Catechetical Ministries

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    Catechists are those who are called to serve through teaching, witness, prayer, service and building community. Catechists minister to adults, youth and children in a variety of locations and programs: parish faith formation & religious education programs, youth ministry programs, sacramental preparation, RCIA, family programs, Scripture study, and more. Through word and example, catechists teach the Catholic faith and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Catechists have a vocation...a calling from the Lord rooted in Baptism to carry out His mandate to teach the Gospel. The General Directory for Catechesis tells us that "The Church awakens and discerns this divine vocation and confers the mission to catechize. The Lord Jesus invites men and women, in a special way, to follow him, teacher and formator of disciples." (GDC 231)

    WOULD YOU LIKE TO BECOME A CATECHIST?

    If you presently serve as a catechist, are you interested in enriching, or deepening your understanding of yourself as a catechist?

    Many people in our parish serve in catechetical ministry. A catechist is someone who "echoes back" the gift of his or her faith and the faith of the Church. Presently, catechists serve our parish in many ways including Christian Faith Formation with children, RCIA, in our parish school, in adult faith enrichment, in small church groups, sharing God's Word with children during our Sunday liturgies and social outreach to others. First and foremost, parents are catechists for their children in the ways of faith. Oftentimes we are catechists to one another without even knowing it!

    Our parish is offering a wonderful opportunity to all persons who are interested in catechetical ministry. Our parish has received a grant from the Diocese for Echoes of Faith Plus. It is a basic level, video-assisted resource to help us grow as catechists. It consists of three modules: The Catechist, Methodology and Theology. The main components of each module are a DVD and a companion booklet for each participant. There is a bonus DVD in each participant's booklet which can be used to review the sessions. Persons who complete all three modules will receive certification as a catechist from the Diocese.

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    Volunteer married couples from the parish assist young engaged couples in preparing for married life. This generally takes place through Pre-Cana sessions held in the parish on Saturday or Sunday. Topics and issues from the experience of married couples serve as the basis for discussion and reflection. Couples may also assist the pastor in interviewing or providing individual preparation for engaged couples throughout the year.

    Resource: St. Joseph Marriage Policy

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    Without reaching an open flower, pollen would become mere dust, never fulfilling its purpose.  This image, borrowed from the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel, could be used to speak of The Word. It is present but it must reach those who desire to receive it.  People who have come to RCIA have a readiness and receptivity but the Word must reach them.  Enter, the Catechists!

    Catechists-who are they? Ordinary folks who are willing to stretch a bit in order to present some aspect of the Word and show how it illuminates the path we all journey as believers.  People who accept the challenge to prepare a lesson for the RCIA are given objectives to guide them and ample resource materials.  These, together with their own spirituality, give shape to their efforts as they prepare a catechetical topic they've chosen from a list.

    Catechists read, pray, listen and share, trusting all the while that the Spirit will both guide them as well as open the minds and hearts of the RCIA members.  There are intangible rewards such as a deepened faith, greater understanding of the Word, and an increased awareness of Grace at work in themselves and others.

    Catechists may volunteer or be recruited but no matter how they come, God gives them the grace to respond.  They are called to serve in this important ministry of passing on the Faith. 

    Some current advertising on TV shows a person sharing an "aha!" moment he/she had and how it changed his/her life.  Ask a catechist if they have ever had an "aha!" moment in their ministry and then be prepared to listen to some interesting experiences!

    To explore serving as an RCIA Catechist, please contact Sr. Mary Ellen at 544-7426

    RCIA Sponsor

    RCIA sponsors are guides, companions in Faith, who give service to unbaptized or baptized persons as witnesses.  The RCIA process encourages those who wish to become Catholic to learn about Catholic life and beliefs as they grow in the knowledge of God and deepen their relationship with Christ.  The weekly sessions impart knowledge in a structured way but it is the sponsors who help make the connection between Faith and life as a Catholic.  As guides, sponsors companion and encourage the transformation that comes about and leads to full membership in the Catholic Church.  RCIA sessions build relationships and form a community of believers ready to share in the mission of Christ.

    If you would like more information about this ministry, please contact Sr. Mary Ellen at 544-7426

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    Faith, beginning with God's gift of life and new life in baptism, continues growing, developing, and maturing throughout our lives. Young people who come to Catholic Faith Formation sessions do so with their own experience of spirituality from their homes, including their understanding of what it means to be Catholic. Catechists, the "teachers in faith", facilitate a faith learning process for them while they continue learning and growing in their own faith, as do parents who are the first and primary educators in the ways of faith for their children. Through our baptism we adults learn, live, and pass on our Catholic faith life to youth.

    A CFF Catechist should:

    1. Understand the gift of their calling.

    2. Be a person of prayer who is fed by the Eucharist.

    3. Be a practicing Catholic.

    4. Be able to relate to children.

    5. Be willing to share his/her personal faith as well as the faith of the Church.

    6. Be able to use the catechetical materials effectively.

    7. Be willing to spend adequate time in preparation for each lesson.

    8. Be a life-long learner, able to grow in faith and learn with the children.

    9. Have a positive attitude and a sense of humor.

    10. Be a team player.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    • Parents are encouraged to volunteer for special events such as Christmas and the end-of-the-year family picnic.

    • Young people are encouraged to act as mentors and helpers with Confirmation preparation and service projects.

    Anyone interested in helping with catechetical formation of youth should contact Sr. Mary Ellen Backes, O.S.U. at 544-7426.

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