Making the Most of Catechetical Conferences, Workshops, and Seminars

I attended my first catechetical conference when I was in high school. I was most excited about it because I was to attend with a girl from the parish that I wanted to ask out on a date; luckily, she said yes, and we’ve been married since 1982! Aside from that little romantic angle, I recall also being excited about the conference itself and felt very affirmed that the parish wanted me to attend. Fast forward […]

Which Area of Your “Garden” Needs Tending? A Poll Question

Throughout the summer months, many of us spend time tending to our lawns and gardens, ensuring that they are receiving the attention they need to flourish and grow. We make sure they are receiving the nutrients they need, are free from weeds, and are being watered sufficiently. Often, our focus is drawn to one or two “trouble spots” where we know we have to pay some increased attention. In a similar way, summer is a […]

Connecting with Other Catechists

Like the families we serve, catechists are a diverse group. We are of different generations (my fellow catechists include millennials, gen-X’ers, and baby boomers); we come from different backgrounds (some are cradle Catholics, others were baptized as adults, still others like myself came into full communion with the Catholic Church from another Christian tradition); and we grew up experiencing different cultural traditions (one friend of mine likes to share the traditions she learned from her […]

The Saintly Catechist

The director of our faith formation program asked if I could help her develop a saints’ syllabus for the eighth- and ninth-grade classes. This was right up my alley. We met for coffee to work on the syllabus, which would complement our regular curriculum. Our discussion turned to the canonization process: how does someone become a saint? As we talked about the steps in the canonization process, I wondered, “What do we have to do […]

A Catechist’s Summer Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, I come to you at the end of another year of faith formation. Thank you for all of the good this year: For the students you brought to my classroom, their laughter and participation and sharing. For my growth this year as a catechist and as a Catholic Christian developing her own faith. I ask blessings upon all of us as we go forth to summer break: For my fellow catechists and […]

Forming Catechist Enrichment Groups

In her book, Cultivating Your Catechists: How to Recruit, Encourage, and Retain Successful Catechists (The Effective Catechetical Leader series), Jayne Mondoy reminds us that corporate America invests millions of dollars in coaching groups of individuals (employees or clients) to work together toward a common goal and to be fully engaged. The truth is, without engagement, people (especially volunteers) tend to burn out more quickly. In his book, Growing an Engaged Church (Gallup Press), Albert L. Winseman identifies three […]

Beatitudes and the Catechist: Blessed Are the Pure in Heart

This is the sixth article in a series exploring the Beatitudes as they relate to being a catechist. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Happy are the catechists who are authentic, for the young people will see how much they rely on God. Some days, I find it very hard to be motivated to prepare for my faith formation classes. On these days, more than ever, I need […]

Catechist Formation: More Than a Path to Certification

Typically, when you fall in love with someone, you are eager not only to spend as much time with that person as possible, but also to learn as much as you can about him or her: “What’s your favorite food? Favorite hobby? What irritates you? What do you like to read? What are you dreams?” and so on. Ultimately, catechist formation, like all faith formation, is the way we seek to learn more and thus […]

Keeping Up Your Spirits

Hopefully, the dust has settled and all your programs are up and running. I don’t know about you, but I always breathe a sigh of relief about the fourth or fifth week of classes. By then, the latecomers are in classes, the new catechists are feeling a bit more comfortable, and we are all into the rhythm of faith formation. That being said, I also love the energy and excitement that comes with new beginnings. […]

Confidence, Generosity, Joy, and Fearlessness: Four Ways Mary Inspires Catechists

Lord, give me Mary’s confidence and generosity of spirit. I ask not only to listen to your voice and do your will but also to do these things joyfully and fearlessly. Let me answer your call with an exultant “Yes!” because I know that my journey into the unknown will be made radiant by your transfiguring presence. —Sacred Space: A Little Book of Encouragement This extraordinary quote inspires me as a catechist. There is no […]

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