Help! I’m a New Catechist! Where Do I Begin?

When I began my career as a religion teacher, I often had nightmares about teaching classes that were complete disasters. I would wake up in a panic, asking, “Am I ready for this? I don’t really know what I’m doing!” If you are a new catechist and you’re experiencing feelings of trepidation, please know that it is perfectly normal and that you are not alone. Heck, look at all the people in the Bible who […]

Five Microshifts for the Classroom

Editor’s Note: This week we’re exploring microshifts we can make as catechists to improve our ministry, inspired by Gary Jansen’s MicroShifts: Transforming Your Life One Step at a Time. Learn more about the book here. St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Begin again today, for up until now, you have done very little.” I love these words of his. They remind me to keep seeking to do more for God instead of resting on what […]

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 […]

20 Tips for Catechists E-mail Series

Join me for a five-part e-mail series where I share 20 tips for catechists—some of my best advice to both new and experienced catechists. I’ll send you a few tips each week that you can implement in your faith formation setting. Take to heart these tips, and be encouraged in your vocation as a confident evangelizing catechist! I’m sharing these 20 tips to celebrate the release of my 20th book—Living the Sacraments: Finding God at […]

Perseverance: I Will Try Again Tomorrow

When I do presentations for catechists all over the country, I like to ask how long folks have served in this role: newbies? Five years? Ten years? Once, as I kept going in five-year increments, a catechist in the front row continued to raise her hand as I sailed past 40, 45, 50, and 55 years! I finally asked her, “How many years have you been a catechist?” to which she proudly replied, “This is […]

Advice for New Catechists

Within two weeks of arriving from Ireland to live in Wisconsin, I found myself standing in front of a room full of tenth graders in a faith-formation classroom. As a new catechist and director of religious education, there were times when I definitely felt overwhelmed and a bit lost. But with mentoring, time, hard work, and patience, I found that I truly felt called to this ministry and that I sincerely enjoyed being a catechist. […]

10 Things Veteran Catechists Want New Catechists to Know

What do you wish someone had told you before you became a catechist? We asked this question on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page and got some great responses—good encouragement, especially for new catechists starting their first year of teaching. You’re responsible for one thing: getting the child closer to God. —Shannon Panchyshyn I’ve been teaching religion for almost 50 years in a regular classroom and PREP classes. I learned from experience. If I had […]

Leading Others to Epiphany

Soon we will celebrate the wonderful Feast of the Epiphany, when Jesus is revealed to all the nations as the Son of God. This feast contains so many messages and images that are apropos for catechists. Here are a few. The Magi do not travel alone. Although they are from different locations, the Magi come together to seek the king. We catechists recognize the wisdom in this. We do not travel alone. We are part of a […]

10 Lists of Interest to Catechists

We’re continuing our 10th anniversary celebration here at Catechist’s Journey. Today, enjoy this list of 10 lists for catechists, for a total of 100 great suggestions for your work in faith formation and personal growth in faith. Then, enter for your chance to win today’s prize package: a Children’s Collection from Loyola Press. 10 Ways for Catholic School Teachers to Reinforce Catholic Identity Outside of Religion Class by Joe Paprocki 10 Tips for Maintaining Discipline—Free […]

10 Tips for Catechists from the Blessed Virgin Mary

Editor’s note: We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of Catechist’s Journey this week by sharing catechetical top-10 lists each day and giving away Loyola Press prize packages. Enter for your chance to win the Ignatian Inspiration pack today; details below. I’m always looking for help to become a better catechist. Since I often turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary for help in other areas of my life, I asked her to help me in this ministry. […]

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