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Catechist staffing

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  • Mary Ann Kelley
    This system means you need to recruit twice as many people, ///// I am having problems just finding a catechist, yet working on a second batch. Still trying
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 1, 2003
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      This system means
      you need to recruit twice as many people,
      /////
      I am having problems just finding "a" catechist, yet working on a second batch. Still trying to fill all positions.

      Mary Ann


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Ginny Brockman
      It s true that it seems harder to recruit twice as many, but I ve found it far easier to do this because they know they aren t responsible for the whole year
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 1, 2003
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        It's true that it seems harder to recruit twice as many, but I've found it
        far easier to do this because they know they aren't responsible for the
        whole year of classes. (And my teams come back, year after year. I only
        had to replace two helpers this year and one catechist.

        Ginny

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Mary Ann Kelley" <dreonline@...>
        To: "dretalkyahoo" <dre-talk@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, September 01, 2003 8:09 AM
        Subject: [dre-talk] Catechist staffing


        > This system means
        > you need to recruit twice as many people,
        > /////
        > I am having problems just finding "a" catechist, yet working on a
        second batch. Still trying to fill all positions.
        >
        > Mary Ann
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >


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      • Michelle
        ... found it far easier to do this because they know they aren t responsible for the whole year of classes. Michelle replies: We have found the same to be
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 1, 2003
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          Ginny wrote:
          > It's true that it seems harder to recruit twice as many, but I've
          found it far easier to do this because they know they aren't
          responsible for the whole year of classes.

          Michelle replies: We have found the same to be true recruiting Aids
          for the classrooms. They know that they will be responsible if the
          teacher has to be out one week, and they are committed to being there
          every week----but sharing the responsibility makes the committment
          seem less.

          In our confirmation prg. we have just switched to 'mini' courses that
          they would attend every other month. We are thinking about maybe
          doing this with the middle school levels next year, is anyone else
          doing this?
        • efewless@aol.com
          I put at least two people in every classroom. I tell them I understand you want to assist but we hope as the year goes by you will want to team teach. We
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 1, 2003
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            I put at least two people in every classroom. I tell them I understand you
            want to assist but we hope as the year goes by you will want to team teach. We
            have had as many as three to four catechists in a classroom when the main
            teacher used stations/learning centers. In this model the kids rotate around the
            classroom to three to four centers with an assistant or teacher directing at
            each place. There are some who remain strictly assistants, but they are vital
            to the program also. When there are two people everybody seems to have more
            fun, catechists and kids.

            Most of my catechists return year after year. It is a wonderful way to train
            new catechists who want to be the main teacher the following year. I feel
            that in today's world, it is safer for the children and the catechist if there
            are two adults working with the children. There are fewer discipline problems
            because they can be handled without stopping the lesson to make corrections,
            another person can help the catechist evaluate the lesson, give attention to
            students who are having difficulties, and of course, be there if the main
            teacher is out.

            I still need a third grade teacher and a couple of assistants, when I am
            reminding God about my program I put in a word for you too.

            After you have filled your positions, try to begin working on the second
            person and put in as many assistants as you can this year. You will see your
            volunteers grow; it is amazing. Don't forget to ask your current teachers if they
            have a friend who would like to help in the program.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • immaculatereled
            We use a two year program of mini-courses for Conf. Prep - each mini- course involving 8 sessions. 1st year: Jesus, Human Sexuality, Prayer and Sacraments 2nd
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 2, 2003
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              We use a two year program of mini-courses for Conf. Prep - each mini-
              course involving 8 sessions.
              1st year: Jesus, Human Sexuality, Prayer and Sacraments
              2nd year: Morality, Church History, God & Revelation and Immediate
              Prep for the Sacrament.

              The topics noted above are mandated by our Archdiocesan Guidelines
              for Adolescent Catechesis.

              We have experimented with a number of scheduling formats and
              currently offer a variety of options since 7th & 8th graders lead
              complicated extracurricular lives in our suburban NY community:

              2nd and 4th Sundays, meeting for two hours with 50 minutes devoted to
              one topic, a 20 minute social break, and a final 50 minutes devoted
              to a second topic. The topics change in the second semester.

