The Fundamentals of Effective Catechesis [Blog Series]

Welcome to my new series on the fundamentals of effective catechesis.

This is a series I’ve wanted to write for a long time because it’s so important.

If you want to be great, you have to master the fundamentals.

The fundamentals provide a foundation for greatness

Great athletes, artists, musicians, even comedians know that being great is more than flashy moves. It’s about understanding the core principles and applying them consistently.

  • Picasso only started painting abstract after he understood the more conventional techniques of the masters.
  • Michael Jordan defied gravity with his moves but if he couldn’t sink a free throw, he could lose the game.
  • Steve Martin looked like he was making his act up as he went along, but his timing was meticulously planned. He learned how by studying great comedians for years.

These greats were only able to do great things after they understood their craft and mastered the fundamentals.

This applies to catechesis as well

Were you trained in a fundamental understanding of your task as a catechist? Did you get any training at all? Or, were you given a textbook and told to follow what it said? That works, but there’s a more effective way.

Catechesis should impart religious knowledge in a way that results in increased faith and religious convictions. It’s teaching that involves both head and heart.

That’s something totally different than teaching math. It’s not simply about learning but about motivating a person to new ways of thinking and living. It’s like teaching math so that every student not only learned it but loved it and wanted to be a math teacher themselves.

This is difficult but not impossible. Once you understand the big picture of your task as a catechist and the fundamental steps for getting it done, you’ll be on the road to success!

About the series

This series is basically what I learned from the Catechetics program at Franciscan University but synthesized down to it’s core elements.

These are principles that work regardless of what textbook or source material you use. Applying these fundamentals will make you a better catechist.

This blog post will serve as the landing page for all of the posts in the series. This list will continue to expand and change as I add new content to the series.

I’m not exactly sure how many parts it will be. I don’t have all the content worked out yet. But here’s a tentative outline. The post titles will probably change as well.

  1. Five Reasons to Learn Catechetics and Dump the Textbook
  2. Is Your Catechesis Like a Jigsaw Puzzle Without a Cover?
  3. St. Paul’s Central “Mystery” for Connected Catechesis
  4. Is St. Paul the Ultimate Biblical Detective? 7 Verses that “Reveal” the Mystery of Christ
  5. Christ and the Other Central Mystery of the Christian Faith
  6. The Real Goal of Effective Catechesis
  7. The First Steps in Evangelizing Cradle Catholic Kids
  8. 4 Ways to Prepare Your Students for the Role of Their Spiritual Lives
  9. Why You Should Begin with Biblical Catechesis
  10. 4 More Reasons Why Biblical Catechesis Rocks
  11. The Liturgy Teacheth, The Liturgy Giveth As Well
  12. Get Your Order Straight: Systematic Catechesis Is Effective
  13. Being Relational: The Glue That Holds Everything Together
  14. The Spirituality of the Catechist

If you have any specific questions and/or insights, I’d love to hear them in the comments!

See you in a bit!

Image: scottchan /


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  1. Susangarcia007 says:

    Will you be addressing both adult and child age approaches as well as sharing with us the best and most accurate websites to gather information to enhance our knowledge?

    • Not sure if I’ll be able to get into that much detail in these posts. That’s a great idea for follow ups though. Thanks for the input!

      Websites…that’s a great idea as well. I’ll do that!

      That’s something I should do on a regular basis probably. I’ll start working on that. I’ve been gathering a load of sites as I surf but I should share them.

      Thanks for the feedback!

    • I also wanted to say that while I might not be able to cover ways of using these principles for both adults and children in this series of posts, they should work well for any age group if adapted well. They’re kind of universal. It comes down to a degree of complexity, levels of detail and how much you expect. 

      Thanks again for the suggestions! 

  2. Looking forward to the series!


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