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​​​​​​"The parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God's word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers" (Evan​gelii Gaudium, 28).

Historically parishes have created faith formation programs to ensure that children and youth are educated in the Catholic faith so they can become productive Catholic citizens who share in the mission of evangelization.

Typically two programs are present in the archdiocese for the catechizing of children and young people: religious education programs in parishes for students not attending Catholic schools and formal school curricula at the elementary school and high school levels for students attending Catholic schools. These two programs educate children ages 3 to 18. Growth in faith also means initiation into the sacramental life of the church through sacramental preparation programs.

The following sections in Chapter 4 explain the policies for faith education for children and youth, whether that education takes place in the home, parish, or school setting.