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 […]

Forming Discipleship Among Your Catechetical Team

Our parishes include people in all stages of their faith journey. While each Christian shares certain characteristics in their spirituality as children of God, there are differences. Every person’s spirituality is unique, because each of us is a unique human being. Differences can depend on education, formation, geographical location, age, ethnic background, and so on. Each of us is at a different stage of growth in our spiritual life. How can catechetical leaders accommodate catechists […]

How to Take Care of Yourself as a Catechist

Getting up early is my least-favorite thing to do. Yet on Sunday mornings, I spring into action, because I truly can’t wait to see my class. Staying fresh and motivated is important, and I work to make sure that I’m tending to my own development as well as my students’. Here are some ways I keep myself spiritually refreshed. Build in quiet time. Some days, it feels like I’m on the run from the time […]

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 […]

Autumn and the Spiritual Journey

The natural course of the seasons can mirror the movements within our spiritual lives, and we needn’t be in mid-life by our calendar years to find ourselves in an autumnal season as we walk with the Lord. We come to autumn at any age. Autumn is a time of transition—green turning to gold, brown and blonde fading to gray. Autumn is the season for reaping. The fields are high. Our work is yielding its fruit. […]

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 […]

Six Ideas for Taking Care of the Spiritual Needs of Your Catechists

CatechistsJourney.com ® is a service of Loyola Press, publishers of the Christ Our Life faith formation program. It seems so simplistic to suggest that as leaders in catechetical ministry we need to be catechists to our catechists, but that is what the Lord calls us to be. Just as a catechist needs a manual to guide him or her through leading the sessions, so, too, we may also need to provide a spiritual handbook or […]

Caring for the Catechist as a Spiritual Person

At this time of year when recruiting and training catechists is a top priority, it’s a good time to think about what we can realistically do to help nurture and form the spirituality of those who will have direct contact with the children in our communities. Much has been said about preparing catechists for their ministry. But what about caring for the catechist as a spiritual person? New catechists often come to us with a […]

The Spiritual Life of Catechists, Part 7: Devotion to Mary and the Eucharist

This is the seventh and final article in a series about the spiritual life of catechists, inspired by the list of characteristics in the National Directory for Catechesis. Did you know that the Virgin Mary is known as “mother and model of catechists?” Catechists are called to a special devotion to her because “[t]hrough her own special vocation, Mary saw the Son of God ‛grow in wisdom, in age and in grace’ (Lk 2:52). She […]

The Spiritual Life of Catechists, Part 6: Participation in the Community

This is the sixth article in a series about the spiritual life of catechists, inspired by the list of characteristics in the National Directory for Catechesis. Catechists and catechetical leaders generally don’t sit in ivory towers reading theology in their spare time (thankfully!) Theirs is a lived faith, and nothing indicates that more than active involvement in the parish community. Their reputation and appearance as a regular part of parish life is proportional to the […]

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