              Weekly afternoon and evening sessions of 1hour & 15 minutes, changing
              topics each quarter.

              And, for those students in the weekly sessions, who have a seasonal
              scheduling crunch for any one quarter: the option of taking a leave
              of absence for the quarter of their choice which is replaced with a
              weekend seminar in early March [after basketball, soccer & step
              dancing and before Little League and spring musicals]. I am thinking
              of offering another weekend seminar in early summer if the need
              arises.

              The catechists select one or two topics to concentrate on and the
              students switch classrooms/teachers as they switch topics. This
              lends variety to the process and assures that everyone [catechist and
              student alike]knows, in case of a personality conflict or other
              problem, one need only endure for 8 sessions.

              The process works for us but I would be interested in hearing how
              others deal with it.

              Regina Doherty
              Immaculate Conception
              Stony Point

              We use a combination of Harcourts' Living Our Faith, Crossroads &
              Growing in Love texts for the doctrinal topics and Sadlier for the
              Conf. prep. Since I can't afford to purchase four texts per student
              per year, I reuse and redistribute all but the Sadlier text which I
              ask each student to share with parent and sponsor during the last
              year. I get about 2 - 3 years out of the Harcourt texts depending on
              student usage ... most of the kids are pretty respectful of the texts
              but they are only paperback and can stand only so much handling.
            • spymmail@aol.com
              In middle school, we were totally overwhelmed with the number of kids, and the whole-year committment from leaders wasn t working at all, some would just stop
              Message 6 of 16 , Sep 2, 2003
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                In middle school, we were totally overwhelmed with the number of kids, and
                the whole-year committment from leaders wasn't working at all, some would just
                stop coming by February... so now we are using the Discovering program from
                SMP, it's presented in 6-session minicourses. We provide two minicourses at a
                time, and we offer them in three 6-week sessions- Fall, Winter, and Spring. Kids
                are asked to complete two, so if they play basketball, they choose Fall and
                Spring, if they play baseball, they pick Fall and Winter. We are trying sooooo
                hard to become part of parents' busy agendas by making things workable for
                them. Also, we cut our group size by about a third this way, which is a HUGE help,
                and bolunteers need only commit to 6-weeks, instead of the entire year.
                -Margo



                Margo Morin
                Coordinator of Youth Ministry
                Church of St. Paul
                Hamilton-Wenham MA
                www.rc.net/boston/stpaul


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Amy Ballanco
                When we start in kindergarten most of the time we will find a mom with the child hanging on her in apprehension. I always suggest that they go in with the
                Message 7 of 16 , Sep 16, 2003
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                  When we start in kindergarten most of the time we will find a mom with the child hanging on her in apprehension. I always suggest that they go in with the child and stay for a while. They stay, they see, they want to
                  volunteer and eventually end up being a Catehcist in later years. We Love Crying Children!

                  efewless@... wrote:

                  > I put at least two people in every classroom. I tell them I understand you
                  > want to assist but we hope as the year goes by you will want to team teach. We
                  > have had as many as three to four catechists in a classroom when the main
                  > teacher used stations/learning centers. In this model the kids rotate around the
                  > classroom to three to four centers with an assistant or teacher directing at
                  > each place. There are some who remain strictly assistants, but they are vital
                  > to the program also. When there are two people everybody seems to have more
                  > fun, catechists and kids.
                  >
                  > Most of my catechists return year after year. It is a wonderful way to train
                  > new catechists who want to be the main teacher the following year. I feel
                  > that in today's world, it is safer for the children and the catechist if there
                  > are two adults working with the children. There are fewer discipline problems
                  > because they can be handled without stopping the lesson to make corrections,
                  > another person can help the catechist evaluate the lesson, give attention to
                  > students who are having difficulties, and of course, be there if the main
                  > teacher is out.
                  >
                  > I still need a third grade teacher and a couple of assistants, when I am
                  > reminding God about my program I put in a word for you too.
                  >
                  > After you have filled your positions, try to begin working on the second
                  > person and put in as many assistants as you can this year. You will see your
                  > volunteers grow; it is amazing. Don't forget to ask your current teachers if they
                  > have a friend who would like to help in the program.
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • katveee@aol.com
                  In a message dated 9/1/2003 8:22:05 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Yes, it does mean getting twice as many people, but once you manage to place two people in
                  Message 8 of 16 , Sep 19, 2003
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                    In a message dated 9/1/2003 8:22:05 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                    dreonline@... writes:

