Evangelization and Catechesis


To support and encourage a living, explicit and fruitful profession of faith among the people of God in the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

  • aids the bishop in his role as head of the community and teacher of doctrine
  • assists in evaluation and planning for catechetical ministry of the diocese
  • promotes the formation of catechists
  • collaborates with all offices of the Catholic Center in common projects that have a catechetical dimension

Lynn Melendez, Director   lmelendez@dioscg.org
Rick Barnhart, Associate Director  rbarnhart@dioscg.org
Kim Brayman, Administrative Assistant   kbrayman@dioscg.org

601 S. Jefferson Ave
Springfield, MO 65806

Fax: 417-866-1140

Catechetical Certification Process
Proceso de Cetificacion Catequetica

Effective July 1, 2016


    Click Image for fillable forms and information.     





Rediscovering the Faith

Have you been away from  the Church? Are you thinking about coming back? Do you know someone who wants to come home to the Catholic Church, but is struggling with their faith? Start here.

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For upcoming events scroll to the bottom of the page

Responsibilities and Services:





Spring Catechetical Workshops for all Pastors and Catechetical Leaders

Our Sunday Visitor will be helping to sponsor a special guest speaker for our Spring Catechetical gatherings. Denise Utter is a nationally known writer and speaker advocating for family integration in faith formation. She has also served as a DRE in a parish, and as an Associate Director of Family Faith in the Religious Education Office for the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois. Denise will be presenting some information, training, and resources for making our faith formation programs more engaging for the whole family so that families are better equipped for living and sharing their Catholic faith.

In an attempt to meet the needs of the various schedules of our clergy and ministry leaders, we are offering four workshop sessions to choose from:

Tuesday, May 1 – Catholic Center in Springfield  9:00am-12noon

Tuesday, May 1 – Catholic Center in Springfield  6:00 – 9:00pm

Thursday, May 3 – St. Mary Cathedral, Cape Girardeau  9:00am-12noon

Thursday, May 3 – St. Francis Xavier, Sikeston  6:00-9: 00pm

More information will be coming. For now, PLEASE SAVE THE DATES!



Friday-Saturday, April 20-21, 2018, presented by Nick Wagner of TeamRCIA.
Live presentation in Springfield and live-streamed to St. Mary Parish in West Plains and St. Vincent de Paul in Cape Girardeau.

More information and a registration form can be found by Clicking here

Rite of Election
St. Agnes Cathedral, Springfield: Sunday, March 10 at 3:00pm
St. Mary Cathedral, Cape Girardeau: Sunday, March 17 at 3:00pm
SAVE THE DATES! –  Catechist Institute 
Saturday, October 20, 2018, in Springfield
Saturday, October 27, 2018, In Cape Girardeau


Bishop Rice’s presentation to Catechists, October, 2017 (Video) – Part 1, Part 2

Prayer Columns

Share Prayer Flyer

Unpacking Your Story

My Story

Discipleship Check-In

Discovering Your Story (new)

Road to Emmaus (new)

Kerygma Experience Script (new)

Youth Endowment Fund Grant Application (new)

Resource Library

To assist parishes and schools, the resource library contains samples of catechetical texts and accompanying  materials. This library also maintains a variety of other print material (preschool through adult, including parish ministry resources)  that are available for borrowing, including a library for graduate studies through the University of Loyola New Orleans extension program. The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis assists parishes and schools with the textbook selection process. Samples can be delivered directly to the parish or school upon request.  Catechetical texts for children in parish religious education programs and diocesan schools must be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Approved Catechetical Texts

Approved Catechetical Texts August 10, 2017

Publishers Sales Representatives – January 2018

NEW!  RCIA Team Training Videos

Click Here


Please note that these resources are only available to parishes within the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.
Click here to access the site.  The password to access the site is:  trwt1

Echoes of Faith Plus

Info Pdf in English

Echoes 3-0 Student Account Activation Instructions

Echoes of Faith Plus is the most widely used catechist/teacher formation program in North America. Echoes of Faith Plus includes 13 videos that demonstrate effective catechetical approaches, methodology, and theology. Companion booklets provide the learning design for each participant and include valuable resources, reflection questions, articles, and prayers. Over 60 renowned specialists in catechetics and theology brought their knowledge, expertise, and skills to the Echoes of Faith Plus project. This is a basic-level, DVD-assisted resource for the formation and education of parish catechists and religion teachers in the Catholic Schools. The use of these modules is encouraged for Catechist Certification. Produced by RCL Benziger and sponsored by NCCL (National Conference for Catechetical Leadership), it is an excellent resource.

