerships must be formed and nurtured among parents, parishes, dioceses, Catholic schools, apostolic movements and adolescents working toward a common goal;
  • Comprehensive Ministry to Youth with Intentional and Systematic Faith Formation:  Innovative, comprehensive learning approaches and dynamic resources must be developed along with effective and well-formed adults willing to apprentice (acompañar) young people in the faith
  • Inclusion, Trust and Acceptance:  An environment of inclusion, trust and acceptance must be fostered in parishes, schools and the larger community, embracing young people and families from different cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds .

This vision of adolescent catechesis calls for nothing less than re-imagining current faith formation and pastoral ministry efforts with young people and their families. It requires leaders at all levels to engage in honest assessments of current efforts and systems in order to create new relationships and patterns of ministry which work together to form disciples of Jesus Christ.

Outcomes for Adolescent Faith Formation

The effectiveness of parish, school and family efforts in adolescent faith formation can be assessed by witnessing faith communities alive with young people who demonstrate their love for God and their Catholic faith by:

  1. Sustaining a personal relationship with Jesus Christ supported through regular prayer, faith sharing and scripture reading.
  2. Sharing the Good News through words and actions, through Christian service and working for peace, justice and human dignity.
  3. Participating fully, consciously, actively and regularly in the celebrations of the sacramental life of the Catholic Church.
  4. Articulating the fundamental teachings of the Catholic faith and demonstrating a commitment to learning and growing in this faith.
  5. Applying Catholic ethics, virtues, principles, values and social teaching to moral decision- making, life situations, and in interactions with the larger culture.
  6. Discerning and using their gifts to actively belong to and participate in the life and mission of the parish, school, and larger community.
  7. Celebrating cultural/racial and ethnic diversity as a gift from God, and pursuing the development of Christian community across cultural/racial and ethnic backgrounds in their parishes, schools, and broader communities.
  8. Exploring God’s call to vocation through prayer, reflection, and discernment.