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Adult Faith Formation Resourcing

The Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry implements the Church’s vision of adult faith formation (AFF) as the primary form of catechesis as articulated in Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us and the National Directory for Catechesis. The Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry (OFCYM) also promulgates the Archdiocese of Chicago’s policies and procedures regarding adult faith formation found in Book III The Teaching Office of the Church, l997.

All OFCYM staff members work with adults and are conversant with the Church’s vision of adult faith formation. Certain staff persons’ position responsibilities relate specifically to adult faith formation and these staff members form an Adult Faith Formation Team within the OFCYM. The AFF team meets bi-monthly for planning and discussion of current concerns.

The Adult Faith Formation team members serve parishes by advocating for parish adult faith formation through

  • the continual promotion of the National Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation, Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us
  • consulting with parishes on specific parish adult faith formation needs
  • making available OFCYM produced resources such as the “Tool for Planning Comprehensive Adult Faith Formation” and “Guidelines for Evaluating Parish Adult Faith Programs & Instruction”
  • scheduling an annual Archdiocesan adult faith formation event that provides for the faith formation and professional development of parish adult faith formation leaders and catechists of adults.

The Adult Faith Formation team also surveys the state of adult faith formation in the Archdiocese through

  • the annual OFCYM Data Survey
  • maintaining an updated list of catechetical leaders who have AFF responsibility
  • compiling an annual updated list on parish activities in adult faith formation
  • offering two ministerial courses leading to the approval and certification of Coordinators of Adult Faith Formation (CAFF)
  • convening the Archdiocesan AFF Advisory Group, comprised of team members and representative parish AFF leaders from throughout the archdiocese, who advise the AFF team and OFCYM on the continued formation of a pastoral plan for Adult Faith Formation in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In relationship with the Office for Divine Worship, the Adult Faith Formation team on request consults on the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and participates in any networking groups; and provides requested formation events for RCIA Spanish and English speaking leaders. At the Cardinal’s direction the team promotes the use of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults in parish programs, Fostering Faith, RCIA, Adult Confirmation and other adult programs. The OFCYM makes available the purchase of the USCCA.

Specific members of the OFCYM staff and AFF team provide opportunities for spiritual retreats for catechists and catechetical leaders; coordinate an adult Confirmation preparation program throughout the Archdiocese in English, Polish and Spanish; offer catechetical leaders resources for parent programs involving the sacraments of initiation; and direct the Chicago Catholic Scripture School and Escuela Biblica (both celebrating their 10th anniversary of service to the Archdiocese); and consults on parish Bible study and sharing.

Resources and information about Archdiocesan and parish program offerings may be found on the OFCYM web site and by contacting the Office for Catechesis & Youth Ministry.


Parish Planning Resources

The Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry has produced a basic Tool for Comprehensive Adult Faith Formation for parish adult faith formation leaders. Leaders can use the instrument as a checklist for verifying their parish’s commitment to a complete and systematic catechesis for their adult members.

The tool itemizes the six dimensions of adult faith formation (knowledge of the faith, liturgical life, moral formation, prayer, communal life, and missionary spirit) as found in recent church documents including the new United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (Copies can be ordered at a discount from us. See product order form under "Resources."). The instrument notes the documentary references for each of the six dimensions, the various subjects and topics that can attend to adult faith formation in each dimension, and sample offerings that can be found in parishes throughout the Archdiocese.

Guidelines for Evaluating Parish Adult Faith Programs & Instruction is another useful resource compiled by the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry for parish leaders. Evaluation ensures the quality and effectiveness of our parish intentional adult faith programs and instruction. This tool gives principles that offer a foundation and criteria for evaluating parish adult faith programs and instruction. Sections include evaluating parish leadership, catechists/presenters, program content, methods/process and the participants/learners.

The document also suggests essential resources on adult faith formation from the Vatican and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The American bishops have stated that a vibrant parish community
“…cannot exist without a strong, complete, and systematic catechesis for all its members.” They call for a catechesis that emphasizes ongoing conversion to Jesus Christ and presents a comprehensive and contemporary synthesis of the faith.

Both tools are a result of the work of the Adult Catechesis Work Group of the Catechetical Task Force.

Contact Pat Redington for more information and help in using these tools.

You can download each tool.



AFF Coordinator

Clarissa Aljentera
(312) 534-8051
















Planning and Evaluation

AFF Planning ToolFor parishes who would like guidelines as they plan comprehensive adult formation.
AFF Evaluatrion GuidelinesDraws from recent Church documents on adult faith formation to help parishes compare what they are doing to the standards.