Ecos de Fe Serie Completa

Ecos de Fe es el programa para formación catequética más usado en Norte América. Esta serie de 13 módulos incluye cuadernos para cada participante con el plan de aprendizaje que incluye artículos, preguntas para la reflexión y oraciones. El manual para el director contiene ejemplos flexibles para la formación en numerosas situaciones.

The Theology Modules also serve as a basic faith formation resource for Catholic adults desiring continuing education/formation. Some modules may also be used for RCIA formation.

The process is easily understood and led by one of the learners. Each module is designed for four (4) one-hour sessions, but may also be used in other creative ways.  Consult the office for assistance.

The program is obtained through the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis. Participant booklets are an essential part of the learning and these are purchased from the office in the quantity needed. Purchase price is $8.00, which includes a CD-ROM for each participant.

A program director’s manual is also available to borrow.

The Catechist Set
Getting Started
Roles of the Catechist
Person of the Catechist

Methodology Set
The Learner
Methods for Grades 1 and 2
Methods for Grades 3 and 4
Methods for Grades 5 and 6
Methods for Grades 7 and 8
Adult Faith Formation

Theology Set
I Believe, We Believe
Liturgy and Sacraments
Catholic Morality
The Scriptures
Prayer and Spirituality

My Catholic Faith Delivered

My Catholic Faith Delivered provides an online learning system and courses to help Catholics grow, communicate, learn, and evangelize the beauty and truth of our faith. Using our system, ministries and other groups can reach a wider audience to share resources, schedule events, and collaborate to strengthen the overall faith community.

University of Dayton Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF)

The Office of Evangelization & Catechesis of the of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau has entered into a relationship with the University of Dayton, a highly respected Catholic university, and the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) to provide an opportunity for certification by enrolling in one of two VLCFF specific programs. After completion of  one or more of these programs, you will be eligible to apply for Advanced Level Certification with the diocese.

Our  affiliation provides a reduced  tuition incentive for all students from our diocese who enroll in VLCFF courses or programs.

In addition to the Certificates in Catechesis and Youth Ministry, VLCFF also offers programs in:

Little Rock Scripture Study Library

This adult bible study program includes four essential elements:  daily personal study, weekly small-group sharing, wrap-up lecture and prayer.  The resource library has 20 DVD lectures and training materials. These materials may be borrowed and used at the parish level for a Scripture study group.  Individual study guides may be purchased from Little Rock for $5-8.  The studies can be adapted for your needs.  Contact the office to borrow materials request an on-site training for facilitators, or to discuss the best option for your situation.For Materials Available from diocese-click here

Free Online Leadership Training

Little Rock Scripture Study’s free online training produces confident and competent facilitators, the foundation for successful Bible study.  Download free leadership training material at http:littlerockscripture.org

Coordinator’s Manual – A step-by-step planning guide filled with practical tips for publicity, registration, and conducting training sessions. Download Coordinator’s Manual Here.

Recorded lectures for each topic of training. These recorded lectures can also be borrowed from the diocese.

Training Video 1: Introduction to Little Scripture Study
Training Video 2: Daily Personal Study
Training Video 3: Conversational Prayer
Training Video 4: Small Group Sharing
Training Video 5: Jesus and His Disciples as a Model for Small-Group Scripture Study
Training Video 6: Spirituality and the Small-Group Facilitator
Training Video 7: Techniques for Facilitating a Small Group
Training Video 8: Introducing Scripture Study to Your Small Group
Training Video 9: Wrap-Up Lecture

The enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff of LRSS is available to answer questions.  Help is a phone call 501-664-6102 or lrss@dolr.org .  You may also contact Karen Pesek, Office of Religious Education, at 417-866-0841 or lmelendez@dioscg.org

Catechist Handbook English

Catechist Handbook Spanish

Helpful Links

Catechesis and Persons with Disabilities

The diocesan resource library has adaptive kits parishes or parents can borrow for First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation preparation.  The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy program is also available to borrow. This is a comprehensive religion curriculum designed to help parents and catechists in their task of teaching special children and adults about the Catholic faith. The program may be used in a variety of religious education settings: parish religious education, either in an inclusive classroom or in a specialized setting. It may also be used in the home for family catechesis.

Adult Faith Formation

The Office of Evangelization and Catechesis promotes and develops adult faith formation by offering a variety of options and opportunities for adult learners, and assists parishes with methods and materials for adult learning. For more information about any of these programs contact the office.