                    > This system means
                    > you need to recruit twice as many people,


                    Yes, it does mean getting twice as many people, but once you manage to place
                    two people in each class there are several benefits.
                    1) They share ideas and workload. 2) if one catechist can't come,
                    there is a second catechist who knows the kids, what they have been learning -
                    you are not constantly scrambling for substitutes. 3) Because of flexibility,
                    they tend to stay in ministry longer, 4) they build community and when workshops
                    or certification opportunities come along - they go together 5) they preplan
                    better - some because another adult will be in the room - some because they
                    talk to each other ahead of time about what they will be doing.

                    Just a couple of thoughts on the benefits.
                    Kathy





                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Pat O'Leary
                    I, too, recruit twice as many catechists and aides for Pre-School and Elementary (Gd.1-5). Our parish has 2000 families and I m working with about 500
                    Message 9 of 16 , Sep 19, 2003
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                      I, too, recruit twice as many catechists and aides for Pre-School and
                      Elementary (Gd.1-5). Our parish has 2000 families and I'm working with
                      about 500 children. All of our sessions have at least one catechist and
                      an aide or two or co-catechists without & without aides. I require at
                      least one adult in a room always. Our catechists actually mentor our
                      teen aides and when they leave for college, I feel these high school
                      experience will help them continue the journey and stay involved
                      wherever they go. Time is getting short this year, and I need one
                      catechist for a 3 year old program and one catechist for a 4th grade.
                      Not too shabby for having 28 sessions every week involving 3 days. The
                      extra recruitment makes my entire year easier. I also post a substitute
                      list for all involved. Catechists get their own subs and let me know
                      what is happening. It's great!! An added extra - I also post those
                      with CPR, first aide and other medical training. I myself am certified
                      in CPR and first aid. Pat at Blessed Sacrament, Midland MI.



                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: katveee@... [mailto:katveee@...]
                      Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 10:14 AM
                      To: dre-talk@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [dre-talk] Catechist staffing


                      In a message dated 9/1/2003 8:22:05 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                      dreonline@... writes:

                      > This system means
                      > you need to recruit twice as many people,


                      Yes, it does mean getting twice as many people, but once you manage to
                      place
                      two people in each class there are several benefits.
                      1) They share ideas and workload. 2) if one catechist can't
                      come,
                      there is a second catechist who knows the kids, what they have been
                      learning -
                      you are not constantly scrambling for substitutes. 3) Because of
                      flexibility,
                      they tend to stay in ministry longer, 4) they build community and when
                      workshops
                      or certification opportunities come along - they go together 5) they
                      preplan
                      better - some because another adult will be in the room - some because
                      they
                      talk to each other ahead of time about what they will be doing.

                      Just a couple of thoughts on the benefits.
                      Kathy





                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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                    • Ginny Brockman
                      Add me to the double-teaming advocates. I have 2 catechists and at least 1 aide for each class. It works great, for all the reasons mentioned. Ginny ...
                      Message 10 of 16 , Sep 19, 2003
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                        Add me to the double-teaming advocates. I have 2 catechists and at least 1
                        aide for each class. It works great, for all the reasons mentioned.

