The recruitment of catechists is one of the most important responsibilities of a catechetical leader. It is an ongoing activity, always inviting individuals to find out more about being a catechist.
While many parishes focus their recruitment efforts in August and September, this is the time that all catechists should have already been recruited and have completed orientation, training and formation. Catechists will be ready to welcome the children, youth, adults and families into the various programs for faith formation.
In order to achieve this ideal, catechetical leaders must see recruitment as an ongoing activity with special focus in Lent and spring and then basic catechist education and formation in spring and summer.
An announcement at the end of Mass and in the parish bulletin is not effective. While it will alert the parish that there are various catechetical programs and that volunteers are needed, most people do not respond to a general and impersonal approach.
People will volunteer when they are personally invited. Instead of inviting people to be catechists, invite them to find out more about what it means to be a catechist. Invite them to a personal or small group gathering where they can learn what it’s all about – responsibilities, time commitment, education and formation, benefits.
People look forward to making a contribution. They want to do a good job, learn more about the faith, meet with others.
After the informational meeting, they will know what it is all about and be able to make an informed decision. When they say “yes” they can then begin their preparation and education.
Who are catechists? They are people who keep the memory of God alive; they keep it alive in themselves and they are able to revive it in others. Pope Francis. Homily at Mass for Catechists!
Action: Invite three to five individuals to assist you with catechist recruitment and formation.