A HANDBOOK FOR HIRING PARISH CATECHETICAL LEADER

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1 A HANDBOOK FOR HIRING A PARISH CATECHETICAL LEADER Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry Archdiocese of Chicago 1025 W. Fry Street Chicago, IL (312) FAX: (312) Effective September 1, 2005

2 A HANDBOOK FOR HIRING A PARISH CATECHETICAL LEADER TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION... 3 Who Is a Catechetical Leader? A Guide for Pastors and Search Committees.. 3 I. THE ROLE OF THE PARISH CATECHETICAL LEADER... 5 The Role and Job Description of the DRE... 5 The Role and Job Description of the CRE...8 II. QUALIFICATIONS NEEDED FOR EMPLOYMENT Director of Religious Education/Catechesis 11 Coordinator of Religious Education/Catechesis..11 III. QUALITIES AND SKILLS NEEDED FOR EFFECTIVE MINISTRY IV. DEVELOPING A JOB DESCRIPTION FOR DRE/CRE...13 Work sheet 1: Needs Assessment: People to be Served...14 Work sheet 2: Needs Assessment: Programs...15 Work sheet 3: Sample Job Description...16 V. INTERVIEWING CANDIDATES...18 The Search Committee...18 The Interview...18 Final Selection...18 Sample Questions for Use in Interviewing Applicants...19 VI. HIRING PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND TERMINATION OF DRE..20 Effective September 1,

3 WHO IS A CATECHETICAL LEADER? According to the 2005 National Directory for Catechesis the Bishops are primarily responsible for catechesis. They share this responsibility with the pastor, priests, permanent deacons, women and men religious, and other lay parish ministers. (NDC Ch.8) When we talk about Catechetical Leaders we are referring to the lay men and women who exercise a catechetical leadership role in a parish or Catholic school setting. In the Archdiocese of Chicago catechetical leaders include the following depending on their level of responsibilities and their education. DRE Parish Directors of Religious Education/Catechesis/Faith Formation CRE Parish Coordinators of Religious Education/Catechesis/Faith Formation Parish Adult Faith Formation Leaders Parish Coordinators of Youth Ministry A GUIDE FOR PASTORS AND SEARCH COMMITTEES Choosing an Individual to Lead Catechetical Ministry in Your Parish: Matching Level of Responsibility to Job Description and Formation The pastor has the canonical responsibility of the pastoral care of his parish and thus, is ultimately responsible for the catechesis of the children, youth, and adults of his parish. The pastor may choose to delegate the responsibility of catechetical ministry to properly formed, qualified individuals whose credentials have been accepted and approved by the Archdiocesan Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry. Depending on parish size and cultural composition a pastor should hire one or more Directors of Religious Education (DRE). The hiring of a fully credentialed and qualified DRE benefits both the pastor and the parish in a variety of ways: Frees the pastor of delegated portion(s) of his catechetical ministry so that he may focus on other pastoral needs within the parish. These delegated pastor responsibilities may include the development and administration of: a. adult catechesis and faith formation b. the youth catechesis and youth ministry programs c. the elementary grade catechesis program d. sacramental preparation programs e. catechesis in languages other than English f. family and home catechesis programs g. catechesis for special needs Effective September 1,

4 Provides the parish with an individual who can make an analysis of the existing state of catechetical ministry in the parish and who can develop new programming to enhance the catechesis of the parish community. Establishes within the parish an individual who can assist in developing a unified vision of catechesis for the entire parish not merely one individual program. Gives the parish an on site staff person who is qualified and capable of training catechists and other ministerial volunteers thus providing a very cost effective approach to ongoing training and formation within the parish It is understood that in the absence of a qualified DRE, the pastor assumes the complete responsibility of directing the catechesis of his parish. Though hiring a DRE is most certainly the ideal for both the pastor and his parish, circumstances may indicate that a pastor hire a Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE). A pastor may choose to hire a CRE if: a. an additional catechetical leader is needed to assist the parish DRE in the administration of a specific catechetical program or programs b. financial restraints prohibit the hiring of a DRE c. the catechetical programs of the parish are relatively small in size and already well established d. the parish can provide proper supervision of a less credentialed individual There is a third category of persons who may be hired to assist catechetical ministry within a parish. A pastor may choose to hire a Parish Catechetical Minister (PCM) if: a. an individual is needed to assist a DRE or CRE in maintaining an established program of catechesis b. an individual is needed to coordinate and/or maintain a specific program of catechesis The hiring of the right individual to lead catechesis within a parish community can be a transforming event. As you seek to find that individual for your parish, keep in mind that you are not only looking for someone who can fit into your parish community as it is, but you are also looking for a person who can take your parish further along the path to where it can be in terms of the depth of faith and the animation of parish life. Effective September 1,

