All Faith Formation programs/classes grades K4-8th grade are led by adult parishioner catechists. You do not have to be a certified teacher to be a catechist. Almost half a million people volunteer each year in their Catholic parishes to help nurture children and youth in the faith. All catechists are teachers of religion.
St. Mary's Child Ministry provides catechists with resources and support that help people be successful. Not all teachers of religion are catechists, though. The main goal of a catchist is the growth in faith of the children/youth they work with. That growth involves the whole person.
A catechist's goal is to help the person being catechized to connect faith with life.
Qualities of an Effective Catechist
- a desire to grow in and share faith
- an awareness of God's grace and the desire to repond to that grace
- a commitment to the church's liturgical and sacramental life and moral teaching
- a strength of character built on patience, responsibility, confidence, and creativity
- a generosity of spirit, a respect for diversity, and a habit of hospitality and inclusion
Knowledge and Skills of a Catechist
- a basic understanding of Catholic teaching, Scripture, and Tradition
- honest and caring reslationships with children/youth
- effective teaching techniques and strategies
The Qualitites of a catechist must be brought to the position. The Knowledge and Skills can be learned or gleaned from training sessions, online learning, and working with an experienced catechist and from one-on-one learning with the Formation Director.
At St. Mary, we have Formation Programs/Classes for grades K4-Confirmation Preparation. The Child/Middle School area covers grades K4-8th grade. We run on a school year model: September-April.
- For grades K4-5, we have approximately 10 sessions per semester.
- Middle School classes meet 7 times per semester with some additional large group Sunday evening sessions that include all youth in our area. (Catechists are not responsible for these times.)
- 2nd grade prepares children for celebrating the sacraments of First Reconciliation and Eucharist. (Catechists in 2nd grade have additional respnsibilities outside of "class" time.)
Between September and April, classes generally meet as follows:
- Sundays during 9 a.m. Mass (K4, K5, and some 1st grade)
- Mondays 6:15 p.m.-7:30 p.m. (Grades 1-8)
- Wednesdays 5:00 p.m.-6:15 p.m. (Grades 1-8)
Exceptions and modifications to the current schedule are indicated in the annual calendar, located on the page of each respective grade.
All catechists must complete Safeguarding All God's Family Training.