Our gifts as catechists

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By Rosanne Coffey

As I sat in church at a First Communion liturgy recently, my thoughts drifted to all the teaching that went into preparing these children. Who were the catechists who gave the gift of themselves so these children could receive the gift of Jesus? They had obviously given their time, their patience, and their dedication.

I invite you to focus on your own gifts as you begin this new teaching year. Are you creative, musical, dramatic, patient, organized, caring, dedicated, faith-filled? How can you take what you do best and incorporate them into your planning and teaching? One way is to consciously offer your gifts during the offertory procession at every liturgy. When you observe the gifts being brought up to the altar, get into the habit of saying, "Jesus, I offer you my gifts as your catechist." This will also help you remember that your ministry is of great worth to those you teach, to your parish, and, of course, to Jesus, the Master Teacher.

Another way to begin this year and maintain a fresh spirit is to say a prayer before you begin each class. You may want to make a copy of the "Prayer before You Begin" found on page 4 in the Praying and Planning Guide (included in this issue). Tape a copy of this prayer on the cover of your teacher's guide and say it before you write your lesson plan and also before the children arrive for class. Prayer reminds you that God's Spirit is working through you when you teach.

And remember to read through this and every issue of RTJ's Creative Catechist to find the support and affirmation you need to use and strengthen your gifts as a catechist. Send me an email ( and let me know what you found most helpful in this issue and if it helped you to discover and use your own gifts more fully.

Above all, keep your spirit alive as you begin this year's adventures in teaching!

Blessings on all you do, Rosanne Coffey

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Editor Rosanne Coffey

Rosanne was named editor of RTJ's Creative Catechist in April 2010. She was previously advertising manager and worked in marketing for RTJ's Creative Catechist, Today's Parish and God's Word Today. For over 20 years she taught in Catholic schools. She has also been a catechist and associate director for the Norwich Diocesan Office for Faith Formation.

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