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The Secretariat for Catholic Education and Faith Formation includes the Office of Catholic Education (OCE), the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and St. Mary's Child Center. The OCE oversees and assists Catholic schools, parish faith formation, evangelization and youth ministry programs. Special programs operating under the auspices of OCE are "A Promise to Keep," a peer-mentoring sexual abstinence program sponsored by St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Centers; and SPRED, the Special Religious Education program serving developmentally disabled parishioners.
The Office of Catholic Education was founded in 1974 when the former school office and office of religious education were formed into one of the first offices of "Total Catholic Education" in the nation. Under Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein and in consultation with the Archdiocesan Education Commission, the OCE utilizes a team management approach in support of the teaching mission of the Church - "learning, teaching and sharing our faith."
In 2002, youth ministry was added to the OCE mission and in 2003 evangelization programs were added. Support for site-based programs is provided through direct service, resources, consultation, training, community-building and collaboration with constituents in the parishes and schools in conjunction with other archdiocesan agencies. Major constituencies include: pastors, principals, parish administrators of religious education, youth ministers and members of school and faith formation commissions and high school boards. Constituents are involved collaboratively in projects to design and develop curriculum, provide inservice training, produce manuals and guidelines and to foster professional development.