Formation for Catechists

'Catechetical formation lies in the aptitude and ability to communicate the Gospel message.’

General Directory for Catechesis

Catechist Service offers courses and events that provide Catechists with the knowledge, skills and confidence to perform their catechetical work and to nurture their personal faith journey.

The Archbishop Perth, Most Rev BJ Hickey said, 'One of the most important responsibilities of the Bishop of a diocese is that of supervising the handing on of the faith. At the heart of this responsibility is Religious Education.'

Among those closest to my heart in the fulfilments of this responsibility are parish Catechists. When thinking of them, I make my own the words of St Paul (Philippians 1:3-4): 

'I thank my God whenever I think of you, and every time I pray for you all, I always pray with joy for your partnership in the gospel…'

The letter from the Archbishop is in detail available

In order for Catechists to assume the responsibility of handing on the faith they require appropriate training and formation.

The completion of the required courses of study leads to commissioning and to acquiring Catechists Certificates I and II.

Commissioning and Awards

Catechists are commissioned on completion of the Initial Formation Course Parts 1 and 2. The Initial Formation Course Part 1 - consists of ten consecutive 3-hour sessions offered over a 10-week period in the Second Term of the school year.

The Initial Formation Course Part 2 - comprises the following courses:

  • Theology in the Classroom 

  • Scripture in the Classroom 

Each of these consists of four 3-hour long sessions. The sessions in the Initial Formation Course Part 1 and 2 have both religious education and adult faith components. 

Participants generally have the choice of attending either in the morning or evening. Parts 1 and 2 may be completed over a 12-month period.

Ongoing Formation

Commissioned Catechists are encouraged continue to develop skills in Religious Education and to nurture their personal faith. A variety of courses are offered in the areas of:

  •  Theology

  •  Scripture

  •  Religious Education

  •  Spirituality. 

Catechist Certificate I may be obtained by completing one course from each of these categories (four courses in all). 

For Catechist Certificate II an additional course from each of these categories needs to be completed (another four courses).

Catechists completing Certificate II may choose approved Maranatha Institute courses as listed in the 2018 Catechist Formation Program.pdf

Advanced Formation

Details of Advanced Formation Opportunities for Catechists who have completed Certificate I and II are given in the Catechist Formation Program.


Catechists who are commissioned, have completed Certificate I and who have given eight years of service as active Catechists are eligible to receive the Archbishop’s Award. Catechists who are commissioned, have completed Certificates I and II and have given ten years of service as active Catechists, are eligible to receive a Papal Blessing.