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Archdiocese of Boston 
Office of Religious Education
Oficina de Educación Religiosa

66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, Massachusetts 02184


Our Mission Statement ~ 
Committed to the ministry of the Word centered in the person of Jesus Christ, the Office of Religious Education strives to lead people to an ever more intimate communion with the Triune God

 ·    The Office of Religious Education is delegated by the Archbishop to provide leadership in the catechetical mission of the Archdiocese of Boston.   

1.    promoting knowledge of the faith 
liturgical education 
moral formation 
4.    teaching people to pray 
education for community life taking “special note of the ecumenical dimension”  
missionary initiation including catechesis for inter-religious dialogue.

                                                                                     (General Directory for Catechesis ch. 3, #85)
January,  2011


from Susan Abbott
Director, Office of Religious Education

Welcome to the Religious Education Office Home Page. This Office exists to support our parishes in their religious education ministry. Our Holy Father Benedict XVI, the writings of  Pope John Paul II, and the Bishops of the Catholic Church all have stated strongly that parish religious education is a life-long process of formation in the Catholic faith.  The Office of Religious Education offers resources for teaching the faith to adults, children and youth. We look forward to hearing from you.

Get to know us...

Mrs. Janet Benestad
Cabinet Secretary for Faith Formation and Evangelization
Interim Director 
Office of Religious Education

Ms. Susan J. Kay 
Assistant Director for Catechetical Leadership

Ms. M. Pilar Latorre
Assistant Director for Catechesis with Hispanics 

Ms. Kathleen Foley
Administrative Assistant

Services ~         How can we serve you?


What's New?  

 Year of Faith 

  What's happening where and when

Check out upcoming enrichment, prayer opportunities, and conferences on topics of interest.  

Description in English of 
Spanish Programs and Activities

Certification Requirements  for Catechists 

Certification Requirements for 
Parish Catechetical Leaders:  Directors,  Coordinators and Administrators

Religious Education for the Deaf  

Faith Formation ~ Persons with Learning Disabilities

              Material on the Papacy - links to lesson plans and more

Parent as Catechist ~ Home Schooling and Religious Education


opportunities for on-going education and formation

Theological Institute for the New Evangelization
Certificate and graduate degree programs


University of Dayton:
Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation

Catholic Network for Adult Faith Formation:  a new website

What's New?


For wonderful, free(!) resources, click here.

Not too late ....
If you haven't celebrated the Year of Faith, it's not too late.  Plan now to make the fall a time to reflect on, learn more about, and give thanks the gift of faith.

Year of Faith
October 11, 2012 ~ November 24, 2013.  

"The 'door of faith' (Acts14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church."
      Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei for the Indiction of the Year of Faith.       To read Pope Benedict XVI's Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, click  here

Check out Boston's own Year of Faith website:  www.yearoffaithboston.org 
Family and parish activities and suggestions:  http://jclubcatholic.org/paulinekids/YearofFaith.aspx

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The Catholic Network for Adult Faith Formation has a new web site devoted to promoting faith formation for Catholics.  From their web page:   

            The Network for Adult Faith Formation (NAFF) was created by the Emerging Technologies Committee, a standing committee of the National Advisory Committee on Adult Religious Education (NACARE) that, in turn, is a consultative committee of the Committee on Catechesis of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops on matters pertaining to adult religious education.... In April, 2004 the Emerging Technologies Committee was joined by the Adult Faith Formation Committee of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership (NCCL). These two committees now administer this web site.

Parts of the site are, or soon will be, password protected for use by committee members and diocesan staff.  The site provides excellent materials for parish adult faith formation including articles and links to organizations and Church documents.  These are available to all and the site is a great resource for parishes.  Visit the site  www.cnaff.org

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Faith Formation for Persons with Disabilities

From Loyola Press: Adaptive First Eucharist Preparation Kit for Children with Autism and Other Special Needs.  Check out this new resource - it looks great;  www.loyolapress.com/special-needs 

Religious Education Classes for the Deaf
Religious Education of Deaf Youth from First Communion through Confirmation age  are offered throughout the Metro Boston area: Brighton, Dracut, Framingham, Lowell, Middleborough, Newton, Randolph, and Stoneham.  To register or for further information, contact Father Shawn Carey at 617-746-5645 (voice) 617-787-6083 (TTY). 
All classes are coordinated by the Deaf Catholic Ministries, Office of Cultural Diversity.  www.deafcatholic.org

Sacrament Preparation Resources for Persons with Learning Disabilities  
The Institute for Pastoral Initiatives at the University of Dayton has wonderful material available for children and young people preparing for sacraments.  The Network of Inclusive Catholic Educators (NICE) has student texts and resource binders for catechists and catechetical leaders and videos for catechist formation and enrichment in the are of inclusive religious education for persons with disabilities.  For more detailed information and price list, go to http://campus.udayton.edu/~ipi/nice

Local Resource Materials
The religious education program at St. Mary Parish, Winchester, has great resources for sacrament preparation especially for children with autism.  Designed by the mother of an autistic child, the material correlates with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  For more information, check out the website: www.autismreligiouseducation.net

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Who gets mailings .... and how?
Letters, brochures, fliers, and forms that are intended for the parish religious education office, will be included in the weekly electronic mailing from the Pastoral Center.  Please ask the person who opens the parish e-mail to pass along anything with: Religious Education Office in the upper right corner of the page, to the PCL.  If you have not given us your e-mail address, please contact Kathleen_Foley@rcab.org so he can add you to our Constant Contact list.

