Teaching and sharing the faith

“Catechists carry out a mission invaluable for the transmission and growth of the faith…[by encountering] all those who are waiting to discover the beauty, goodness and truth of the Christian faith.”

Pope Francis (Antiquum Ministeruim)

A catechist is someone who passes on the faith. Catechesis comes from the Greek meaning “to echo”, because our first calling, as baptised Christians, is to transmit to others the Good News of Jesus Christ that we have received.

On 11 May 2021, whilst launching his recent Apostolic Letter, Antiquum Ministerium (“Ancient Ministry”), Pope Francis acknowledged the need of the Church to evangelise the contemporary world in the face of “the rise of a globalised culture” and to recognise “those lay men and women who feel called by virtue of their baptism to co-operate in the work of catechesis” (AM). It is by the dedicated service of catechists that the seed of faith can grow and mature.

Indeed, our own teams of parish catechists are vital to the spiritual well-being of our parish. We are very grateful to those parishioners who are already very dedicated catechists – we couldn’t do what we do without them!

The catechists’ main method of sharing the faith is to begin with the love of God. St Augustine wrote that the life of faith begins with knowing that God loved us first – which is why communicating God’s mercy for us, through the life of Jesus is the starting point for all catechesis.

Each parish needs energetic catechists, who learn the art of how to best transmit the faith to each individual – their role is to help us each discover a life of closeness to God, where we allow God’s love to flourish within us and are better equipped in our Christian walk, so as to be an good example to others.

“The role of catechist is of the highest importance.”

Ad Gentes (Second Vatican Council)

Top Ten Reasons for being a Catechist

Joe Paprocki of the website Catechist’s Journey gives the following top ten reasons for being a catechist:

  1. You will grow in your own faith, learn the teachings of the Church, and deepen your relationship with Jesus.
  2. Your baptism calls you to share in Jesus’ ministry.
  3. Children, teens, and adults in today’s world, more than ever, need to hear the Good News of Jesus.
  4. Children, teens, and adults in today’s world, more than ever, need to encounter good role models of faith.
  5. You have much to share with those you’ll teach, and you’ll have opportunities to share faith with other catechists.
  6. Today’s catechetical textbooks/resources offer outstanding support.
  7. You’ll be challenged, you’ll have fun, and you’ll make new friends.
  8. You’ll be helping people deepen their relationship with Jesus. (You’ll be evangelising!)
  9. You’ll be handing on a 2000-year-old Tradition that changes lives.
  10. It’s our job: Jesus sent us to “go and teach all nations.”

Catechetical Programmes

Our catechists assist with this ongoing formation in the faith in a variety of different ways:

  • Baptism: Preparing parents of infants being baptised, so as to help them better appreciate the significance of bringing their child into the family of the Catholic Church.
  • First Holy Communion: Preparing children in discovering the wonder of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and of the Eucharist.
  • Confirmation: Preparing teenagers for an important “rite of passage” through the sacrament of Confirmation, as they make their own personal commitment to their faith and to the Church.
  • Marriage: Preparing engaged couples for the sacrament of Marriage.

Do Get in Touch!

We are always looking for parishioners willing to serve as a catechist. We can provide training & support. If you are not sure, you might like to speak to someone who is already a catechist in the parish — no doubt, they would attest to how rewarding being a catechist can be!

If you feel moved to find out more and get involved (even if you are not sure how!), then please do get in contact and we will be able to talk through the possibilities.