Calling Forth Catechists: Why People Volunteer

As you call forth vocations to catechesis, it’s good to know why people volunteer in the first place. Understanding why people volunteer makes it easier to identify and invite people to volunteer. Research shows that people volunteer for the following reasons. Achievement—to learn new skills, accomplish something worthwhile, increase self-esteem Challenge—to stretch themselves, discover gifts and talents Creativity—to express themselves creatively Independence—to undertake a task on their own (separate from spouse or family) Leadership—to develop personal leadership […]

Calling Forth Catechists: A Catechist Role Description

As you set forth to call people to the vocation of serving as a catechist, it’s a good idea to have a role description in place to describe what you are calling them to. Be careful not to make your role description so demanding and lofty that not even Jesus would qualify! Keep it simple and basic so as not to scare anyone away but specific enough to narrow the field so that you’re not […]

Recruiting, Nay, Calling and Forming Catechists

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. […]

Catechetical Activity During the Summer

Summer has arrived, and people in ministry often ask me, “Now what do we do?” As the director of discipleship and faith formation at my parish, part of my responsibility is to look at programs and determine how the people’s needs are being met, what changes might need to be made, and most importantly, listen to how the Holy Spirit is calling our programs to grow. After 20 years in ministry, I look forward to […]

The Place of the Textbook in Faith Formation

Years ago, a very wise person—Sr. Marlene Halpin, O.P.—explained that the reason young people walk away from the Catholic faith after Confirmation is because they never developed an affective relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result, they are walking away from a “subject”—religion—in the same way they walk away from other subjects they learn in school but are not particularly interested in. Today, as we continue to see the “hemorrhaging” of young Catholics from the […]

Six More Strategies for Empowering Families to Be the Domestic Church

The following is excerpted from All God’s People: Effective Catechesis in a Diverse Church by Donna Toliver Grimes. As a catechetical leader, you are called to form not just children but entire families. Moving forward, your task is to equip and empower families to once again embrace their role as the domestic church: a place where faith takes root and is nurtured. What approaches does the twenty-first-century catechetical leader need to take to make this […]

Five Strategies for Empowering Families to Be the Domestic Church

The following is excerpted from All God’s People: Effective Catechesis in a Diverse Church by Donna Toliver Grimes. As a catechetical leader, you are called to form not just children but entire families. Moving forward, your task is to equip and empower families to once again embrace their role as the domestic church: a place where faith takes root and is nurtured. What approaches does the twenty-first-century catechetical leader need to take to make this […]

Forming Discipleship Among Your Catechetical Team

Our parishes include people in all stages of their faith journey. While each Christian shares certain characteristics in their spirituality as children of God, there are differences. Every person’s spirituality is unique, because each of us is a unique human being. Differences can depend on education, formation, geographical location, age, ethnic background, and so on. Each of us is at a different stage of growth in our spiritual life. How can catechetical leaders accommodate catechists […]

Catechists and Catechetical Leaders: How Often Do You Talk to One Another?

During my years at Loyola Press, I have had the joy of working with and reporting to a number of directors who can vouch for the fact that one of the first things I ask from them is a regular meeting (weekly or bi-weekly) to ensure that we have open and ongoing communication. Without such communication, any relationship suffers. So when it comes to catechists and catechetical leaders, I must ask the question: how often […]

The Pros and Cons of Do-it-Yourself Catechesis

I recently received an e-mail from a veteran diocesan catechetical director who is concerned that, at a growing number of parishes in her diocese, the catechetical leader has chosen to write his or her own materials for faith formation rather than using materials produced by a Catholic publisher. Here are some of the thoughts this diocesan director shared: As I visit parishes, I see more and more people “writing their own stuff.” What they really want […]

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