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Catechumenate for Children, Teens

"Since children who have reached the age of reason are considered, for purposes of Christian Initiation, to be adults (Canon 852:1) their formation should follow the general pattern of the ordinary catechumenate as far as possible, with the appropriate adaptations permitted by the ritual. They should receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and eucharist at the Easter Vigil, together with the older catechumens."

"Some elements of the ordinary catechetical instruction of baptized children before their reception of sacraements of confirmation and eucharist may be appropriately shared with catechumens of catechetical age. Their condition and status as catechumens, however, should not be compromised or confused, nor should they receive the sacraments of initiation in any sequence other than that determined in the ritual of Christian initiation."
                                                    National Statutes for the Catechumenate 18 & 19, USCCB, 1986.

Starter Resource: Guide to Adapting the RCIA for Children, by Rita Burns Senseman

Catechetical Materials for the full catechumenal process:
These are parallel to adult materials and divided into the stages: pre-catechumenate, catechumenate, Lent and mystagogy periods, available programs are:

  • Children of the Light: Precatechumenate Sessions for Children and Families - 25 intergenerational sessions for a flexible process -  recommended alongside grade-level catechesis, or as the first of a two-year process
  • Journey of Faith for Children (Liguori, Grades 3-6)  Currently being revised and updated, with detailed leader guide for Inquiry, Catechumenate, Enlightenment stages. Also available in Spanish. (more information about updated version soon)
  • Journey of Faith for Teens (Liguori, Grades 7-10)   Revised and updated, with detailed leader guide for Inquiry, Catechumenate, Enlightenment stages. Also available in Spanish.
  • Young Apprentices (RCL Benziger. Has the advantage of having a lectionary-based component built right in. It is a subscription with quarterly updates.

The most commonly used “catch up books” 
These are used as the first year of a traditional classroom-based two-year sacrament process (all available in Spanish):

For a Lectionary based component (if not built-in)
Liturgy Training Publications (LTP) has some great resources:

 Other sources of lectionary materials:

  • Sunday Connection – a free online resource from Loyola Press that updates for each Sunday.  Family resources for younger and older students.


  • “Chosen” (Ascension Press) People who work with that age group overwhelmingly mention using the first 5 sections of the “Chosen” program. The full 24 lessons are Confirmation preparation and can be adapted as needed. The first 5 sections are appropriate for the RCIA inquiry stage. It is aimed at the mostly uncatechized student and it is primary evangelization about the need for and the identity of God. See lesson topics here:   http://d2allrr6lwplah.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Chosen_videoSegments.pdf
  • The Alpha Youth Film Series  also gets high recommendations as a conversation starter “about faith, life and Jesus.“   The first video in the film series can be watched here on YouTube – then, apparently you have to register your program to get access to the other videos, but it is actually free.  It is not specifically Catholic, but like the adult Alpha, you can adapt/insert Catholic values, such as sacraments and sacramentality as needed.
  • The VCat Video Catechism, from Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (actually created and filmed by Outside da Box in St. Charles, IL) could be useful as well. Some of the videos in the Creed section, in particular, about the nature of the Trinity… these are arranged in order according to the Creed.

Other non-video program:

  • The Seeker’s Catechism  is a Michael Pennock classic…  “Ideal for adults or teens interested in becoming Catholic through RCIA, preparing for Confirmation, returning to the Church, or simply wanting to begin a closer examination of the faith.”