Getting Started as a Catechist
First, thank you for choosing to serve God, the Church and our youth by being a Catechist! May God bless and guide you in your ministry.
I begin with a quote the exemplifies our goal, our mission, our aim and why we exist as a faith formation program…
“[A]t the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, “the only Son from the Father…full of grace and truth,” who suffered and died for us and who now, after rising, is living with us forever…. Accordingly, the definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.”
Pope John Paul II, “Catechesi Tradendae”
At St. Thomas we expect our catechists to exemplify this quote, to live it out through their ministry. As such, we've established the following Code of Conduct. It is a manifestation of the quote above, a real life application. Please read it over and let me know if you have any questions or concerns with any aspects.
Now, to get started, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3,….and 4:
1) Attend the Catechist In-service. This in-service is:
For all grades (PreK-8th) —- Wed., Aug. 31, 7:00-8:30 pm in the Lower Lounge is the in-service (lower level of STA).
What to bring to the Aug. 31 in-service:
Most Importantly: for new catechists, please complete the required background forms and the on-line VIRTUS training before the catechist in-service. It is very important for the protection of our children that you do so and it is an absolute requirement in order to work with children.
See the following link for instructions: https://staparish.net/sites/default/files/forms/BGC1617.pdf
PAY or VOLUNTEER: We are required by the Archdiocese to pay catechists but catechists can choose to volunteer and not be paid. This is up to the catechists and whatever decision that is made is completely fine. Catechists wishing to be paid will receive $10 per session taught or in-service attended (YES, you get paid to come to your in-services) IF you wish to be paid, please follow this link http://staparish.net/catechists/forms-catechists and fill out the forms (Federal and State W4s) under the payment forms heading. If you’ve already filled out an I-9 form before, you do not need to fill it out again. Bring these forms to the in-service.
NEW CATECHISTS TO STA…and anyone who did not teach at STA last year: IF you wish to be paid, you will also need to complete a Form I-9, in my presence. Please bring to the in- service your passport OR a picture ID (Driver’s License or ISU) AND either a social security card or birth certificate. So either the passport or a picture id and your social security card or a birth certificate. Bring these things to the in-service.
Notes for new catechists to STA:
- Your social security number (SS#) is required on the background forms in order for a thorough background check.
- IF you have already taken VIRTUS, you DO NOT need to take it again. Just fill out the background forms and provide me with a certificate from when/where you took it before. (download from http://www.virtus.org).
3. Allow about 50 minutes. to take the on-line VIRTUS training. Once you’ve completed the training, print out a VIRTUS certificate and bring it to the in-service.
IF you don’t wish to be paid as a catechist, you do not need to complete the W-4 or I-9 forms.
(I will have a very short form for you to complete at the in-service saying that you don’t want to be paid.)
2) Mark Your Calendar:
- Sept. 14 — First Classes for Wednesday program. The faith formation calendar can be found here: http://staparish.net/prek-12th-grade-faith-formation/faith-formation-calendarsschedule
3) Please contact me with any questions, concerns, or comments (my contact info is below). My door, email and phone are always open. I’ve included my cell phone. I am here to be of help to you, the catechists, who are the backbone of the program so that we can all work together to form our youths’ faith as best as we can and ultimately draw them nearer to our Lord.
4) Lastly, watch at least one, one hour webinar. You will find that this is well worth your time. As Catholics we are constantly growing in our faith, hopefully, and in the same way as catechists we must constantly grow in the way we pass on the faith. We cannot pass on a love for the Lord that we do not possess ourselves. Below is a link to a slew of webinars to choose from.
Pay particular attention to the “Getting started as a Catechist” series
(both new and old catechists are encouraged to watch these)
Again, may God bless and guide you. You will all be in my prayers and I ask for yours as well. I am really looking forward to working with you in the faith formation of our youth this year.
With the below listed assignments there will be co-catechists and aides missing for a few grades. These will be filled or set by the beginning of the year. If you know of anyone else who would make a good catechist, please let me know. Also, if your assignment doesn’t fit your charisms or what you are looking for, please let me know and we may be able to work something else out.