The Spirituality of the Catechist: Overview of Our Online Retreat and Introductions

Spirituality of the Catechist: Online Retreat for Catechists

Welcome to the Spirituality of the Catechist, an online retreat for catechists. This retreat is an opportunity for those of us involved in all aspects of faith formation to be renewed in spirit and to deepen our bonds with the Lord and with one another.

There’s no need to register. There’s no fee. Retreat posts will all be here on Catechist’s Journey on Tuesdays and Thursdays this summer.

Let’s start with an overview of the six themes we will be looking at over the next weeks.

In 1993, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (an office of the Vatican) issued a document titled Guide for Catechists. In that document, the bishops of the Church spelled out the spirituality of the catechist. In a nutshell, that spirituality, which is grounded in the spirituality of the laity that flows from Baptism, is characterized by six characteristics:

  1. An Openness to God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)—This is an openness to a living Word—a Person—whom we desire deeply to invite others to encounter. Our desire is to be transformed by this relationship and to invite others to this saving transformation.
  2. An Openness to the Church—Our call to serve as catechists comes from the Church. We’re not lone rangers. We are sent on a mission that’s not our own, and we’re equipped with a message that has been entrusted to us.
  3. An Openness to the World—The Holy Spirit was poured forth so that we could proclaim the Gospel to all nations. With that in mind, catechists are called to be uniquely in touch with the needs of the world.
  4. A Coherence and Authenticity of Life—As catechists, we don’t teach a subject or a skill set. We invite others into a way of life that defines who we are. Being a catechist is not a hat that we put on and take off. The simple fact is, we can’t teach what—or who—we don’t know. That means that we must strive to know Jesus authentically, to know his message, and to know the Catholic way of life that leads to him.
  5. A Missionary Zeal—The vocation of the catechist takes the baptismal call to proclaim God’s Word and heightens its intensity. For catechists, the desire to share Christ with others is powerful, almost overwhelming. We can’t help but to preach the Gospel to others! Our hearts burn within us, and we’re compelled to share faith with others. As a result, our spirituality has to keep that flame burning.
  6. A Devotion to Mary—Good catechists learn from other catechists. We have the best example to learn from in our Mother, Mary. She was the first teacher of Jesus and the first disciple. Mary is a “living catechism” and a “model of catechists.” The spirituality of all the baptized is enriched by devotion to Mary, but, as catechists, our ministry is especially enriched by devotion to the Blessed Mother.

Each week, we’ll reflect on one of these themes and apply it to our own lives and our vocation as catechists.

Take a look at the Guide for Catechists, Section II, 6–10, to see how the document itself talks about the spirituality of the catechist.

Introductory Exercise

For this first week, let’s just get to know one another! Please introduce yourself in the Comments section at the end of this post (“Leave a Reply”) and, in 75 words or less, share the following:

  • your first name/username/or initials
  • your ministry/position
  • your general location
  • years in this role
  • Then, complete the following sentence: “My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to __________________.” Choose one of the following to complete the sentence, and explain how it describes some aspect of your spiritual life.
    • your favorite or patron saint
    • your favorite Church hymn
    • your favorite liturgical feast or season

Feel free to comment on one another’s introductions! Let’s build a community of catechists right here, ready to explore our summer retreat themes. We’ll also continue the discussion on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page, where you can share posts with friends and conveniently interact from the familiar media of Facebook.

Reading Recommendations

For a good introduction to the concept of spirituality, I recommend The Inner Compass by Margaret Silf. For a book that speaks directly to the spirituality of the catechist, check out The Catechist’s Backpack, which I co-wrote with Julianne Stanz. Speaking of Julianne Stanz, come back on Thursday for her thoughts on our retreat theme.

Subscribe to Catechist’s Journey so you don’t miss any of the posts. This is a free online retreat, brought to you by Loyola Press as part of our ongoing commitment to nurturing the spiritual life of catechists both online and with valuable resources throughout our catechist guides.

