Scandals got you down? Not ready to teach this season?

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If you are not ready to going back to being a catechist… what then? 


Many men and women who serve the Church as volunteers have been struggling in this climate of scandal. If you discern that you are not yet ready to return to this catechetical ministry, or to lead your classes, because of what is going on in you right now, speak up.

Let those in leadership over your parish religious education know as soon as possible. This allows them to make other arrangements. But be sure to talk it over with them.

Then consider getting some help to allow you to continue to process your emotions. Sister Lou Ella Hickman, IWBS, a certified spiritual director, recommends the following:

“To help you answer where is God in all this, consider speaking to a spiritual director. To help process your feelings, consider seeing a grief counselor. (Even non-Catholic counselors who are well-trained can be of great benefit.) Too many people in the past have left the Church because they had no one to walk them through grief and betrayal.”

Look for help and trust God that you will find it. You are not alone in this struggle.

Maybe stepping back from this ministry for this season is what is needed for you. Or perhaps you might participate in a different way at your parish over the next few months. It’s okay to tend to how God might be leading you right now.

Some people feel guilty about “quitting” something, especially when the times are tough. But catechists and ministry volunteers are not immune from experiencing setbacks, grief, burnout, and the need for rest and renewal. If that’s you: pray, listen to the Holy Spirit’s leading, and take the needed action.

Jesus said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
– Mark 6:31

A pause in serving might become a time of great spiritual renewal, a time to see where God will lead you next. You might be coming back, with renewed vigor, to catechesis; or God might call you to serve the Church in a new way in the future. All in good time.


PAT GOHN is the editor of Catechist magazine and


READ MORE: Coping with Church Sex Abuse Scandals: Resources for Catechists

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