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[dre-talk] June topic - recruiting and training

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  • Katherine G. Bishop
    I worked at a small parish (400 families at its largest time) that is 15 miles from the next parish and 45 miles from the diocesan center for 12 years. I am
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 1, 1999
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          I worked at a small parish (400 families at its largest time) that is 15 miles from the next parish and 45 miles from the diocesan center for 12 years.  I am now the diocesan DRE.
          I have usually found that personal invitation is the most positive and effective way to recruit volunteers for anything in the parish.  I still put notices in the bulletins, posters on the bulletin boards, send letters, make announcements from the pulpit with a pitch about how catechesis is EVERYONE'S responsibility, etc, etc.  But these are only precursors and pave the way to the real recruitment.  I have spent hours on the phone, visited homes, stopped people in the church parking lot.  I have even been known to recruit while standing in line at the local grocery store!  It's allot more fun than reading the magazines!  The best for me however was always at our local fair.  Our parish runs a hamburger place there.  We have hamburgers, hotdogs, soup and homemade pies.  The best part is it is covered and has tables where families can sit down with children, get out of the weather, and it is not near as expensive as the rest of the fair food.  It is run totally by volunteers.  I always volunteered many, many hours there myself, sometimes with my family, sometimes not.  I tried to work areas where I can meet people like wiping off the tables, giving out pies, or milk.  When parishioners come in I could talk with them and get a picture of whether they are perspective catechists.  I often can sit with them for a few minutes.  When I asked them to be a catechist, I told them to pray about it and I would call them the next day. I always called them.  I also asked them for ideas of people who might be interested. Very seldom did I get a no.  Several told me they only said yes because when they saw me volunteering my time for the parish as well as being on staff they just couldn't say no!  Now that I am on the diocesan staff, I still volunteer my time at the fair and find myself filing away names for diocesan projects that will need help.  But now, I am talking to people from all over the diocese!
          For training, we always offered 2-3 session before the classes started.  one on the spirituality of catechesis, one on the philosophy of catechist and one Saturday all day where we  offered workshops in methods, lesson planning, stages of faith and developmental tasks, and how to use the catechist workbooks.  Then we gave them some time to plan write goals, plan lessons, set up rooms etc.  They appreciated this hands on stuff the most.  Throughout the year we had 4 other sessions on specific topics such as moral decision making. That was pre-Echoes of Faith.  Now they use the echoes of faith but still keep the hands on day.   We always offer the sessions at two different times so volunteers can be flexible without their time.  We also always offer babysitting at the parish center.  If a catechist prefers we find a teenager to go to the home to baby-sit and the parish pays!  It works wonderful for our small, rural, and isolated parish.
          I hope this is helpful.
      God Bless
      Katherine Bishop
       
       
       

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    • shawn
      Hi All, I must first tell you, I wrote asking for a bit of advice and encouragement a month ago. One of you responded to me with excellent advice. It was so
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 6, 1999
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        Hi All,

        I must first tell you, I wrote asking for a bit of advice and encouragement
        a month ago. One of you responded to me with excellent advice. It was so
        helpful you cannot imagine.I have been hired as a full-time youth minister
        in our parish with an excellent salary and budget. This dre/talk was a
        great source of comfort and encouragement when I did not feel this would
        happen.

        As to the topic, I run through my parish listing and send a personalized
        letter to those I have met this past year in passing that I feel would be
        wonderful catechists, teachers, substitutes, speakers, assistants, project
        and music helpers.

        I write them and ask for them to consider this. I ask them to check with
        their families and jobs. I ask them to pray about it. I remind them quite
        clearly of the commitment and responsibility I expect from them. I tell
        them I am sending about 30 letters out for the 3 positions I need and tell
        them there is no pressure to agree if they feel they cannot.

        I then close by telling them I will be personally calling them within two
        weeks to discuss the letter and possibility of working together.

        I also ask my current teachers to keep an eye out for a great teacher,
        bulletin announce, newsletter announce. I've never had a problem gathering
        Catechists. They are the backbone of our program and I make darn sure they
        know it and feel appreciated and loved throughout the year.





