Catechist Formation to begin
fall season with a history lesson
“Understanding the Old Testament” will be presented:
English: Sept. 8 and
repeated Sept. 11
Spanish: Sept. 12
For more information, call
Anyone who has attended a class taught by Father Henry Hildebrandt can attest to the fact that he would have made a terrific history professor.
Now, people across the diocese will have a chance to find this out for themselves.
From 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, the Catechist Formation Program of the Diocese of Dodge City will present, “Understanding the Old Testament,” in which Father Hildebrandt may or may not be appearing either as Moses, First Century Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai (a Pharisee and one of the greatest teachers of his day) or another character, as he has done on several past occasions. But even if he only appears as Father Henry Hildebrandt, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Ness City, the class promises to be enriching. The class also will be presented from 9 a.m.-Noon, Saturday, Sept. 11.
Catechist Formation classes are presented in association with Newman University through the Interactive Television (ITV) Network. Through ITV, participants can attend classes at one of several sites throughout the Diocese of Dodge City where they can interact one-on-one with the presenter.
The same program will be presented in Spanish from 3-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12 by Sister Angela Erevia, MCDP. While it’s doubtful that Sister Angela will be dressing up as Moses, Sister Angela’s energy, knowledge and humor always make her an engaging speaker.
Throughout its eight-year history in the diocese, the Catechist Formation Program has offered courses that are designed to help all those in the Dodge City diocese who feel called to pass the faith onto the next generation.
While designed for all uncertified parish school of religion catechists, catechetical administrators such as DREs, CREs (Coordinator of Religious Education), youth ministers with catechetical responsibilities, Catholic school personnel, as well as anyone involved with religious education or sacramental preparation, organizers stress that anyone who wishes may attend the classes.
The Catechist Formation Program was introduced in 2002 by Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore:
“Since my arrival in the diocese, I have frequently heard the need expressed that we must provide more formation and support for our catechists,” the bishop wrote in 2002. “I have taken seriously the requests for more support and more formation, and I am pleased to have this opportunity to present the Catechist Formation Program.”
“All pastoral and educational programs should be reviewed and evaluated from time to time,” said Coleen Stein, coordinator of the Catechist Formation Program. “The program we had used up until the Catechist Formation program was introduced had been in place for nearly a decade. It was determined that we needed a program to meet changing needs in which all could participate together, one which could be completed in a timely and consistent manner and with a minimum of paperwork and guesswork by participants and administrators.”
Participants of the program are presented a first level certificate after receiving three “points,” as well as having attended a Protecting God’s Children workshop. A point is given when one attends a class, the KARE conference, Diocesan Stewardship Day or Scripture Day. After receiving 12 points, a person is diocesan certified for a period of three years.
“Certification is recognition that an individual has completed our Catechist Formation Program and has been given an opportunity to appropriate the catechetical content and skills necessary to be effective with our young people in a classroom setting,” Stein explained. “Continued growth must take place. Certification is a kind of catechetical content indicator only and does not guarantee any individual a paid or volunteer position with a parish, school or PSR program, or take the place of any screening or application process required by the diocese or parish.”
“In our diocese we take this responsibility for proclaiming the Good News very seriously indeed,” the bishop wrote. “From my early pastoral work as a DRE and chaplain for a Catholic high school, I saw firsthand how important catechetical training is for everyone involved in the ministry of catechesis, if that ministry is to bear fruit.”