Recruiting Catechists Who Evangelize (Video)

Finding catechists who are evangelizers and see themselves as such is the key to a faith formation process that forms disciples. The below video highlights five aspects of the process using the word GIFTS. Read the complete article that inspired this video: Recruiting and Retaining Catechists Who Evangelize with GIFTS. Take a moment and ask yourself: does every activity in my parish point more deeply to Jesus? Julianne Stanz wants to help you and your […]

Retain Catechists Through Public Recognition

Bishop Larry Silva stood at the doorway to my office holding a tray stacked high with freshly baked brownies. “Jayne, I’m here to say hello and to thank you for your hard work! Care for a treat?” He served up a brownie, and we chatted amicably for a few moments. I watched him make his way down the hall, stopping at each office to offer a sweet treat, recognizing the efforts of his employees and […]

Three Ways to Retain Catechists Through Affirmation

Cool-headed, analytical, driven—these words were often used to describe Scott, a veteran soldier in the United States Army. Yet, there he was, a shy grin on his face as he approached his pastor, who had called him forward to be recognized as a new catechist. He gratefully accepted his welcome gifts: the Holy Bible with his name engraved on the cover, a rosary carved from a native hard wood, and an official catechist name badge. […]

Affirming Catechists Is Not Just a “Warm Fuzzy”

I keep a cartoon on my desk in my office that shows a mechanic leaning over a car engine while his boss stands looking over his shoulder, asking, “Did I tell you that you’re doing a good job?” The mechanic replies, “No,” to which the boss responds, “I didn’t think so.” Affirmation is a tricky thing. With over 35 years of experience in ministry, I’ve learned not to rely on affirmation and to find it […]

Collaborating with Catechists

The Vietnamese Holy Martyrs Catholic Community in the Diocese of Honolulu have an annual youth camp. The core team had finalized their plans for 2018. The campsite was booked; the program content was finalized; the activities and their optimum placement were all mapped out: prayer service in the chapel, sessions in the common room, outdoor grilling for lunch, a Scripture-themed scavenger hunt on the playing field, skits and s’mores around the outdoor fire pit. Now […]

Supporting Your Catechists

I was about to meet with a parent who had a reputation for being overly assertive. I was a little nervous, but as a catechetical leader, it was my duty to support my ministry team. This parent had upset a second-grade catechist; she had tried to reason with him to no avail. She pleaded with me to intercede. He sat across the table from me, whipped out his phone and rather ceremoniously set the timer. […]

Four Ways to Retain Catechists

It is estimated that there are about 500,000 volunteer catechists in the United States and that, each year, one-third of them—150,000—”turn over.” I’m sure that sometimes it feels like all 150,000 catechists who leave are from your parish! The truth is, it takes a lot of hard work to retain catechists. In her new book, Cultivating Your Catechists: How to Recruit, Encourage, and Retain Successful Catechists, Jayne Ragasa-Mondoy shares four principles for retaining catechists. Support […]

Recruiting and Retaining Catechists Who Evangelize with GIFTS

Many catechetical leaders are familiar with the struggle of trying to find catechists at the last minute and begging parishioners for help. We have all heard the horror stories of people who tentatively volunteered and two weeks later found themselves standing in front of a room full of students, unsure of themselves and wondering how they ended up in this position. If our catechists are the backbone of our faith formation programs, then recruiting and […]

Training and Retaining Volunteers

Training and retaining volunteers is a major responsibility of a DRE. In my parish, we have about 200 volunteers assisting in various ways with faith formation, and my staff and I have the responsibility of ensuring that they are equipped to do their ministry. Preliminaries for Volunteers Long before we allow someone to volunteer, he or she fills out a volunteer application, which includes reference checks. In our archdiocese, as in others, we must follow […]