Catechist Formation: More Than a Path to Certification

catechist meeting - discussion

Typically, when you fall in love with someone, you are eager not only to spend as much time with that person as possible, but also to learn as much as you can about him or her: “What’s your favorite food? Favorite hobby? What irritates you? What do you like to read? What are you dreams?” and so on.

Ultimately, catechist formation, like all faith formation, is the way we seek to learn more and thus grow closer with the one we love, Jesus Christ. Too often, we approach catechist formation as a hoop to jump through on our way to completing certification after which we are “done” (much as kids who complete Confirmation think that they are “done”). Too often, catechist formation is presented in this manner—as a task to be completed rather than as an experience of growth and as an opportunity to grow closer to Christ.

For those offering catechist formation, do everything in your power to provide catechists with an experience in which they encounter Christ. Avoid simply providing a format in which someone or some video delivers content. Integrate meaningful prayer experiences and opportunities for reflection and sharing.

For those participating in catechist formation, go in with an eagerness to grow closer to Christ. Ask questions that help you to enter more deeply into the mind of Christ. Interact with fellow catechists, and share your insights, thoughts, and dreams. Reflect on what you’re learning and how it deepens your relationship with the Lord.

Relationships die when people lose interest in one another. As long as we continue to seek to explore the deep mysteries of one another, relationships will thrive. Be sure to use every opportunity of catechist formation to explore the deep mystery of Jesus Christ and his love for you!


For an online opportunity for faith formation, check out the Spirituality of the Catechist Retreat here at Catechist’s Journey.

About Joe Paprocki 2173 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.

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