Catechist (Teacher)

One of the central beliefs of the Christian faith is the doctrine and mystery that the Divine Logos (The WORD of God) set aside His divinity and became man. St. Paul relates this to us in his letter to the Church of Phillipi in the beautiful early hymn that he inserts into the letter, “Though He was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to grasped. Rather He emptied Himself and took the form of the slave being born in the likeness of men.”

This is actually the earliest recorded account of the Incarnation that we have in the scriptures. The Greek word for empty is kenosis and means that Jesus truly became one of us. This has been a cause of much debate and discussion in the early church and was the origin of many of the heresies that arose in the church. This issue was finally resolved in the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon with the creed that we pray every Sunday and Solemnity.

Still the discussion and debate continue as to what limitations did Jesus have in his human form. It is interesting to think that Jesus would have had to learn to walk, talk, dress himself and all the other tasks that children routinely learn from their parents. This would also be true of the matters concerning the Jewish faith. Jesus might have spent some time with the rabbi of Nazareth that was customary for young boys, but a good amount of this would have been done at home with Joseph and Mary.

The church continues this notion of the parents being the primary teachers of their children not only in the day-to-day teaching of common tasks, but also in the matters of the faith. This is why such emphasis is placed on parents and god-parents in the preparation of baptism. This is best accomplished by a combination of teaching prayers, bringing children to church and most importantly the witness and example given to them by the living of their own faith.

To assist in this, parishes conduct Religious Education Programs. These programs compliment the primary role of parents and assist especially in sacramental preparation for Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation. The catechists (teachers) in the program, as with parents share the doctrines and beliefs of the church. However, as with parents the most effective way of sharing this is through the witness and example given to their students by the manner in which their faith is lived and practiced.

Needless to say, Catechists have an essential role to play in the worship and praise that the Church offers to God. The ministry, done well, serves not only God, but the people of God, the church. If you are interested in joining this ministry, or if you want more information regarding this ministry, please fill out the form below and and we will contact you with more information on how to get involved.


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