Parish Coordinator of Religious Education or Catechesis

Who Is a Catechetical Leader?

According to the 2005 National Directory for Catechesis the Bishops are primarily responsible for catechesis. They share this responsibility with the pastor, priests, permanent deacons, women and men religious, and other lay parish ministers. (NDCCh.8)

Parish Coordinator of Religious Education or Catechesis

Role and Job Description

The pastor has the canonical responsibility for the pastoral care of his parish and for developing acomprehensive plan for lifelong and systematic catechesis in his parish. In parishes where the pastor has hired a DRE, he may also hire one or more Coordinators of Religious Education or Parish Catechetical Ministers to assist in the ministry of catechesis. However, in the absence of a certified DRE, the pastor actively assumes the responsibility to direct the religious education of the parish. To assist him he mayemploy a Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE).

The Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE), under the direction and supervision of the pastor ,coordinates and implements specific catechetical programs from early childhood to adult as designated by the pastor. This responsibility must be exercised in collaboration with parish staff members who share the responsibility for catechesis.

The parish Coordinator of Religious Education, under the supervision of the pastor, shall be responsible to implement the parish catechetical plan and policies according to the Religious Education Policies and Procedures of the Diocese of Belleville.

1. Vision and Program Design

The Coordinator of Religious Education, under the supervision of the pastor or his delegate:

• Coordinates and implements various aspects of the parish catechetical plan for children, youth or adults based on the plan for comprehensive and systematic catechesis of the Diocese of Belleville.

• Administers the long range and short term goals and outcomes for effective parish catechesis

• Works with parents to ensure the support and involvement of the family in the parish catechetical program.

2. Administration

• Implements the catechetical policies and recommended outcomes of the Diocese of Belleville.

• Coordinates specific parish catechetical programs from adults to children as directed by the pastor.

This may include

1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation including RCIA and Adult Confirmation.

2. Junior High and/or Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments

3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments

4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs

5. Christian Initiation of Children

6. Catechetical programs for other languages

According to the National Directory for Catechesis “The single most critical factor in an effective parish catechetical program is the leadership of a professionally trained parish catechetical leader. Depending on the size and scope of the parish catechetical program, parishes should allocate their resources so they are able to acquire the services of a competent and qualified catechetical leader (or someone in the process of becoming qualified and competent) or to share those services with another parish.” (54 B 5)

7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation

8. Home Catechesis

9. Special Needs

• Selects appropriate catechetical materials based on the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and Diocesan guidelines

• Provides catechetical programming in other languages as needed

• Evaluates effectiveness of catechetical programs in coordination with the pastor

• Maintains accurate records on student enrollment, attendance and sacramental preparation and submits requested data to the Office of Education

• Ensures a pastoral approach for all in setting program structures, e.g. calendar dates, scheduling use of facilities, procedures for registration and fee collection

• Coordinates the catechetical advisory council

• Communicates procedures for management of sessions and discipline

• Implements the guidelines for mandated reporting of legal issues according to Diocesan policies

• Assures adequate supervision of minors during the entire time they are on the parish premises for catechetical activities

• Communicates parish program and sacramental policies and procedures

• Implements conflict management procedures when appropriate

• Ensures maintenance and safety of premises according to local procedures

• Prepares annual budget and oversees expenditures after its approval by the pastor


3. Recruitment and Formation of Catechists and Ministers of Catechesis

• Recruits and screens candidates for the role of catechist

• Ensures that all catechists are certified according to the guidelines of the Diocese

• Provides for ongoing spiritual formation for catechists and volunteers at all levels through retreats, evenings of prayers, workshops, conferences, courses, etc.

