Catechesis: To Echo

In the last few years I have noticed more DVD or computer-based programs available for religious education programs.  This year, there are three big ones out there for confirmation prep.  I am using one for our confirmation program.  And while I’m pleased with my choice, I’m not thrilled with my decision.  In fact, I used a DVD based program last year for the 6/7 combined class and wasn’t thrilled with that either.

I’m not pleased that I need to use them.  The programs themselves are great.  When I had to choose the confirmation program, it came down to what fit, mainly, with our time frame.

So why do I use them?  For a few reasons: they are correct in terms of doctrine and theology, they are visually appealing and so hold the interest of the class, and they make it easier on the catechist.

Like most parish programs, I rely on volunteers to pass on the faith.  Their knowledge of the faith runs the gamut and while I give them a guide to follow, they don’t always follow it.  They have the best of intentions, but not always the best method of delivery.  For various reasons, I am not able to require training as a precursor to becoming a catechist.

The programs on the DVD or computer know the faith.  But if the purpose of “catechesis” is “to echo” it really needs to be a live body who not only knows the faith but lives it.  I want to see children and youth engaged, discussing, flipping through Bibles, thumbing YOUCats, and praying.

I cannot believe I am alone in what I’d like to see happen in religious education programs.  How can this happen without an investment of time and energy to learning the faith?  It can’t.  This school year, my plan is to work on evangelizing the catechists so they can truly echo the faith.

Copyright © 2014, Deanna Bartalini

Deanna Bartalini

Deanna Bartalini

Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, and educator. She serves on the retreat team at Our Lady of Florida Spiritual Center. Deanna loves teaching about Catholicism and how it fits into our daily lives. She writes at, serves as the editor of the blog, and is a contributor there as well as at Deanna contributed to A Catholic Mom's Prayer Companion published by Ave Maris Press. She is the author of “Invite the Holy Spirit into Your Life: Growing in Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control” published by Our Sunday Visitor. Deanna is available to lead retreats and speak at catechist and ministry events.

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