Archdiocese of St. Louis
Welcome to the Archdiocese of St. Louis landing page for
Franciscan University of Steubenville's Catechetical Institute!
Franciscan University of Steubenville is known internationally for its fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church and is home to one of the largest catechetics faculty in the world.
The Catechetical Institute offers ongoing formation through online workshops for every member of a parish and/or school, including: clergy, catechetical leaders and catechists, youth ministers, RCIA teams, school faculty and staff, Hispanic Ministry teams, and even parents. All of the workshops can be accessed in the comfort of your own home. Each workshop is designed to be interactive with an assigned mentor who will communicate regularly with the participant.
Once a parish is registered, the Catechetical Institute gives unlimited access to the members of your parish and/or school for an entire year. Whether your parish or school is made up of 25 families or 2500 families, each individual can sign up for free with your parish subscription. To register your parish, a parish representative authorized by the pastor should click on the appropriate blue button on this page and begin establishing both a parish and a personal account. To register as an individual of a subscribing parish, click on the appropriate blue button on this page. There is also a button to check if your parish has a subscription to the CI.
Youth Ministers in the Archdiocese are invited to complete the workshops in the designated Youth Ministry track as part of Wellspring: A Formation Process for Youth Ministry Leaders sponsored by the Archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry. Prior to starting this track, please fill out the Wellspring application located in the Ministry Toolbox on the Office of Youth Ministry website found here: https://stlyouth.org/ministry-toolbox/. Other individuals may scroll through the available workshops and learning tracks to select topics of interest to them and begin learning more about the Catholic faith and the evangelical mission of the Church.
Recognizing the need for youth leaders formation to meet the needs of sustainable youth ministry, this course features a survey of the four pillars of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. Desiring to provide relevant guidance, this workshop features local leaders who possess expertise in their fields as well as experience with ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Attendees of this workshop will work through Scripture, magisterial documents, and wisdom from the Saints as they discover the holistic approach to their own growth as a necessary and essential element of ministering to young people.
What is good youth ministry in today’s Church? Every ministry to young people needs to have a clear mission and purpose, rooted in the larger mission of the Church, and needs to be able to identify clear values in the way that ministry is carried out. In this workshop, we look specifically at the essential components to a vibrant, effective approach to parish ministry for young people.
“The most effective catechetical programs for adolescents are integrated into a comprehensive program of pastoral ministry for youth…” (National Directory for Catechesis, NDC, p. 201). The craft of passing on the faith is never a generic work. It is specifically attuned to those being drawn towards the Lord’s goodness. This workshop looks at the distinct features of adolescent catechesis as discussed by the National Directory for Catechesis, with practical examples of how to utilize them in a youth ministry setting.
“Jesus thirsts; his asking arises from the depths of God’s desire for us” (CCC 2560). Jesus not only desires to have a relationship with youth, but with youth ministers as well. In fact, God cares more about doing ministry to people than he cares about people doing ministry for others. This workshop focuses on God’s intense love for us, and places that personal relationship as the center for all our ministry.
What does it mean to serve in a diverse parish? Cultural diversity has always been at the heart of the Church: “Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all” (Colossians 3:11). This workshop explores how to navigate the intercultural reality that many parish programs experience, so that we can effectively bring the love of Christ to each person and help all within the community feel a part of the Body of Christ. In doing so, fostering a respect for the dignity of each person, honoring the pivotal importance of family culture, and making the effort to grow in intercultural competence become key highlights in any successful ministry approach.
“The eternal Father, in accordance with the utterly gratuitous and mysterious design of his wisdom and goodness, created the whole universe and chose to raise up men to share in his own divine life” (CCC 759). A plan born in the Father’s heart: from the genesis of life itself, to the last prophet of the Jewish people, the grand sweep of salvation history is unfolded in the 46 books of the Old Testament. The Covenants, the Commandments, and the promise of a Chosen One form the subject of this workshop, to give catechists a sense of the provident hand of God over our past, our present, and our eternal destiny.
“That which was from the beginning...that which we have seen and heard we proclaim to you...” (1 John 1:1, 4). The New Testament is the completion of the story of how the Father prepared the world for His Son, and the beginning of the story of the Church, His Body, His Kingdom, His Bride, His Ark to save a People He calls His own. This sweeping drama of truth, centered upon He is who is Truth, forms the message of the good news that catechists are privileged to offer to each generation of souls.
“So they came to him and he appointed twelve; they were to be his companions and to be sent out to proclaim the message, with power to drive out devils.” (Mark 3: 13-14) The theme of discipleship is strong in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' document called Renewing the Vision. This workshop looks at what discipleship entails and what it means to help teens be not just a follower of Christ, but a disciple of Christ. And through helping teens become disciples of Christ, we help them along this path of companionship with Christ both now and to eternity.
“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for: The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 27). The basic proclamation of the Good News of Jesus’ saving life, death and Resurrection, known as the kerygma, is about giving the gift of belonging — the call to a life within a Love beyond all telling. This workshop lays out the essential elements of this most important story, enabling those who teach, share, and witness to more effectively unfold its surpassing beauty to other souls. This workshop's creation was made possible through a generous grant by the Our Sunday Visitor Institute.
Pope Benedict XVI stated that, “the ancient tradition of Lectio Divina… will bring to the Church a new spiritual springtime.” Come and experience the prayerful pondering of sacred Scripture in the timeless Lectio Divina in which the Holy Spirit makes a connection between the passage and one’s own life. This way of praying with the Word of God incorporates the natural development of relationship, which derives from the way God has touched and drawn human hearts down through the ages. During this workshop, you will learn the four stages of Lectio Divina, which will help prepare you to share in this rich treasure of prayer.
“At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son…” (Hebrews 1:1-2). When the Second Person of the Trinity became flesh and dwelt among us, everything changed. He used to speak through others, now He comes to us personally. This model of “incarnational ministry” should be at the foundation of our efforts to reach teens. For ministry to be effective, it has to be intentionally and consistently relational. As St. John Bosco once wrote that it was important “not only that the (youth) be loved, but that they know they are loved.” We explore how to do that safely and effectively in the current culture.
The responsibility of passing on the faith to a young person begins first and foremost with his or her family, particularly the parents. St. John Paul II wrote that catechesis within the family has “a special character, which is in a sense irreplaceable” (Catechesi tradendae, CT, 68). Though the teenage years are often characterized as a time of rebellion from the family, the ‘National Study of Youth and Religion’ found that a young person is more likely than not to reflect the religiosity of his or her parents. Parents are the hinge-point of successfully and consistently reaching most teens. It is therefore essential that those in youth ministry understand that their role is to provide support for families, empower them, and partner with them.