Unparalleled Catechist Support: Christ Our Life 2024–25 Edition

As long as I’ve been writing this blog, I have emphasized that catechist formation and catechist support in general is not just some act of kindness toward catechists. Rather, it is something the Church owes catechists! Imagine someone entering a religious community and being welcomed in and assigned a ministry without first going through a novitiate and formation process! The religious community that a person makes a commitment to owes it to its members to […]

Renewing Your Energy as a Catechist

In my mind, the first recorded case of ministerial burnout is the story of Elijah falling asleep under the broom tree, as told in 1 Kings 19:3–9. In this story, the prophet Elijah concluded that, despite all the powerful works God had accomplished through him, he (Elijah) was a failure whose only reward was a bounty on his head and a life as an outcast, on the run from his enemies. Elijah decided that he […]

The Toolbox Series: Where Should I Start?

After the success of The Catechist’s Toolbox, the folks at Loyola Press asked me, “What’s next? What else do catechists need and what are they looking for?” Thankfully, that question was the beginning of what has come to be known as “The Toolbox Series”—a series of books designed primarily for catechists (as well as for those seeking basic knowledge of the Catholic faith), all following the same user-friendly format of The Catechist’s Toolbox. The Toolbox […]

Grow as a Catechist This Summer with Accessible, Practical, and Affordable Formation

With summer almost upon us, it is a good time to think about what we can do as catechists to find enrichment and renewal that will help us to deepen our faith. Summer is also a great time for new catechists to prepare for this exciting venture! Too often, catechist formation is either impractical (doesn’t speak to actual needs), inaccessible (difficult to attend or to fit into one’s calendar), or expensive (costs too much). In […]

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Adopts the Catechetical Formation Series for Basic Catechist Formation

For many years, the catechetical efforts of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been guided by the steady hand of Ann Menna, who just recently retired. (Congratulations, Ann!) I’m proud to say that one of Ann’s last actions as Director in Philly was to adopt the Loyola Press Catechetical Formation Series for basic catechist formation in the Archdiocese. I developed the Catechetical Formation Series as an online training and formation experience for catechists and others seeking to deepen […]

Forming Catechists, Part Three: Doing

Welcome to the final installment of our series on the three dimensions of catechist formation: Being, Knowing, and Doing, this time focusing on the dimension of Doing. When I was in college, I decided I wanted to become a teacher, and I wanted to teach religion at a Catholic high school. To achieve this, I double-majored in theology and history, and I also minored in education for the purpose of achieving a teaching certificate for […]

Forming Catechists, Part Two: Knowing

We continue our look at the three dimensions of catechist formation: Being, Knowing, and Doing, this time focusing on the dimension of Knowing. In their book, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton suggest that the “de facto dominant religion” among today’s young people in the United States can be thought of as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.”  They surmise that this “religion” is characterized by the following beliefs: A […]

Forming Catechists, Part One: Being

Early autumn, which coincides with the beginning of many religious education programs, is a good time to pay attention to forming catechists—especially those who are new to the ministry and are eager to learn the knowledge and skills needed to proclaim the Good News effectively! With that in mind, we’re going to take a closer look at the three dimensions of catechist formation: Being, Knowing, and Doing. These will ensure that your catechists are fully […]

Being, Knowing, and Doing

When we speak of someone being a well-rounded person, we are referring to the fact that that person is fully developed and possesses knowledge, capabilities, and skills in a wide range of areas. Catechists are most definitely called to be well-rounded! I was thrilled to see that the new Directory for Catechesis continues to use the language of the previous General Directory for Catechesis that insists that catechist formation be “three dimensional,” focusing on the areas of […]

Making Catechist Formation a Priority (And Accessible!)

The new Directory for Catechesis once again (as did the previous General Directory for Catechesis) emphasizes the importance and priority of catechist formation. I’m a firm believer in the saying, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” Through catechist formation, we deepen our own relationship with Jesus Christ so that we, in turn, can invite others into relationship with him. One of the difficulties that catechists often face when it comes to catechist formation is […]

1 2 3