Total Faith Initiative

Rooted in the Scriptures and in the Tradition of the Church, the main goal of the Total Faith™ Initiative is to provide comprehensive ministry to Catholic teens.

Guided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' document Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry, Saint Mary's Press, along with the Center for Ministry Development, created a set of resources that address all components of ministry with Catholic youth.

In 1997 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published its blueprint for youth ministry in the 21st century. That document, Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry, highlights three goals for ministry with adolescents:

  • to empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today.
  • to draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community.
  • to foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person.

Described in Renewing the Vision is a rich and challenging vision for Catholic youth ministry. Catechesis is at the heart of that vision. Throughout the document the bishops urge the Church to guide Catholic young people toward a life of fullness in Jesus Christ, and to give them the tools that will enable them to live out that fullness as Catholic Christians. To put it simply, Catholic teens are called to embrace their faith as they study it, pray it, and live it. The bishops also challenge the faith community to surround young people with love, care, and attention and to include youth throughout the life of the parish.

To help communities implement that vision, the Center for Ministry Development and Saint Mary's Press, two leaders in Catholic youth ministry and religious education, have teamed up to create a set of resources that addresses all the components of ministry with youth. The result of that collaboration is the Total Faith™ Initiative.

There are three components to the Total Faith™ Initiative:

  • providing youth with resources to grow in their faith, from both the Scriptures and Tradition.
  • providing resources that cover the eight components that are the foundational vision of ministry with youth.
  • providing an extended and in-depth catechetical module.
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Total Youth Ministry Package


The set of six manuals in the Total Youth Ministry Package provides resources for applying the wisdom of Renewing the Vision and addressing all eight components of youth ministry in your parish. Each manual has an accompanying CD containing its electronic version, customizable handouts, and theme-related links. The catechetical module of the initiative begins with these foundational resources, along with the student resources, and is completed and addressed specifically in the special series, Total Catechesis.

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Total Catechesis Package


The Total Catechesis Package provides the senior high-level catechetical components of the Total Faith™ initiative. Based on the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Total Catechesis passes on to young people the truths of Catholic faith. Addressing creed, Christian morality, prayer, and liturgy and Sacraments, Total Catechesis—along with the student resources—challenges Catholic teens to apply these truths to their daily lives.

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