What words of wisdom can you share with a new and/or seasoned catechist?” This is a tough question, and on any given day I wasn’t sure how I would answer. However, I have thought about this question for some time now basically because I am a Missionary Catechist, a member of a religious congregation that is dedicated to catechesis. I, too, continue to be challenged by the message we bring to others, a message engraved deep in our hearts. Furthermore, it is a message we must be willing to bring to whomever we meet with a spirit of enthusiasm and wonder.
First, I would remind catechists that each year we serve as catechist is special because we receive opportunities to share our memories, our stories, and our dreams that speak of being nourished by the Holy Scriptures and the Eucharist as we come to the table as brothers and sisters in the one body of Christ.
Secondly, I would advise catechists to express gratitude and generosity to all those we meet. Share with your students and others the gratitude you have for being a catechist in today’s contemporary world. In addition, express your commitment by the examples you share with your students. Do not be afraid to be open. Your heart is strong enough to share the message you are called to share with sincerity and confidence in God’s Providence.
Finally, my advice to catechists is to “stay motivated” by allowing time for yourself time to sit, wonder, think, pray, discern and reflect on the message you hear and on how you wish to share it with others. Preparation of any message that we are scheduled to teach compels us to spend time in silence and prayer. Pray daily that you receive new ideas on how to share the message of Jesus.
In the parish where I minister and have been a DRE for a total of three months, I tell the catechists and their helpers that they are wonderful witnesses of constant giving and generosity. By their presence and their commitment to “show-up” and “step up,” they meet the challenge to teach what they know to be true in their lives.
Sister Mary Lou Barba, MCDP is the DRE for Pre-K to 5th grade at Emmaus Catholic Parish in Lakeway, TX. She has been a Diocesan DRE and most recently finish her term as Major Superior in her congregation.