Top Reasons to Become a Catechist

At this time of the year, many Catholics find themselves considering an invitation to become a catechist in their parish. Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education/Faith Formation, Pastoral Associates, Priests, and Deacons are all “on the prowl” seeking out those who have the potential to serve in this role. Perhaps you’ve been invited to be a catechist. Perhaps you know someone who is thinking about becoming a catechist. Or perhaps you are the one doing the inviting. Whatever the case may be, I offer the following reasons for becoming a catechist.

Top Reasons to Become a Catechist

  1. You will grow in your own faith, learn the teachings of the Church, and deepen your relationship with Jesus.
  2. Your Baptism calls you to share in Jesus’ ministry.
  3. Children, teens, and adults in today’s world, more than ever, need to hear the Good News of Jesus.
  4. Children, teens, and adults in today’s world, more than ever, need to encounter good role models of faith.
  5. You have much to share with those you’ll teach, and you’ll have opportunities to share faith with other catechists.
  6. Today’s catechetical textbooks/resources offer outstanding support.
  7. You’ll be challenged, you’ll have fun, and you’ll make new friends.
  8. You’ll be helping people deepen their relationship with Jesus. (You’ll be evangelizing!)
  9. You’ll be handing on a 2000-year-old Tradition that changes lives.
  10. It’s our job: Jesus sent us to “go and teach all nations.”

What other reasons would you include?

P.S. If you are considering the invitation to serve as a catechist, please send a comment to my blog and tell me (us, i.e. other catechists) what you’re thinking or ask any questions that you may have. There are lots of great catechists out there who would love to share their thoughts with you about this wonderful opportunity!

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. Your prayer life will grow and deepen.
    You will be part of a vibrant faith community within the parish.

  2. You will become prat of a new catechist family that seeks not your money or the purchase of “whatever is for sale” but instead encourages your own faith and seeks to share your parishes wonderful children with you. You will be blessed by other peolple’s faith and the openness of its children. How can you resist a win-win proposition !!!

  3. Not only does it deepen your personal relationship and prayer life with God, my serving has made it more of a family affair.

  4. As as parent who becomes a catechist, you are letting your own children know how much you value religious education. Your “action” of being involved and teaching the Gospel speaks louder than your “words.”

    • this is my first year as a Catechist and my daughter is assisting to earn service hours for Confirmation. I hope that my actions will make an impression on her as she transitions into an adult member of the church to remain an active member.

  5. Thank you, Joe sharing insights makes my job much easier. I am grateful for your service.

  6. Thanks, Joe. I think one of the best reasons to become a catechist is it puts a smile on your face. You learn to expect the unexpected and delight in it. Humor adds joy to life and to your faith.

    • Pat….this is SO TRUE….being a Catechist for my Jesus has lit up my face in the most amazing ways! never smiled so much as I have since going to workd for Him!

  7. Pat, coming from someone who walks the talk! You’ve always made joy and humor a big part of your ministry and it’s good advice for catechists to follow. Thanks!

  8. One of the best reasons to be a catechist, for me, is that the children provide me with energy and hope. Sometimes people think they are too old to be a catechist, but young people need to have that experience we come with.

  9. As a Catechist, you will constantly remind yourself how wonderful it is to live the life of Jesus and by doing so, teaching becomes natural and comes from the heart. You will also set a good example to everyone, most especially the youth of today, who hopefully will be inspired by you and will do the same when they become adults.

  10. Maria, your words are so true. When we walk by faith we can teach what we really and truly believe and that indeed will come naturally. Those we teach can tell if we practice what we preach. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Hi Joe,

    I am going on 61 in October. I have no formal training to work with youth, but have always found a love for them and believe in their future. I feel, if I can help in any way, that is what we are here for. I am youth coordinator, at Our Lady of Grace, but find that all you need is a heart for kids. Kids are basically good and looking for direction.
    God Bless!

  12. Fran, the kids are blest to have someone who cares so deeply. You know, none of us receive training to be parents but, with love (and common sense and help from our parents and other relatives), we find a way. As catechists, we don’t have to have a PhD in theology or child psychology to be effective. Certainly we seek the training that is offered and or required but the heart of being a catechist is love of God and neighbor! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Laura from Portland! The usual route for becoming a catechist is to make a connection with the Director of Religious Education at your parish. He or she is responsible for recruiting, training, and forming catechists. Typically, you would receive some preliminary training and formation and then continue formation as you teach. If you currently belong to a parish, that would be the place to begin. If you do not belong to a parish, you may to “shop around” to find one that you feel you can share your gifts with and be nurtured by. One other route to becoming a catechist is to contact your diocesan catechetical office and find out about catechist training/formation programs that you can participate in before you ever actually begin teaching. I wish you well with your calling to serve as a catechist. Keep in touch and let me know how things unfold.

