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 wish I knew more about my faith.
- The children’s book is quite interesting.
- Do you have anything that I could use with my other, smaller children?
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?