Forming Disciples

Faith Formation

The Forming Disciples in the New Evangelization

The Forming Disciples Standards (2022) will be used in parishes and Catholic elementary schools throughout the Diocese of Buffalo. Its intended use is for children of elementary school age (K-8th Gr); however, these guidelines are easily adaptable for use in the family faith formation setting.

 “Who has encountered Christ desires to know him as much as possible, as well as to know the plan of the Father which he revealed. Knowledge of the faith (fides quae) is required by adherence to the faith (fides qua). (252) Even in the human order the love which one person has for another causes that person to wish to know the other all the more. Catechesis, must, therefore, lead to ‘the gradual grasping of the whole truth about the divine plan’, (253) by introducing the disciples of Jesus to a knowledge of Tradition and of Scripture, which is ‘the sublime science of Christ.’ (254) By deepening knowledge of the faith, catechesis nourishes not only the life of faith but equips it to explain itself to the world. The meaning of the Creed, which is a compendium of Scripture and of the faith of the Church, is the realization of this task.” (General Directory of Catechesis no. 85.) 

The standards can be accessed through the Parishes & Schools Resource Portal. Please contact your Principal, Pastor or Catechetical Leader for the password.

The Diocese remains committed to implementing the curriculum using these four methods:

Participation in the Sacramental life of the Church is vital, therefore, attendance at weekend Mass is compulsory, and Confession is encouraged monthly.  Attending Liturgical and social activities in the parish community are recommended and encouraged. 

Catholic Schools (K-8th Gr)

Students will learn about the Faith in each grade level classroom (5x/week), which will focus on adherence to the Diocese Standards. The Religion teacher must be a strong, practicing, Catholic, who exemplifies Christian virtue, possesses a firm understanding of the Faith, and who can accompany children in their appreciation, application, and knowledge of the Faith. The Catholic schools must also provide opportunities for students to experience the Faith in a deep and meaningful way.

Faith Formation ( K-6th Grade)

  • Students will have opportunities to learn about the Faith in the context of their family.

  • Children and their families will be taught lessons that conform and adhere to the DOB Standards.

  • The volunteer Catechist must be a strong, practicing, Catholic, who exemplifies Christian virtue, possesses a firm understanding of the Faith, and who can accompany children in their appreciation, application, and knowledge of the Faith.

  • The Faith Formation Department must also provide opportunities for children and their families to experience the Faith in a deep and meaningful way.

  • It is recommended that children and their families  become engaged in the Liturgical life of the parish

  • Enrichment outside the classroom is also encouraged

Acceptable Family Formation Modules

These modules may be used to support the formation of the faithful in both Religious Education and Catholic School settings.

Children + parents meet 1x month in the parish community

Children are then dropped off to Religious Education program (2-3x/month)

Children + parents meet 1x month in the parish community 

Children are then taught Religious Education lessons by their parents in a family environment (Recommended 2x month) – monthly homework assignments must be produced each month demonstrating comprehension of material.

Children + parents meet 2x month in community with approximately 6 other Catholic families from the parish. It is recommended that families gather together in the home, nearby park, or community center / parish hall. Parents will have the opportunity to teach children the faith, based on lessons, resources, activities, and games which are provided by the parish Religious Education Department. Monthly homework assignments are produced each month demonstrating comprehension of material. Participation in Mass and liturgical/ social activities with parish community are encouraged. 

 

Children + parents meet 1x month in community 

Children along with their parent/guardian are invited to use the parish online resource. It is recommended to be completed 2 x month. Monthly homework assignments are produced, online, demonstrating comprehension of material.

Children + parents meet 1x/ month in community

Parents and children, meet together in parish community to learn about the Faith together!

Acceptable Junior High and High School Modules:

These modules may be used to support the formation of the students in the Faith Formation setting

Students meet 2-3x / month in parish community to learn and share the faith with trained Catechists.

Mentor groups are encouraged.

It is suggested that the same catechist work with the same small grouping of teens in order to promote trust and accountability among their peers.

Students meet 2-3x / month in parish community to learn and share the faith with trained Catechists.

Mentor groups are encouraged.

It is suggested that the same catechist work with the same small grouping of teens in order to promote trust and accountability among their peers.

Family Resources to Connect Faith to Sunday Liturgy

52 Sunday 

From the Archdiocese of Detroit, simple and insightful ways for families to spend time together learning about the Catholic faith

Family Zone Newsletter

From the Rochester Diocese, a great resource that links the Sunday readings with activities and faith practices

Protecting God's Children

Everyone who works with children or vulnerable adults needs to be in compliance with VIRTUS (Protecting God’s Children).

Children are required to receive awareness training too; we currently use the “Empowering God’s Children” program. 

The deadline to report this training is Nov 1st.
All reporting is done online through the VIRTUS system. For more information, contact your VIRTUS administrator.

Planning for the Future​

COVID-19 Guidelines: At this time we ask that you follow CDC guidelines and your local county guidelines. For additional guidance from the Diocese please go to: www.buffalodiocese.org/coronavirus 

Formation Models: Great resources from our friends in the Diocese of Rochester and Syracuse 

Sacramental Information: The Diocese of Buffalo policies on sacraments

For Leaders: Planning your Faith Formation year and beyond can be challenging! Check out some of these resources for ideas and best practices. Can’t find what you’re looking for? New and need guidance? Contact us at 716-847-8760 for assistance!

Questions? Contact Us.