See our resource page for more information about these opportunities.

Safe Environment Lessons

Each child, grades Kindergarten through Twelve, enrolled in parish religious education programs and/or Catholic schools is to be taught two safe environment lessons annually.  Parish catechetical leaders and Catholic school principals log on to their Virtus accounts to obtain the lessons.  Contact the Office of Child and Youth protection for help.

Overview of Children’s Training

The job of ensuring children’s safety is a challenging undertaking. The prevention of child sexual abuse requires more than adult awareness, education, and training about the nature and scope of the problem. We must also give our children the tools they need to overcome the advances of someone who intends to do them harm. The Virtus Teaching Touching Safety program guide (Teaching Touching Safety Guide) is a tool designed to assist parents and teachers in this important task. The Touching Safety program is a vehicle through which parents, teachers, catechists, and youth ministers give children and young people the tools they need to protect themselves from those who might harm them.

The Touching Safety Program Lessons were Created for Four Specific Age Groups:

  • Grades K through 2
  • Grades 3 through 5
  • Grades 6 through 8
  • Grades 9 through 12

Each year, the program provides a theme that introduces and builds on the basic concepts of the Teaching Touching Safety Guide. The material is developmentally appropriate for each age group and includes content and activities that reinforce the message.

The materials for teachers include everything needed to prepare for and present each lesson—including additional information to help teachers better understand the context of the materials they are about to present. For example, teachers have access to a glossary of terms for all the lessons. They also have handouts and other reference materials such as information on how to respond to disclosures, how to report suspected abuse, and other supplemental materials.

The lessons are organized in a four-year cycle so each child experiences a totally different lesson plan each time the materials are presented and so each child receives the full range of information from the Teaching Touching Safety Guide in small, “digestible” bites, over a four-year period. Then, as a child advances to the next age group, there is a whole new set of age-appropriate lessons that explore the major topics in increasingly greater detail.

The themes covered (in an age-appropriate way) in each of the four years are:

  • Year 1:
    • Lesson 1: Touching Safety Rules—Students learn simple rules about what to do and how to react when someone’s touch is confusing, scary, or makes the child or young person feel uncomfortable. Young people start to deal with the real risks they face when they are out in the world and on their own, and they begin to learn where to draw boundary lines in relationships.
    • Lesson 2: Safe Friends, Safe Adults, and Safe Touches—Children, young people, and their parents establish basic guidelines for working together to make certain which friends and other adults in their environment can be trusted to act safely and in the best interest of each child or young person.
  • Year 2:
    • Lesson 3: Boundaries—Students learn about personal boundaries and how identifying and honoring those boundaries can give a child or young person the self assurance needed to speak up when someone tries to step over the line.
    • Lesson 4: Telling Someone You Trust—Children and young people learn who to tell when something makes them feel uncomfortable or confused. This lesson also begins to explore the phenomenon and power of “secrets” in a child’s life at various ages.
  • Year 3
    • Lesson 5: Grooming—Students learn about the types of behavior that may indicate that an adult is grooming the child or young person for something more than friendship. It also helps students learn to trust their own instincts about what is “okay” and what is “not okay.”
    • Lesson 6: “No secrets”—Reinforcing and building on the lessons from Year 2, this lesson deals with peer groups and other influences (including grooming by an abuser) that prevent children and young people from reporting inappropriate behavior. It also helps children and young people develop their own decision-making process to use in these situations.
  • Year 4:
    • Lesson 7: “Internet Safety” – Teaches children and young people safety rules for the Internet and to raise their awareness about the ways adults can use the Internet to confuse and “trick” them into believing things that are not true.  The lesson concentrates on:  keeping personal information private, and realizing that there is no way to really know who is talking with you on the Internet.
    • Lesson 8: “Creating and Following Family Rules” –  Children and young people learn the importance of creating and following family rules in the effort to keep everyone safe.  The students should be better able to participate in the creating of family rules for everyone and to follow the rules set by parents, i.e., being careful about how they share information with anyone outside the family.

Regardless of a child’s grade level at the time the program is implemented, each child should participate in all eight lessons during the four-year cycle.

