Creating Competent Catechists: A Training Process for Catechists

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Kathleen Ann Walsh Myles
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
I propose that we take a two-pronged approach to the problem of a lack .of training for our catechists. The first part of the proposal would be to begin some form of community building with an activity such as a Morning/Evening of Reflection, potluck dinners, and prayer services where we come together to play and pray. These activities would be for all of the catechists involved in the parish school of religion, from pre-school up to adult education. The reason we would want this to be so encompassing is because of the need for all the catechists to see that there is a flow to the religious education process. Although we all meet on different days and different times, and minister to different age-levels, we are all about the same thing - furthering the Kingdom of God. There is a larger community from which to draw strength when the going gets tough or when we want to shout from the rooftops our joys. The second prong of this project would be to focus on the elementary catechists’ expressed needs for training and formation of some sort. I propose that we gather once a month for a two-hour session. Each session would be offered twice, once during the day and once in the evening. The topics to be covered the first year would be the developmental stages of children, classroom management, evaluations, creative catechesis and prayer with children. Each of these sessions would begin with hospitality, ice breakers, shared prayer, shared reflection on where we are today, and then the main topic would be presented. Each presentation would have an oral evaluation at the end.