Stories, Not Labels

I work in the Office of New Evangelization for my diocese, and I remember a phone call from an 86-year-old woman named Gladys. She wanted to find out more about the “coming home” programs the diocese was offering for Catholics who had been away from the Church for a while. After a period of active listening and some gentle questioning, it became clear that Gladys herself wanted to return to the Catholic Church, but she […]

Choosing a Vacation Bible School Program

This is the first article in a four-part series about winning hearts and minds in the summer through Vacation Bible School. We start by looking at choosing a Vacation Bible School program. I’ve been looking at Vacation Bible School (VBS) flyers and previewing Web sites since Advent, when summer seemed a distant date on the calendar, something I could put at the very bottom of my ever lengthening to-do list. By early March, I’m still […]

Keeping Advent from Getting Lost in the Holiday Shuffle

The parish is abuzz with questions already: “Have you started your baking, shopping, planning, list-making, wrapping…?” No sooner has Halloween moved on than we find Christmas bursting onto the scene in every grocery store, department store, catalog, and flyer. It is a cycle that encourages us to be always thinking of and preparing for “the next thing,” rather than taking time to stop and become aware of the blessings and graces our God is trying […]

Three Bits of Advice for Catechists I Need to Follow Myself

Last year was my rock-star year: I graduated with my M.Div., moved to a new state, learned the ropes of ministering as a DRE in a parish with over 800 children, planned a wedding and got married, and recovered from a stress fracture in my foot which required me to wear a boot for several months way too close to my wedding day. I was unstoppable. Recently one of my catechists asked me how it […]

Promoting Catholic Identity, Part 1: A Sense of Sacramentality

Editor’s Note: Several of our new Catechist’s Journey contributors will be familiar to those of you who read DRE Connect. Today, we share with you one article in a series by Darcy Osby. This post originally appeared on DRE Connect. The purpose of our catechesis is not simply to teach facts about the Catholic faith, but to pass on the Catholic faith. It is not enough for our children to know about Catholicism or go […]

Let’s Help a Newbie DRE

I received this email from a self-described “newbie-DRE” who is looking for some advice. Let’s help her out! Does anyone have practical suggestions for saying “no” to a potential catechist who responds to your “call”? My assistant and I feel that he wouldn’t be able to control a classroom, and he has no filter when speaking so he tends to over-share about his personal life. Something about his personality is just giving us a bad […]

Help For “New” Catechetical Leaders: Through the Year with the DRE

Back in the day, when I was a “baby” DRE (Director of Religious Education), I turned to a nifty book for help. It was written by Gail McKenna and it was titled Through the Year with the DRE: A Seasonal Guide for Christian Educators (Paulist Press). The book is long out of print, however, the idea stayed with me and inspired me to create a chart a few years ago outlining the “typical” responsibilities that […]

A “Typical” Year in the Life of a Catechetical Leader/DRE

A couple of years ago, I posted a chart outlining the “typical” responsibilities that a catechetical leader/DRE is faced with over the course of a year and I received great feedback and suggestions on how to flesh that out and make it more accurate. I recently pulled that chart back out, did some updating, and invited a few DRE friends to do the same and once again received some great suggestions. Here it is once […]

A "Typical" Year in the Life of the DRE

I realize that a lot of DREs regularly visit Catechist’s Journey, so I thought I would ask for some help. I’m piecing together a chart of what a DRE is thinking about/doing at various times throughout the year in a traditional religious education program (realizing that today there are numerous catechetical models being employed throughout our parishes). Please note that I am NOT including seasonal liturgical celebrations such as Advent prayer service, Lenten Stations of […]

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