Each year, Religious Education (RE) at St Peter Church, Danbury, CT invites people to discern if God is calling them to help in the faith formation of our young parishioners. (Spoiler: If you’ve been baptized, you’ve been called to share your faith.) Perhaps you’re unsure about what to expect or what to do. That’s normal. Maybe you’re worried you won’t know enough about your faith to share it. We can help you.
Let us allay your fears. We don’t expect you to be The Perfect Catechist. That’s not even a thing. We’re looking for parents, grandparents, singles, students, first-time catechists, long-time catechists and former catechists. We’re looking for people willing to learn and prepare, who are committed to guiding our students and who trust that God will provide what they need to be an effective leader.
We know you have doubts and questions, so consider these 8 reasons people are reluctant to step up into this role.
I wouldn’t know what to teach.
We provide a week-by-week curriculum outline and a full set of resources to help you. Our texts have complete teacher resources, lesson plans and a robust web site full of suggestions. Our experienced catechists share ideas and lesson plans as well.
I don’t know my faith well enough.
At one point, we were all on a journey to learn something – how to read, how to tie our shoes, how to do fractions – and we did it. Your faith is the same; when you practice it more actively, you learn more about it. In fact, this is the thing we hear most often from catechists – their faith grows exponentially when they teach RE.
I don’t have the time.
If you attend the 9 a.m. or noon Mass, you’re already here on Sunday mornings. Planning takes only a couple of hours during the week. Chances are you’re already online in the evening; you can surf for lesson ideas then. There are enrichment workshops throughout the year that take place right in the Diocese.
I enjoy having a quiet hour for coffee on Sunday while my kids are in class.
We get that. At baptism, you were called to be a witness to Christ’s love in the world. Serving as a catechist allows you to live out this call. Coffee and quiet are beautiful things, but the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the classroom is pretty energizing, too.
I’m afraid to teach by myself.
You don’t have to. We place two catechists in every classroom. You can choose how best to teach. Some catechists like to team-teach. We have substitute catechists if you’re on travel.
What if someone asks me a question I can’t answer?
You don’t have to know all the answers all the time. We have the people and the resources to help you find the answer so you can bring it back to class the next week.
I’m not “cool” enough to relate to students.
Our students have enough “cool” friends. What they need on Sunday morning is a committed Catholic who will learn their name, listen when they speak, involve them in a meaningful lesson, lead them in prayer and guide them on a good path. You probably have life experiences that are more applicable than you realize.
I don’t think I can manage a room of 15 kids.
Very few of our catechists are professional teachers, so everyone has concerns about classroom management. We will help you set expectations for your classroom and ensure that students and parents understand what is required for participation in our program.
Open yourself up to a new relationship with God; we’ll help you get there.
Questions? We’d love to talk with you. Call or email: 203-743-1048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.