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“We are convinced that the energy and resources we devote to adult faith formation will strengthen and invigorate all the charisms that adults receive and the activities they undertake, in the Church and in society, to serve the Gospel of Christ and the people of today.  Every Church ministry will be energized through a dynamic ministry of adult catechesis.”

Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us,
The Priority of Adult Faith formation -Section 3
A Pastoral Plan For Adult Faith Formation in the United States
By the
U.S. Catholic Bishops


“…in everything we do commending ourselves as ministers of God…”
                                                                                          2 Corinthians 6:4

Adult Enrichment and Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office
St. Patrick School Building
625 Park Avenue
Johnstown, PA 15902
Phone: (814) 361-2000

Deacon Michael Russo

Mrs. Marybeth Heinze
Administrative Assistant

How We Teach

In his last words to the apostles, Jesus gave them a mission:


“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”  (Mt 28:19-20)


Thus, the teaching mission of the Church comes from Christ himself. The responsibility for fulfilling that mandate passes on unchanged to the bishops and to all Catholics.


Within each Catholic diocese, the diocesan bishop is its principal teacher.  He is assisted by clergy, religious, and lay men and women who serve as educators and catechists in Catholic institutions, including elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, seminaries and parishes.


Catechesis is the act of handing on the Word of God intended to inform the faith community and candidates for initiation into the Church about the teachings of Christ transmitted by the Apostles.  It also involves the lifelong effort of forming people into witnesses to Christ and opening their hearts to the spiritual transformation given by the Holy Spirit.


The teaching authority of the Catholic Church, called the Magisterium, lies with all of the bishops who are led by the pope and guided by the Holy Spirit.  The pope and bishops are the authoritative teachers in the Church.  In this section of our Web site, you can find information about many  forms of Catholic teaching.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


Year One Schedule
Year Two Schedule





Moral Theology
The goal of moral theology is to determine how man should live.  This course examines such topics as freedom, conscience, love, responsibility, and law.  Moral theology seeks to set forth general principles to help individuals make the right decisions and to live in accordance with the Roman Catholic Church.  Special emphasis is given to the relationship of moral theology to other theological disciplines, the teaching of the Magisterium, and the centrality of conscience.
Moral Theology Registration Form


Sacred Scripture and Synoptic Gospels
This course is a theological examination of the biblical record of God’s saving interaction with His people through His Word, Jesus.  It is a general introduction to the Scripture through an analysis of their forms and content.  Some emphasis will also be given to biblical scholarship, the nature of exegesis, hermeneutics and literary tools for biblical study.
Sacred Scripture And Synoptic Gospels Registration


Wisdom Liteature & Psalms
This course is a study of biblical Wisdom Literature and selected Psalms with a focus on their underlying message and the literary contribution of ancient Israel to world literature.  The course will also present a careful study of the literary character and theological themes in the Book of Psalms.
Wisdom Literature & Psalms Registration



The History of the Catholic Church in the United States

Bishop John Carroll

This course studies the development and growth of Roman Catholicism in the United States from the time of the early explorers to the New World to the Second Vatican Council. In exploring the historical background of the Church, various elements are discussed including the reasons for seeking the New World and the importance of conversion to the Catholic faith. The course will examine the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the Church and the contemporary Church experience in light of that historical context. The colonial period, the episcopacy of the first Bishop, John Carroll, immigration and nativism, the “Americanist” controversy, the social-gospel tradition, and 20th century developments in the Church, among other topics, are studied.


This course was developed and will be taught by Deacon Michael Russo.  More information will be forth coming. 

 Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Catechumenate Team Ministry


Location: Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Mary Mother of the Church Pastoral Center, 2713 W. Chestnut Street, Altoona PA 16601-1720  
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM, Thursday evenings.



Course Description: The course is an overview and exploration of the application of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the official rite of the Catholic Church for the preparation of Adults seeking the initiation sacraments and full membership in the Catholic Church.  The course content is presented in an adult environment with a combination of experiential and traditional learning styles within the four phase format of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Each phase (Part I, II, III and IV) consists of four 2 ½ hours sessions. There are no sessions in Advent, Christmas or Lent.


2020-2021 Catechumenate Team Ministry Course Information

Catechumenate Team Ministry Registration Form


  For more information on the above classes, please contact:


The Office of Adult Enrichment and Lay Ecclesial Ministry
Mrs. Marybeth Heinze
Administrative Assitant
Telephone: (814) 361-2000


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