It seems so simplistic to suggest that as leaders in catechetical ministry we need to be catechists to our catechists, but that is what the Lord calls us to be. Just as a catechist needs a manual to guide him or her through leading the sessions, so, too, we may also need to provide a spiritual handbook or other guidance along the way.
St. Thomas Aquinas (patron of students) advises: “Hence we must say that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs Divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act.” Invoking this divine help happens daily and especially during the faith formation season.
Ideas for taking care of the spiritual needs of catechists and you as the catechetical leader:
- Invite the divine help into your day with a Holy Spirit prayer.
- Offer prayer for all the catechists, the children, and all the families of the faith formation program.
- At catechetical training sessions set aside time to assist catechists in their prayer lives, supplying the necessary spiritual tools each catechist will need not just to catechize the children but also to help each to grow in his or her own faith. These might include a special catechist prayer, spiritual readings, and highlighting the reflective help in the catechist guides or good online resources for prayer.
- Provide opportunities for attending days of reflection.
- Schedule time at gatherings for faith sharing opportunities for all to share how the divine help is working in their lives.
- Offer guidance in how to bring the divine helper into every catechetical session. If we invoke the Holy Spirit, we have a wonderful teacher with us.
Surrounding ourselves with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, opening ourselves to the words of Jesus, the Great Teacher, and remembering that we are in the loving embrace of God, the catechetical journey becomes an experience of self-learning and spiritual growth for the catechists and their leaders too.