5 I. THE ROLE OF THE PARISH CATECHETICAL LEADER A. THE ROLE AND JOB DESCRIPTION OF THE DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION/CATECHESIS The Director of Religious Education/Catechesis (DRE) has the pastor s delegated responsibility and authority to develop and implement a plan for lifelong comprehensive and systematic catechesis. This responsibility may be exercised in collaboration with parish staff members who share the responsibility for catechesis. The parish Director of Religious Education is the person who organizes and directs the program of lifelong faith formation for all parishioners under the direction of the pastor and in collaboration with the pastoral staff. (National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers serving as Parish Catechetical Leaders, USCCB, p. 16) In large parishes the DRE responsibilities may be shared by more than one DRE. The following responsibilities of the Director of Religious Education are based on the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers serving as Parish Catechetical Leaders. 1. Vision and Program Design Develops and implements a plan for comprehensive and systematic catechesis for children, youth and adults based on the plan for comprehensive and systematic catechesis of the Archdiocese of Chicago Establishes long range and short term goals and outcomes for effective parish catechesis Develops Sacramental Preparation 2. Administration Implements the policies of the Archdiocese of Chicago for catechesis Directs the parish catechetical programs from adults to children. 1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation in its variety of forms including RCIA and Adult Confirmation 2. Junior High and Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments 3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments 4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs 5. Christian Initiation of Children 6. Catechetical programs for other languages 7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation 8. Home Catechesis 9. Special Needs Selects appropriate catechetical materials based on the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and Archdiocesan guidelines Effective September 1,

6 Provides catechetical programming in other languages as needed Evaluates effectiveness of all catechetical programs Maintains accurate records on student enrollment, attendance and sacramental preparation and submits requested data to the Office for Catechesis Ensures a pastoral approach for all in setting program structures, e.g. calendar dates, scheduling use of facilities, procedures for registration and fee collection Publishes a handbook which contains parish programs and sacramental policies and procedures Engages pastor and parish pastoral staffs in annual process of assessment, planning and evaluation Establishes a representative catechetical advisory council to ensure quality total parish catechesis Sets the environment for procedures for management of sessions and discipline Implements the guidelines for mandated reporting of legal issues according to Archdiocesan policies Assures adequate supervision of minors during the entire time they are on the parish premises for catechetical activities Implements conflict management procedures when appropriate Ensures maintenance and safety of premises according to local procedures Prepares annual budget and oversees expenditures after its approval by the pastor 3. Recruitment and Formation of Catechists and Ministers of Catechesis Recruits and screens candidates for the role of catechist Trains catechists and volunteers at all levels Provides on-going spiritual formation for catechists and volunteers at all levels through appropriate means such as retreats, evenings of prayers, workshops, conferences, courses, etc. Ensures that all their catechists are certified according to the guidelines of the Archdiocese Assists catechists in the selection of teaching aids and lesson planning Provides continued support for catechists by being present before, during and after the teaching assignments Consults with catechists, both experienced and newly recruited, to mutually assess their methodological and theological needs in order to design and implement appropriate training sessions 4. Supervision of Catechists, Ministers of Catechesis, and Support Staff Develops role descriptions for catechetical personnel and support staff Provides regular evaluation for catechists at all levels and support staff Effective September 1,

7 Supervises ministers of catechesis such as: 1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation in its variety of forms including RCIA and Adult Confirmation 2. Junior High and Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments 3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments 4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs 5. Christian Initiation of Children 6. Catechetical programs for other languages 7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation 8. Home Catechesis 9. Special Needs 5. Collaboration/Communication Collaborates with the pastor, other parish ministers and appropriate committees, boards and councils 1. Develops catechetical vision 2. Establishes catechetical policy 3. Facilitates the understanding of catechetical ministry within the larger community Works with the parish staff to provide formation for adults and youth in the parish Cooperates with the principal of the Catholic School to present a united approach to total parish catechesis Communicates program information to parish community Networks with other catechetical leaders Assists in the planning of liturgical celebrations in the parish Cooperates with inter-parish planning for the development of regional programs Works with the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry in assessing catechetical needs Participates in Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry deanery and vicariate meetings and other diocesan meetings as appropriate 6. Continuing Education and Professional Development Takes responsibility for his/her own professional and spiritual development Enrolls in courses and attends workshops related to responsibilities Maintains membership in professional organizations Participates in the on-going formation opportunities for DREs provided by the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry Effective September 1,

