Calling Forth Catechists: Your Pool of Candidates

Calling Forth Catechists - text near loudspeakers

If your efforts to call forth catechists boil down to an “all call” approach (a bulletin announcement inviting anyone to respond to a need), you will not have much success. The most effective way to call people to the vocation of serving as a catechist is through personal invitation!

One catechetical leader recently told me that, last year, she made 43 individual contacts (either in person or by phone) and ended up with the best crop of catechists she ever had! The personal touch is simply the most appropriate way to call people to a vocation. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the pool of potential catechists in your parish:

  • Catechist aides
  • Parents of participants in religious education
  • Retired parishioners
  • RCIA neophytes *
  • Actively engaged parishioners
  • Lay ministry participants
  • PPC (education commission) members
  • Professional teachers (public school and Catholic school)
  • Former catechists
  • Referrals from staff
  • Recommendations from current catechists

* Don’t be too quick to pounce on neophytes; they may need some time.

Are there other potentials that I’ve missed?

For great ideas on recruiting and retaining catechists, see Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy’s book on Cultivating Your Catechists (part of the Effective Catechetical Leader series).

Read other posts in the Calling Forth Catechists series here.

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

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