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      • GTE/fshay
        Your group talk is very helpful. During the summer it is recruiting time and I sometimes feel like a salesman. One of the hardest parts is helping someone to
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 10, 1999
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          Your group talk is very helpful. During the summer it is recruiting time
          and I sometimes feel like a salesman. One of the hardest parts is helping
          someone to select a new ministry. I work with new catechists one one one to
          get them ready for our diocesan training program. I do not want them to
          feel lost. Sometimes, almost always tje best caatechist is the one who
          tries to return the book because they have read it and do not feel
          qualifies. At this poit\nt they are hungry. Many i get from the year before
          when they have served as aides. I also have year coodinators(volunteers)
          who help them into the classroom and then enable them to be effective. The
          word is enable or empower. Godd luck everyone. Have a great summer--like we
          really have one. Like you this is writing programs , setting up teams and
          ordering books. WE use Sadlier and the teachers llove it. The seventh and
          eight grade use hte Faith and Witness and the 3 year olds use I am Special.
          Peace
          ----------
          > From: shawn <shawn1@...>
          > To: dre-talk@egroups.com
          > Subject: [dre-talk] Re: June topic - recruiting and training
          > Date: Tuesday, July 06, 1999 9:31 PM
          >
          >
          >
          > Hi All,
          >
          > I must first tell you, I wrote asking for a bit of advice and
          encouragement
          > a month ago. One of you responded to me with excellent advice. It was so
          > helpful you cannot imagine.I have been hired as a full-time youth
          minister
          > in our parish with an excellent salary and budget. This dre/talk was a
          > great source of comfort and encouragement when I did not feel this would
          > happen.
          >
          > As to the topic, I run through my parish listing and send a personalized
          > letter to those I have met this past year in passing that I feel would be
          > wonderful catechists, teachers, substitutes, speakers, assistants,
          project
          > and music helpers.
          >
          > I write them and ask for them to consider this. I ask them to check with
          > their families and jobs. I ask them to pray about it. I remind them quite
          > clearly of the commitment and responsibility I expect from them. I tell
          > them I am sending about 30 letters out for the 3 positions I need and
          tell
          > them there is no pressure to agree if they feel they cannot.
          >
          > I then close by telling them I will be personally calling them within two
          > weeks to discuss the letter and possibility of working together.
          >
          > I also ask my current teachers to keep an eye out for a great teacher,
          > bulletin announce, newsletter announce. I've never had a problem
          gathering
          > Catechists. They are the backbone of our program and I make darn sure
          they
          > know it and feel appreciated and loved throughout the year.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          > FreeShop is the #1 place for free and trial offers and great deals!
          > Try something new and discover more ways to save!
          > http://clickhere.egroups.com/click/381
          >
          >
          >
          > eGroups.com home: http://www.egroups.com/group/dre-talk
          > http://www.egroups.com - Simplifying group communications
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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        • Sndlad@aol.com
          Hi; I work in an affluent parish in Stamford, CT. I do appreciate all of the great hints for success in the catechist recruitment process. The most successful
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 10, 1999
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            Hi;
            I work in an affluent parish in Stamford, CT. I do appreciate all of the
            great hints for success in the catechist recruitment process. The most
            successful tool that I have used is "The Telephone." The most successful pool
            of recruits that I use is parents of the children we teach. The second pool
            is the parish at large.

            Process for selecting is as follows:
            1. An initial interview with the new catechist.
            At this time we determine together the "why volunteer as a catechist" the
            level where the candidate wants to be, former experience with children of
            that level etc.etc.etc.
            Then the catechist is given a brief lesson on the use of teacher's manual.
            Sent home to study the manual. Then returns the following week for questions
            and follow up. Then we use the NCCL videos Echoes of Faith for contiued
            training, learning styles, theology, classroom management, and much more. We
            do all of this during the summer months and on different grade levels. This
            is a lot of work but "It works for us"

            During the year we meet with catechists on a monthly basis on different
            levels. This helps all of us to determine how classes are progressing and
            what helps the catechists need with their classes in terms of lesson
            planning, projects etcetc.

            We do most of the catechists training ourselves because very few catechists
            take advantage of the Diocesan Catechists Training Program.

            I hope that this message will help someone in our ministry.

            Sincerely,

            Linette
            Stamford, CT

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