What is a Catechist?
Catechists have a vocation…a calling from the Lord rooted in Baptism to carry out His mandate to teach the Gospel. The General Directory for Catechesis tells us that “The Church awakens and discerns this divine vocation and confers the mission to catechize. The Lord Jesus invites men and women, in a special way, to follow him, teacher and formator of disciples.” (GDC, No. 231)
Catechists must possess and exhibit qualities or characteristics necessary to give credible witness to the Gospel. A catechist must: be a model of Catholic Christian faith and lifestyle; participate in the spiritual, theological, and methodological training and formation provided by the Diocese of Salt Lake City; know and abide by the parish and diocesan guidelines and policies promoting effective catechesis; and give sufficient preparation time for the catechetical task.
“Catechists must be attentive to adapt their method of catechesis to the needs of the particular groups they serve.” (NDC, No. 54)
Who is a Catechist?
Catechists are those who are called to serve through teaching, witness, prayer, service and building community. Catechists minister to adults, youth, and children in a variety of locations and programs: parish faith formation and religious education programs, youth ministry programs, sacramental preparation, RCIA, family programs, Scripture study, and more. Through word and example, catechists teach the Catholic faith and tradition by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The call and response of a catechist is recognized in the local Church by the bishop. The response to this call includes willingness to give time and talent, directed not only to catechizing others, but to one’s own growth and development in faith understanding. The call to catechetical ministry often comes through the pastor, catechetical leader, youth minister, or through other catechists.
“The catechist lives and works in the world of the people who are open to catechesis. Through personal faith witness, catechists are particularly effective in spreading the message of Jesus because they “know the ordinary experiences of everyday life so well and are able to incarnate the Gospel in those ordinary circumstances.” NDC, No. 54)
Catechists within the Diocese of Salt Lake City must either possess a basic catechist certificate issued by the Office of Religious Education or be actively engaged in the process of certifying for the certificate during the first year of service. All catechists must renew certification every three years.
Becoming a Catechist
If you feel a call to teach at our Religious Education classes please contact Charity Van Maren at 801-485-9324 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We always have need of those who wish to share their faith. Teaching materials, training and support are provided. Please consider this fulfilling ministry.