Sowing the Seeds for Future Catechists

One thing I did this year on the last day of class (something I had never done before) was to invite my 4th graders to consider becoming a catechist some day! I told them that I thoroughly enjoyed my time working with them and that I’m pretty sure it showed. I said that being a catechist is a wonderful way to practice your faith and to bring others closer to God and that I encourage them to keep the idea in mind as they grow older. In just 5 or 6 years, they will be old enough to serve as catechist aides, often the first step toward becoming a catechist. My hope is that they will remember this encouragement and respond to the call to serve as a catechist some day (taking the place of those of us who will be too old by that time to carry our catechist bins around!)

About Joe Paprocki 2156 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

11 Comments on Sowing the Seeds for Future Catechists

  1. “invite my 4th graders to consider becoming a catechist some day!”

    I will do this every year from now on. Thanks for this great idea.

    I used to tell my RCIA classes this without fail, but it never occurred to me to do the same with the kids.

  2. Interesting you would do that….never hurts to invite…or plant the seed !
    Several years ago I tried to energize a group of high school seniors….sharing with them my joy in being a full time religion teacher…suggesting that perhaps one of them might just take my place if I was missioned elsewhere…And that happened….five years later one of those students after completing a Theology major took my place in that same classroom when I was again missioned out to another school !…..

  3. Dear Joe,

    What a wonderful idea – had never thought of doing that with my 7th graders. We have 3 more weeks of classes after tonight and I will be sure to plant some of these seeds, too. You have been such an inspiration and tremendous help to me over the last few years. I always turn to your site when I need new ideas. Thanks so much for all you do for so many of us. God Bless!

  4. I did something similar, but in more of a roundabout way; I thanked all of the kids who came to our last day party yesterday (where we had pizza and angel food cake in honor of Divine Mercy Sunday), for being at the party, but not only that; for being at many of the classes from January on. If your parish is like ours, we always have a big fall off in attendance after Christmas. I told them that the hardest time to come to faith formation classes is after Christmas, and that they and their parents had come (at least most of the time) throughout the winter and spring. I told them that when they came to class, not only was it for the teachers to teach them the faith, but that they built up our faith likewise. So that they would understand how important they were to the community. I gave out gifts to the 5th graders moving up to our middle school program next year. And I thanked the parents for being so faithful.
    But I like your idea too Joe, about inviting the kids to be catechists some day; I think I will add that to my “end of year talk” next year! Thank you!

  5. I often tell my catechists that they plant the seeds in their students but often times they don’t reap the harvest. If they’re lucky they will run into a student years later and be rewarded by a positive comment from the student remembering something they took away from their class time with the catechist. What a GREAT idea to plant the seeds of the consideration of becoming a future catechist! It’s such a wonderful way to propagate the faith life of students AND THEIR future students. I’m sure they enjoyed your class which makes them feel positive about considering becoming a future catechist.
    Teachers/catechists will teach as they were taught. Your students are so very lucky to have such a gifted catechist to model such positive methods. Your work of sharing those catechetical methods via this blog, books and workshops also helps catechists “en mass”. Joe, thank you for your ministry! God bless.

  6. Hi Joe,
    What a great idea. I normally do first and second grade classes and never thought about inviting these young children to someday become catechists. This coming year our catechetical leader asked me to take on an older group of students who will be preparing to receive First Holy Communion and reconciliation in two years and I will certainly mention it to them but I will also plant the seed in the second graders that I will be moving up with next year ( I taught them in first grade class this year). As someone else mentioned, it’s never too early to plant the seed. You can be sure I will be relying on your blog for the many creative ideas you give us to use in the classroom. Thanks so much.

  7. We did a similar thing with our First Communicants this year. During their First Communion mass, they served as lectors and were encouraged to follow through with this ministry when they become older.

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