About Joe Paprocki 2165 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.

142 Comments on The Spirituality of the Catechist: Overview of Our Online Retreat and Introductions

  1. Hello, My name is LS and I will be guiding a second year RCIA youth group this coming year. I had been teaching 3rd grade for two years. I’m in the Dallas area.
    My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the song “Be not Afraid.” I’ve been asked to throw the net on to the other side of the “boat” and hope in the Lord’s blessing of an abundant catch.

  2. Leah
    Director of Religious Education and Youth Faith Formation
    Boston
    5 years in this role, 7 as a Catholic school teacher, been involved with Rel. Ed. in some capacity for 24 years.
    My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to Mother Teresa’s “dark night of the soul.”

    • Hello Leah! I think that we all go through a “dark night of the soul” once in a while. Just remember that God is with you always!

    • Welcome Leah! May the Spirit guide you through your “dark night” and may you emerge with a deeper sense of God’s presence in your life and in all things!

    • Hi Leah! When I am in the ‘dark night’ I find being in nature helpful and listening to Christian music…and remembering the mantra, ‘this too shall pass”

  3. Hi my name is Teri and I am Director of Faith Formation in Minnesota.
    I’ve been here for almost 20 years but in ministry for over 40 years.
    My spiritual life right now can be best described by comparing it to
    the Easter season…”See I am making all things new…” Love your retreat
    themes of Openness to everything!

  4. Hello. My name is George. I started as a 3rd Grade catechism in 1989. I currently teach 7th grade. I love the Christmas Season as it is a season of hope. I sometime feel like one of the Magi traveling towards Jesus.

  5. Hi, I’m MAC. A Director of Religious Education in the Diocese of Y’town. I’ve been in this ministry for 33 years but in church ministry for 39 years. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to air. I don’t think I could live without it! My favorite saint is St. Margaret of Scotland. Give me most any hymn for the old “Glory and Praise” hymnal but I especially like “Hail Mary: Gentle Woman” My favorite Feast is Pentecost! I’ve asked my catechists to jump into this retreat so I’m taking the first step to encourage them. I hope to hear from them!

    • Hi Mac. I love Pentecost too. You are such a Rock in our parish. I feel your strength every time I see you. Whether it be in church, at PSR, or taking pictures on service day or some other function. As disciples of Christ, we need to support each other and I surely feel that support and love from you. Thanks you. Audrey D.

  6. Hi, my name is Kara. I am a DRE in SE Indiana. I have been a DRE for 7 years. “My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to St Peter’s zeal but lack of total trust at times.” I have times when I am so “on fire” and I believe and proclaim. Other times, I go into hiding, doubting my worthiness and strength.

  7. Hi, my name is Linda. I am a DRE in SE Wisconsin. I have bee a DRE for 3 years and in ministry for 10 years. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to my favorite hymn, ‘Here I Am Lord.’ I ask that God make of me what pleases Him.

  8. Hi, my name is Anne. I am a CRE in New York. I have been in this position for 6 years, and previously taught 3rd and 5th grade for 6 years. My spiritual life right now can be best described by comparing it to the hymn, Amazing Grace, or the 23rd psalm which helps me get through the day!

  9. Summer greetings to all. I am Sharon, a Faith Formation Director in NY. I have been involved in this ministry for 35 years. My spiritual life is like Ordinary time as I reflect on new ways to better follow Jesus and get parents to realize how their life needs to reflect following Jesus for their children.

    • Sharon, I hear you, “…get parents to realize how their life needs to reflect…Jesus…”. I find this in my own extended family; and, I pray that our method of teaching and role modeling conveys to the children how important and life-changing it is to form and keep a relationship with God, to follow the life of Jesus, and to make a difference in a parent/child relationship when needed.

      Like Linda G., my mantra is “Here I Am Lord.