• Assists catechists in the selection of teaching aids and lesson planning

• Provides continued support for catechists by being present before, during and after the teaching assignments

• Ensures that volunteers at all levels are trained


4. Supervision of Catechists, Ministers of Catechesis, and Program Coordinators

• Provides regular evaluation for catechists under their supervision as directed by the pastor

• Supervises ministers of catechesis as directed by the pastor which may include:

1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation including RCIA and Adult Confirmation

2. Junior High and/or Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments

3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments

4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs

5. Christian Initiation of Children

6. Catechetical programs for other languages

7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation

8. Home Catechesis

9. Special Needs

Among the main responsibilities of parish catechetical leaders is the “Implementation of diocesan and parish catechetical policies and guidelines, including the areas of catechist certification and supervision and administrative policies related to negligence, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and the safety and protection of minors.” National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)



5. Collaboration/Communication

• Meets regularly with the pastor

• Collaborates with the pastor, other parish ministers and appropriate committees, boards and councils to implement catechetical vision, administer catechetical policy, and facilitate the understanding of catechetical ministry within the larger community

• Works with the parish staff to provide formation for adults and youth in the parish

• Cooperates with the principal of the Catholic School to present a united approach to total parish catechesis

• Communicates program information to parish community

• Networks with other catechetical leaders

• Assists in the planning of liturgical celebrations in the parish as related to the catechetical program

• Works with the Office of Education in assessing catechetical needs

• Participates in Office of Education deanery and cluster meetings and other

Diocesan meetings as appropriate


6. Continuing Education and Professional Development

• Takes responsibility for his/her own professional and spiritual development

• Enrolls in courses and attends workshops related to responsibilities and ongoing certification with the Office of Education

• Maintains membership in professional organizations

• Participates in the ongoing formation opportunities for CREs provided by the Office of Education


 “Dioceses and parishes should actively seek to identify potential parish catechetical leaders and...provide them with opportunities to develop the competence and skills necessary for effective leadership and thorough knowledge of the faith. Only fully initiated, practicing Catholics who fully adhere to the Church’s teaching in faith and morals and who are models of Christian virtue and courageous witnesses to the Catholic faith should be designated as parish catechetical leaders….A comprehensive knowledge

of the General Directory for Catechesis and the Catechism of the Catholic Church is essential. In accord with diocesan policies, pastors who employ parish catechetical leaders should formulate a clear and specific agreement with them that lists the responsibilities of the position and elements of equitable compensation. Parish catechetical leaders should be full members of the parish pastoral staff and attend all its meetings.

“The functions of such positions vary from parish to parish, but parish catechetical leaders are not simple administrators or general pastoral ministers. The need for systematic training and study should not be minimized. They are catechists first. They should continue their personal, spiritual, and professional development and participate in diocesan programs of inservice training and formation, catechetical institutes, conventions, retreats, and accredited programs.” National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)


 “Preparation for service as a parish catechetical leader should include advanced studies in theology, Scripture, Liturgy, catechesis and catechetical methodology, education psychology and theory, and administration, as well as practical catechetical experience with adults, youth, and children.”

National Directory for Catechesis (54 B 5)









1. General Requirements

• Practicing Catholic who fully adheres to and models the Church’s teachings in faith and morals

(Cf. National Directory for Catechesis, 54 B 5)

• Active participation in parish life

• Appropriate mental and physical health to accomplish the tasks

2. Specific Requirements – Undergraduate Level Theological and Ministerial Formation

One of the following:

• Diocesan Catechist Certification

• Certificate of Studies in Theology from an accredited Catholic institution plus additional catechetical courses as needed

• Equivalent theological and ministerial courses from the “Diaconate Program,” “Ministerial Formation” and/or CEU from Diocesan approved institution of higher education plus additional catechetical courses as needed

• BA with a major in Religious Education from an accredited Catholic institution plus additional catechetical courses as needed

In processing the candidate for approval and certification as a Coordinator of Religious Education, the candidate’s background and studies will be evaluated against the  following:

A. Core Theological Competencies

1. Scripture and Tradition: Revelation

2. Profession of Faith: Creed

3. Church: History and Theology

4. Sacramental Development and Theology

5. Liturgy, Spirituality and Prayer

6. Catholic Morality: Life in Christ

B. Ministerial Courses and Other Formation Requirements

1. Human Psychology, Faith and Moral Development

2. Foundations of Religious Education, Learning and Curriculum Development

3. Evangelization, Catechesis and Culture

4. Child Protection Policy Training





Diocesan Pastoral Center
2620 Lebanon Avenue, Building 6
Belleville, IL 62221
Fax: 618-235-7115

Director of Religious Education and Youth Ministry

Mr. Jaime Gil

Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Mary Fournie

Administrative Assistant

Ms. Jennifer Markfort


Elective Opportunities