I recently heard a reference to a “crash course” for teaching religion. My understanding of a crash course is a course of study offered to people in an emergency or to people who really don’t want to commit over the long haul. That’s not how I see the role of a catechist. A crash course is the antithesis of life-long learning. A crash course suggests that we can get, in one small package or time period, what is supposed to take a long time to acquire.
To be a catechist is to have a vocation. It is to live a lifestyle. There is no crash course in discipleship. Yes, we do need to offer intensive courses and materials on teaching skills for beginning catechists, but let’s not suggest that this role can be entered into with minimal commitment. Catechists don’t need crash courses…we need ongoing formation.