Online catechetical classes offer opportunity for discussion, interaction


By Anne Marie Amacher

A new online offering of classes for catechists and adults in the Diocese of Davenport is now available through the University of Dayton (Ohio).

Because the diocese is partnered with the university, courses are offered at a discounted rate, said Mary Wieser, faith formation director for the diocese.

She is currently taking the course “Introduction to Catechesis” to see how the online courses work and to let others know what it is like. “I want to make sure I know how this is working.”

Five-week courses are offered seven times a year; each course is capped at 15 students. The University of Dayton adds another session when waiting lists reach a level that warrants the addition. Wieser is in Class “C” because the “A” and “B” sections filled up so quickly.


Course offerings include: Faith and Human Development, Church History I, Parish as Learning Community, Conscience, Instruction to Liturgy and Scripture. Some courses are available in Spanish.

Participants log on to the Dayton site where each week’s work is listed. There is required reading, done in sections. “You don’t read the whole General Directory for Catechesis at once,” she noted.

Questions are answered online and an interactive board is available for students to post questions, comments and other information to each other.

The course she is taking is thought-provoking and when she takes a quiz or test she receives immediate feedback, which is great, she said. The class works well for novices and those very knowledgeable in Church studies, she noted. “I survived the first week. I know if I can do it, others can do it. It’s very self-explanatory and you go online whenever you want.”

This fall IlaMae Hanisch, diocesan adult and family formation/lay ministry coordinator, plans to take a course as well. The diocese will continue to offer the Ministry Formation Program, June Institute, August Gathering, staff development for volunteer catechists and Catholic school teachers, Wieser emphasized.

The Dayton online classes add to what the diocese offers. This venture is supported by the Annual Diocesan Appeal. For more information on the classes, visit or contact Wieser at (563) 324-1912, ext. 263 or e-mail

“Get on a waiting list. Don’t give up if it’s full,” she encouraged.

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