Too often, we Catholics approach adult catechesis with the notion of beginning a program that we hope to get folks to attend, when in fact, many people are already attending parish functions but not necessarily receiving faith formation as a part of the experience. One such example are Women’s and Men’s Clubs (Mother’s and Father’s Clubs, Holy Name Society, etc.)
These are groups that gather numerous parishioners on a regular basis for a wide variety of experiences and activities that support the work of the parish and enable adults to socialize. These organizations sponsor fashion shows, breakfast with Santa, holiday bazaars, card parties, mother-daughter/father-son breakfasts, bake sales, poker nights, NCAA bracket parties, golf outings, Oktoberfests, as well as the occasional retreat, pilgrimage, or evening of reflection. All of these are worthwhile endeavors and connect many men and women to their parish community in a tangible and meaningful way.
Most of these organizations have “officers,” – president, vice-president, treasurer, recording secretary, and even sergeant-at-arms.
I woul like to propose one more “officer” – CATECHIST!!!
The Women’s or Men’s Club catechist would simply be one of their own members responsible for ongoing faith formation for its members. Such a catechist might do the following:
- prepare and lead prayer experiences at all meetings that invite members to pray liturgically and enter into the feast or season of the Church year
- conduct a 10-15 minute faith formation session at each meeting perhaps addressing themes and topics related to the four pillars of the Catechism or providing background on the saint of the day or reflection on the upcoming Sunday Scripture readings.
- make members aware of opportunites for spiritual growth and faith formation
- provide members with availability to resources (books, videos, catalogs) for their ongoing faith formation (perhaps coordinate a lending library available at each meeting)
- send regular emails to members with catechetical content, especially tied to the liturgical feasts and seasons of the Church year.
What other ways can you see such catechists contributing to the ongoing faith formation of members of women’s and men’s clubs? Share your ideas in the Leave a Reply box below.