  13. Hello,

    I know this is an old post but I thought I’d comment anyway.

    I saw the notice on our church newsletter this Sunday inviting people to become catechists. I am considering offering myself for this. I believe I might be able to do some good there. Mostly, however, I remember, as an adult catechumen, what an extraordinary effect my teachers had on me last Easter and I feel responsible to pass that amazing experience on.

    Thanks for listening.

    • Jeff, thanks for the comment. I encourage you to pursue this calling further and to talk to the people involved to help you discern if this is indeed what God is calling you to do. You are so right that our teachers of faith have an extraordinary effect on us and that, as a catechist, we now have the same awesome opportunity. I wish you the best with your discernment…let us know how things pan out!

  14. Los niños, adolescentes y adultos en el mundo de hoy, más que nunca, necesitamos escuchar la Buena Nueva de Jesús

    Gracias por tan maravillosa labor al servicio de tanta gente que necesitamos escuchar de un amor sin fallas y que lo ha dado todo por nosotros… gracias por ayudarnos a llevar a Jesus a tantas personas pero sobre todo a los niños

  15. Hi,
    I just recently came across your website and felt blessesed to read and be moved by all the spiritual articles I have found here.
    I wanted to volunteer as a cathecist because I wanted to teach in vocation and not only by profession.What do I do? What are the requirements to become a cathecist? Thanks. God bless you all. More power.

    • Rosemarie, your first step would be to talk to your parish director of religious education or pastor. Requirements vary by diocese, but a willing heart is a great first step! Your local catechetical leader will be able to discuss specifics of how to become a catechist. Best of luck!

  16. You will witness our faith traditions through the eyes of children…”Let the children come to me…”

  17. My name is Will Murphy and I live in Charlotte, NC. I started to read the Catechism in 2000. I was a postulant with the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd. I fell in love with both the beauty and the depth of reasoning of the Catechism. Unfortunately it was not God’s will in my life to join the Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd.

    I have enrolled in a Diocesan Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation class that will start in the Fall. I am greatly looking forward to it. I want to be a Catechist I feel certain that this is what God is calling me to. After I complete the Diocesan Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation class I would like to take and complete a program to receive a Certificate in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions that anyone might have on accredited programs for the Catechism. Thank you.

  18. Fanstastic blog. I’ve bookmarked it so I can continue reading it. I’ve always been drawn to serve Holy Mother Church, but I wasn’t sure how. I live in China, so I face some very real difficulties in doing so.

  19. My heart has desired to becoming a Catechist but I some doubts if I can be accepted. I am 48 years married in the Catholic church. I am a Public Health Officer.

  20. Hi, I was thinking of taking a catechism course, but wanted to do it on my own, not through my parish, thus without any expectation from the parish. I will personally pay any fees. I am a convert from an atheist (for 23 years), first to a believer on May 4, 1999 then to a Catholic on May 6, 1999. My first wife, a Catholic died on May 1 from a 7 year battle with ovarian cancer. She never preached to me, friends told me she only prayed for me (my St. Monica). No one told me to believe or to be Catholic, no one home, no kids and other friends were either protestant or non-believers. Other family members protestant and lived 3,000 miles away. But, in that week leading up to her funeral Mass, strange feelings came over me, like an epiphany. I approached the Pastor of the Parish performing my wife’s funeral Mass (May 7) on May 9 about joining the RCIA. Since joining the Church, I have always volunteered in some capacity often in more than one ministry, have devotions to the Blessed Mother & the Divine Mercy. My question, can I enroll in a class (or classes) without my pastor’s permission?

    • HI David and thanks for sharing your powerful and inspiring story! Yes, you can enroll in classes without your pastor’s permission. Just be sure to do your research to see that whatever classes you plan to take are approved by your diocese and are from a reputable source. Nowadays, anyone can offer classes online with the name “Catholic” on it when it may not necessarily present the Catholic faith wholly or faithfully. Be sure to check out my own offering through Loyola Press, the Catechetical Formation Series.

      Finally, once you wish to serve as a catechist, you will obviously need the approval of the pastor, most usually through his appointed Director of Faith Formation/Religious Education. I hope this is helpful!

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