Through the Year with the DRE

through the year with the DRE calendar

Back in the day, when I was a “baby” DRE (Director of Religious Education), I turned to a nifty book for help: Through the Year with the DRE: A Seasonal Guide for Christian Educators (Gail McKenna, Paulist Press). The book is long out of print, but the idea stayed with me and inspired me to create a chart outlining the “typical” responsibilities that a catechetical leader/DRE is faced with over the course of a year. I posted it a few years ago and received some great feedback and suggestions on how to flesh that out and make it more accurate.

Since then, I’ve updated it and now share it again, especially for people just beginning their role as a catechetical leader or for DREs who need some help organizing their planning for the year. The items in italics are events that can happen at various times of the year, depending on local schedules.

JANUARY

Evaluate and research catechetical textbook materials

Celebrate First Reconciliation

Compile program statistics for Kennedy and diocesan reports

Parish staff and 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 Eucharist

Arrange Lenten Reconciliation services

Celebrate Rite of Election with RCIA

Parish staff and 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 First Eucharist

Evaluation of current year

Parish staff and 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 First Eucharist

Parish staff and 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 and PPC meetings

Cluster/regional meetings

Celebrate First Eucharist

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 and 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 and 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 and PPC meetings

Send letter to parents about program dates, etc.

Summer catechist formation program

Create monthly lesson plans

Registration of students

SEPTEMBER

Last-minute catechist recruitment

Catechetical Sunday (Third Sunday)

Host meeting for all parents

Parish staff and 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 and 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 and PPC meetings

Ongoing catechist formation

DECEMBER

Host Christmas celebration/appreciation party for catechists

Parish staff and PPC meetings

Cluster/regional meetings

Create monthly lesson plans

Ongoing catechist formation

 

This may also 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 a catechetical leader. Remember to adapt this chart to your local situation.

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

About Joe Paprocki 2146 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.

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