  10. Hi, my name is Patti and after serving as a volunteer catechist for many years, I was hired as Elementary Coordinator at my parish in Virginia. I have served in this role for 11 years. Where did the time go?
    My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the Easter season, born to new life! I was engaged in a wonderful Bible study throughout Lent that led me to really assess my life. My family will be undergoing a lot of change and I felt I needed to embrace these changes and challenge myself further. My Lenten reflection has led me to embrace the words, “thy will be done” and I’m heading to grad school!

  11. Hi! My name is CAM and I live in the outskirts of NYC. I am a DRE of a program for 4 yr olds through 8th graders. I started in the catechetical ministry as a first grade student…became an aide in my freshman year of college…ended up teaching the class when the catechist I worked with left mid-year, and am now celebrating about 40 years in the ministry. I’ve ministered in New Jersey, New Orleans and New York. My spiritual life right now is best described by the Easter Season: surprise! surprise! surprise!

  12. Hello, I am Wendy. I have been a catechist since 2001 in our parish Religious Ed program. I just started as a teacher at our parish school this past fall 2016, so I added a daily Religion Class with my teaching position. I am in far Northeastern IL. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the hymn, The Servant Song. I am striving to grow in my faith, and to learn from others – especially my students – as I do.

  13. Hi All,
    My name is Deb and I am the coordinator of Religious Ed at my parish. I have been in this ministry for 15 years and am still learning.
    My spiritual life can be described with the song, Go Make a Difference.
    My favorite feast is Easter with the celebration of RCIA catechumens and candidates coming into the church.
    I enjoy ordinary time in the church’s year. It is a time when we can reflect on the teachings of Jesus.

  14. Hi

    My name is Veronica from New England and I have been a volunteer Catechist for over twenty years at the 7th grade level.

    My spiritual life right now can be compared to ordinary times. I am seeking and finding the Lord in the little things of every day life and am seeking to walk with Him daily.

    I am looking forward to continuing this retreat with all of you.

  15. Hi! This is Mary from East Texas. I am First grade teacher in private Christian School. I grew up in Midwest and attended Catholic School through eighth grade. My first exposure was a Catechism sub on Saturday mornings for the sisters of the parish. Here I am years Later following my earlier footsteps. I want to share what those beautiful Benedictine nuns gave me.
    My favorite songs are the beautiful old Marian hymns sung during Mass which I no longer hear. The Regina Coeli and Mother Beloved (Serdeczna Matko Polish Hymn) sung at my mothers funeral. Modern day How Great Thou Art

  16. I’m Vickie from the Cincinnati archdiocese and I registered in a new parish and got recruited to teach 6th grade PREP in the fall. I am looking forward to it. I love Jesus. I love my Catholic faith. My spirituality is currently a Martha -Mary mix with a leaning towards Mary’s “let’s do the fun feel good stuff and postpone parts like fasting that are harder.

  17. Hello, everyone! My name is Pam and I am humbled by the range of experience you all have. I am the Director of Faith Formation at a parish on the southern Oregon coast. I am also the Youth Minister and teach RCIA. I’ve been doing these ministries for 7 1/2 years (I recently retired from a career in the public schools). My spiritual life is best described as being like St. Peter’s- one step forward and two steps back, but always moving ahead with occasional flashes of God-given inspiration. In the summer my spiritual life is wonderful and I am on fire! My challenge is to sustain it in the midst of the school year.

  18. Hi! My name is Mary Rose and I am a Religion teacher at a Catholic School in Florida. I have been teaching Religion for 11 years. My spiritual life right now is one of ‘being’. My favorite saint is Mary Magdalene because of her passion, commitment, and love for Jesus. It was said, what more beautiful single word could there be in the English Language, but ‘Mary’, when Jesus spoke her name in the garden. And to know He calls each of us by name!

  19. I’m Pamela and I work with the Middle school ministry at my church in the Houston, TX metropolitan area. I’ve taught Sunday school in one form or another since I was 16-years-old. I’m middle aged now. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to children’s reactions to Christmas morning,–joy. I love being with kids who are learning that they are different from their parents and are working through how they think that ought to look.

