Catechist Formation

“People today put more trust in witnesses than in teachers, in experiences than in teaching, and in life and actions than in theories.” –St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, #42 

Being a Catechist*

I am the most effective element of evangelization in my ministry.

I evangelize more effectively by my being than by any task that I perform or programs and materials I use.

What I do speaks more eloquently than anything I say. 

The Three-fold Vocation if the Catechist/Evangelizer*

  1. Be an animated witness of the Faith.
  • Others observe that you have a personal relationship with Jesus.
  • Display vim, vigor, vitality, enthusiasm for Jesus, others, for the mission of spreading the Gospel.
  • Energy attracts others.
  • Witness Christian values.
  • Display a patient, helpful attitude/approach.
  • Be respectful, confidential.
  • Never underestimate the power of a smile.
  • Be an agent of hope.
  1. Be a mentor.
  • Illustrate that “the Faith” is a dynamic, lively process rather than a static condition.
  • Demonstrate that “the Faith” is a life-long, continual conversion to Jesus and growing in relationship with Him.
  • Trace the ways of grace in your lifeline.
  • Let your speech convey that you are one with the listener—not above or apart from.
  • Perform “moral miracles”. Show love to parents/students who vex you; initiate, welcome, acknowledge, include, invite, give second chances, ask advice, accommodate, forgive…
  • Testify to the difference God has made in your life.
  • Be a missionary of mercy.
  1. Be an effective teacher.
  • In culturally, age-appropriate ways transmit the Word of God from Scripture and Tradition.
  • Know well and integrate content from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
  • Refer to the CCC when you plan a lesson.
  • Publisher programs include teacher guide material. Study it and incorporate it in your lessons.
  • Speak from a prepared heart.
  • Deliver material with a simple, non-judgmental attitude.
  • Speak to/with parents & students; not at them.
  • Be a witness to Jesus and the joy of the Gospel.

*Based on the talk by Sr. Patricia McCormack, IHM, EdD at the Archdiocesan Catechetical Congress, 9/22/2018

If you think you have been called to be a catechist, you are welcome to come to one of our monthly meetings.  We meet the second Sunday afternoon (of most months) immediately following 11 a.m. Mass (approximately 12:15-12:30) in the St Augustine Room.  Food and drinks are provided in turn by the catechists and myself.  Everyone is always welcome to bring something to share.  For more information,

Contact Laurann Donahue
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Catechetical Resources:

2019-20 RE Planning Calendar for Catechists

Catechist Magazine

Creative Catechist

Faith and Life

Pflaum Publishing Group

Formative Support Services