What is Catechesis?

Catechesis speaks of religious education of both children and adults. The Archdiocesan Catechetical Office is responsible for providing this service within Trinidad and Tobago. This service is extended to the public through a variety of means, from textbooks and workbooks used in Religious Education in all Catholic schools, to workshops and courses, reading material published in both the Catholic News and print, and now, online courses! Browse through our website, read the About Us, check out our Online Courses or simply scroll to read more about our impact on Catholic Schools and parishes.

Catechesis in Catholic Schools

The Catechetical Office published a series of resource material for use at Secondary School level.  The series consists of the following Workbooks and the corresponding Teacher Guide:

  • Form One: Promises of God
  • Form Two: Walking with Jesus
  • Form Three: Witnessing to Faith
  • Forms Four, Five and Beyond: Young Disciples in Mission
Promises of God (Book 1)

God creates, forms a People, promises a Saviour
This programme is designed to help pre-teens develop an awareness of the Bible and its message of love.
Students become familiar with major Bible Stories e.g. Creation and the Exodus event. They are introduced to great Biblical figures like Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Ruth, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Esther, John the Baptist and Mary. The Virtues and Values lived out by these Biblical figures are highlighted e.g. Abraham (Faith), Joseph (Forgiveness), Moses (Leadership/Freedom), David (Repentance), Ruth (Loyalty), Esther (Prayer and Trust) and Jonah (Obedience). In addition to following the history of the Israelites and focussing on key persons and events that led to the coming of the Messiah, this programme attempts to keep the students in sync with the Church’s Liturgical Year. Every term climaxes in major Church celebrations: Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter, Pentecost and Corpus Christi respectively.
The programme makes the link between the Hebrew Scripture, major events in the life of Christ and the student’s own life. This is so that the students will see the relevance of the Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) to life in the 21st century. The lessons follow a pattern of human and spiritual development – critical for this age group.
A unique feature of the programme is the inclusion of Adult Faith Sessions for parents. Topics include (1) Self-Esteem and the Family (2) Peace and Family Life (3) Faith-Filled Families.

Walking with Jesus (Book 2)

The Heart of our Faith is a person: Jesus Christ
Walking with Jesus is an exciting journey into friendship with Jesus.
Students at this stage, the beginning of their adolescent years, are keenly  interested in friendships. This programme helps them to recognize Jesus as  their best friend. Jesus is presented as a model of love and service.
The goal of this programme is to teach the faith in a way that young people internalize and embrace a relationship with Jesus.
We trust that reflecting on his healing and teaching ministries, his explicit teaching on love and service and his sacrifice on the Cross will foster a desire to imitate Jesus in their lives. Acknowledging Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life promotes a more intense prayer life and inspires a lively commitment to serve others.

Witnessing to Jesus (Book 3)

The Mission of Jesus Christ continues in the Church for the Reign of God
Witnessing to Faith is designed to help students at Form III level to mature in their Faith. At fourteen and fifteen years, they are at the threshold of young adulthood and are searching for direction.
The programme offered at this level is an invitation to students to be open to the Holy Spirit: to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to work/move freely within and through them; to inspire commitment to build Church and community and establish the Reign of God; to help them to grow into persons full of faith, hope and love.
The students are introduced to the missionary zeal of the early Church through the efforts of Sts. Peter and Paul; the sufferings of martyrs in the early centuries and contemporary times. e.g. St. Maria Goretti, Oscar Romero, Rwanda martyrs. Learning about the saints and martyrs is like discovering treasured possessions stored away.
The presentation of the lives of men, women, and young people of faith, is a source of inspiration for spiritual growth.  They give students role models and examples of living witnesses of the Faith.
The students are also introduced to the sacraments as privileged encounters with Jesus Christ.
In the Personal Development Unit, students explore topics such as Identity, Emotions; Relationships; Peer Pressure and Sexuality.
In the Morality section students are challenged to reflect on the gift of freedom; make healthy and wise choices; develop integrity and conscience and be responsible individuals.
This programme stresses the importance of living a Spirituality of Love in Action.

Young Disciples In Mission (Book 4, 5 and Beyond)

The challenge of Discipleship
Young Disciples in Mission, the fourth in the series, is designed for students in Forms Four, Five and Beyond.
Young Disciples in Mission aims at bringing students to a true sense of their Christian identity as it develops their knowledge and deepens their commitment to living their Faith. It recognizes the importance of their understanding of their life experiences, affirms their capacity to reflect upon them and to identify their thoughts and feelings about these experiences.
Throughout the ten units the students will be exposed to understanding Scripture from a Catholic perspective; the meaning of Inspiration; how to interpret the Scriptures; the three stages in the formation of a Gospel as well as the introduction to the Four Gospels. The Great story of our salvation is also re-told because as we mature we come to a deeper appreciation of the mystery of God’s love and his plan for all human beings.
Other units deal with teachings on relationships that form them and make them who they are, in particular, their relationship as beloved by God; on the centrality of love for the Christian life, especially as revealed to them through the life and teachings of Jesus; on prayer and the Eucharist which are essential and central to their journey of faith; and on the responsibility they have as Young Disciples in Mission to come to an awareness of and respond to the ethical issues of their day. All the above books can also be used effectively for catechesis at parish level.

Catechesis in Parishes

Faith Formation resources include Teachers Text and Students Workbook:

  • Growing in the way of Jesus( 5-7 years) – This programme is designed to expose the children to an understanding and an appreciation of God’s love for them. They are led to experience God’s love and goodness in Creation, their own uniqueness, and the love of people, events and things around them.
  • Growing in Wisdom- This programme seeks to assist in the preparation of young children preparing to receive First Holy Communion
  • Growing in Discipleship – This programme assist catechists in preparing young adults for the Sacrament of Confirmation. This programme follows the basic thinking behind the R.C.I.A process. It begins with a short period of inquiry when the candidates ask what the programme is all about? Why Confirmation? Who is the Holy Spirit?What is the link between Baptism and Confirmation? The period of Catechesis follows and ends with a Mass of commitment when candidates express that they would like to enter the final preparation for the reception of the Sacrament which is a time of prayer, retreat, and reflection on the Holy Spirit.

Other Publications