My, How Long You’ve Been a Catechist! (Poll Results)

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Thanks to so many of you for taking the time to answer our little poll about how long you have served as a catechist. An extra thank-you to those who shared such wonderful stories! More about those in a second.

Of the 150+ respondents, nearly half (43%) indicated that they have served as a catechist for more than 25 years, while nearly a fifth (18%) have served for 16–25 years! This resonates with what I experience in my travels all over the country: so many catechists have responded to the call to serve and have made it an integral part of their own faith journey, recognizing that it is so much more than volunteerism but is a way of living out one’s discipleship and baptismal call to holiness.

Equally gratifying are the 14% who identify as “newbies” (1–5 years). It is so gratifying to see new blood coming into this ministry that we cherish so deeply. I can’t help but think that newbies will find it heartening to know that so many catechists have such great longevity. What that says to me is that, as difficult as the ministry may be at times, it is enriching and fulfilling!

I also can’t say enough about the dozens of folks who shared their inspiring stories about how they became a catechist and why they have “lasted” as long as they have! Here are some of my favorite lines:

  • Love showing these children the way to the Lord.
  • Thus began an amazing adventure of leading others to grow in faith in Jesus while being challenged to live an authentic Catholic Christian life more and more each day.
  • I love to see the how children grow in their faith and once God touches their hearts. It has been a blessing being a catechist and working for the Church.
  • I feel so blessed to have taught for 17 years! God is so good!
  • Here I am, 37 years later, working as a Director of Mission and catechetical leader in a parish. If you count my teen years, I’ve been working in catechetical ministry almost constantly for 47 years! (I feel old now!)
  • The best part is that as we plan our lessons and attend faith formation courses, our faith has deepened, and we’re falling more in love with God and Mother Church.
  • I’m always in awe and excited to teach every year!
  • I have been a catechist since I turned 18. That was 1964. I love it, and as long as God gives me the strength, I will serve him!
  • I feel that I learn much more than I possibly teach. I don’t see giving up teaching, ever.

There’s lots more where those came from. I recommend you bookmark this page and go back to it and read the comments anytime you feel a little down about how things are going in your catechetical ministry. You’ll be renewed in no time! Thanks again for sharing, folks. We look forward to doing more polls as the journey continues!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 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


  1. Thank you, Joe, for this uplifting report. May it inspire us all to continue offering our service to God in this ministry. We are not alone; Jesus is with us, an so are the thousands of others answering God’s call to echo the Good News! Grace and peace to all!

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