The Franciscan International Guild for Catechists and Leaders
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor
The love of Christ has gathered us into one
The Franciscan International Guild for Catechists and Leaders
We invite you to join today!
Are you interested in becoming really good at sharing your faith with family, friends, and co-workers?
Would you like to feel more supported in your efforts to help others grow in faith?
We are joyfully announcing here the founding of an international Guild, anchored to Franciscan University’s work and charism in the fields of evangelization and catechetics. It is a diverse and apprenticeship-oriented entity serving anyone who desires to learn how to pass on the faith to others effectively. This Guild is for catechists and teachers in any role and leaders at any level. A key aspect of this Guild is strong formation and relationships, so that people who sometimes feel isolated in being faithful to the Church do not remain unsupported and unaccompanied, and the faithful creativity and leadership we see arising in so many places can be fruitfully shared under the grace and guidance of Mother Church.
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What does the Guild do?
- Encourages the glad reception of the catechetical wisdom of the Church, in her recent magisterial teachings on catechesis and evangelization and in the retrieval of biblical, liturgical and patristic sources to renew catechesis at the living sources of the faith, especially as these are brought together in the magnificent compendium of faith and pedagogy that is the Catechism of the Catholic Church
- Offers pathways for individual and group mentorship, with Guild Certification, for an ongoing apprenticeship in this ecclesial understanding, providing a structured environment with clear avenues of formation for those in catechetical ministry at every level.
- Provides an arena for a rich discussion and resourcing of the catechetical priorities identified by the magisterium to superintend this mission of evangelization, fostering a deep understanding of the Church’s catechetical tradition for the sake of its vibrant application in each local church and situation.
- Seeks to be a place of catechetical friendship and mutual support, offering networks of local and international collaboration for the overcoming of isolation and the fostering a culture of relationality in ministry. Guild members bring their questions and concerns for mutual discussion and study in a supportive environment for finding faithful and creative paths forward in ministry. Ministry and research interest groups, led by Guild members, allow for specialist networking among leaders and catechists.
What are the key principles that ground the Guild in the heart of the Church and guide its mission?
1. Catechetical subsidiarity in a spirit of solidarity – respecting the primacy of the family and the need to support, not supplant, local sources of formation.
2. Spiritual primacy within an integrated formation – ensuring that formation for ministry emphasizes personal spiritual growth and witness of life, and does not give the impression that human skill and knowledge attainment alone can sufficiently prepare a person to pass on the faith.
3. Faithful creativity – seeking new ways forward in ministry in a collaborative not competitive manner, obedient to the graced channels of the Church’s hierarchy, and to the guidance of the Spirit’s voice in the Magisterium and ministry of Peter. Working for the Church and with the Church.
4. Sacrificial accompaniment within structures of continuity of care – fostering and deepening the vocation to others in situ, knowing that the faith is most effectively passed on through pathways of familial trust, personal witness, vulnerable friendship, genuine sharing and reciprocal sacrifice, within the strength of a community.
5. Radical affordability to support sustainable patterns of ministry – forming others for ministry in a fiscally non-exclusive manner, with a spirit of generosity so that the very best resources can be provided for all, including the poorest institutions and individuals.
6. Under mercy – depending at all times upon the grace that can elevate our nature for the work of ministry, and therefore fostering sacramental encounters with the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit in order to find authentic peace of soul, joy in trusting, and familial belonging.
What are the benefits to joining the Guild?
✓ Grow from encountering the finest and most diverse online ministry formation ever created – www.FranciscanAtHome.com – focused on accompaniment, mentorship, and mastering the kerygmatic approach! We have over 200 workshops in English, Spanish, and other languages in more than a dozen ministry areas, adding 2-3 new workshops every month – all designed to provide a mentorship, group friendly, pastoral accompaniment method of ministry formation. Spanning over 35 countries, we serve over 26,000 people in ministry through our online workshops. There is also an opportunity for individual mentorship in the ministry tracks offered by the Catechetical Institute for certification through Franciscan University.
✓ Come to the finest formation conference available – the annual St. John Bosco Conference for Evangelization and Catechesis on the campus of Franciscan University of Steubenville, held each July.
✓ Participate in our wide array of monthly webinars for leaders, catechists, and teachers.
✓ Discover the preeminent and oldest international quarterly catechetical journal available! The Catechetical Review is designed primarily for catechetical leaders, Catholic school teachers, youth ministers, RCIA coordinators and anyone involved in faith formation and evangelization. All members of the Guild have free online access to downloadable, reproducible articles in English and Spanish.
✓ Explore our Catechetical Conversations series with top professionals tackling challenging topics in dialogue. Come explore the topics!
✓ Find exceptional talks on a myriad of topics from past Bosco Conferences and other Franciscan series, including “The Best of…” series featuring collections of talks by our world-renowned Catechetics faculty.
✓ Seek helpful advice and a forum to meet others in our online discussion boards on pre-selected topics and find out about the latest news on evangelization and catechetics in the Church.
✓ Look for discounts that we have arranged for Guild members from Franciscan University and other ministries and publishers with which we collaborate. For example, we offer a 20% discount for any FUS program online (graduate and undergraduate) and on-ground graduate degree programs for any Catechetical Institute user, and we offer a 50% discount off the tuition for any FUS online degree program for any international student located outside the United States in an Emergent Nation. Additionally, Guild members can receive 50% off all student and children's workbooks from Sophia Institute Press. Finally, from now until August 31, Guild members can receive 60% off shipping of their Sadlier Religion order from William H. Sadlier, Inc.
✓ Search our regularly updated job board for those seeking professional positions in ministry, and for employers desiring to find strong candidates for open positions.
Some frequently asked questions...
• How is the Guild governed?
The Guild is directed by the Director of the Office of Catechetics and the Director of the Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University, Steubenville. An international advisory board supports the work of the Guild.
• Can anyone join?
Yes, anyone, and any institution, subscribing to the key catechetical principles guiding the Guild’s mission and structure, may apply for membership. (The Guild reserves the absolute right to refuse or terminate membership to any individual or group without explanation).
• What is the spirituality of the Guild?
Supporting the spiritual formation of the catechist is seen as the priority of the Guild. No single expression of this is proposed as a necessary element of Guild membership. The Guild’s intention is not to overlay the spiritual lives of its members with commitments additional to those already enjoined and encouraged by the universal Church. Guild members are expected to be in good standing with the Church, avail themselves of the sacramental means of grace, and understand that the life of prayer, both personal and communal, is the heart of catechetical ministry. Individual members may be members of lay spiritual associations and draw on the different spiritual traditions within the universal Church.
• Why the name of “Guild” for this association of catechists?
In medieval times, Guilds allowed for the identification, protection and promotion of specific crafts and for collaboration among its members, encouraging mutual support and establishing patterns and pathways of formation for them. The Guilds fostered personal forms of apprenticeship as well as encouragement in the pursuit of excellence among members. It is appropriate that this Guild has been launched from a Catholic university, since some of the first universities, such as Bologna and Paris, were organized as Guilds of learners and scholars. The Guild is anchored to Franciscan University’s work and charism in the fields of evangelization and catechetics.