August 29, 2015
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Just as one Catholic school does not reflect all of them, there isn’t one religious education program Pope Francis could visit while he is in the United States that would represent the variety of faith formation programs in churches across the country.
Programs vary according to parish size and styles of ministry. And although they run the gamut from structured weekly classes in school settings to informal discussions with pastors and children before or after Mass on Sundays, the programs face the similar challenge of how to keep children and their parents involved in the process.
In 2014, 2.7 million elementary school students and 631,943 high school students participated in religious education programs, according to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.