  20. Hello! My name is Christine. I will be starting my third year an assistant principal in a Catholic School in the Diocese of Cleveland. Prior to being an assistant principal I taught both first and second grade. I have been in education for the past 16 years. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to a recipe. I have all the ingredients, now I just need to put it all together to strengthen my faith. My favorite patron saint is John Baptist de La Salle because he is the patron saint of teachers. My favorite hymn is “Amazing Grace”. My favorite season of the church year is Advent. I am looking forward to this retreat!

  21. Hi. I am Kimberly and I am a 2nd grade catechist in Mentor, Ohio, an eastern suburb of Cleveland. My spiritual life right now can best be described as full, rich, and full of many blessings.

    your favorite or patron saint….Saint Maria Goretti and St. Anthony
    your favorite Church hymn….They’ll know we are Christians and Table of plenty
    your favorite liturgical feast or season….Advent

    • Hi Kimberly and welcome! So wonderful that your spiritual life is “full, rich, and filled with many blessings!”

  22. Hi, I am Anna from the Island of St Croix in the Virgin Islands. I have been in ministry in my parish for about
    23 years. A Catechist teaching 7 grade for 10years and
    DRE for two years. My spiritual life can be sum up in the song “From Glory to Glory He’s Changing Me” I enjoy serving and evangelizing. I invited my Catechist to join this retreat and I do hope that the follow through.

    • Hi Anna! I was wondering where that warm tropical breeze was coming from…turns out you brought it from the Virgin Islands!

  23. Greetings! My name is Denise and I am a CCD teacher in the Pittsburgh area. I’m fairly new in answering this call, as last year was my first as a catechist. I would compare my spirituality to the sisters of Lazarus. Like Martha, I can get very caught up in being a “human-doing” rather than a human-being. I’m only now beginning to see the wisdom of Mary, who exemplified Psalm 46: “Be still and know that I am God.”

  24. Hi. My name is julie. I have been a catechist for 42 years and love to teach middle school. Grades 6-8 are my favorite group. I live in the western suburbs of Chicago I would describe my spiritual life as following in the footsteps of st. Julie who loved to sing and teach children religion. Her favorite phrase was God is good. My favorite song is You are mine. Because we are called to walk with others so they are not afraid. It also reminds me of the blind that I minister to on a yearly retreat I continue to run. Called children of the light.

  25. Hi. I’m Tina and I’m the DRE for our parish in Illinois. I have been a teacher in a Catholic SChool, then a DRE for the past 20 years. I also am a spiritual director. I love guiding junior high, almost as much as I love sharing ministry with the catechists in our Faith Formation and teachers in our parish school.

    My spiritual life right now could be described as a flow, a current of the Spirit.

    My favorite songs are “Here I am , Lord” and “Lead me, Lord.”

  26. Greetings Friends in Christ,
    I am a Catechist in the Peoria, Il area. I have been called to share and teach the love of Christ for 25 years. Currently, I minister to second grade students.
    I would describe my spiritual life as a mustard seed. God waters me daily to do small things with great love.

  27. Hello! My name is Dianna and I live in Western Michigan. I am a pastoral associate in a rural parish. I began over 20 years ago as a catechist for 2nd grade when my kids were in faith formation classes. I have worked with all age groups from children to adults.
    “My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to The Servant Song”.

  28. Hi All!

    My name is Judy and I am the DRE at our parish in the metro Detroit area. I am beginning my 3rd year as the DRE here but have been in the Rel. Ed. Office here for 9 years.

    My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the song, “Start a Fire” by Unspoken because I feel like my faith life has been rekindled in the last 2 years as I have taken classes at Sacred Heart Major Seminary to attain a Lay Ecclesial Ministry certificate. I have learned so much that I taken to heart and been able to share in my ministry with others.

