Calling Forth Catechists: A Catechist Role Description

imageAs you set forth to call people to the vocation of serving as a catechist, it’s a good idea to have a role description in place to describe what you are calling them TO. Be careful not to make your role description so demanding and lofty that not even Jesus would qualify! Keep it simple and basic so as not to scare anyone away but specific enough to narrow the field so that you’re not just looking for “a warm body.”

I recommend that your role description consist of 3 simple parts. First, a few basic QUALITIES that shows you are looking for a well-rounded person with a healthy faith. Second, a few basic SKILLS that shows you are looking for people capable of handling/growing into the task. Third, some specifics about what will be required at your local level: (i.e. how many sessions, how many catechist meetings, required formation, Virtus training, etc.) Again, don’t overwhelm but, by the same token, show that there ARE expectations. Here’s a sample role description you can feel free to use/adapt:


  • a desire to grow in and share the Catholic faith
  • an awareness of God’s grace and the desire to respond to that grace
  • a commitment to the Church’s liturgical and sacramental life and moral teachings
  • a strength of character built on patience, responsibility, confidence, and creativity
  • a generosity of spirit, respect for diversity, and a habit of hospitality and inclusion

Knowledge and Skills:

  • a basic understanding of Catholic teaching, Scripture, and Catholic Tradition
  • honest and caring relationships with the age group being served
  • effective teaching techniques and strategies


  • complete initial training/formation
  • complete Virtus training
  • commit to teaching 24 sessions
  • attend quarterly catechist meetings
  • commit to ongoing formation


Most of all, catechists need to make a commitment to grow. They don’t have to be flawless in all of these areas, however, they need to recognize where they might be deficient and strive to enrich themselves, with your help as the catechetical leader.

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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

1 Comment on Calling Forth Catechists: A Catechist Role Description

  1. Thank you Joe!! This is fantastic – what a great way to re-think how we invite folks to be part of the work we do. So often we stress the ‘facts’ – dates, times, background screenings, and leave out the kinds of things God would be looking for.

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