8 B. THE ROLE AND JOB DESCRIPTION OF THE COORDINATOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION/CATECHESIS The pastor has the canonical responsibility for the pastoral care of his parish and for developing a comprehensive plan for lifelong systematic catechesis in his parish. In parishes where the pastor has hired a DRE, he may also hire one or more Coordinators of Religious Education or Parish Catechetical Ministers to assist in the ministry of catechesis. However, in the absence of a certified DRE, the pastor actively assumes the responsibility to direct the religious education of the parish. To assist him he may employ a Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE). The Coordinator of Religious Education/Catechesis (CRE), under the direction and supervision of the pastor, coordinates and implements specific catechetical programs from early childhood to adult as designated by the pastor. This responsibility may be exercised in collaboration with parish staff members who share the responsibility for catechesis. The parish Coordinator of Religious Education, under the supervision of the pastor, shall be responsible to implement the parish catechetical plan and policies according the Religious Education Policies and Procedures of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The following responsibilities of the Coordinator of Religious Education are based on the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers serving as Parish Catechetical Leaders. 1. Vision and Program Design The Pastor Designs a plan for comprehensive and systematic catechesis for children, youth and adults based on the plan for comprehensive and systematic catechesis of the Archdiocese of Chicago The Coordinator of Religious Education Implements aspects of the catechetical plan under the direction of the pastor Administers the long range and short term goals and outcomes for effective parish catechesis 2. Administration Implements the catechetical policies of the Archdiocese of Chicago Coordinates specific parish catechetical programs from adults to children as directed by the pastor. This may include 1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation including RCIA and Adult Confirmation 2. Junior High and Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments 3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments 4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs 5. Christian Initiation of Children Effective September 1,

9 6. Catechetical programs for other languages 7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation 8. Home Catechesis 9. Special Needs Selects appropriate catechetical materials based on the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and Archdiocesan guidelines Provides catechetical programming in other languages as needed Evaluates effectiveness of all catechetical programs Maintains accurate records on student enrollment, attendance and sacramental preparation and submits requested data to the Office for Catechesis Ensures a pastoral approach for all in setting program structures, e.g. calendar dates, scheduling use of facilities, procedures for registration and fee collection Coordinates the catechetical advisory council Communicates procedures for management of sessions and discipline Implements the guidelines for mandated reporting of legal issues according to Archdiocesan policies Assures adequate supervision of minors during the entire time they are on the parish premises for catechetical activities Communicates parish programs and sacramental policies and procedures Implements conflict management procedures when appropriate Ensures maintenance and safety of premises according to local procedures Prepares annual budget and oversees expenditures after its approval by the pastor 3. Recruitment and Formation of Catechists and Ministers of Catechesis Recruits and screens candidates for the role of catechist Ensures that all catechists are certified according to the guidelines of the Archdiocese Provides for on-going spiritual formation for catechists and volunteers at all levels through retreats, evenings of prayers, workshops, conferences, courses, etc. Assists catechists in the selection of teaching aids and lesson planning Provides continued support for catechists by being present before, during and after the teaching assignments Ensures that volunteers at all levels are trained 4. Supervision of Catechists, Ministers of Catechesis, and Support Staff Provides regular evaluation for catechists under their supervision as directed by the pastor Effective September 1,

