WHAT IS A CATECHIST?
The Catechist is a person of faith who leads others in understanding the faith teachings according to the official teachings of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The role of the catechist is a vital ministry to the Church. It is a gift that has tremendous value to the world community at large because through the catechist’s word and action, the message of Christ continues to have a place in all human affairs.
WHAT DOES A CATECHIST DO?
The primary goal of a catechist is to model God’s love to others. As a result, the primary requisite of a catechist is a love for God and a love for children. A catechist develops a lesson plan and uses that plan to teach in the classroom. By creating the lesson plan the catechist ultimately designs and structures experiences for students that help them grow in their personal faith and spirituality. The catechist passes on to students a set of shared meanings and values that are Catholic and Christian. A catechist also initiates others into the faith community, into its life, its worship, symbols and practices.
WILL I RECEIVE TRAINING AND SUPPORT?
St. Mary’s offers excellent training classes giving the catechist the opportunity to reinvigorate their understanding of the faith. Formal training classes are held each fall. Courses are offered on Scripture, Church Doctrine, Lesson Planning, Classroom Activities and a variety of other subjects. The basic training courses are presented several times in order to accommodate busy schedules. Catechists are also encouraged to attend the Diocesan Pastoral Congress held each fall. It is the goal of our Education Program for catechists to obtain Diocesan certification.
On-going support is provided by Coordinators and the Director of Youth Faith Formation. A Coordinator is always present when classes are in session. Team teaching is also utilized as a mechanism for support. For new Catechist to feel comfortable and secure in the classroom, it is strongly recommended that they have at least 12 hours of training before classes begin.
ARE THERE TEACHING AND RESOURCE MATERIALS?
St. Mary’s provides grade level Teacher Manuals, and Catechist Handbook and Resource Book with numerous activities. St. Mary’s has an extensive library of books, music, activities, games, craft materials, media resources and internet connection. The classrooms are student friendly and bulletin boards are available to decorate to make the environment even more inviting. Catechists can access a password protected website for additional materials at www.stmarysparkcityre.weebly.com.
WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
St. Mary’s Religious Education Program begins in September and ends in May and meets once a week. It follows the holiday schedule of the Park City School District. Class hours for K-5th grade are offered on Sunday from 11:00 am —12:15 pm, or Monday from 4:00-5:15 pm and Tuesday 6:00-7:15 pm. Catechists are able to choose which class time works best for them. Since Catechist alternate teaching, each catechist teaches about 13 classes yearly. The Middle School Program (6-8th grade) meet from 11:00—12:15 pm or 4:00 until 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Confirmation preparation is lead on Sunday evenings from 5:15 – 9:00 m for 8 sessions which includes attending the Teen mass.
If you are interested in becoming a Catechist or participating in the Religious Education Program, please call Sandy Foley, Director of Religious Education at 435-940-5453.