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Faith Formation Opportunities

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Faith Formation Opportunities

Faith Formation:


Pope Francis calls us to set aside bland and “watered down” approaches to faith formation, and lead people to see the captivating beauty and awe-inspiring  love of God made visible in Jesus Christ. This requires that faith formation be multi-dimensional: at once doctrinal, spiritual, and pastoral. Catholic doctrine is meant to enlighten, inspire and shape our lives, so that we may become credible witnesses to Jesus in the world. Faith formation also needs to be multi-generational, for the journey of faith is lifelong. Of special importance is the formation of parents as the primary catechists of their children. We need to support and equip parents to pass on the faith by word and example.


We sponsor and publicize programs and events to provide opportunities for continuing formation in the Diocese of Oakland.  Continuing formation is offered through these programs:

Serra Catechetical Institute

SCI English use

The Serra Catechetical Institute (SCI) is a formation process for parish and Catholic school catechists, parents and all adults who want to know their Catholic faith better and be able to hand it on more effectively.  Participants receive 60 hours of catechetical formation in various locations throughout the diocese.  Learn more…

See El Instituto Catequético Serra for information in Spanish.

The St. Francis de Sales School for Pastoral Ministry

The plan of studies for the Saint Francis de Sales School for Pastoral Ministry aids the formation of the Faithful of the Diocese of Oakland to help them realize the universal call to holiness.  Centered on the constitutions of the Second Vatican Council and shaped by the vision of Pope Francis for the New Evangelization, this integrated set of courses is newly designed to form students to be “missionary disciples.”  It provides formation in Christ-centered spirituality and prayer, a style of teaching that flows from and inspires transformation in Christ, and a missionary outlook focused on witnessing to the Gospel within our families, parishes, and the wider world.

See La Escuela de Ministerios Pastorales for information in Spanish.

Master Catechist Program


After a thorough study of the foundations of faith, students who wish to pursue Master Catechist status will receive specialized instruction in Catechetical Principles and Methodology and Evangelization and Catechesis. Learn more...