Diocesan Faith Development Objectives


Diocesan Objective 1:

The diocese will have a clearly defined vision of evangelisation at the heart of its Diocesan Faith Development Plan.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • The bishop will have an identifiable central role as the chief catechist of the diocese. He will provide for initial proclamation, ongoing catechesis and lifelong faith enrichment processes in the diocese.
  • Significant financial resources will be sought and put in place to facilitate an effective and unified support system for faith development within the diocese.
  • The bishop will put in place a coordinated team of faith development personnel, working in cooperation and together designated as the Diocesan Faith Development Services. This may be achieved by a number of smaller dioceses establishing such services together.
  • This revitalised and flexible manifestation of the diocesan catechetical office4 will seek to encompass and coordinate the diocese’s interest in faith education at all levels, in homes, parishes and schools, for adults, young people and children.
  • The team cooperating as Diocesan Faith Development Services will keep an eye to particular areas of concern, such as Catholic schools, special needs, family ministry and youth ministry, justice and social solidarity, liturgical catechesis and, above all, structures to support home, parish and school working in partnership.
  • The Faith Development Services team, in collaboration with the bishop and other diocesan officials, will set out and seek to implement a Diocesan Faith Development Plan. Such an initiative will be part of the general Diocesan Plan.
  • Support for the ongoing formation and training needs of priests, deacons, Parish Pastoral Councils, Faith Development Coordinators and other pastoral workers, volunteer catechists, members of parish teams and religious educators will be provided.

Diocesan Objective 2:

The diocese will promote a faith development strategy that embraces faith development as lifelong learning.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • The Diocesan Faith Development Services team will be led by an appropriately qualified, experienced and skilled Diocesan Director of Faith Development. The Director will oversee reflection on present needs and provision, as well as identifying and putting in place strategies to provide for future evangelisation, catechetical and religious education challenges facing the diocese, its people, its parishes and its schools.
  • The Diocesan Faith Development Services, under the leadership of the Director of Faith Development, will be composed of a number of Diocesan Advisers, depending on the size of the diocese and sometimes in collaboration with other local dioceses, each with their own area of responsibility, such as, for instance: Adult Diocesan Adviser; Primary Diocesan Adviser; Post-Primary Diocesan Adviser.
  • This Team will be structured in such a way to provide an Education Office supporting the management of Catholic schools. It will also incorporate Family Ministry, Youth Ministry and Special Needs Faith Support. A unified approach, which prioritises partnership between home, parish and school in the faith development of adults and children, will be sought.
  • The Liturgy and Music Office, Pastoral Development Office, Justice and Social Affairs Office and those with responsibility for ecumenical and inter-faith dialogues, will also be significant contributors to the Diocesan Faith Development Services.
  • Those appointed to the position of Diocesan Adviser will have previous catechetical and religious education experience in parishes or schools, with adults or with young people, as well as professional qualifications and practical training.

Diocesan Objective 3:

Adult faith development will be clearly visible as the chief form of faith development in the diocese.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • The diocese will have a clearly stated vision of lifelong learning in parishes and deaneries, which promotes adult faith development as the chief form of faith development.
  • The diocese will engage in financial planning to secure sufficient resources to provide for adult faith development in the diocese.
  • The diocese will have a clearly defined strategy for developing parish adult faith development leaders and teams, including appropriate education and training.
  • There will be a particular policy, at diocesan level, for outreach to young adults, parents/guardians and the elderly, among other groups.
  • National programmes focused on adult needs, such as marriage education, will be encouraged at local diocesan level.
  • The diocese will ensure that each parish has access to trained Faith Development Coordinators.
  • The diocese will support third-level evangelisation and catechetical programmes of various kinds and IT initiatives in the whole area of faith development. A diocesan website will have been developed, with priority given to faith development initiatives.

Diocesan Objective 4:

The catechesis and religious education of the young will be given priority in the diocese.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • A strategy for supporting Family Ministry will be in place in the diocese.
  • The diocese will have a coordinated approach to Youth Ministry, supporting a variety of faith development initiatives for young people.
  • The diocese will support a programme organised at parish level to enable parents/guardians to participate fully in the sacramental initiation of their children. This programme will involve a partnership between home, parish and primary school.
  • The diocese will promote opportunities for parents/guardians to support them and help them reflect on the ongoing catechesis and religious education of their children beyond sacramental initiation.
  • The diocese will have in place an Award Scheme to encourage young people at senior cycle level to become involved in activities associated with faith development and commitment to service in the Church.

Diocesan Objective 5:

There will be strong diocesan-wide collaboration with religious congregations in providing for faith development initiatives at a variety of levels.

Some Indicators of Achievement

  • Close attention will be paid at diocesan level to faith development partnerships with local religious congregations.
  • The diocese will be in discussion with religious congregations and their Trustee bodies in developing new models of Catholic second-level schooling in the diocese and in establishing appropriate networks and strategies for the upskilling of school management and staff.
  • Religious who have worked in other parts of the world and have come home to live in Ireland will be acknowledged as a particularly rich resource in the diocese.

These objectives are taken from Share the Good News: National Directory for Catechesis in Ireland §137-141.