The Role of the Male Catechist

I mentioned to Kathy (see comments on Catechist’s Role Description) that I didn’t think I could be a good 1st grade catechist and I admire those who are. Very few men are catechists in the first place and when they are, like me, they predominantly serve junior high. I’m often concerned about catechesis being either too feminine or too masculine, depending on the catechist. Perhaps the solution is to have more team-teaching with male/female catechists paired up. Maybe more men would be attracted to serve as catechists in the primary and intermediate grades if they knew they were sharing the duties. Men are attracted to roles where they feel they are “coaching” rather than nurturing and they perceive primary grade catechesis as primarily nurturing. These same men have no problem coaching primary grade soccer and tee-ball however! We need to find ways to invite men to “coach” catechesis for all ages.

About Joe Paprocki 2745 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

4 Comments on The Role of the Male Catechist

  1. I agree that we need to attract more males into the ministry. I has been my observation that the young boys and men in the elementary school model religious ed programs experience female catechists. I believe they need to see men in the ministry. The male presence would non-verbally communicate to them that faith sharing and teaching are gender neutral and that men are strongest when they can talk, teach and share their faith with others.

  2. I couldn’t agree more that we need more men as it is easy for kids to dismiss their religious education if it perceived as a middle-age woman ‘thing’. I taught 1st grade for years and then 2nd grade and didn’t think it was weird until someone pointed it out to me.

    We are blessed to have many male teachers and I know our kids benefit tremendously. I also feel that it’s necessary to have some younger catechists and/or aids that kids can relate to otherwise we and our message are easily dismissed.

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