"What Have You Learned, Dorothy?"

Near the end of the great movie, The Wizard of Oz, there’s a wonderful moment when the key players in the story reflect on what they’ve learned:

The Tin Man: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I – I think that it – it wasn’t enough to just want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em – and it’s that – if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!

In faith circles, we call this theological reflection – the act of looking back over an experience to discover meaning that draws from the Christian Tradition.

Theological reflection is a good exercise for catechists to engage in after every class and especially at the end of a year of teaching. Here’s a good example of a catechist sharing his reflections on his year as a catechist:


About Joe Paprocki 2747 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.

2 Comments on "What Have You Learned, Dorothy?"

  1. Joe, Carlos has some very good observations, especially for a first-year catechist. I hope he posts regularly at his site; we both teach 6th graders. Per his comments, I think they’re old enough to not want to be treated as kids, yet not jaded as they may be by the time they’re in 8th grade…which you may know about.

    I particularly agree with his wish to have everything tie clearly into Catholicism. (“However, it lacks strong coverage of Catholic Doctrine…”)

    I posted a year-end review as well:


    • Thanks, Christian. Yes, I hope Carlos continues to post…he’s a very thoughtful catechist. I look forward to checking out your blog as well.

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