The word Catechist means “one that catechizes.” It is a derivative of the word Catechesis which means to “echo.” A catechist then is one who echoes the Word of God and passes on the Catholic tradition and teachings. But a catechist is much more than just a teacher who shares factual knowledge; a catechist is a “minister” of the church, one who is commissioned by the community to help form faith in others and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. A catechist is a mentor, witness, faith sharer, and model in the Christian way of life. If you have accepted the request to be a catechist in your parish, you have accepted a responsibility given to a select few. Here are some articles, webinars, videos to help you become a better catechist in your parish. There are approximately 5,000 catechists in the Diocese of St. Cloud every year. THANK YOU for taking on this important role in your parish, our diocese, and in the life of someone else!
Tips for Teaching Religious Education
Ramsey Musallam shares 3 Rules to Spark Learning
- “6 Tips for Teaching Religious Education by Lisa Jones“. As the start of another school year brings me back into the parish classroom for another year of teaching religious education to 3rd graders, I thought I would share with you my Six Tips to Enhancing your Religious Education Class.
- “Getting Class Started From Chatter to Lesson” by Lee Danesco. You can direct pre-class enthusiasm into the faith-sharing experience of the day through activity. Here are some creative ways to move from chatter to lesson using prayer, art, or word games.
- “The Most Important Piece of Advice that New Religion Teachers and Catechists Don’t Want to Hear” by Jared Dees. What would be the one piece of advice I would give to myself years ago before my first year as a teacher or catechist?
- “6 Principles for Managing Successful Faith Formation Sessions” by Daniel Abben. “As a novice catechist, I was unsure how to respond to the behavior issues that arose during classes. After serving as a catechist for a few years, I realized that each group of children has its own “personality.” I also realized that there are a few basic principles that can be used for every group. When I follow these six principles, there are fewer instances of unacceptable behavior.
Role of the Catechist
1. New catechists are eager to learn some basic teaching skills to help them gain confidence as they begin their service in this vocation. Joe Paprocki talks about the role of the catechist.
2. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion. This TED talk talks about the importance of relationship building in the classroom.
3. The importance of Mentoring. Even though this article talks about mentoring, some of the same concepts apply to those teaching faith formation classes.
Our parents have a huge impact on our lives and the kind of person we grow into being. We know this from experience and we know this from studies that have been done that prove this. However, positive role models can also have a huge impact on us as we are growing up and discovering who we are and where our passions lie. http://www.faithformationlearningexchange.net/uploads/5/2/4/6/5246709/the_importance_of_mentoring.pdf
Catechist as Evangelizer
Catechist as Evangelizer is a webinar from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Father James Wehner presentation will identify the theological foundations of evangelization that provide the basis for Pope John Paul II’s and Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic mandate — the Church is called to embrace the “new evangelization” as the mission of the Church.
Planning and Preparation
New catechists are eager to learn some basic teaching skills to help them gain confidence as they begin their service in this vocation. In section 3, Joe Paprocki talks about the planning and preparation involved as a catechist.
Selecting Learning Activities
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences is a theory of intelligence that differentiates it into specific (primarily sensory) “modalities”, rather than seeing intelligence as dominated by a single general ability. This model was proposed by Howard Gardner in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Tapping into Multiple Intelligences moves this concept into the classroom.
New catechists are eager to learn some basic teaching skills to help them gain confidence as they begin their service in this vocation. In this section Joe Paprocki talks about selecting learning activities.
6 Tasks of Catechesis
Joe Paprocki, National Consultant for Faith Formation for Loyola Press, discusses the 6 tasks of catechesis and their role in faith formation programs.
Praying in the Classroom:
Watch this video on signs and symbols. These are great ideas on how to in corporate prayer in the classroom.
As a Catechist:
Catechist Prayer (PDF) from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops