Catechists: What Do You Look for in a DRE?

I received an email from a friend who is a DRE and he asked if I had ever posted about what catechists look for in a Director of Religious Education. I told him that I had not but what a wonderful idea for a post! So… Catechists: please share a few thoughts about what you look for in a Director of Religious Education! Just type in your comments in the “Leave a Reply” box below. […]

Leland Nagel – Born Into Eternal Life

It is with deep sadness that the catechetical community mourns the passing of Leland Nagel, the Executive Director of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. Just one week ago, hundreds of members of the catechetical community gathered with Lee in St. Louis for the NCCL Conference. This weekend, Lee was visiting his brother’s family and was with them when he entered into eternal life, passing away in his sleep Sunday night/Monday morning. Here is a […]

Online Master of Arts in Religious Education

From time to time, I am asked about opportunities for pursuing a degree in religious education via online study. Recently, I became aware of just such an opportunity through Felician College. Felician Colleage Master of Arts in Religious Education – ONLINE

Reaching Out to Families – FREE Resources!

One of the greatest challenges that catechetical leaders face is reaching out to parents and families. Loyola Press to the rescue! Here are a number of FREE resources to help you strengthen ties with the parents and families in your parish program. One of the huge benefits of using a program such as Finding God is that you have so many of these FREE resources at your fingertips! (Downloads require Adobe Reader. Click here to […]

Parish Religious Education Week

This week is Parish Religious Education Week! Under the auspices of the Religious Education Department, the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) is inaugurating a Parish Religious Education Week to highlight the important role played by parish-based religious education and faith-formation programs across the country. According to Lori Dahlhoff, director of the Religious Education Department, Parish Religious Education Week will honor all those serving in parish religious education and help strengthen interconnections between Catholic parish and school […]

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 […]

The Engaged Catechist: Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In his book, Growing An Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman explains that, without true engagement, volunteers burn out quickly. He identifies 3 ways to make an immediate impact on the level of engagement of church members: clarify the expectations of membership help your members discover what they do best create small groups I think these can (and should) be easily applied to catechists, who, without engagement, do indeed burnout quickly. Those catechists who […]

Calling Forth Catechists: Approaches

It’s important in your approach to calling people to serve as catechists to be positive! I’ve seen bulletin announcements that sound so desperate: “We are in dire need of catechists. We keep losing good catechists every year. Without catechists, we may have to cancel our RE program!” Language like that makes it sound like you’re inviting someone to hop aboard a sinking ship. Present your program in a positive light and describe the role of […]

Calling Forth Catechists: Your Pool of “Candidates”

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 […]

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” […]

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