The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Encountering God in Catechesis

Authored by Catechists' Personal Testimonies in Issue #2.4 of Catechetical Review
Good Advice from a Mentor Priest In the fall, the 8th grade religious education classes were meeting for the first time in formal preparation for their Confirmation at my parish. I had the privilege of being one of the catechists responsible for catechizing these young teens. There were a total of 17 students for whom I was responsible and the task before me seemed daunting, especially going into to this experience as a new college graduate, but I wanted to be a part of my parish’s religious education program. I had many questions, so I decided to speak with one of my closest mentors, and it so happens, the priest who recruited me for this position in the first place. When we got together, I explained that I was not certain where to begin. I had never taught before and this group included private and public school kids, honors students and below grade level students, and all levels of interest in the faith. Father smiled and right then and there told me, “I knew I picked the right person for this task.” At this point I gave a blank stare back to Father as this was not the answer that I was expecting. Father went on to say, “Your desire to bring the Word of Jesus to the students is strong, otherwise, you wouldn’t be here asking where to begin.” Father then said, “Teach from the back of the room to the front and rely on the Word.” My blank stare continued, but at this point I was extremely interested to find out what he meant. Father explained that I should start by getting to know my students and their interests outside of class and to “assign homework, but don’t collect the homework. Rather make it a point to review the content of the homework with the entire class. The students who are ready for a deeper understanding will go the extra mile, while those who are not will still benefit from your reviewing of the key concepts.” Father advised me to not only find out their interests but also to show them that I was actually interested, even if I wasn’t. This resulted in my attending many events and activities that I would otherwise not have partaken; but the students saw me and my interest in them. Finally, Father said, “Teach the Word, and Jesus will ensure that each student receives exactly what he or she needs. Text books are useful, but nothing is better than the Word itself.”

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor’s Reflections: The Liturgical Life – A Source of Healing
By Dr. James Pauley
Free “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off” (Mt 13:24–25). Our Lord’s imagery helps us make sense of difficult and painful situations existing within the Church. He is describing, afterall, the “kingdom of God.”... Read more
Advent at Home: Five Practices for Entering into the Season
By Brad Bursa
Free Most Catholic parents are so far removed from a rich Catholic culture that living a liturgical season—let alone the liturgical year—can seem impossible. Dr. Tracey Rowland, professor at the University of Notre Dame Australia, describes the scene by saying that young Catholics “find themselves in a situation where they have rarely experienced a... Read more
Principles for Celebrating the Liturgical Year
By Fr. Eusebius Martis, OSB
For Christians, the celebration of the mystery of Christ is, on the one hand, formative and, on the other, an opportunity to offer praise and thanksgiving. This is especially true for Catholics because the events of our salvation in Christ are recalled daily, weekly, seasonally, and annually. The awareness of the liturgical cycle may not be... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now