Tag Archives: catechetical leaders

Forming young catechetical leaders

An issue that is very close to my heart is forming catechetical leaders for the next generation. I feel that we especially need young catechetical leaders who are able to catechise their peers as only they can. We need leaders who are doctrinally-formed, understand methodological principles, and yet are able to engage naturally and attractively with their generation. Catechetical formation is hard to come by for young people, who, on the whole, move around a lot and have little money. I often meet young adults who would love to work in a similar role to mine, but opportunities are few and far between.

I am organising a formation week for young catechetical leaders in the new Vocations Centre in Southwark Archdiocese during October half-term (29 Oct-2 Nov). (I was very tempted by a lovely holiday in the sun with friends, then decided this was more important… :)) The week will include doctrinal formation as well as an introduction to methodological principles, as well as a full day of teaching from Dr Caroline Farey of Maryvale Institute, one of the leading experts in catechetics in this country.

I would like to ask you for three things, dear blog-readers:

1. Please keep this initiative in your prayers. That the Lord will use it as only he knows how…

2. If you know of a young person (under 40) with a passion for catechesis and a gift of leadership, please tell them about this week. We are limited to about 10 places.

3. The cost of this week will be about £170-200 a person. Participants are generally university students or young adults with little income. Could you sponsor one of them? Please email me (h.vaughan.spruce@gmail.com) if you can help. Thank you.

Need for Young Adult Catechists

Welcome to British summer!

I have to tell you, it was something of a shock to step back into this cool, rainy country, people… After a month of blistering heat it took me a while to adjust and to bid farewell to summery outfits for another year *sniff*

Since being back (and after overcoming some serious jet lag), I’ve been at the Evangelium conference in Reading, giving a couple of workshops on how to be a brilliant catechist. There were some fantastic young people there, some great keynote lectures, beautiful liturgy… all in all, a wonderfully enjoyable weekend. I loved being able to share some key catechetical principles with other young adults who are catechists in their parishes, but who have never before come across some of these methodological ideas (four dimensions of the Christian life, the goals of catechesis, the five foundational truths).

Young adults, because they are in the midst of establishing careers, making life decisions, and maintaining busy social lives, rarely have the time (or money) to dedicate to serious catechist formation. I am beginning to think that alternatives should be developed for formation of young adults as catechists. Let’s face it: these are people who we really need as catechists. They are extremely effective Confirmation catechists – teenagers will listen to them as they do not yet see them as equivalent to their parents. In the RCIA process, it is compelling to see young adults witnessing to an authentic Christian life (not living together before marriage, etc) – on the whole, I believe that age and background of catechists should more or less mirror the ages and backgrounds of enquirers and catechumens. Although, the need for older, more experienced, wiser catechists in every programme is evident, too.

So, the cogs in my mind are beginning to whir on how we can form more young adults as catechists – especially to ‘grow’ the next generation of catechetical leaders in this country. It is always important to form already existing catechists, but we need to look to the future too. I believe, because the task of catechesis in our Church over the next decades is so urgent, we need the best to become catechists – intelligent, well-formed, inspiring people who live life to the full.