How Do We Recruit New Catechists? INVITE Them!

DRE talking to catechist

What is it that all DREs know about the majority of Catholic families today? They are overwhelmed by an overbooked schedule of events and work, and growing our faith is often deferred to those once-in-a-while moments when things are quiet; that is not necessarily weekend Mass.

So how do we find future catechists? I propose we INVITE people to consider the call to be a catechist.

I = INITIATE a conversation.

  • Regular parent gatherings or intergenerational events bring together parents or families who are willing to answer an invitation.
  • The parents who drop off their children give us an opportunity to have conversations about the faith formation program and the faith formation of their family.
  • Begin by sharing about the child’s response to faith formation sessions.
  • Share how other parents became involved.

N = NOTICE who lingers and seems curious about the happenings at faith formation sessions.

Thinking of Becoming a Catechist? is a great page to share with prospective volunteers. It includes reasons to become a catechist, the Catechists in Action video series, and Joe Paprocki’s popular webinars.

V = VALUE the time and the conversation shared. Listen for anything that sounds like:

I = INVITE these parents to help, even if it is just one time.

  • Helping in the child’s group gives a taste of how catechesis is done and allows the parent to see that it is not scary but enjoyable when the tools are provided.
  • If parents offer to assist in the office, have them come in to help some day to stuff envelopes or collate papers. This offers an opportunity to talk with them about becoming a catechist.

T = THANK everyone involved with the program:

  • The parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or whomever drops off the children; that adult is ensuring the children come to sessions.
  • Children for coming and sharing about Jesus. Children will share these kindnesses with their families.
  • Catechists—in front of children and parents. Constant support for these volunteers makes the role inviting to others.

E = ENCOURAGE everyone who enters into the catechetical space to:

  • Be a part of their child’s faith life.
  • Participate in weekend Mass so children understand better what they are learning about their faith.
  • Learn so much more about their own faith by joining the catechetical journey with the children of the parish.

May your efforts at catechist recruitment be fruitful!

What methods do you use to invite parishioners to consider becoming a catechist?

Ministry Is…

woman reading with children

What is ministry? It seemed a simple question, posed to me by a pastoral ministry student who was interning at our parish. I began thinking of an eloquent response describing the beauty and joy of being the hands of Christ and building the kingdom of God, but later that day I found myself standing in […]

Continue reading...

From Business Meetings to Worshipful Work


Everything we do in parish life has a catechetical aspect to it. In other words, the way we do things in the parish teaches and forms us in our faith. With that in mind, an important venue for adult faith formation is parish business meetings. How do we conduct business when we gather adults together […]

Continue reading...

Through the Year with the DRE

through the year with the DRE calendar

It’s been a couple of years since I posted this popular post, so I thought this would be timely to share as we proceed through the summer months in anticipation of the upcoming catechetical year! Back in the day, when I was a “baby” DRE (Director of Religious Education), I turned to a nifty book […]

Continue reading...

Forming Children and Youth for the Mass, Part 1: Silence and Reverence

praying child

This is the first article in a series about forming children for active participation in the Mass. Do your catechists complain that students don’t know how to behave in church? The sad truth is many families do not go to Mass. Catechesis without Mass, however, is not going to “make them Catholic.” One way to […]

Continue reading...

Works of Mercy Prayers and Activities—Free Resource Packet Perfect for the Year of Mercy

Works of Mercy Prayers and Activities Resource Packet

Mercy is a virtue that influences a person’s compassion for another. Mercy inspires the will to ease another’s misfortunes or suffering in either body or soul. The corporal and spiritual works of mercy are charitable actions that extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need. However, the works of mercy are more than gestures […]

Continue reading...

The Power of Invitation to Church Ministry


Being invited to participate changed my life. I was 17, a senior in high school, and I opened a letter from my pastor inviting me to participate in the Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI), sponsored by the Diocese of Baton Rouge. Until that moment, my faith lived within the boundaries of Sunday Mass and in the […]

Continue reading...

Planning Your Adult Faith Formation Calendar

With all of the traveling that I do, sometimes my calendar can get a little crazy. I’ve gotten better at it, but I can remember some times when I asked myself, “What was I thinking when I said yes to this?” In parish life, we do this all the time. Even when we have calendaring […]

Continue reading...

Pope Francis on Catechesis Beyond the Scholastic Sphere

Pope Francis - image by Jeffrey Bruno under CC BY-SA 2.0

Recently, Pope Francis made some very interesting comments about evangelization and catechesis. In particular, he said that catechesis needs to go beyond just the “scholastic sphere” and lead people to an encounter with Christ. I’m thrilled to hear him talk about this because, as important as familiarity with doctrinal concepts is, it means nothing unless […]

Continue reading...

Three Promises for Vacation Bible School Week

children dancing

This is the last article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. Vacation Bible School is up and running, and my head is about to explode with all the details! Even with decorations finished and an excellent volunteer staff, I still feel like I have a […]

Continue reading...