  29. Hello my name is Patti and I am the Coordinator of Faith Formation for Pre-K through 8th grade at a parish near Lake George. I am from the Diocese of Albany, NY. I have been a Faith Formation Coordinator for 7 years, and prior to that served as a catechists for grades 7 & 8, 3 and 5 & 6 for several years. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the hymn “Here I Am, Lord” because I am ready to do His Will, wherever that may take me!

  30. Hi! I’m another Judy and I live Virginia. I have been a catechist for many years in different parishes where we have lived. My husband was in the military and we moved a lot! Currently, I am teaching third grade and sacrament preparation.
    My spiritual life right now, in my retirement years, is reflected in the Mercy Me song, “I Can Only Imagine” which speaks of the yearning and wonder of what heaven will be like.

  31. Hi everyone!
    I’m Lucy, DRE at a parish in Menlo Park, CA, for the last 2 years, and 35 years in other parishes.
    My spiritual life right now can be compared to the song “In this place”. we are here together, in this place, and God is with us.

  32. My name is Alice. I have been in the field of education for over 50 years in several states. Currently reside in Mt. Airy, which is between Washington and Baltimore. Not ready to retire. My education is in Religious Education which I have been teaching for all these years. Being a Vincentian my spiritual life can be described as “Wearing myself out for God” by serving wherever He calls me.

  33. Hi folks…I
    m MZ from New York. My educational and spiritual journey has been on so many roads. I aam a graduate of 19 years of Catholic School education.Then I taught in an elementary school in the Archdiocese of New York.After being diagnosed with MS. The Lord put me on another path. It started as a Catechist in a parish program and that evolved into me being the CRE of a program for those children and teens with special needs. My hymn is taken from the words of St Teresa of Avila….Christ has no hands on Earth but yours…My Spiritual life right is right now is every second growing and changing to reach my award of being in the presence of God one day!

  34. Hello! My name is Sandra and I have been a catechist for 50 years. I have taught many grades of the years and this year am acting in a consulting capacity to nurture other catechists. I am in a parish on the northwest side of Chicago. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the season of Advent as I am longing to share my experiences with newer catechists.

    • Wow! 50 years as a catechist. What grade(s) did you work with, Sandra? I bet you have lots of great experiences to share and hope you can share some here during this retreat.

  35. Hello! My name is Jackie from New Jersey. This year would be my first year volunteering as a first grafe catechist. My spiritual life right now could be compared to Easter. It is a celebration of new beginnings.

    • Jacqueline, welcome to the world of catechesis! I love that your comment as a new catechist directly follows Sandra’s sharing her 50 years as a catechist. We clearly have a great range of experience joining in this retreat.

  36. Hi everybody, my name is Angie from Guyana South America, very privileged to be part of this group and to have access to all the information shared here. After being a volunteer catechist for many years, I now work for the Religious Education Department, Office of catechesis, so my task is mainly catechists’ formation. I am nine months into this role. My spiritual life can best be described by one of my favourite hymns, “You have all my future in your hands.” There is so much I need to learn and be aware of that sometimes I fear I may fail, so I depend on His love,guidance comfort and all I need to be the best I can. Thank you.

    • Welcome Angie! You “traveled” a long distance to be with us! 😉 So honored to have South American represented on this retreat!

  37. Hello
    I’m Deb and I am a DRE in the Northeast for about 18 years.
    the hymn that best describes where my spiritual life is as a DRE is “Yahweh, I know you are Near”–I know you can’t sing Yahweh in liturgy any more but the sentiments in the hymn are a constant reminder that this is not my ministry…it is the Lord’s!

  38. Hello, my name is Sister Hilda Rodriguez. I am a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate living in Amarillo, Texas. I have been invited to coordinate the Faith Formation Program in this parish and I could firmly say that is has been the Holy Spirit who has been guiding through out this 201-2017catechetical year. Since this is my first experience in this area I could say that my spiritual life can be compared to “an eternal spring time” always starting anew. I am so thankful for all you do to accompany those of us who embark in this mission and those who have been at it for longer time. Blessings

  39. Hi everyone. My name is Ana. I go between two parishes here in Hawaii (island of Oahu) – in one, I have been in the RCIA program as a catechist aide for the last 2 years. In the other, I have been an active member of several ministries: rosary-making, lector and respect life, for almost two years. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the hymn “Miracle of Grace”. Also, I always say that I can relate to St. Thomas…not the saint part but the doubting part…I seek to know our Lord.

