Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Pope Francis gives a crucifix to a layperson he installed as a catechist Jan. 23, 2023, during a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Why be a catechist?


Well, it is that time of year again and many Catholics find themselves considering an invitation to become a catechist in their parish. Directors/coordinators of religious education/faith formation, pastoral associates, priests, and deacons are all “on the prowl” seeking out those who have the potential to serve in this role. Perhaps you have been invited to be a catechist. Perhaps you know someone who is thinking about becoming a catechist. Or perhaps you are the one doing the inviting. Whatever the case may be, I offer the following reasons for becoming a catechist.

Top reasons to become a catechist:

  1. You will grow in your own faith, learn the teachings of the Church, and deepen your relationship with Jesus.
  2. Your Baptism calls you to share in Jesus’ ministry.
  3. Children, teens, and adults in today’s world, more than ever, need to hear the Good News of Jesus.
  4. Children, teens, and adults in today’s world, more than ever, need to encounter good role models of faith.
  5. You have much to share with those you will teach, and you will have opportunities to share faith with other catechists.
  6. Today’s catechetical textbooks/resources offer outstanding support.
  7. You will be challenged, you will have fun, and you will make new friends.
  8. You will be helping people deepen their relationship with Jesus. (You will be evangelizing!)
  9. You will be handing on a 2,000-year-old Tradition that changes lives.
  10. It is our job: Jesus sent us to “go and teach all nations.”

From my own personal experience (and from a time well before I became a deacon), I can state that sharing one’s faith in the role of a catechist can be profoundly, personally, and spiritually fulfilling. If you have been asked to be a catechist, prayerfully consider saying yes. You will be happy that you did so!

Dcn. Jay W. VanHoosier is the Director of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Owensboro. For more information visit, email [email protected] or call (270) 852-8324.

Originally printed in the September 2023 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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