By Colleen Rowan
WHEELING—The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is moving faith formation in a new direction renaming its Office of Faith Formation the Department of Formation & Mission to reflect its focus on catechesis and evangelization.
“We’ve been planning to put a greater emphasis on catechesis and evangelization this year,” said Robert Jones, director of the Department of Formation & Mission. Jones said that the church is called to evangelize, to proclaim Jesus. “Evangelization is the essential mission of the church,” Jones said, “and the name change ultimately reflects that the point of all formation … is to be in mission.”
Part of the department’s direction is to develop a “train-the-trainer” model. That includes the addition of two catechetical coordinators who will assist parishes across the diocese to provide more training and support in faith formation. “Training our catechists out in the field—out in the parishes—is critical,” Jones said.
The department announced that April S. Bailey has been hired as one of the new catechetical coordinators. The second position has not yet been filled. Both coordinators will be based at diocesan offices in Wheeling. Bailey, who began her position July 22, will be visiting parishes to bring training and support to those who provide or wish to provide catechesis and sacramental preparation in their faith communities.
“We’re asking pastors and the parishes to identify the people … and we will provide them the formation training they need. That’s our job,” he said.
The Department of Formation & Mission includes Campus Ministry, Catechetical Ministry, Lay Ecclesial Ministries and Family Catechesis. For resources and upcoming events or more information, visit www.dwc.org. To contact the department, call Jeanne McKeets, secretary of the department, at (304) 233-0880, ext. 374.