Remembering the Larger Story in Catechesis

open Bible

As we near the midpoint of our catechetical year, we can begin to feel dragged out and even a little intimidated as catechists. We’ve come so far since the fall, and there is so much left to do. We can get so caught up in parish life that we feel overwhelmed and lose our focus on what moves us and inspires our ministry. We can forget that all of the activities, planning, and preparing we do is part of a larger story.

This sense of story is a core part of our faith and of what we do as catechists. We are living in the midst of our Father’s narrative, his plan for salvation, and we are introducing (or, in some cases, re-introducing) others to this story and the unique role God has for them within it. This is apparent in the very layout of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is founded on four “pillars”: the Creed, which summarizes the story of our faith; the sacraments; life in Christ; and prayer.

As essential as Bible stories are to knowing and teaching the faith, how often do we think about them and share these stories with others? We may pray these stories using lectio divina; we hear these stories at Mass; and we may even encounter them through the skits and activities in our classrooms. While all of these various encounters with the Word are wonderful, there is no getting around the fact that the single best way to come to know the stories of our faith is to read them.

One practice that can be extremely helpful in our ministry is to read the stories of our faith on a yearly basis. This can be done very simply by reading an entire book of the Bible throughout the year. Good candidates include Genesis, Exodus. Joshua, Judges, First and Second Samuel, or First and Second Kings. You may also want to read through one of the four Gospels or the Acts of the Apostles. This doesn’t require vast amounts of time; reading just four chapters a day would take a mere 15–20 minutes and get you through these narrative books in as little as 90 days!

Re-engaging our life and imagination with the characters and events of the grand narrative of God’s “plan of sheer goodness” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1) can become an inspiring, faith-filled addition to our spiritual life and a valuable help in remembering where we have come from, what we are doing, and where we are all headed.

About Eric Gurash 17 Articles
Eric Gurash is a former radio personality and 17-year convert to the Catholic faith who holds a B.Th from Newman Theological College in Edmonton, AB. He has been involved in full-time parish ministry for more than a decade. He is a certified spiritual director as well as a popular speaker, retreat leader, and storyteller. Eric has recently entered into formation for the permanent diaconate. Eric and his wife live with their two dogs in Regina, SK, Canada.


  1. Thanks Eric. I agree and believe that we need to be more intentional about telling the story than in previous generations when simply participating in the life of the community communicated the story. That’s no longer true. Society’s “narrative” overshadows the narrative of salvation history. I think it’s helpful when we as catechists, even in casual conversation, make constant references to characters from our story, both those from the Bible and from the Communion of Saints. In other words, when someone shares an experience with us, we can say something like, “that sounds like what happened to….” (insert name of bible character or saint) or “that makes me think of…” (insert name and/or story from the Bible or saints). I like making subtle references like that in FB all the time!

    • I find myself doing the same thing. My Kids, both adults, use that habit of mine as one of their running jokes, especially when we’re watching movies together. In any given scene they’re likely to turn to me with their eyes rolled up and ask “What story does THAT remind you of dad?!”. One of the things it has highlighted for me as a Catechist, is how important it is not only for me to know the over-all narrative of the Bible, but how valuable it is for Catechesis if I can help parents come to know it too. God Bless!

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