  40. Aloha! My name is ELRA living in Hawaii. I started helping out as an aide after high school and as a catechist after college. Currently, besides helping with the Religious Ed Program, I am involved in many aspects of the parish. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the Easter Season – promise of hope, breath of new life, new beginnings….

  41. Hi My name is Audrey and I’m from Aurora Ohio. I have been a catechist for 4 years. I started with first grade but presently teach 5th grade. I have taught 2nd grade for vacation bible school. My favorite psalm is “like a deer yearning for water, so my soul yearns for you my God. I look for the Holy Spirit to guide me in all I do as mother, wife, aunt, sister, teacher or friend. I love to sing Gods praises in song so I am in church and funeral choirs. I encourage my kids to pray and hear the gospel especially if they do not get to mass. I also encourage them, though young, they too are disciples of Christ and can bring Christ to others and be the change. The Holy Spirit can assist them to be Christ in their daily young lives!

  42. Hi I am Maureen from Upstate NY ( Hi Patti). I have been involved with Faith Formation for 26 years, on staff for 10 and Coordinator of Faith Formation for 5.
    “My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to The Summons – Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same!! To reshape the world around – God is Good!

  43. Hi! My name is Kim and I have been a director of faith formation for 20 years, mostly in St. Paul, MN. Just finally catching up to speed with this after VBS last week and preparing for a mission trip to Grenada beginning July 8. Picking one song is hard! I would say The Summons, because I have trouble trusting God at times and need my fear quelled. Also, A Place at the Table by Lori True and Shirley Erena Murray as I strive to be open to the many different situations that come across my path each week.

  44. Hello! My name is Mari. Wow there is plenty of experience. I too am humbled. I have no experience as a Catechist, as this fall would be my first year. My favorite Hymn is This is the Day.I have always been drawn to Saint Bernadette and Saint Faustina.I am from Texas.

    • Hi Mari and welcome! As a new catechist, you just made a huge number of really good friends here on this retreat!

    • Welcome Mari! I know! I see everyone has like 10+ or 20+ years and I haven’t even reached 5 yet. But it does prove that being a catechist isn’t just for a while. It is a lifetime. Whether you have a class or not, we always have something to learn about in our faith.

  45. Hi, I’m Miranda from South Louisiana, near New Orleans. I have been catechist for approximately 20 years. I have the joy of preparing our High School students for Confirmation. I am adding a new role to my current as assistant CRE in our Parish. My spiritual life right now can be compared to “Here I am Lord”! I will go wherever he leads me!

    • Hi Miranda and welcome! New Orleans is my all-time favorite place to visit. Best wishes in your new role as Asst. CRE!

  46. Hello! I am Virginia from Southern New Mexico. This is my first year as the Coordinator of Faith Formation after being involved in many other ministries for the last 25 years. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to St. Francis of Assisi. I’m trying very hard to “follow the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to walk in his footsteps.”

  47. My name is Laura S. and I am Coordinator of Youth Ministry for my parish in northern New Jersey. I started as catechist for 5th grade 15 years ago, became involved in youth ministry for HS students 14 years ago, and just recently was asked to coordinate Religious Education for K-12 for our parish.
    My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the quote attributed to St. Francis: “Preach the Gospel always. When necessary, use words.”

  48. Greetings, My name is Annie from South Carolina. I have been teaching for many years from pre-K to high school. This year I will be working with 5th graders. I think ordinary time would best describe my spiritual faith place. I want the children to discover how much Jesus loves them in every ordinary aspect of their lives always and forever. Thanks for this great opportunity to stay in touch with the church family and community. I have been traveling for 6 weeks this summer and it’s always great to have another opportunity to grow and pray for each other.

