Catechists Deserve Respect

My (Feb. 2) post about “Natalie” is a good example of the lack of respect given to the role of the catechist. Catechists are not baby-sitters, den mothers, scout leaders, or lunch-moms/dads. Those are all roles with their own dignity, but to be a catechist is to have a vocation. When someone responds to that call to serve as a catechist, the Church owes her or him support, guidance, and formation. A friend of mine from Africa tells me that the catechist is the most respected person in the faith community in his homeland because they are seen as the person who shapes followers of Christ. All too often, in our culture, catechists are seen as simply well-intentioned volunteers. Let’s pray that the Church in the U.S. will fully support the vocation of the catechist and that we catechists will embrace our responsibility to do all we can to live up to this noble calling.

What kind of support are you receiving from your DRE, pastor, or diocese?

About Joe Paprocki 2742 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


  1. If I may step up on my soap box for a moment . . .

    As a whole, caregivers of any kind are not valued in our US culture. Starting with mom’s who have no support to deal with crying babies, to babysitters who work 8, 9, 10 hours a day dealing with children of all ages for mininum (if that) wage while mom *has* to work, to those who work in nursing homes taking care of our elders, again for minimun wage, because we can’t – or won’t. Teachers of all types fall into this catagory as well.

    We need to change that. We need to start in our own church communities by sincerley offering new parents help and support. We need to continue this wave of change to emcompass all who care for those that will be our future, and those that hold the keys to our past.

    {steps down off soapbox} ***The veiws expressed in this comment do not necessarily reflect those of the blog owner. LOL 😛

    Ok, onto your question — None really. We have a meeting beginning and end of year, and occasional meetings in between. Ordering of supplies is done for me. Occasionally the DRE walks around and comes into the classrooms for a quick chat with the kids. If I needed anything or had questions, he would definately be there for me, though.

    I just wish the parents took CCD more seriously, and made it a priority for their kids to attend.


  2. Ali…YOU GO GIRL! I agree with you 100% If I may add that our government is making it more and more difficult for those of us in the education field. With all of the “new” rules regarding standardization and recording daily progress to prove we are meeting the needs of each child. Teachers, are not teaching for the children…they are teaching to meet bureaucracy standards.

    As far as Joe’s question, “What kind of support are you receiving from your DRE, pastor, or diocese?”

    I have to say that our DRE gives all of the support he can. The most important being Moral Support. I do wish that there were more offerings through the diocese for low cost RE classes geared to those of us that do give of our time to teach. I can’t afford the $100+ to take the classes being offered. That is why I am on the computer so much…just to stay informed. Thank you Joe!!!!!

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