Catechists attending a retreat at St Mary Star of the Sea in Gerringong

Catechists attending a retreat at St Mary Star of the Sea in Gerringong

About the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine

The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine exists in every Diocese in the Catholic Church around the world to give parish-based support to the teaching of religious education for catholic children who attend government schools. Amongst other work, in NSW CCD has a strong focus on instruction on Church Teaching.

The organisation began in the sixteenth century in Milan, Italy by a group of Catholics (priests and lay people) who noticed that many poor children and adults knew little about their Faith and began instructing them. The concept was taken up by the Archbishop of Milan, St. Charles Borromeo, who directed that this work take part in all parishes in his Archdiocese. In 1905, Pope Pius X, instructed that the Confraternity be included in all parishes.

The phrase CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE simply means 'group giving religious instruction'.

The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine is an organisation that exists in all parishes in the Diocese. The contribution made by the Diocese of Wollongong is in the employment of the CCD Leadership Team who provide a central organisation and support services to parishes.

Student Catechists in training, learning how to use the Christ Our Light and Life Curriculum and emerging classroom technologies, like SMARTBoard

Student Catechists in training, learning how to use the Christ Our Light and Life Curriculum and emerging classroom technologies, like SMARTBoard

Our Catechists are volunteers who, for the most part, teach religious education in local government schools but many also work in other parish programs (such as Sacramental Programs). In New South Wales religious education is mandated by the Education Act (1990) which gives approved Church authorities, and those they authorise, permission to teach what is called 'Special Religious Education' to children in government schools. Parents of these children give permission for them to join a religious group each week for what is often called "Scripture".

Guidelines and policies are provided by the Department of Education and Communities. Parish Coordinators have copies of these guidelines and policies. Below are links to policies and guidelines most relevant to Special Religious Education.

Special Religious Education Procedures (Implementation date: 1st June 2019)

Each Parish Priest in the Diocese has appointed a Parish Coordinator who has delegated responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the teaching of religious education in local government schools. Parish Coordinators are supported by their team of dedicated Catechists.

The CCD Leadership Team consists of a Diocesan Director who has overall responsibility for support services to parishes. He is supported and assisted by two Regional Faith Education Officers who are responsible for practical assistance to and training of Catechists.

Geographically the Wollongong Diocese covers the areas bounded by Helensburgh and Macquarie Fields in the north to south of Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands and southeast to Ulladulla on the coast.