  49. Hi, I’m Kathleen from Long Island, NY. I began as a catechist for 3rd and then 5th graders upon retiring almost ten years ago; this year will be my first for both 2nd and 6th grades. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to one of my favorite hymns (and there are many), “How Great Thou Art”. It sings to my deep gratitude.

  50. Mary writes:

    My name is Mary, and I’ve been a catechist for about 20 years, off and on, usually 5th-6th or 7th-8th grade level. I live in Coos Bay, Oregon. My spiritual life right now can best be compared to the song “Song of the Body of Christ.” We strive together as a church family, learning from one another, and growing in our joys and sorrows, together.

  51. Hi! My name is Therese. I am a 2nd grade PSR catechist and a K,1,2 educational aide at our parish school in Parma, Ohio. I have been a catechist and an aide for over ten years and enjoy both very much. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to the hymn “Here I Am Lord”. I want to go where God leads me and help in whatever way I can.

  52. My name is Robin and I’ve been a DRE in Connecticut for 3 years. My spiritual life right now can best be compared to Pentecost….After being timid and a bit fearful in my new role at first, I feel the Holy Spirit giving me courage to speak the Truth and breath new life into our program.

  53. My name is Maria. I currently reside in Jacksonville, FL. I have been a catechist for almost 3 yrs. I started off by being a substitute and had my own class last year. I taught 2nd gd. I read about saints everyday so I don’t have a favorite but I am interested in learning about them. (There are TONS!)
    I love Easter and Christmas. They are the busiest times, but the greatest seasons in our liturgical calendar.
    My spiritual life right now can use some growth. I feel there is much more to learn and I haven’t reached the top yet. I’m very excited to see what I can learn and use for this coming year.

  54. Hi I’m Terry from the Central Coast of California. Great to see so many here. I am the Assoc. Dir of Catechesis for our Diocese and the Dir of Faith Formation for my parish. I have been in these roles for 14 yrs and a catechist in a classroom, as well as a Catholic School teacher, for years before that. My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to Advent – a time of anticipation. Always wondering what God has in store and doing my best to be open and courageous.

  55. Janeel
    I am a SSCC.Secular Branch,Parish Council Member, Catechist K thru 12 grd, YM,Confirmation, Adult Faith Formation, Altar trainer, Music Ministry, Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Sacristan,Social Ministry, Funeral/Bereavement, etc., Where I ever I am called.
    Live in Molokai, Hawaii.
    Years: Lets just say I have more years behind me than in front.
    My spiritual life right now can be compared to “Lent”.

  56. Hi My name is Diane, I am guiding the 2nd grade PSR class this year. I live in Mentor Ohio. My spiritual life is still a journey, taking each day as it comes.

  57. Hello, my name is Lupe. I am a Bible Study and RCIA facilitator for my parish in Burbank, CA. I am a “revert” to Catholicism, returning to the practice of Catholicism after a very vivid encounter with the Lord. My spirituality probably is like that of St. Thomas. I am on fire for Jesus but I am always testing what He asks me to do. My favorite season is Lent.

  58. My name is LeAnn, a DRE from WI, in my 4th year on the job, and my 36th year as a catechist; yes, I started as a teen. “My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to”: Ignatian Spirituality. I’m reading a book now called “Jesus: A Pilgrimage” by Fr. James Martin, SJ that lends itself to some great imaginative prayer and I’m enjoying it very much!

  59. Hi, I am Sandra from sunny Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. I live in the south of the island in San Fernando and I am involved in the music ministry in my parish and during the July/August vacations I help the Family Life Unit in my church organize the vacation bible camp for children 5 to 12 years. I love St Therese of Liseaux and I have named my daughter after her. I love her simplicity and humility and would love all children to get to know her and to follow her example. I love Easter, Christmas and Pentecost because of the fact that they all remind me of God’s great love for me and everyone else in giving his only Son to us. I can never repay such love. My only thanks is to allow His will to be done in my life and to continue His mission here today.

