Recently, I received the following message from Martha:
I am searching for a catechist interview. I am a new DRE and I am wondering if that is a wise idea. I will appreciate your feedback.
The quick response is “Yes,” it is a good idea to interview your catechists, not just when you are recruiting them, but also at the beginning and end of each year. I recognize that this may be impossible for some parishes that have huge numbers of catechists, in which case, I recommend group interviews if the schedule permits.
I have talked previously about conducting end-of-the-year interviews so that catechists can evaluate themselves together with you and have provided a PDF to guide the interview. Likewise, in her book, Cultivating Your Catechists: How to Recruit, Encourage, and Retain Successful Catechists (The Effective Catechetical Leader series), author and diocesan catechetical leader Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy offers criteria for conducting such interviews.
As for conducting interviews with discerning/potential/returning catechists, I suggest using one of the free downloadable worksheets from Jayne’s book: “A Catechist’s Vocation-Discernment Checklist,” which includes the following criteria for discussion:
I possess or am capable of developing . . .
- a desire to grow in and share faith
- a commitment to the church’s liturgical and sacramental life and moral teachings
- a strength of character built on patience, responsibility, confidence, and creativity
- a basic understanding of Catholic teaching, Scripture, and Catholic Tradition
- honest and caring relationships with young people (and their families)
- effective teaching techniques and strategies
- a love of God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and of Christ’s Church, our Holy Father, and God’s holy people
- a coherence and authenticity of life that are characterized by consistent practice of the faith in a spirit of faith, charity, hope, courage, and joy
- a dedication to personal prayer and to the evangelizing mission of the Church
- a missionary zeal by which I am fully convinced of the truth of the Catholic faith and desire to enthusiastically proclaim it
- an active participation in my local parish community, especially by attendance at Sunday Eucharist
- a devotion to Mary, the first disciple and the model of catechists, and to the Most Holy Eucharist, the source of nourishment for catechists
Interviewing your catechists is an effective way to create and/or deepen your relationship with this important group of ministers.
If you have a list of questions that you use to interview catechists, please do share!