10 Supervises ministers of catechesis as directed by the pastor which may include 1. Adult Catechesis and Faith Formation in its variety of forms including RCIA and Adult Confirmation 2. Junior High and Youth Catechesis including preparation for the Sacraments 3. Elementary Grade Catechesis (K-8) including preparation for the Sacraments 4. Pre-school Catechetical Programs 5. Christian Initiation of Children 6. Catechetical programs for other languages 7. Family Catechesis and Infant Baptism Preparation 8. Home Catechesis 9. Special Needs 5. Collaboration/Communication Meets regularly with the pastor Collaborates with the pastor, other parish ministers and appropriate committees, boards and councils to 1. Implement catechetical vision 2. Administer catechetical policy 3. Facilitate the understanding of catechetical ministry within the larger community Works with the parish staff to provide formation for adults and youth in the parish Cooperates with the principal of the Catholic School to present a united approach to total parish catechesis Communicates program information to parish community Networks with other catechetical leaders Assists in the planning of liturgical celebrations in the parish Works with the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry in assessing catechetical needs Participates in Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry deanery and vicariate meetings and other diocesan meetings as appropriate 6. Continuing Education and Professional Development Takes responsibility for his/her own professional and spiritual development Enrolls in courses and attends workshops related to responsibilities and ongoing certification with the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry Maintains membership in professional organizations Participates in the on-going formation opportunities for CREs provided by the Effective September 1,

11 Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry II. QUALIFICATIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AS A CATECHETICAL LEADER All persons functioning as Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education in parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago are required to have approval of the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry. (Policies and 901.1) Requirements for DRE: 1. Establishment of a file with the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry by submission of a resume and completion of the OFCYM application 2. Master's Degree in religious education or related field, or a transcript of courses toward such a degree currently in progress. Evidence of equivalent preparation for the DRE profession will be considered on an individual basis 3. Catechetical and administrative experience 4. Successful completion of an interview at the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry Requirements for CRE: 1. Establishment of a file with the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry by submission of a resume and completion of the OFCYM application 2. In the process of obtaining one of the following: a. Archdiocesan Certificate of Studies in Catechetical Ministry and Leadership b. Certificate of Studies in Catechetical Ministry and Leadership Formation from an accredited Catholic institution c. Equivalent courses from the Diaconate Program, Called and Gifted, and/or Catholic Theology CEU from archdiocesan approved institution of higher education d. BA with major in Religious Education from an accredited Catholic institution plus additional catechetical courses as needed 3. Catechetical and/or administrative experience as a catechist or teacher 4. Successful completion of an interview at the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry III.QUALITIES AND SKILLS FOR EFFECTIVE MINISTRY FOR PARISH CATECHETICAL LEADERS (DRE/CRE) (USCCB National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers serving as Parish Catechetical Leaders 2003) 1. The DRE/CRE as a Person of Faith (Standard One: Personal and Spiritual Maturity) a. Recognizes God s activity in personal life experiences and articulates this understanding with others b. Is a believing Christian, a person of prayer, and a practicing Catholic c. Gives witness to compassion, justice and charity in personal and pastoral relationships d. Is an integrated person who communicates Gospel values through daily living. e. Pursues continued growth in faith and spiritual direction. Effective September 1,

12 f. Has self-knowledge of strengths and weaknesses, and gives evidence and example of continuing personal growth. 2. The DRE/CRE as Minister (Standard Two: Lay Ecclesial Ministry Identity) a. Identifies the call to formal and public ministry as a vocation rooted in Baptism b. Has personal qualities of openness, good listening skills, and relational ability. c. Is able to handle conflict effectively, in the best interests of all concerned d. Engages in ongoing professional education and formation e. Models ecclesial ministry, collaboration and leadership on the example of Jesus 3. The DRE/CRE as Catechist (Standard Three: Catholic Theology) a. Has a solid background in theological studies, and continually seeks updating through courses, seminars, workshops, books and periodicals b. Has a broad understanding of Church in both its divine and human elements and characteristics, and helps others to grow in their understanding c. Knows and integrates into ministerial practice a theology of liturgy/worship d. Knows and integrates a theology of moral life, including Catholic social teachings e. Knows and integrates a respectful understanding of other faith traditions f. Is able to explain in an age-appropriate manner the core themes of scripture and tradition 4. The DRE/CRE as Community Builder (Standard Four: Pastoral Praxis) a. Contributes to developing the parish as an evangelizing and catechizing community b. Demonstrates ease in interpersonal relationships with pastoral and catechetical staffs, parents, and other parish groups. c. Has the capacity to work with various age levels: adult, youth, children and families d. Promotes faith formation as a lifelong process for all parishioners e. Is able to provide formation in faith and knowledge, and growth in catechetical skills for catechists f. Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to all ethnic and cultural groups in catechesis g. Develops all opportunities for faith formation inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities h. Designs, implements and evaluates parish catechetical experience 5. The DRE/CRE as Administrator (Standard Five: Professional Practice) a. Develops and/or implements parish catechetical plan and policies in accord with archdiocesan policies and guidelines b. Possesses personal characteristics of leadership, creativity, and vision. Is a self-starter c. Has good communication skills: oral and written d. Is able to empower others and delegate authority where needed e. Demonstrates organizational skills of planning, record keeping, and budgeting f. Has the ability to work toward implementation of and periodic evaluation of goals and objectives g. Demonstrates an understanding of the Code of Canon Law, civil law and legal issues as these apply to the parish catechetical program h. Exercises effective supervision of catechetical employees and volunteers Effective September 1,