                        Ginny

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Pat O'Leary" <pato@...>
                        To: <dre-talk@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 7:36 AM
                        Subject: RE: [dre-talk] Catechist staffing


                        > I, too, recruit twice as many catechists and aides for Pre-School and
                        > Elementary (Gd.1-5). Our parish has 2000 families and I'm working with
                        > about 500 children. All of our sessions have at least one catechist and
                        > an aide or two or co-catechists without & without aides. I require at
                        > least one adult in a room always. Our catechists actually mentor our
                        > teen aides and when they leave for college, I feel these high school
                        > experience will help them continue the journey and stay involved
                        > wherever they go. Time is getting short this year, and I need one
                        > catechist for a 3 year old program and one catechist for a 4th grade.
                        > Not too shabby for having 28 sessions every week involving 3 days. The
                        > extra recruitment makes my entire year easier. I also post a substitute
                        > list for all involved. Catechists get their own subs and let me know
                        > what is happening. It's great!! An added extra - I also post those
                        > with CPR, first aide and other medical training. I myself am certified
                        > in CPR and first aid. Pat at Blessed Sacrament, Midland MI.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: katveee@... [mailto:katveee@...]
                        > Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 10:14 AM
                        > To: dre-talk@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [dre-talk] Catechist staffing
                        >
                        >
                        > In a message dated 9/1/2003 8:22:05 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                        > dreonline@... writes:
                        >
                        > > This system means
                        > > you need to recruit twice as many people,
                        >
                        >
                        > Yes, it does mean getting twice as many people, but once you manage to
                        > place
                        > two people in each class there are several benefits.
                        > 1) They share ideas and workload. 2) if one catechist can't
                        > come,
                        > there is a second catechist who knows the kids, what they have been
                        > learning -
                        > you are not constantly scrambling for substitutes. 3) Because of
                        > flexibility,
                        > they tend to stay in ministry longer, 4) they build community and when
                        > workshops
                        > or certification opportunities come along - they go together 5) they
                        > preplan
                        > better - some because another adult will be in the room - some because
                        > they
                        > talk to each other ahead of time about what they will be doing.
                        >
                        > Just a couple of thoughts on the benefits.
                        > Kathy
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                        >
                        >
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                      • spymmail@aol.com
                        I know, I know, maybe it s just the Boston in me, but shouldn t everyone have more than one adult in a room with kids at all times? Not only because of the sex
                        Message 11 of 16 , Sep 22, 2003
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                          I know, I know, maybe it's just the Boston in me, but shouldn't everyone have
                          more than one adult in a room with kids at all times? Not only because of the
                          sex abuse paranoia, but purely for safety's sake? It's something that we're
                          now required to have- two adults with Virtus training (as silly as that is-
                          another subject, I know) and clean records. Are we the only diocese in that
                          situation?
                          -Margo


                          Margo Morin
                          SPYM- Church of St. Paul
                          50 Union St. Hamilton MA 01982
                          978-468-3617
                          www.rc.net/boston/stpaul


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Rick Beben
                          Not every place requires it, but more and more places are moving toward it. It makes no sense not to do it for all the obvious reasons. I know there are those
                          Message 12 of 16 , Sep 22, 2003
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                            Not every place requires it, but more and more places are moving toward
                            it.
                            It makes no sense not to do it for all the obvious reasons.

                            I know there are those of us who struggle to find one person per room
                            full of kids or teens.
                            If you can only find one, then don't hold the class or group meeting.
                            It's that serious.

                            Rick Beben
                            Baton Rouge

                            >>> spymmail@... 09/22/03 06:00PM >>>
                            I know, I know, maybe it's just the Boston in me, but shouldn't
                            everyone have
                            more than one adult in a room with kids at all times? Not only because
                            of the
                            sex abuse paranoia, but purely for safety's sake? It's something that
                            we're
                            now required to have- two adults with Virtus training (as silly as that
                            is-
                            another subject, I know) and clean records. Are we the only diocese in
                            that
                            situation?
                            -Margo


                            Margo Morin
                            SPYM- Church of St. Paul
                            50 Union St. Hamilton MA 01982
                            978-468-3617
                            www.rc.net/boston/stpaul


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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                          • Heidi M Kellett
                            What a great idea! We have two catechists who specialize in teaching children with learning disabilities, and I thought they were a super resource for the
                            Message 13 of 16 , Sep 22, 2003
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                              What a great idea! We have two catechists who specialize in teaching
                              children with learning disabilities, and I thought they were a super
                              resource for the other catechists, but first aid and medical training are
                              important skills I had not thought to make everyone aware of.

