Office of Religious Education
Policies for Home-Based Religious Education
The religious education/faith formation of children and youth is the responsibility of parents, pastors and the local parish community. (Code of Canon Law #773, 774. 776, 777). One way that parents may choose to live out their role as primary educators of their children in the ways of faith is to provide catechesis for their children in the home. The rights and responsibilities of parents and parishes alike in this endeavor call for a true partnership between the two. Adherence to the following policies safeguards that partnership.
1. After making the decision to catechize their children at home, parents are to meet with their pastor and/or his delegate for enrollment and assistance in developing a catechetical plan and in choosing suitable catechetical materials.
2. Anyone assuming the role of catechist for children or youth is expected to use catechetical materials that are recommended by the Religious Education Office of the Archdiocese. (Canon #775) The Archdiocese recommends texts that have been found by the Bishops' Committee on the Catechism to be in doctrinal compliance with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and by the Archdiocese to meet the doctrinal and pedagogical standards of catechetical documents such as the General Catechetical Directory and the National Directory of Catechesis.
3. If Catholic parents choose to provide catechesis for their children in their home, that catechesis must be both complete and authentic. (NDC #61)
4. Parents are encouraged and invited to use the Archdiocesan Ministry Resource Center, located at the Catholic Center inAlbuquerque, and their own parish resource libraries to supplement their catechetical efforts. (Canon #779)
5. All parents have an obligation to involve their children in the life and mission of the Church and to participate in parish liturgies and/or other events prepared specifically for children and their families. Parents should participate fully in the life of the local parish, should celebrate the Sunday Mass in the local parish, involve themselves in its charitable works, and attend appropriate training and formation sessions the parish or diocese provides.
6. Parents who choose to be not only the primary educators of their children but also their catechist must adhere to all guidelines for catechists as outlined by the diocesan bishop. Likewise, the diocese must require the same formation and certification for parents who choose home-based catechesis. (NDC #61)
7. The pastor and/or his delegate encourages the parents to prepare for their role as catechist by participating in courses and workshops offered by the parish or by Formation for Christian Service of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, as described in the Handbook for Parish Pastoral Leadership. (Canon #780)
8. Dialogue between the pastor and the parents is essential to the complete and authentic catechesis of children in their homes. Parents, therefore, are expected to meet with the pastor and/or his delegate periodically to review the progress of their catechetical efforts.
9. Parents and children are to participate in the special requirements of the sacramental preparation process offered by the parish, including parent and child sessions, appropriate initiation rites, retreats and sacramental celebrations, and provision of sacramental documents. (Canon # 777)
10. The Sacramental Policies of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe will be used to guide the pastor and/or his delegate in deciding with the parents the readiness of the child for receiving a sacrament.