Saturday, July 13, 2013

f u cn rd ths...


This post links to RAnn's Sunday Snippets 

Originally posted at New Evangelizers, but it applies to you lot as well.


...then you should be catechizing in a classroom. I already know you are a self-selected follower of New Evangelizers. Therefore I also know:

A. You take evangelizing seriously.

B. You can read.

I have to digress already. About 30 years ago I worked in a small Southern mill town. Once during lunch I overheard a remark about a candidate in the mayoral election: "So Jones is running, eh? I already got his campaign slogan: "Vote for Jones: He Can Read." I love that: it was actually a riff on another saying, "A Methodist is a Baptist who can read." I don't remember if Jones was a Methodist or not. Regardless, it's still true: if you can read, and take evangelizing seriously, you should try being a catechist.

But Christian, there are already enough catechists; my parish doesn't need any more.

Maybe. But many (if not most) catechists are parents of children in the program. When a child ages out, so does the parent. And they do the job out of duty more than vocation; and because the DRE asked them; and because three people quit last year; and....get it?

Yes, but I don't think I'm called to be a catechist.

Yes, but you don't know unless you try.

But no-one has asked me.

I'm asking you right now.

But you aren't the parish DRE or the pastor.

Well, God is asking you through me instead of going through the usual channels.

But I'm not prepared. I don't know how to teach.

Then volunteer to be a helper. Even illiterate Cossacks can be helpers. But being the evangel-serious reader that you are, after one year of helping you will be itching to run your own class the next year.

I don't really know my faith well enough to teach it to anyone.

You probably do, but just haven't been in the right situation. Besides, the Holy Spirit will support you. And teaching something is the best way to know it.

I'm already volunteering at my parish.

Me, too. I do stuff with the Knights of Columbus. But catechizing is essential. Serving the parish breakfast, as much I like doing it, is not. And many people can do that as well as me, if not better. Not everyone is called to be a catechist. Maybe you are.

I’m not hearing that call.

Giving it a try may open your ears. It opened mine.

Our Religious Ed program seems too fluffy. It doesn't suit me.

All the more reason for an evangel-type like you to get in the classroom. As long as you cover the material, you can be as un-fluffy as you like. Catechists have a lot of discretion as to how they teach.

The parents of the kids won't help with anything, they just drop them off and pick them up.

That's enough; the rest will be up to you. You'll focus on the kids in front of you, not their parents.

And they don't take the kids to Mass or teach them anything at home. The parents don't know or practice their faith.

That’s just another reason for the kids to spend time with a motivated Catholic such as you. Don't blame the kids for their parents. And don't blame the parents too much; they were probably badly catechized when they were kids.

Teaching catechism isn’t the same thing as evangelizing.

It is the same thing if you decide that’s how it’s going to be.

I'm more interested in evangelizing adults out in the world, not kids in a classroom setting.

You can still do that. But dozens of adults don't reliably show up in a classroom 30 times a year to be evangelized. Ya can't beat that gold-plated opportunity. And I used to teach Adult Ed and RCIA before I was Shanghai'd against my will into teaching kids. Turns out dealing with kids is better: it's like pouring water on a sponge. Besides, you're also evangelizing the adults they'll become. You don’t just change the present, you change the future. So there.

Well, if you didn't want to be a catechist you were no different from me.

That's right. That's my point- I wouldn't give it a try until I was asked; and only by giving it a try did I discover that I liked it. But remember- I'm asking you not because you're a warm body. I'm asking you because you are already interested in evangelizing.

nd bcs u cn rd.

3 comments:

RAnn said...

Actually our program has few parent catechists; the last time I taught I was the only parent (out of about 10 catechists). The year I remember with the most of it it was 3/10.

Christian LeBlanc said...

How & whom does the DRE recruit?

Barb Schoeneberger said...

You're right. Every parish really needs good catechists and you've covered all the possible objections. If I were younger and wasn't so decrepit I would gladly be a catechist because I love working with kids.