Frequently Asked Questions

What is Echoes of Faith Plus?

Echoes of Faith Plus is a video-assisted process of formation for parish catechists, Catholic school teachers, and facilitators of adult faith formation. It is the best, most complete, convenient, and affordable such formation program available today. Echoes Plus is a project of the National Conference of Catechetical Leadership produced by RCL Benziger. It is the most complete and widely used catechist formation resource ever developed.

What is the “Plus” in Echoes of Faith Plus?

It has everything you loved about the original Echoes of Faith plus…

  • New redesigned booklets with integrated CD-ROM
  • New spiritual formation process in every module
  • New bonus DVD interviews with experts in theology and catechesis
  • New references to the latest catechetical documents
  • New Adult Faith Formation module for training adult facilitators parish-wide
  • New online support
What are the goals of Echoes of Faith Plus?
  • To form competent, confident, and capable catechists and Catholic school teachers by providing a dynamic program that delivers spiritual formation, background, solid content, resources, and skill-building
  • To support catechists’ and Catholic school teachers by offering them flexibility in their formation and continued support using the latest technology
  • To build commitment to the catechetical ministry by engaging catechists and Catholic school teachers in an easy-to-use process for spiritual and catechetical formation
  • To renew the faith of catechists and Catholic school teachers through image, story, information, and faith sharing.
Who are the expert authors and contributors?

Over 60 renowned specialists in catechetics and theology brought their knowledge, expertise, and skills to the Echoes of Faith Plus project. A partial list of writers and interviewees include: Rose Bennett; Mary C. Boys; Rev. Louis Cameli; Mike Carotta; Sr. Catherine Dooley; Rev. Robert Duggan; Carole Eipers; Amy Florian; Linda Gaupin, CDP; Ed Gordon; Susan Grenough; Thomas H. Groome; Rev. Robert Hater; Michael Horan; Monica Hughes; Rev. Michael Joncas; Maureen Kelly; Jack McBride; Cardinal Roger M. Mahony; Gloria Reinhardt Majerus; Most Rev. Richard Malone; Rev. Brian Massingale; Bishop Robert F. Morneau; Daniel S. Mulhall; Sr. Rose Pacatte; Neil Parent; Most Rev. Daniel Pilarczyk; Sr. Edith Prendergast; Jane Regan;Donald Senior, CP; James and Evelyn Whitehead; the Most Rev. Donald Wuerl; Sr. Angela Ann Zukowski; and many more. Catechists and Catholic school teachers will learn from the best and the brightest through Echoes of Faith Plus!

How is Echoes of Faith Plus organized?

Echoes of Faith Plus is built around the three dimensions of catechist formation highlighted in the General Directory for Catechesis: “Being, knowing, and savior faire” (GDC 238). The fourteen Echoes of Faith Plus DVD and booklet modules are divided into three sets, each addressing one of these dimensions:

  • Catechist Set (three modules; two-hour process for each module)
    • Being: Who am I as a catechist and as a disciple of Jesus Christ?
  • Theology Set (five modules; four-hour process for each module)
    • Knowing: What do I teach?
  • Methodology Set (six modules; two- hour process for each module)
    • Savior faire: How do I teach?
Does Echoes of Faith Plus correlate with the certification program in our diocese?

Yes! The vast majority of dioceses in the United States have approved Echoes of Faith Plus as a preferred resource for catechist and Catholic school teacher formation. The content of the 14 modules addresses the most important topics found in diocesan office guidelines for certification. Your Diocesan Office can provide you with specific information about using Echoes of Faith Plus to work toward certification.

Who is Echoes of Faith Plus designed for?
  • Parish catechists
  • Catholic School teachers
  • Catechetical leaders
  • Adult formation facilitators
  • RCIA catechumens and candidates
What is the Echoes of Faith Plus process?
1. Engage The process begins in the companion booklet where participants:
  • Begin with a process of spiritual reflection
  • Activate their prior knowledge of the module content
  • Learn the goals and objectives for the module
2. Explore
  • The booklet guides participants between the DVD and the booklet through a process of reflection on the four segments of the module content
3. Apply
  • Participants summarize what they have learned
  • Activities and discussion enable the participants to apply their learning to practical situations
What is on the DVD?

The DVD contains four video segments to accompany the four sections of the companion booklet. In addition, each DVD contains two bonus interviews with theological and catechetical experts to extend and enrich learning.

Do I really need to use the booklets?

Absolutely! First of all, Echoes Plus is a video-assisted catechist formation process. You cannot access the full content of the module by simply watching the DVD. Echoes Plus uses an integrated process that moves back and forth between the booklet and DVD. In fact, more of the catechist’s time will be spent with the booklet than with the DVD.

Why is there a CD-ROM as well?

A CD-ROM is included at no charge with each booklet. It allows catechists who have attended group sessions to review the main content of the DVD at home. It also allows a catechist to make up a missed group session, or a catechist to participate who for personal reasons cannot attend the group training. The CD-ROM contains the four video segments in a compressed, lower resolution format suitable for showing on a home computer screen. Each segment on the CD-ROM includes voice narration that leads the user who is working alone through the booklet process. Because of the compressed format, the CD-ROM cannot be projected successfully onto a large screen in place of the DVD.

Can different models be used to implement Echoes of Faith Plus?

Yes! Echoes of Faith Plus is designed to be adaptable in order to meet the diverse needs and schedules of parish catechists and Catholic school teachers. The best setting for catechist formation is in the company of a community of learners. Such a setting allows catechists to learn in the same style they will use in their own teaching. Here are a few options for implementing Echoes of Faith Plus:

  • Monthly workshops
  • In-service days
  • Advent or Lent study groups
  • Small group or individual home study
  • Mentoring sessions
  • Retreat days
Who can implement Echoes of Faith Plus?

Parish catechetical leaders, principals, school religion coordinators, or individuals chosen by school or parish leaders can easily facilitate and oversee the Echoes of Faith Plus process in your parish or school. Diocesan-wide training, sponsored by the Diocesan office in collaboration with RCL and NCCL, is available for facilitators. These one-time sessions give facilitators all the information and confidence they need to get started with Echoes of Faith Plus.

Do the Echoes of Faith Plus modules need to be used in any particular order?

Absolutely not! Echoes of Faith Plus gives you the flexibility you need for catechist formation. Choose the module you most want to explore with the staff or poll your catechists/teachers to determine their needs. One caveat: Catechists and Catholic school teachers who are teaching catechetical sessions for the first time will reap immediate benefits by completing the “Getting Started” module in the Catechist Set before classes begin.

In addition to the initial facilitator training, what support is available for parishes and schools using Echoes of Faith Plus?

The Echoes of Faith Plus Program Director’s Manual provides reproducible articles, scheduling options, record-keeping tools, prayer services, overviews of the core content of each module, resources for recruiting, interviewing, assessing, training, supporting, and evaluating catechists and Catholic school teachers, and much more!

With the Echoes of Faith Plus Web site online support is just a click away! You’ll find helpful articles, tips for catechists, a forum for asking catechetical questions, and other resources that are continually updated throughout the year.

Is it necessary to buy the entire Echoes of Faith Plus series all at once?

Although you’ll save $200 by ordering the complete series, you can also purchase each of the three sets separately or even order individual modules one at a time.

When will the complete series be available?

The entire series is available now!

How can I get more information on ordering Echoes of Faith Plus?

Contact your local RCL Benziger sales representative or call RCL Benziger customer service at 1-877-275-4725. Be sure to ask about our complete set discount and quantity booklet discount!