Catechetical Certificate Program 2016-2017

This Certificate Program is designed to give lay people the necessary Catechetical background in order to feel more confident in the following areas of Parish Ministry:

  • Sacramental Preparation
  • RCIA
  • Youth Ministry
  • Parish-based Catechesis

This program, offered in three levels covering various topics, is also invaluable to anyone seeking to know more about their Catholic Faith.

Course Registration Fee is $100 for each Level.

Location: Holy Spirit Parish, 10827 24 St. SW, Calgary, AB T2W 2Z2

For more information and to register, please call 403-218-5501, or email

Catechetical Certificate Program

Topic Order is subject to change

    Level 1

  1. World Day for Catechists Mass and Presentation with Michael Chiasson: Sept. 24
  2. Scriptural Foundations (Hebrew Scriptures) : Oct. 1
  3. Scriptural Foundations (New Testament): Oct. 15
  4. General Directory for Catechesis: Oct. 29
  5. How to be and Effective Catechist: Nov. 5
  6. Prayer and Spirituality: Nov. 26

    Level 2

  1. Scriptural Foundations (Old Testament) Jan. 14
  2. Scriptural Foundations (New Testament) Jan. 28
  3. Sacramental Life of the Church Feb. 11
  4. Prayer & Spirituality Feb. 25
  5. Vatican II Mar. 11
  6. Sacraments Mar. 18

    Level 3

  1. Adult and Child Learning and Development April 8
  2. Scriptural Foundations (Hebrew Scriptures) April 22
  3. Liturgy May 6
  4. RCIA and Catechesis May 13
  5. Scriptural Foundations (New Testament) May 27
  6. Social Justice June 3
  7. Bonus Session (Topic TBA) June 17
Related Offices Religious Education
Related Themes RCIA Catechist Formation Religious Education Catholic Schools Courses and Workshops Adult Formation Catholic Teachings Sacramental Preparation

Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ

It is a very exciting time in our diocese as the newly created Religious Education curriculum is rolling out in all Catholic schools in Alberta! Growing in Faith ~ Growing in Christ is the fruit of a powerful collaboration of the Catholic Bishops of Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. This new curriculum replaces the long standing Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ curriculum Born of the Spirit.

This new catechetical instrument which will be for grades one through eight is already being used by grades one, two and three. Within the next few years all grade levels will be available. This new program of studies is state-of-the-art as it embraces our Canadian Catholic milieu with our diverse ethnic communities and aboriginal peoples, as well as our Eastern Catholic communities such as Ukrainian Catholics and many more.

The program is organized in such a way as to journey with our children through the Church’s liturgical seasons, so that what they learn about how their faith is celebrated. This is reinforced by what they experience at Mass and in their Catholic school communities. The program includes a student text book, and an online component that students can share with their parents via their personal web portal.

Even the parish priest and his staff have a special parish web portal so that they can access and review what is happening at any grade level in religious education.

The program is also designed so that teachers who deliver the program will be personally enriched with materials specially researched to act as teacher enrichment resources. For the first time, we have a resource that can enrich the student, the parent, the teacher and the parish staff.

The Religious Education Office of the Diocese thanks Bishop Fred Henry for making this project a reality. Bishop Henry’s untiring efforts to seek out partners for collaboration, in order to bring this project to fruition cannot be exaggerated. As the Liaison Bishop for the Alberta Catholic Bishops, for the past 19 years, Bishop Henry has observed, validated, and put into motion all that was needed to help bring about a collaborated effort in producing the best catechetical resource we can have at this time for our school communities.

Bishop Henry spared no sacrifice or effort to meet, discuss, explore, dialogue, evaluate, and execute all that was needed to make this project a reality. On behalf of all the stakeholders within our diocese who, for years to come, will enjoy the many blessings of this rich and dynamic resource, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts and wish you God’s abundant grace and blessing for the years ahead!

