More Top Reasons to Become a Catechist

Fellow catechist Denise sends along these top reasons for becoming a catechist (she wrote these without seeing my list from yesterday):

A common recruitment answer is that you’ll learn more about the Catholic faith by teaching it. That’s certainly true, but my experience has been more that I gain new insights on knowledge already floating around my brain, new ways of looking at faith. The kids draw out those insights, and do it in such entertaining ways!

Being involved has been a great way to learn more about what happens in a parish outside of Sunday Mass. And my fellow catechists are great people to talk to.

I volunteered to be a catechist to share my teaching heart—not a teacher by training, but by calling. I wouldn’t have articulated it that way when I started, but I’ve since come to see my catechist work as a part of my calling. In the early days, I just enjoyed working with kids and thought teaching was a great way to do that.

I work specifically with junior high students because they need to know that someone believes in them. That’s true for all age levels, of course, but particularly of junior high. They need voices in the Church to show them they have worth and to try to understand them. I don’t claim expertise in understanding junior highers, but I’m enjoying every step of that journey!

Here are a few reasons from catechists that my friend Erika found online:

10 TOP REASONS TO BE A CATECHIST (according to Corpus Christi Catechists)

  1. Help Nourish the Faith of Children…
    “The most important reason to get involved is so that we can help nourish the faith in children.  If we don’t get involved, who will teach them and prepare them to be active members in the parish as they grow?”
  2. Meet Wonderful People…
    “ I have met many wonderful people.”
    “If all I did was come to Mass, all I would know would be faces in the crowd.”  
    “If you don’t have children in the program, it is a great way to meet other spiritual people and become more involved in the activities and community of the parish.”
  3. Grow In Faith & Learn…
    “The time spent on preparing the lesson is time spent reflecting on your own faith and knowledge.”
    “Since I did not grow up Catholic, I think it is important that I know what my girls are learning.”
    “It is very faith enriching for us to look at the weekly readings from a child’s point of view. Sometimes even adults take it in better when given simplistically.”
  4. It is a Rewarding Experience…
    “I used to think that I am not the one who should be teaching since I felt that I didn’t know ‘all the answers’. But it really is a learning experience for me as well as them. And it’s okay to not know some of the answers-you praise them for a good question and tell them you’ll return next week with an answer.”
    “The best thing about teaching in the program…there are too many to count ! ……getting to know each child and the special gifts they have; how much they teach me!”
  5. Help Improve Your Catholic Parenting…
    “Teaching our parish children provides the experience of learning how our young folk perceive the world and the Catholic faith as well as an opportunity to share the values and beliefs that our faith teaches us.”   
    “I have learned a lot about parenting and raising my own children in the Catholic faith through becoming a better Catechist.”
  6. Be Good at Something…
    “I started teaching because I had to drop off the kids anyway, so I thought I’d might as well help out. Then I realized that not only did I enjoy teaching, but I was actually good at it !”
  7. Be Involved…
    “I wanted to stay involved in my child’s education and teaching was a great way to do it.”
    “Teaching in the Religious Education Program helps me be more involved in not only my children’s education, but also in the church in general.”
    “A church cannot survive without its parishioners working together for its success.”
  8. Have a Say…
    “Involvement in the religious education program enables us as parents to have a say in the way our children are brought up in the faith.”
    “I want to be part of the process of motivating people to work on that friendship with God at an early age.”
  9. Do Something You Enjoy…
    “I enjoy working with kids and being with my son.”
    “It was an excellent way to get involved and it was fun !”
  10. Be Surprised…
    “I was skeptical about what 4 & 5 yr olds could take from RE. I was surprised! It’s so important to start them out as friends & hopefully they will continue thru the RE program together.”

About Joe Paprocki 2165 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 www.catechistsjourney.com.

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