The ACTA Foundation has a long tradition of giving in support of Catholic faith formation and adult catechesis, stretching back to 1957.
The ACTA Foundation was founded in 1957 by five priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago who, with pastoral foresight, were committed to fostering new initiatives in adult catechesis, especially in receiving new Catholics into the Church. The publication in 1951 of A Catechism for Adults, written by Chicago priest Fr. William J. Cogan, was the impetus for establishing the new ACTA Foundation. Through ACTA Fr. Cogan's catechism was supported and promoted, undergoing several printings and revisions. Its revenues were used for new publications and special projects.
In addition to published materials ACTA sponsored a Conference on Adult Catechetics in 1960 in Chicago with over 600 priests from the United States and Canada in attendance. In ensuing years ACTA offered Catechetical days for parish ministers and special seminars in seminaries. The inspiration of the founders of ACTA opened the doors to creative catechetical efforts that would benefit the formation of adult Christians.
A few years after the publication of Fr. Cogan's catechism, Chicago priests Father James Killgallon and Father Gerald Weber developed a new approach for catechizing adults in their catechism, Life in Christ. Other ACTA projects followed for catechesis on the Mass and the Sacraments. ACTA published Father Daniel Lupton's two volume A Guide to Reading the Bible, and a series of audio-visual aids from a Catholic Christian perspective on human sexuality for children and parents produced by Father Walter Imbiorski.
The publishing of materials became more extensive in the 1970s and 1980s, and in 1988 the ACTA Foundation sold its publishing arm to the ACTA Publishing Company.
The ACTA Foundation today continues to keep alive the spirit and vision of its founders by promoting catechetical initiatives and awarding grants for new creative efforts in adult catechesis.