Catechetical Office: History
Lifelong Religious Education for all Catholics
For many years, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (commonly known as C.C.D.) provided catechism lessons to children and youth not attending Catholic schools. It was an effective program for its time. However, following the Second Vatican Council, the Church reaffirmed that all Catholics, children, youth and adults, have an inalienable right to an ongoing and ever-deepening understanding of their Faith.
Every diocese in the world was asked to renew its efforts to have all parishes offer religious education and lifelong formation in the Faith to all Catholics. This comprehensive program is called by a name that is ancient and revered in our Catholic tradition: catechesis. The Catechetical Office was established to provide religious education or catechesis to the Catholics of the Archdiocese of New York.
The New York Archdiocesan Catechetical Office provides the leadership, policies, training and support through:
- the Central Catechetical Office, which oversees total religious education in all parishes from the Catholic Center in Manhattan;
- the Regional Catechetical Offices, which make our services available to local parishes from offices located throughout the Archdiocese;
- the parish Directors and Coordinators of Religious Education, professional religious educators who administer the programs;
- and, the trained catechists who hand on the faith in the parish programs.
We offer programs designed for pre-schoolers, children from kindergarten through grade 6, young adolescents in grades 7 and 8, high school students and people with special needs, including those who are disabled and their families. Conscious of the ethnic diversity of the Archdiocese, our catechetical leaders and programs take into consideration the many cultures that enrich every parish.