MARY, QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH - MANDEVILLE, LOUISIANA
Director of Faith Formation
"Family Catechesis...precedes, accompanies, and enriches all other forms of catechesis. Thus, there cannot be too great an effort on the part of Christian parents to prepare for this ministry of being their own children's catechists and to carry it out with tireless zeal."
-Pope St. John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae
Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church is looking for a Director of Faith Formation (DFF). This is a full-time position. The Director of Faith Formation is the person who plans, integrates, implements, oversees, and evaluates the catechetical formation and sacramental preparation of elementary children using a family faith formation model by giving parents the tools they need to succeed at being the religious formators of their children - supporting parents rather than supplanting them as the primary catechist of their little ones. In addition, the Director of Faith Formation works collaboratively and in concert with the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for developing and implementing an engaging and life-giving middle and high school faith formation model and with the Director of Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation in implementing a program of Parent Faith Formation as well as ensure continuity with the Rite of Christian Initiation process.
We recognize the calling and responsibility of parents as primary educators and role models to their children. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "education in the faith by parents should begin in the child's earliest years. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God." (CCC 2226). The Director of Faith Formation partners with and supports parents in this important role by engaging creative ways (something new, effective, and engaging) to address formation, the changes in family realities, and sacramental preparation. Our hope is to enter into a sacred partnership with parents, working together to form these precious little ones so that they can internalize and embrace the truths of our Church within their lives.
Most parishes today operate on a "classroom" model of catechesis. That is, they treat faith formation as a subject to be learned rather than a faith to be lived. Parents leave their students in school classrooms run by teachers using textbooks to be tested for their level of preparation. Is it any wonder that many families see their child's sacrament reception as a graduation ceremony? Family Faith Formation is a new model based on an old idea (parents as primary catechists to their children). This represents a radical role reversal in typical Catholic religious education, but it's really just an application of the Church's mandate to form adults so that families can catechize their young. When this occurs, children are taught the faith as a way of life and not just as a weekly class.
The position reports to the Pastor and operates with latitude for the use of independent judgment and initiative. Salary is negotiable based on experience and education, and the position is benefits eligible.
The Pastor is the visible principle and foundation of unity in Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church which the Archbishop has entrusted to him. He makes Christ's mission present and enduring in the parish. In order to fulfill his mission, the Pastor employs suitable, chosen collaborators (clerics, religious, or laypeople). He shares with them his mission and entrusts various responsibilities to them.
Positions employed at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church help to extend the ministry of the Pastor in particular ways as outlined in the job description. Therefore, the employee in this position is closely connected to and assists the Pastor in the performance of his ministry and thereby engages in ministry for the Church.
The Director of Faith Formation (DFF) is responsible for the leadership and direction for parish family faith formation. The position reports to the Pastor, collaborates with the clergy, pastoral and administrative staff, and operates with latitude for the use of independent judgment and initiative. Currently, this includes developing curricula, training, and staffing of elementary family faith formation sessions (K-5th), sacramental preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, implementing programs for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) and Teens (RCIT), administering the Vacation Bible School program, assisting with parent and godparent formation for the sacrament of baptism, serving as the Church's Safe Environment officer, and coordinating catechist formation. The DFF must understand the nature and purpose of religious education using a family faith formation model and continuously assess the needs and priorities of the parish, working with the pastor and staff, the faith formation volunteers, parents, and teachers. This individual will be expected to demonstrate good public relations skills as well as teaching skills.
The DFF will work collaboratively with the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry to develop and implement a faith formation program for middle school children (6th-7th) and high school children (8th -12th); this individual will also collaborate with the Director of Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation to implement a program of Parent Faith Formation as well as ensure continuity with the RCIA process. The DFF will also collaborate with the Director of Christian Formation at Mary, Queen of Peace School to ensure a seamless garment of discipleship formation. The DFF serves as part of the pastoral team along with the Director of Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation and the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry to build a unified faith formation and sacramental preparation process that focuses on whole family catechesis, small group communities, and fostering life-giving encounters with the Lord Jesus.
• An integral part of this ministry for the Church is to support and uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church and the mission of the parish in both your professional and personal life.
• Act as a witness to Gospel values by modeling the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
• Continuously grow in your ministry by participating in ongoing professional and personal faith formation.
• Ensure compliance with all Archdiocese of New Orleans policies and procedures.
• Administer the elementary Family Faith Formation Program (K-5th), to include the following: program budget, volunteer schedules, record keeping, teaching materials, supplies, communication with parishioners and parents, annual projections, keeping office hours consistent with the formation program, onsite supervision and organization of catechetical instruction, and meetings with parents.
• Develop and implement all catechetical programs for children (K-5th) including the following sacramental preparation: Sacrament of Reconciliation, First Communion, Baptismal preparation, and Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) and Teens (RCIT).
• Coordinate special Children's Liturgies (i.e., Bless the Baby Jesus and May Crowning) and oversee Children's Liturgy of the Word.
• Work collaboratively with the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry on middle and high school catechetical formation (6th-12th).
• Collaborate with the Director of Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation to ensure adequate Parent Formation and a seamless process for those children and teens in need of sacraments.
• Direct the Vacation Bible School Program (VBS).
• Assist with parent and godparent formation for the sacrament of baptism.
• Develop and implement ongoing education/formation for Parish Family Formation Catechists to promote effective catechesis.
• Ensure that the Safe Environment requirements, policies, and mandates for all volunteers who work with minors in the parish (Church only) are in compliance with the policies set forth by the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
• Recruit, train, and provide support for Faith Formation volunteers.
• Work with parish staff to ensure accuracy of sacramental recordkeeping.
• Participate in parish staff and diocesan meetings and trainings.
• Maintain a work schedule that maximizes availability and accessibility. Evening and weekend work is expected and will vary according to the schedule.
• Other duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
• Knowledge of the structure and basic teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
• Knowledge of the ministry and vision of family faith formation and whole parish catechesis.
• Skill, both oral and written, in communicating with diverse audiences.
• Ability to operate various word-processing software, spreadsheets, and database
programs, and open to learning new methods of communication.
• Ability to excel in professional relationships and work effectively with staff, clergy, and laity.
• Ability to organize, prioritize, carry out multiple tasks, meet deadlines and utilize effective time management techniques.
• Ability to maintain confidentiality at all times.
• Ability to follow instructions furnished in verbal or written format.
• Ability to listen respectfully to differing opinions.
• Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with coursework in theology, religious education, pastoral ministry, or a related field is preferred.
• Experience in pastoral ministry is preferred.
• Must be a practicing Roman Catholic in good standing with the Church.
Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and a least three references to [email protected]. For questions or additional information, please contact our Director of Parish Operations and Stewardship, Karen Baker, at (985)626-6977.
Updated: April 20, 2023