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Opportunities for Ongoing Education and Formation

 An Internet based E-learning initiative sponsored by The Institute for Pastoral Initiative of the University of Dayton and the Archdiocese of Boston

Because of this partnership, the fee for each course is only $40.00.Courses run 5 weeks and each class is capped at 12 students.  You don't have to leave home.  Your classroom is your own computer desk and your co-learners are from all over the country!  Many catechetical leaders and catechists in the Archdiocese of Boston have taken courses through the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation and have gone back for more!  Word is spreading fast that these courses are a wonderful means of personal or professional enrichment. This is a great way to become grounded in faith for parish ministry.
For more information: www.udayton.edu/~vlc 1-888-300-8436 or call Susan Abbott at the ORE

    "It {U Dayton} is a wonderful program.  I decided to take one class, then another.  I now plan to get my certificate of catechesis.... I started with the intention of just learning more and feeling more comfortable in my faith.  I am now finishing my 2nd and 3rd courses and I feel so great about all that I have learned that I have now volunteered to be a catechist for the 9th grade.  Thank you for providing such a great opportunity to grow in our faith."    Brenda

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The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization at St. John's Seminary
Degree and non-degree students are welcome.

For more information, visit www.sjs.edu , call 617-779-4104, or email TINE@sjs.edu.

    The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (TINE) at St. John's Seminary invites you to consider taking an evening class at 149 Washington Street in    
    Brighton (the former St. Gabriel's school). TINE offers two degree programs: the Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) and the Master of Theological Studies for the
    New Evangelization (MTS). Summer sessions are also available.  Each class meets once a week.  Auditors are welcome.  For a registration form or more information,
    visit our website at www.TINEBoston.org, call 617-779-4104, or email TINE@sjs.edu. Potential students may come any Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday evening during the school year and visit.  TINE also offers non-degree Certificates. The Foundational Certificates (Catechetical and Catholicism) can lead to catechetical certification recognized by the Archdiocese of Boston. Foundational Certificates meet one Saturday a month for eight months. The course provides an intensive study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and also provides Skills Workshops that teach practical skills for catechesis and evangelization. Tuition is only $250, and scholarships are available. To learn more, visit  http://tineboston.org/cc_index.html 

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Spanish Programs and Activities

The Office of Religious Education continues to serve the Hispanic Community in the Archdiocese of Boston through a series of programs of formation in Spanish for parish leaders involved in catechesis and other ministries. These are some of the programs:


This course is offered to catechists who begin their ministry for the first time or those who are planning on sharing the gift of faith in a catechetical setting. Catechists meet for eight weeks to review the basics of their Catholic faith and also to acquire the skills to present the message of the Gospel in a more adequate manner.


This ten-week course is aimed to further the formation received in the Basic Course. At the end of this Intermediate class the students are invited to continue their preparation in the Archdiocesan Institute for Ministry – Spanish track.


The AIM program in Spanish is organized somehow differently from its counterpart in English. It consists in a program of four semesters in which the students receive theological, biblical, and pastoral formation. The students meet for ten weeks each semester and four hours each day. In the fourth semester they choose an area of pastoral specialization, according with the needs of their communities.


Every September more than 200 Latino catechists gather in one parish of the Archdiocese to celebrate Catechetical Sunday and to kick off the activities of the year. These catechists are sent out to their parishes with a special blessing and the support of the Office of Religious Education to accomplish their calling.

 CATECHETICAL CONGRESS – Spanish component

This yearly event gathers catechists from most parishes in the Archdiocese. Normally, twenty workshops are offered in Spanish as well as two keynote presentations. The participation of Latino catechists in this event has increased significantly in the last few years. 
Other opportunities for growth are: 
        *    Lenten retreat for catechists 
        *    Regular meetings with Directors and Coordinators of Religious Education working in Spanish programs

To read about the offerings and calendar in Spanish, go to  Oficina de Educación Religiosa 

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"For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am  there in their midst." (Matthew 18:20)
"I get by with a little help from my friends." (The Beatles)

Working, praying, and sharing together, Clusters make the joys more joyful and the difficulties much easier to bear.  Religious education Clusters will be impacted by reconfiguration; if you don't know what Cluster you belong to, please call our office. We can help you find your group.

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 The Office of Religious Education is supported by the Catholic Appeal.  
We are enormously grateful to all who have contributed or will contribute this year.
For more information about the Appeal or to donate online, click here:  www.bostoncatholicappeal.org

Thanks to the kind folks at 
RCNet for hosting this page www.rc.net

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This page was last updated June 28, 2013

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