The other evening, I decided to write a prayer service based on St. Augustine’s letter On Catechezing the Neophyte. It’s often been called the first catechist’s manual because its content includes not only what to teach, but how to keep the student engaged. Writing to a catechist named Deogratias, Augustine noted that frequently a student who first listened with all readiness gets tired and no longer listens, but instead gapes and yawns and looks as if he’d like to be somewhere else. Augustine suggested a few re-engagement tactics.
Not much has changed in the approximately 1,600 years since Augustine wrote his advice to Deogratias. A look at the wonderful line-up of workshops on offer at our annual Catechetical Forums – Saturday, Oct. 4, at Sacred Heart Parish, Monroe, NY, and Saturday, Oct. 18, at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx – makes that clear.
“Here they come – Are you ready?” That sounds like a workshop a new catechist should check out. “Doing God’s Work at Ungodly Hours.” Oh yes, catechists can certainly identify with that. “Parents – Help or Hindrance?” Enough said. But in addition to these are such topics as “How to become a Creative Catechist, “Technology in the Classroom,” “Keeping Adolescents Connected to the Church.” And many more “how to” workshops. If you are a catechist or thinking of becoming one, don’t miss out on the Forums.
There are three other great reasons to come, our keynoters: Father James Martin, SJ, Editor-at-Large at America magazine and author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage; Carole Eipers, Vice President, Executive Director of Catechetics for William H. Sadlier Publishing, Inc.; and Adrian Alberto Herrara, Associate Director, Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
If you are interested in joining us at one of these two great days, just visit the Catechetical Forums website and register. We’d love to have you join us. Augustine would, I believe, heartily approve of these great opportunities for catechists.