Parish 262-673-4831 School 262-673-3081

Enlightened by Faith, Enriched by Education

Become a Catechist

CATECHISTS (RELIGIOUS EDUCATION TEACHERS) AND ASSISTANTS NEEDED

~If you feel the Lord has blessed you with an ability to communicate His truths to young people…. We need you!!!
~If you are a teacher by profession and would like to share your faith with our young people…. We need you!!
~If you are not a teacher by profession and would like to share your faith with our young people…we will give you the formation and tools needed because…. We need you!!
~If you can listen to a child’s prayers during class…. We need you!!
~If you are a person of prayer…… We need you!!
~If you are a person in touch with the God who directs our ministry…… We need you!!
 
Please consider how you might answer the call to be a disciple of Jesus by sharing your faith with our parish children and teens.
 
All volunteers must take part in the safe environment requirements.  Click here for these requirements and registration.  For more information or to serve in this ministry, please call the St. Kilian Religious Education Office at 262-673-4831 ext. 7406 or email dre@astkiliancong.org.
 

WHY BE A CATECHIST?

Let's have some catechists tell you themselves!  Below are some anonymous reflections from catechists on favorite moments from their ministry.
 
“My favorite memory as a catechist is seeing the 11th graders make their Confirmation.  To see how much they have grown in the months that I first met them, how much they have learned and enjoyed the classes. They learned that ‘religion doesn't have to be boring.’”
 
“The best part of being a catechist is helping kids/teens see how relevant Jesus really is.”
 
“The best part of being a catechist is watching students encounter the living God in unexpected ways.  As I watched their lives change, I changed, too.”

“I really think I learned more from the kids than I taught them!  They strengthened my faith!”
 

WHAT DOES BEING A CATECHIST OR ASSISTANT INVOLVE?

Do you have a deep love of Christ, the Church and your faith? Consider being a catechist!  You don’t need to know every detail of your faith — part of being a catechist involves openness to learning as you teach.  It is more important that you share your faith than you teach your faith!  As a catechist, you make a weekly commitment to guide a class from after Labor Day (September) through mid‐April (usually, depending on when Easter falls).  Catechists volunteer to teach 4K through 12th grade.  Classes are on Sunday morning and Sunday nights.
 
As a catechist, you will receive a schedule for the year, which will help you plan when to teach which lesson.  You will also receive the catechist’s version of the text book, which suggests activities and gives tips on how to plan your lesson.  Catechists are responsible for planning and presenting weekly lessons.  When you make the commitment to guide a group through the year, we make the commitment to support you in your ministry.
 
The role of a catechist assistant is to offer classroom management support to the catechist.  The assistant will often help work with a child who needs extra assistance or help the catechist in a classroom activity.  The assistant typically does not help prepare lessons, unless the catechists and the assistant make some prior arrangement for him/her to do so.  There are also classroom aides available for the morning sessions.  These are teens from the evening program that choose to become classroom aides as part of their Service Learning Project.

At St. Kilian, catechists and helpers receive a significant reduction in their family's Religious Ed fees.

We are calling people to a vocation to serve as a catechist. This is an opportunity for adults to grow in their faith, in their relationship with the Lord, and in holiness.  Perhaps this notion of catechists as having a vocation is new to you.  In days gone by, we thought of vocations as pertaining to priests and nuns.  While that is true, all people have a vocation: a call to live a life of holiness.  In addition, some people have vocations to serve the Church in very important ways.  Being a catechist is one of them.  The Church refers to the vocation of the catechist in the General Directory for Catechesis (#23): “Indeed, efforts must be made to encourage in parishes and Christian communities vocations for catechesis.”

 

For more information or to serve in this ministry, please call the St. Kilian Religious Education Office at 262-673-4831 ext. 7406 or email dre@astkiliancong.org.

 

A Catechist's Role — Here are some of the things that we think might make a good catechist.  These are all items that you can learn!  Remember that when one teaches any type of material, you really learn the material!  You will be amazed at the end of the year how much you have learned and how much the kids have taught you!

