One frequent complaint I hear from readers about the state of our Church today is that too few Catholics know their faith (of course, living it is a separate matter). The temptation is to spend so much time assigning blame that we neglect our duty to do something about it.
One important way we can help pass on knowledge of the faith and love for Christ is by being a catechist in our parish. In anticipation of Catechetical Sunday 2009, marked on Sept. 20, we have several stories this week about catechesis, what it means and some of its current challenges (see Pages 5 and 9-12).
Last year, regular writer Woodeene Koenig-Bricker prepared a list of 10 reasons to consider becoming a catechist. Here they are:
10. The best way to learn is to teach.
If your own faith education ended years ago, the resources and materials you are exposed to as a catechist will surely refresh and expand your own knowledge.
9. Catechists tell the truth.
The world needs the message of the Gospel and the way to true happiness; as a catechist, you offer a hungry world that sustenance.
8. Sharing the faith is an honor.
It's estimated that fewer than 1 percent of Catholics are catechists.
7. Your own faith will come alive.
As a catechist, you will discover that prayer, liturgy and your own relationship with God will become more vibrant and meaningful.
6. You become an active part of the most active part of your parish.
When you join the catechists in your parish, you enter into a community that will support you on your faith journey, pray for and with you and encourage you in your Catholic way of life.
5. A catechist is a role model.
As a catechist, you get to model behaviors young people might not learn anywhere else.
4. You will be practicing stewardship.
Being a catechist is a way of being a good steward by giving a bit of your most precious resource -- your time.
3. You show your own family that you value religious education.
Taking time out of your life to teach the faith shows your own children, grandchildren, siblings and family members that you put a high priority on religious education.
2. It's fun.
Kids remind adults to live and laugh in the moment and get enthused about things like holy days and stories of saints.
1. It's what we are called to do.
At the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus said: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations."
Did we miss something on this list? I look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.