Recruiting, Nay, Calling and Forming Catechists

Calling Forth Catechists - text near loudspeakers

Recruiting and forming catechists is a primary responsibility for catechetical leaders and is an ongoing challenge. You’re not just looking for any warm body but for people with the gifts that enable them to apprentice others into the faith.

With that in mind, I prefer to use the word calling instead of recruiting. We recruit people to perform a function. We call people to live out a vocation! Serving as a catechist is more than simple volunteerism. It is more than performing a function. It is more than filling a slot. It is a vocation: a call from God to serve his Church!

Perhaps this notion of catechists as having a vocation is new to you. In days gone by, we thought of vocations as pertaining to priests and nuns. While that is true, all people have a vocation: a call to live a life of holiness. In addition, some people have vocations to serve the Church in very important ways. Being a catechist is one of them. The Church refers to the vocation of the catechist in the General Directory for Catechesis (#23): “Indeed, efforts must be made to encourage in parishes and Christian communities vocations for catechesis.”

As a catechetical leader, you are not simply recruiting volunteers; you are calling people to a vocation to serve as a catechist. This is the mindset you should have as you set forth to call catechists: announce this as an opportunity for adults to grow in their faith, in their relationship with the Lord, and in holiness.

For the next several weeks, we’ll explore various aspects of calling forth catechists. In the meantime, do read Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy’s book on Cultivating Your Catechists (part of the Effective Catechetical Leader series) for great ideas on recruiting and retaining catechists.

About Joe Paprocki 2739 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

3 Comments on Recruiting, Nay, Calling and Forming Catechists

  1. I love it Joe! “an opportunity for adults to grow in their faith, in their relationship with the Lord, and in holiness”. What a beautiful call for Catechists!

  2. Joe,
    Thank you for reminding us all that parish catechists are celebrating their Christian vocation in a way particular to them in their response to God’s call. As catechetical leaders and/or fellow catechists, one of our many responsibilities is to help identify others within our communities that might not be ready to hear the whisper in the wind.

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