Qualities

  • A desire to grow in and share the Catholic faith
  • An awareness of God’s grace and the desire to respond to that grace
  • A commitment to the Church’s liturgical and sacramental life and moral teachings
  • A strength of character built on patience, responsibility, confidence, and creativity
  • A generosity of spirit, respect for diversity, and a habit of hospitality and inclusion

Knowledge and Skills

  • A basic understanding of Catholic teaching, Scripture, and Catholic Tradition
  • Honest and caring relationships with the age group being served
  • It is more important to share your faith than to teach your faith.  It means more to the kids that you want to share with them.
  • Effective teaching techniques and strategies

Responsibilities

  • Complete initial training or formation.
  • Complete Safeguarding training.
  • Commit to teaching all the sessions (subs are available for when you can not be there).
  • Attend all catechist meetings and training.
  • Commit to your own ongoing formation.

Most of all, catechists need to make a commitment to grow. They don’t have to be flawless in all of these areas; however, they need to recognize where they might be deficient and strive to enrich themselves, with my help as the catechetical leader.  It is my role as DRE to train and help the catechist.

 

You may be thinking, I know there are people in my parish who would be better catechists than I will be.  When the DRE gets up front to make the annual plea, they’re too afraid to answer God’s call, because they know they’re not the perfect person for the job.  But here’s the thing: The perfect person isn’t here.  The perfect person will probably never show up.  But you are here, and you’re the one God is calling right now, in all your imperfection.  It’s OK to hold your breath, close your eyes, make the leap and offer to help. His grace will make up for your faults!

 

 

Top 10 Reasons to Become a Catechist — Joe Paprocki — Joe Paprocki's video gives his Top 10 Reasons to become a Catechist.

Called To Be A Catechist — CatholicChicago — A video from the Archdiocese of Chicago that celebrates the role of catechists.

Your Role as a Catechist PART 1 — Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts — Diocese Director of Faith Formation, Sister Paula Robillard, SSJ, talks in this video to catechists about their role.

Your Role as a Catechist PART 2 — Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts — Part 2 of Diocese Director of Faith Formation, Sr. Paula Robillard, SSJ, continues talking in this video to catechists about their role.

 

Are you considering becoming a catechist?  Want to understand what it means to be a volunteer catechist?  Here are some resources to help.

 

Resources For Catechists — Diocese of St. Augustine

Articles and Videos for Those Considering the Call to Be a Catechist — Catechist's Journey — A resource that has many articles to help explain what it means to be a catechist and what a catechist does.  It also includes videos showing catechists “in action” leading their groups.

There is a lot of information on the RESOURCES FOR PARENTS — MAKING FAITH ALIVE IN OUR HOME page of this website.

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist: Basic Questions and Answers — United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

​Amazing Catechists — Serves and supports catechists as you bring the light of our Catholic Faith to others.  Whether you are volunteers or professionals, work in your home, school, or parish, you will find in this a community of faithful Catholics ready to share with you and hoping to learn from your tips and suggestions.

Why I’m the worst catechist at my parish, and still signing up — catechist Deirdre Mundy.  What I love about it is her humility—something that is a great quality for every catechist to have.  She is most definitely NOT the worst catechist, but the fact that she recognizes her own unworthiness and places her trust in the Holy Spirit to equip, enable, and empower her to do what’s best for others is at the heart of a healthy spirituality for any pastoral minister.  “So, here is what God and the Church are left with: the unworthy yet willing.  A lot of us who are called to things we’re not especially good at, but we’re game to give it a try, all for Jesus.  Fortunately, where our own talents, skills, and energies fail us, grace can fill the gaps, if we let it.”

 

Putting on Christ: The Six Tasks of Catechesis — Joe Paprocki, Catechist's Journey — Something that was put together about the Six Tasks of Catechesis, as outlined in the General Directory for Catechesis.  The general Directory for Catechesis is the Church document that directs the Director on what to do and what needs to be covered in a formation program.  This is helpful for the catechist.

The Six Tasks of Catechesis: A Series of Articles to HELP ME

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #1: Promoting Knowledge of the Faith, or Holding on to the Faith

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #2: Liturgical Education, or Expressing our Faith

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #3: Moral Formation, or Living Out Our Faith

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #4: Teaching to Pray, or Praying Our Faith

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #5: Education for Community Life, or Mentoring our Faith

The Six Tasks of Catechesis #6: Missionary Initiation, or Evangelizing our Faith

 

10 Ways You Can Help Catechists Maintain Their Enthusiasm — Loyola Press — As the Director of Religious Education (DRE), these are some of the ways I help you.

By Their Fruits You Will Know Them: Catechists & Evangelizers as Missionary Disciples — United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)