If there were a “catechist’s bill of rights,” one of those rights would be training and formation and I wish that more catechists would speak up, demanding this right. I’ll never forget my friend Brian Lemoi, Director of the Catechetical Office in the Diocese of St. Petersburg, FLA, telling me that, when it comes to catechist formation and training, “we owe it to them!”
Recently I received an email from a new catechist pleading for help because she was recruited as a catechist and then told that she had to submit detailed lesson plans and homework assigments a week before class so that they could be posted on the parish religious education Web site for parents to access. I have no problem with that – it sounds like a good plan. Unfortunately, the DRE neglected to provide training for catechists on how to prepare a lesson plan! This poor catechist is now totally demoralized and thinking of quitting.
We owe it to them!
Catechists, if you have not received training, support, and formation to fulfill your call to serve as a catechist, you should “demand it” from your catechetical leader, pastor, and/or diocese. If they cannot provide you with hands on training and formation, they should at least point you in the right direction where you can find it. Do not be shy about asking for the help that is owed to you. You have a right to training and formation!