Related Offices Carillon Religious Education
Related Themes Religious Education Cathechist

2016 Catholic Education Sunday Resource

The Alberta Catholic School Trustees' Association has prepared a resource that can be used in classrooms to supplement the letter written by the Catholic Bishops of Alberta-NWT for the 2016 Catholic Education Sunday.

To view the resource in English, click here.

To view the resource in French, click here.

Related Offices Religious Education
Related Themes Religious Education Catholic Education

World Jubilee for Catechists

On Saturday, September 24 the Diocesan Office of Religious Education gathered approximately 100 catechists at Holy Spirit Parish to celebrate the World Jubilee for Catechists. Following the special Mass, we listened to a marvelous presentation by Dan Lacroix on Fr. Albert Lacombe, whose centenary we are celebrating in Alberta this year. Fr. Lacombe was a zeal-filled catechist who brought the message of the Gospel to native people of our land. His “Catechetical Ladder” was one of the original catechetical tools used to help the native people of Alberta visualize God’s saving plan for humanity.

After our historical journey into our past (which will be shared in more detail in upcoming editions of THE CARILLON, starting in December) we were treated to a profoundly faith enriching presentation by renowned motivational Catholic speaker Michael Chiasson, and Erin, a young woman joyfully testifying to her own faith renewal. Michael and Erin’s faith witnesses re-enkindled the fire that motivates us to go out and spread the Good News to all we meet!

Many of the participants will be registering for our Diocesan Catechetical Certificate Program. The program has been running since its launch in the Holy Year 2000. The program consists of three levels that are presented from September until June each year. Hundreds have graduated from the program feeling more confident and empowered to share their faith with others by various means of catechesis: in RCIA; sacramental preparation; as Catholic school teachers; and in youth ministry and adult faith formation groups. If you are interested in learning more about your Catholic faith check out our Diocesan website: under Religious Education to register for the next session.

Related Offices Carillon Religious Education
Related Themes RCIA Religious Education Cathechist

Lost & Found

Every Sunday at 4:30 p.m., St. Mary's University hosts Mass celebrated by our own priest and professor of Psychology, Dr. Peter Doherty. This is a small gathering, though at times it has numbered up to fifty people, with the typical attendance around twenty or so. One particularly important part of the service, made possible by the size of the group, is that the floor is opened after the homily for comments, questions and feedback from the attendees. At times the conversation is limited, with occasional bursts of insight breaking through the shyness; at other times the floodgates are opened and everyone, it seems, has something to contribute.

Recently it was a discussion of The Prodigal Son, certainly one of the best-known parables in the Bible, and one that is deceptively straightforward. Perhaps what makes it most memorable for many is the dilemma faced by the loyal older brother when his profligate younger brother returns and is so enthusiastically embraced by the father. For our group discussion, much was made of the inevitability of the father's response, but also of the maligned older brother. As many of us noted, while flawed, there is an incredibly understandable humanness to the older brother's bitterness. "For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends" [Luke 15:29].

If The Prodigal Son continues to have such resonance two thousand years after it was recorded, it is surely because it taps into our most human of failings. Yes, the older brother should understand the father's sheer joy at finding his lost son; but so too can we sympathize with his confusion when he has been so faithful to his duties. One attendee also pointed out that the youngest son returns not through conversion, as such, but because he has become so destitute that he recognizes he would be better off even as a servant in his father's house. The father, however, welcomes his son with open arms.

What struck me afterwards was that the true power of the story - which is of course a metaphor for God's unconditional love - is that the actual moment of conversion does not occur when the youngest son crawls back to ask forgiveness, but in the extraordinarily comprehensive, love-filled, forgiveness he receives. This is the power of God's embrace. When we witness the full-hearted acceptance, the joy of the Father's welcome, knowing how unworthy we are, it is impossible not to be moved and grateful beyond words. That, I suspect, is what even the older brother comes to realize… in his own good time.

Related Offices Religious Education
Related Themes Theological Reflection
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