Catechist: “I don’t know enough about this week’s topic.”

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Perhaps it would be true to say, “We never will.” One of the enlivening realities about our faith is that there will always be more to learn, more to appreciate, more to celebrate, and more to act on. One of the gifts of being a catechist is that a journey of study and deepened understanding is inherent in what we do as we prepare and as we listen to the insights of others-all those on the journey with us, especially the often-provocative thoughts of the children.

At the same time, there might be times when we do feel that “this week’s topic is beyond me or confusing to me”.

I recall observing my two-year old great-nephew watching Who Wants to be a Millionaire? As soon as the question was asked, he delighted in responding, “Phone a friend,” “Ask the audience,” or “50-50.”

We too have many lifelines. Rely on your DRE, other catechists, your mentor, and the various resources from our Catholic publishers. Invite someone to your session who has expertise/experience with the topic. As a permanent fix, look with your DRE, for a catechist so that the two of you will minister together, each doing parts of the session that call forth your gifts.

TO DO» Take time for prayer before preparing each session. Read, participate in adult formation sessions, and keep a list of those to whom you can go for assistance.

TO PRAY» God of guidance, teach me your wisdom. Be my lifeline.


SR. JANET SCHAEFFLER, OP, is the author of many books and resources, including The Spirituality of the Catechist, and The Creed: A Catechist’s Guide, both from Twenty-Third Publications. 

Excerpted from Pep Talks for Catechistsby Janet Schaeffler, OP. 2015. Published by Twenty-Third Publications. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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