                              Heidi

                              On Fri, 19 Sep 2003 10:36:36 -0400 "Pat O'Leary"
                              <pato@...> writes:

                              An added extra - I also post those with CPR, first aide and other
                              medical training. I myself am certified in CPR and first aid. Pat at
                              Blessed Sacrament, Midland MI.
                              >
                              >
                            • ROB1200@aol.com
                              No you are not the only one. At my former parish we started requiring catechist teams of two catechist or catechist and helper in all the rooms sometime back.
                              Message 14 of 16 , Sep 22, 2003
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                                No you are not the only one. At my former parish we started requiring
                                catechist teams of two catechist or catechist and helper in all the rooms sometime
                                back. At my present parish we are using a family cluster model and have to
                                clear all the parents of each cluster and require two parents to teach the
                                children's sessions together. An adult is never alone with chidlren.

                                Barbara
                              • Ted Burton
                                At 19:00 -0400 on 9/22/03, spymmail@aol.com spoke about Re: ... Yes -- or the door wide open and in a public area. With a class of 20, not such a problem, but
                                Message 15 of 16 , Sep 23, 2003
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                                  At 19:00 -0400 on 9/22/03, spymmail@... spoke about Re:
                                  [dre-talk] Catechist staffing thusly:

                                  >I know, I know, maybe it's just the Boston in me, but shouldn't
                                  >everyone have more than one adult ina room with kids at all times?

                                  Yes -- or the door wide open and in a public area. With a class of
                                  20, not such a problem, but with a class of 3 to 10, yes, a problem.
                                  The factor here is the abuser's sense of how many can he trust to
                                  keep quiet, how many he can manipulate as a group. Also, do keep in
                                  mind that abusers do seek contact with children from a position of
                                  trust. (The man lurking in the alley in a trench coat is a very rare
                                  perp. That's kidnapping, not trust building.) The abuser uses this
                                  position of trust to create opportunities. Abuse will not occur in
                                  the classroom, but it may occur in private settings to which a child
                                  was invited while in the classroom. Private tutoring or let's talk
                                  about that later, and such, are the opening gambit. Be alert to signs
                                  of contact between teacher and class not in the classroom and not
                                  within very normal social settings.

                                  >Not only because of the sex abuse paranoia, but purely for safety's sake?

                                  Two adults being present reduces the risk of false accusations. It
                                  also reduces the risk of invitations to extracurricular activities
                                  being extended by the other adult who happens to be a perp.

                                  And do remember that just because one is paranoid does not rule out
                                  there actually being a conspiracy against one. <G>
                                  --

                                  "Blest are they who through their lifetimes sow the seeds of peace;
                                  all will call them children of the Lord" -- John D. Becker, Lead Me
                                  Lord, OCP Publications
                                • Michelle
                                  Margo writes: It s something that we re now required to have- two adults with Virtus training (as silly as that is- another subject, I know) and clean
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Sep 23, 2003
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                                    Margo writes: It's something that we're now required to have- two
                                    adults with Virtus training (as silly as that is- another subject, I
                                    know) and clean records. Are we the only diocese in that situation?


                                    Michelle replies: Well, up the road in NH we are requiring the same
                                    thing of our Catechists although I am not real clear what the Diocean
                                    guidelines are......I know that they have asked all who work with
                                    Children or the Elderly to attend the Virtus training, however, as
                                    usual.....they are not really following through on this but are
                                    leaving it up to individual parishes to monitor. They were to have
                                    put a database in place to track (not done) among other things. Of
                                    course there has been major cut backs on staffing here as a direct
                                    result of McCormack who was involved in the Boston fiasco, lack of $
                                    coming in and some ill thought out restructuring......Can you
                                    say 'Task Force'?

                                    So, in short.....we on the individual parish lever require: Criminal
                                    Background Check every two years, Virtus training every two years,
                                    and they must also attend a 6 hour Catechist Training day that they
                                    know about at least 6 months in advance.
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