The Six Tasks of Catechesis

Next Session: Oct 12, 2020


The six tasks of catechesis constitute a unified whole by which catechesis seeks to achieve its objective: the formation of disciples of Jesus (National Directory for Catechesis (NDC), #20). This course will address the six tasks of catechesis as introduced in the General Directory for Catechesis (1997) and affirmed in the National Directory for Catechesis (2005).

Course Content

Unit 1 - Overview of the Course

  • Task One: Catechesis Promotes Knowledge of the Faith

Unit 2

  • Task Two: Catechesis Promotes Knowledge of the Meaning of Liturgy and the Sacraments

Unit 3

  • Task Three: Catechesis Promotes Moral Formation in Jesus Christ

Unit 4

  • Task Four: Catechesis Teaches the Christian How to Pray with Christ

Unit 5

  • Task Five: Catechesis Prepares the Christian to Live in Community and to Participate Actively in the Life and Mission of the Church

Unit 6

  • Task Six: Catechesis Promotes a Missionary Spirit that Prepares the Faithful to be Present as Christians in Society
  • Summary of the Six Tasks of Catechesis

Course Format

  • Developed by Mary Ellen Mahon, Director for Catechetical Formation, Diocese of Manchester.
  • Seven weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • Written assignments (150-200 words) required.
  • Facilitator-moderated chat sessions with students in course.

Required Texts

  • All course materials are available online in the course.

Participation Requirements

  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussion.
  • Participate in the class discussion using the Forums area: post at least 2 comments, questions, or responses per unit.
  • Write 150-200 words in response to the assignment in each unit.
  • Participate in at least 4 scheduled chat sessions throughout the course.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

3 to 5 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

A certificate of completion awarding 25 contact hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.


Mary Ellen Mahon

Mary Ellen Mahon

Mary Ellen Mahon holds a BA in theology from Trinity College, Washington, DC and a MA in Religious Studies from LaSalle University, Philadelphia, PA. She has been involved in catechetical ministry as a Parish Catechetical Leader and as a religion teacher in Catholic junior high and high schools. She has been a Master Catechist in diocesan catechist certification programs, developed lay ministry formation courses, a high school curriculum integrating Catholic Social Teaching and service and a child safety curriculum. She has facilitated retreats and days of prayer with adolescents and adults. Since 2004 Mary Ellen has been serving as Diocesan Director for Catechetical Formation for the Diocese of Manchester, NH.