Catechist Meeting – Called By Name

Last night, we had our final catechist meeting for the program year and it was a delightful and enriching experience.

We gathered in a large circle and began with an opening prayer that including a meditation led by Arlene, our DRE. The entire focus was on being called by name.  We each had a few moments to reflect on our own name, what we like/dislike about it, and how/when we feel we have been called by name by God.

The sharing was very rich and enjoyable. One of the catechists commented to me during the break how much he was enjoying the meeting, saying that typically these meetings involved alot of being talked at as opposed to the kind of sharing that was taking place at this one. “I like this a lot more!” he said. Who wouldn’t?

In the end, we also had a productive discussion about what went well and what didn’t although I’d have to say that 95% of the discussion was on what went well which I found very refreshing. In particular, a 4th grade catechist shared about how she has developed a process of inviting the kids to take turns being the “guest catechist” for a segment of each class. She develops a schedule and then shares the pages of the catechist guide (ahead of time) with the volunteer so that they can lead the class. I don’t have too many more details however, she said that it works beautifully and I found the idea very intriguing!

Most notable for the entire evening was how many catechists talked about being called to this ministry and how many of them attributed that calling to Arlene, the DRE. What a privilege it is to be the instrument of God’s grace to call other people to live out their baptismal vocation.

In particular, one catechist talked about how, some years ago, he was down in the dumps, a new empty-nester, feeling in the midst of a mid-life crisis. In Church one Sunday, he felt God calling him to turn to him alone to find fulfillment and he made a commitment to do so, trusting that in the next 6 months or so, he would receive a sign from God as to what that meant. 5 minutes later, he was walking out of the church after Mass and who was there to meet him but Arlene who personally invited him to become a catechist! How awesome!

About Joe Paprocki 2681 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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