Basic structure of the lesson plans

This program and each included lesson are founded on the principles of appropriate relationship boundaries in the broader context of Christian values. All lessons are age-appropriate and help children and young people develop the vocabulary and boundary distinctions necessary to empower them to begin to recognize inappropriate behavior by others while practicing appropriate relationship boundaries in their own lives. Each lesson takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Each lesson for each age group includes the following

  • Instructions to help the teacher, catechist or youth minister prepare to deliver the lesson.
  • Helpful teaching support from the Catechism to give the teacher or catechist a framework for how to keep the lesson within the context of Church tradition and theology.
  • A learning goal, including expected learning outcomes for students.
  • An overview for creating a successful learning experience for the specific age group.
  • Key vocabulary words and definitions that apply to the lesson. These words empower children and young people with the distinctions they need to help recognize inappropriate behavior by those with whom they interact.
  • Suggested activities, with instructions (and appropriate handouts for students as needed).
  • A closing group prayer that reflects the key message of the lesson.

The lessons focus on an age-appropriate discussion of touching safety, relative to the specific roles that different people play in a child’s life. All of the lessons stress the importance of keeping private body parts “private,” and of telling a trusted adult about anyone’s behavior that causes a child to feel uncomfortable or threatened. Additionally, a new set of introductory videos has been developed to make it easier and more comfortable for teachers and catechists to present the lessons to students.

The Purpose of the Introductory Videos

Child sexual abuse is a sensitive topic. And, although the Touching Safety program lessons include activities that are simple and fun, it is not easy for some adults to initiate a preliminary discussion about sexual abuse. Even those who feel comfortable talking with their own children about these issues may find it challenging to talk about this subject matter in a classroom full of children or teenagers.

The  Touching Safety program DVD introductions are intended to relieve teachers of the responsibility for “breaking the ice” on this sensitive subject matter. The presenter on the video opens the discussion, covers some basic issues, and allows the “live” teacher to use the activities and supplemental materials in the lesson plans to engage children and young people in meaningful discussions about recognizing and avoiding unsafe behaviors. So, while the DVD lays the groundwork, the teacher uses the activities to help students apply the message from the lessons to their daily lives.

Each video introduction is approximately six to seven minutes long. In each age-appropriate video, a presenter will speak directly to children or young people about the purpose of the program and the goals for the lesson, as well as what the children can expect from the activities and discussion. The presenter will introduce the touching safety rules and the concepts of “safe” and “unsafe” friends and adults and provide some basic facts, vocabulary words, definitions, and discussion points that will be further developed through the activities and supplemental materials provided in the “live” portion of the training.

Three different age-appropriate videos are available-one each for:

  • Grades K through 5 (this video is used to introduce both the Grade K-2 lessons and the Grade 3-5 lessons)
  • Grades 6 through 8
  • Grades 9 through 12

Also, the videos are available in English and Spanish language versions. And, all Spanish videos were written and produced as Spanish language presentations, and not merely as voice over translations or subtitles.

For your convenience, the individual videos for each lesson (English and Spanish) are available on a single DVD.

Each parish and school has a copy of the DVD for children.  To obtain additional copies contact the Office of Child and Youth Protection.

Parish Catechetical Leaders

The office assists Catholic school principals and parish catechetical leaders (CREs and DREs) in a variety of ways.  If you are new to your position, please contact the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis as soon as possible.  Here are only a few of the ways the office can assist you:

  • personal visit by the director for consultation
  • in person or online training program for new parish catechetical leaders
  • weekly newsletter
  • assistance in recruiting and forming catechists
  • program design
  • textbook selection
  • support and formation for pastoral leaders

Personnel for Parishes

As a Personnel Clearing House, the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis assists parishes in finding personnel for catechetical and pastoral positions. The office also assists applicants seeking catechetical or pastoral positions in the diocese.

Grant Opportunities

Diocesan Youth Endowment Fund
Grants through the Youth Endowment Fund will provide financial assistance to parishes with high school youth and adult youth ministry leaders in need of assistance for attending diocesan youth activities such as DYC, Camp Re-NEW-All, Steubenville StL Mid-America Youth Conferences, and TEC. In addition, parishes with limited youth program funding may apply for one time grant assistance in establishing a new parish youth program, training activity, or special event that would benefit the youth within a parish.
Explanation of New Youth Endowment Fund
Grant Application

Lay Endowment Grant Fund
The Endowment Fund for Lay Leadership is a fund to promote continuing Catholic education among the adult laity of the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. Catholic education refers to formal training in the many disciplines which affect the Church in Southern Missouri, including but not limited to theology, music, liturgy, religious education, evangelization, family life, and youth ministry.
Grant Guidelines
Grant Application
Grant Evaluation

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