Nothing Beats the Personal Touch When Recruiting Catechists

This Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 4:12–23) is a reminder to us that nothing beats the personal touch when it comes to inviting people into ministry. And this time of the year—late winter—is a good time to start your catechist recruitment efforts for next year. Jesus did not put up posters or distribute literature inviting people to follow him; he used the personal approach. He asked people what they were looking for and then he invited them to […]

Building a Productive Faith Leadership Team

How do we build a productive faith leadership team? Here’s my story. For most of my career as a DRE, I was blessed to work with a great pastor who was also my friend. I had known him before I took the job, and when the day came when he asked me to take on the leadership role in faith formation, I felt very comfortable with the decision. I haven’t regretted a minute of it. […]

Does Your Parish Have a Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy?

Recently, as I was searching for a video on the Corporal Works of Mercy, the following caught my eye. It is from St. Michael’s Church in Poway, CA, and features the pastor, Fr. John Dolan, introducing how the parish practices the Corporal Works of Mercy. Within the first few minutes of the video, we also meet Bridget Beas, who is the parish Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy. First, I think it is fantastic that […]

Reviewing and Renewing a Faith Formation Program

After more than 25 years in catechetical ministry, I started to look back on what was asked of me in five different parishes over those years. Some of the answers were to reorganize, create permanent records, minister to families, and all the rest of what we do. At each parish, however, something else happened: the numbers of families joining the program grew; the number of families “coming home” to the Catholic Church grew. What was […]

Unique Approaches to Scheduling Catechist Formation

Recently, I came across a couple of parishes that take a unique approach to scheduling catechist formation so that it is integral to their faith formation program and not seen as something optional. One parish that holds their faith formation sessions weekly on Monday evenings designates the first Monday of each month for catechist formation. The young people do not have classes on that evening, but catechists are required to attend. Since the formation sessions occur […]

Using Videos on Your Parish Website

In my book, A Church on the Move: 52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion, I share the following thoughts: First impressions are very important. We all know that. Unfortunately we are not always aware of when and how that first impression is being made. Back in the day, first impressions were usually made face-to-face. With the dawning of the digital age, that is no longer always the case. In fact, in most […]

How to Include Parents in Faith Formation Through Community-Building Family Nights

How do we involve parents in faith formation? This age-old question seems to be getting harder and harder to answer. We seem to live in a “drag, drive, and drop off” culture when it comes to parental involvement in our faith formation programs. We use phrases like “create a culture of expectation,” “invite, welcome, and include,” and “mandate, require, and coerce” when talking about our efforts to include busy parents. But how do we effectively […]

Six Ideas for Taking Care of the Spiritual Needs of Your Catechists

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Christ Our Life faith formation program. It seems so simplistic to suggest that as leaders in catechetical ministry we need to be catechists to our catechists, but that is what the Lord calls us to be. Just as a catechist needs a manual to guide him or her through leading the sessions, so, too, we may also need to provide a spiritual handbook or […]

Last-Minute Catechist Recruitment: Don’t Compromise!

In an ideal world, all of our recruitment for catechists would have wrapped up early in the summer, so that now we could just move forward with training, formation, and the start of the catechetical year. In reality, however, we know that last-minute openings pop up, and catechetical leaders find themselves scrambling to do some last-minute recruitment of catechists. It’s important to remember that, while time is short, we must not compromise on our standards […]

How to Prepare Catechists for the New Year

As a parent, I know that pleas for volunteers come fast and furious in the fall. These pleas arrive just as we are trying to get our own children to practices, lessons, and school activities on time. When homework, dinner, laundry, and outside job responsibilities are added to this seemingly endless list, I am reminded that my catechists are under a lot of pressure. I ask a lot of these volunteers. As DREs, we must […]

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