  60. Hi I am Sandra from Trinidad and Tobago. i am involved with the Family Life Ministry and the Music Ministry at my church. I also love to teach young children. I taught religious instruction at my former school for years. I enjoy learning more about God and his love for us. My favorite season is Easter, because of the the new life we have been given through Christ. My spiritual life at present could be compared to Pentecost – on fire for Christ, and feeling joy in spreading the good news of the gospel.

  61. Hi, I am Stephanie from CA’s Central Coast. I am in my 3rd year as Director of Religious Ed for kids aged 3-12 and in my 15th year in Catholic Youth Ministry, Sacramental Preparation, and small faith sharing groups. As a mother of 2 active kids and an reluctantly-admitted overscheduler, I am drawing inspiration from Saint Philomena, of late. While life and one’s circumstances can seem relentless and impossible to overcome at times, it is precisely those obstacles that can help us to refine our faith and lead us to sainthood. I strive to embrace the changing power of my present and to hone my focus on God.

  62. Hello Friends. My name is John McNichols. I am The Coordinator for Youth Ministry at St. Christopher Parish In Midlothian IL. I have been blessed with this Ministry for one year. I would compare my spiritual life right now to the Three Saints from which I have sought intercession and guidance from: St. Max Kolbe, St. Faustina, and St. Mother Theresa. each of them possess a trait that i desire and must use in my Ministry.

  63. Hi! I’m Colette and I’ve been a catechist in my Florida parish most of the past 30 years. I’ve been mostly with 2nd & 3rd grade students. Right now I’d compare my spiritual life to the season of Ordinary Time-familiar, but needing to be explored in more depth.
    Starting this retreat so late because of vacation, I’m hoping that I can kind of catch up.

  64. I have been thinking a lot about TRUST…at first when I saw the reflection question, I thought, “I don’t know that I trust anyone.” Then I thought about TRUST being on several ‘levels’ and that indeed, I do trust some people…I can now say that I trust my best friend on all levels…she and I met in 4th grade Religious Education Class!!

    Yes, my trust in someone has been broken a few times: its affect on me was to doubt myself and also to throw my heart into the arms of God who I knew loved me and knew me completely.

    I know God can be trusted because I have been through some really rough times and leaning on Him got me through.

    My trust in God has been affirmed by the slow transformation of relationships and events ending in blessings for me and others.

    I find it difficult to trust in God when I am focused on myself or the particular relationship/event that is troubling me: I forget that I am not alone and that I don’t have to ‘handle’ it alone.

    I find it most difficult to trust in God in situations that have to do with change.

    I find the Examen of Consciousness helpful in deepening my openness to God.

    My spiritual director is someone I find exhibits a great openness to God. I can emulate her by being more attentive to my prayer life.

    Openness to God gives me courage and creativity as a catechist.

    I think I can help those I teach be more open to God by teaching them forms of silent prayer and journaling

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Christina! Trust is a challenge, especially when it has been broken. Thankfully, our God can be trusted!

  65. My name is Rachael and I live on the central coast of California. I taught at a Catholic school for one year and have been a catechist at my church for about 5 years. My patron saint is St. Teresa of Lisieux, and I constantly remind myself that every act, no matter how small, can be important if it is done with great love.

  66. Hi I’m Kimberli, I am a catechist in beautiful San Diego, I am a new catechist.
    My spiritual life right now can best be described by comparing it to abundance of hope and love. My favorite saint is St. Therese of Avila. Her encounters with our Lord and how she guides me to give my will over to the Lord is better than air.

  67. Hello, my name is Grizelda. I live in the Las Vegas area. I am preparing for the upcoming catechetical year. This is my tenth year. In my journey I can relate to a hymn by Hermana Glenda “Alma Misionera”. On a daily basis I ask God to put me in the path of where I can be of service to others. Thank you for the great information at the L.A. Congress, it was very helpful. I will implement many ideas this year.

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