A “Typical” Year in the Life of a Catechetical Leader/DRE

A couple of years ago, I posted a chart outlining the “typical” responsibilities that a catechetical leader/DRE is faced with over the course of a year and I received great feedback and suggestions on how to flesh that out and make it more accurate. I recently pulled that chart back out, did some updating, and invited a few DRE friends to do the same and once again received some great suggestions. Here it is once again for your perusal. The items in italics are events that can happen at various times of the year depending on local schedules but I had to place them somewhere.

JANUARY
Evaluate & research catechetical textbook materials
Celebrate First Reconciliation
compile program statistics for Kennedy and Diocesan reports
Parish staff  & PPC meetings
Cluster/Regional meetings
Annual DRE retreat
Ongoing catechist formation
Lenten preparation meeting
Progress reports or conferences with parents
VBS planning
Create monthly lesson plans
Rite of Acceptance for First Eucharist candidates 
FEBRUARY
Begin recruitment of catechists for next year
Host parent meeting for First Communion
Arranging Lenten reconciliation services
Celebrate Rite of Election with RCIA
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Prepare budget for coming year
Planning with parish pastoral staff for coming year
Cluster/Regional meetings
Create monthly lesson plans
VBS planning
National catechetical gatherings
Ongoing catechist formation
 
MARCH
Interview/evaluate existing catechists
Continue recruitment of catechists for next year
Celebrate sacraments with RCIA
Sacramental Prep Retreats for Confirmation and 1st Eucharist
Evaluation of current year
Parish staff & PPC meetings
National catechetical gatherings
Lenten reconciliation services
Cluster/Regional meetings
Ongoing catechist formation
Create monthly lesson plans
VBS planning
Prep meeting for junior high mission trip
APRIL
Continue recruitment of catechists for next year
Celebrate sacraments with RCIA
Ongoing catechist formation
Sacramental Prep Retreats for Confirmation and 1st Eucharist
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Evaluation of current year
National catechetical gatherings
Charter for Protection Audit
Cluster/Regional meetings
VBS planning
Celebrate Confirmation
Create monthly lesson plans
Pre-registration for next year 
MAY
End of year meeting/celebration with/for catechists
Continue recruitment of catechists for next year
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Cluster/Regional meetings
Celebrate First Communion
Progress reports or conferences with parents
Create monthly lesson plans
VBS planning
Confirmation enrollment service
JUNE
Continue recruitment of catechists for next year
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Cluster/Regional meetings
Create monthly lesson plans
Vacation Bible School
Junior high mission trip
 
JULY
Order classroom supplies, materials, and textbooks for coming year
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Continue recruitment of catechists for next year’
Create monthly lesson plans
Summer catechist formation program
Vacation? Time for renewal
AUGUST
Last minute catechist recruitment
Host new catechist meeting
New catechist training
Grade level catechist planning meetings
Host returning catechists
Plan for Catechetical Sunday
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Send letter to parents about RE program dates, etc.
Summer catechist formation program
Create monthly lesson plans
Registration of students          
SEPTEMBER
Last-minute catechist recruitment
Catechetical Sunday (3rd Sunday)
Host parent meeting for all parents
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Registration of students
Cluster/Regional meetings
Sessions begin
Catechist training and formation
Create monthly lesson plans
Beginning of the Year Family Masses
Initial meeting for First Eucharist/Reconciliation families
OCTOBER
Host confirmation parents and sponsors meeting
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Diocesan catechetical conference
Create monthly lesson plans
Cluster/Regional meetings
Ongoing catechist formation
NOVEMBER
Host parent meeting for First Reconciliation
Celebrate Rite of Welcoming with RCIA
Create monthly lesson plans
Cluster/Regional meetings
Diocesan catechetical conference
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Ongoing catechist formation
DECEMBER
Host Christmas celebration/appreciation party for catechists
Parish staff & PPC meetings
Cluster/Regional meetings
Create monthly lesson plans
Ongoing catechist formation

Any suggestions, thoughts, questions, or comments?

This may be helpful for those of you in catechetical leader positions or diocesan positions who need to flesh out a job description for the role of catechetical leader. Here is the chart in a Word file for those of you who might need to adapt this to your local situation. A “Typical” Year in the Life of a DRE

God bless you folks for keeping all these plates spinning at the same time!!!

About Joe Paprocki 2134 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press. He has more than 30 years of experience in ministry and has taught at many different levels. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestseller The Catechist’s Toolbox and Under the Influence of Jesus.

6 Comments on A “Typical” Year in the Life of a Catechetical Leader/DRE

  1. This is great! I wish people in our parishes would see this. People think we just show up for the hour of religious ed and it magically happens. Some weeks I’m lucky if I even get one day off since we have to be at Masses many weekends.
    Many people in my area (which I hear is a new trend) have more than a DRE title. I’m doing DRE and youth minister. Some people are DRE and pastoral associate, etc.
    I also like this as a way to make sure I’m on track. This is my fifth year as a DRE and I finally realize what I can do to plan ahead. My first few years I was just going step by step with no idea what I was doing next.
    My Diocese also has a chart… I’ll have to see if I can find it… if I can I will send it to you.

  2. What a concise and enlightening overview – it lists the wide variety of tasks and roles that a DRE takes on, and shows how they overlap and intertwine during the year. While some tasks culminate in a celebration or arrive at an end-of-program, other responsibilities are never-ending (such as recruiting and forming catechists).
    I plan to share this with our New Directors group (DREs and DYMs in their first year in a parish) as a discussion-starter about their experience thus far and how they can look ahead toward the next year in ministry. Of course, we’ll introduce them to all the great resources in Catechist’s Journey. Thanks, Joe.

  3. Thanks, Joe for this great resource! I like road maps and GPS systems; I may not always follow the specific route, but I do arrive at the destination. Planning is not one of my strengths, I just go with the flow. So, this is very helpful and will give me the “map” I need to go through this upcoming catechetical year. I am going to share it with my colleagues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*