How About Catechists for Parish Women’s and Men’s Clubs?

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.

About Joe Paprocki 2351 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.

4 Comments on How About Catechists for Parish Women’s and Men’s Clubs?

  1. In my KofC council my jobtitle is Lector; I function in that role as a catechist-new evangelizer at each monthly meeting for 5-10 minutes. I had already been a catechist before I started informally doing bits from class at the end of the meetings; it was only later that the GK suggested I accept the formal position of Lector.

    Last year the state-level KofC created the position of State Lector for me to do the same at state events. I’m hoping to use that position to organize state-wide yearly lector workshops, but so far it hasn’t happened. In the meantime, I started a lector blog where I and a few other lectors post our monthly bits for others to use. It’s ok, but no substitute for living witness.

    My point is that if anyone has a gift for evangelizing-catechizing, it’s important that they volunteer to do a bit at each meeting even if there’s no organizational reason for it to occur. If people value it, they’ll do what’s necessary to insure it continues.

    • Thanks for sharing this Christian. This is precisely the point I’m making. Do we need to get all the members of KofC to attend adult faith formation events or can we do adult faith formation with them when they gather as KofC as you are doing? It just seems to make sense to do what you are doing!

  2. This is a brilliant idea! It is simple, straightforward, and definitely “do-able” for folks. It also speaks to one of the foundational principles of the USCCB pastoral plan for Adult Faith Formation, “Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us”: parish life itself is the curriculum. I think that all parish committees and groups could benefit from having their own designated catechists. Thanks for supporting catechists of adults!

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