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Office > Christian Formation

New Leaders

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond welcomes you to your new position in parish leadership. The Office of Christian Formation is here to orient you to your new responsibilities, as well as support you in the years to come by providing guidance, ongoing formation and spiritual renewal, as well as assisting you in networking with others in similar positions.

Orientation
Sheri Kemp will come meet you at your parish and walk through some of the diocesan resources and tools that are available to assist you in your new role. Please contact her at skemp@richmonddiocese.org  to make an appointment.

Mentor Program
The diocese provides new leaders access to a trained Mentor. This option is discussed at the orientation meeting. If decided beneficial, and approved by the pastor, a Mentor will be assigned to work with you for about 18 months.

Local Planning Area Meetings (LPAs)
Besides diocesan office staff, there are many well trained and experienced catechetical leaders across out diocese. Connect with them at their LPA meetings where they support one another in ministry, share resources, and plan future training events. Check to see if there is one near you and attend.

What Should You Know?
As you begin in ministry, take some time to look through our website and see some of the major initiatives we support. Being open to learning and growing in your leadership capacities is the perfect disposition for working in catechetical ministry!

Formation – If you have not attended Pathways Catechist Training, register for one today. Need some other support for starting out? Most parishes have a set of Echoes of Faith Catechist Training videos; go ahead and watch them. Also, check out the other online resources in ongoing formation.
Curriculum – Familiarize yourself with our diocesan curriculum for pre K – 8th grade.
Sacrament Preparation – Our office can assist you with Infant Baptism, First Penance and First Holy Communion preparation, particularly through our Instructions for Sacraments. We also provide training and resources for RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (all those coming to the Catholic Church over the age of 7). Contact our office with any questions or concerns. This is an important aspect of our faith and we want to help you do it right.
The Office for Evangelization can assist with Confirmation of teens and Marriage Preparation.
Adult Faith Formation – In some parishes there is a separate staff position for this role. If this falls in your job description, you will find our resources helpful. Contact us for suggestions and take a look at our free to use Lending Library.
Youth Ministry – If this falls in your duties, you will want to connect with the Office for Evangelization. They have staff that will come and meet with you, as well, and you will want to receive their monthly newsletter of events. They can provide suggestions for curriculum.
Safe Environment Policies – It is required that as the catechetical leader you follow and enforce all diocesan safe environment policies, as well as parish specific safety and emergency plans. Check out the Office of Human Resources webpage http://www.richmonddiocese.org/safe-environment for all the information.

Ongoing Support and Formation
Our office is committed to helping you succeed in your new ministry role. We know that your success will come from a combination of factors, including your willingness to participate in learning opportunities, as well as taking time for personal prayer and reflection. After about one year in ministry, you will be invited to attend the Upper Room Retreat/Workshop for new leaders. This will provide you with time to reflect back on your experiences so far, and to listen to what God is calling you to in this sacred work.