13 i. Has the ability to select with other staff members, appropriate materials for use in catechetical programs IV. DEVELOPING A JOB DESCRIPTION FOR DRE/CRE To determine the religious education personnel needs of the parish, the pastor, pastoral staff and others designated by them will need to address the following issues: A. What resources are now available to the parish to meet the catechetical needs of various components of the parish population? B. Among existing religious education/catechetical programs, are there any which stand in need of improvement? Which among these programs are in need of change? C. Are there some groups in the parish not receiving the type of faith enrichment or catechesis that is needed? D. What new programs are needed to improve the quality of religious education/catechesis in the parish? E. Among the needs surfaced, which are not being met by current staff members? F. On the basis of this review, 1. Does the parish need a Director of Religious Education? 2. Can the parish afford a Director of Religious Education? 3. What role description must be developed for this position? The three Work Sheets which follow will help focus the discussion of these issues. Work Sheet 1 treats segments of the parish population to be served. Work Sheet 2 lists various possible programs that could be the responsibility of a new staff member. When this second Work Sheet has been completed, the group should begin to formulate a role description. Work Sheet 3 provides guidelines in developing the role description for a DRE/CRE. Once the job description has been drawn up, the next step in the process can begin; that is, the selection of a search committee. Effective September 1,

14 WORK SHEET 1 NEEDS ASSESSMENT: PEOPLE TO BE SERVED The column at the left lists various groups that are usually found in most parishes; others can be added according to local situations. Space is provided at the right to record the condition of religious education/catechesis using the following code: A = There is an organized program of religious education/catechesis for the group B = There is no structured parish catechesis, but other opportunities for faith growth are provided specifically for this group; for example, cluster and deanery programs C = Opportunity is provided for this group to come together, but catechetical context is lacking or minimal D = No service is provided specifically for this group GROUP OR SEGMENT OF PARISH CODE The elderly, senior citizens... Adults (not parents)... Young adults... Parents of pre-school children... Parents of grade school children... Parents of teenagers... Single parents... Divorced/Separated... Widows & Widowers... Adolescents - High School... Adolescents - Junior High... Intermediate Grades Primary Grades K-3... Pre-school... Developmentally disabled... Hearing impaired... Learning disabled... Polish language speakers... Spanish language speakers... Other language speakers... Others (list) AFTER YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE CODING OF THE GROUPS LISTED ABOVE, INDICATE THOSE WHICH STAND MOST IN NEED OF IMPROVED SERVICE IN THE SPACE AT THE RIGHT ABOVE. Effective September 1,

15 NEEDS ASSESSMENT: PROGRAMS (New or Existing) WORK SHEET 2 The column at the left lists various religious education programs usually found in parishes; others can be added to meet the local situation. Space is provided at the right to record the condition of each program, insofar as this can be determined in a brief discussion. The following code can be used: A = Program is adequate and no substantial changes are currently needed. B = Program stands in need of substantial improvement. C = Program does not currently exist and is needed. D = Program is not needed at this time. After you have completed the coding process, indicate the tasks you think should be the responsibility of the DRE/CRE in the column at the right. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMS CODE Adult Religious Education/Faith Enrichment... Scripture... Family Religious Education... Sacramental Preparation: (Children and parents) Baptism... Eucharist... Reconciliation... Confirmation... Catechumenate/RCIA... Catechist Formation... CHILD PROGRAMS: Early Childhood... Kindergarten... Primary 1, 2, 3... Intermediate 4, 5, 6... Junior High 7, 8... High school 9, 10, 11, Youth Ministry/Young Adult... SPECIAL PROGRAMS: Developmentally disabled... Hearing impaired... Learning disabled... OTHER LANGUAGE PROGRAMS: Polish... Spanish... Other... WORK SHEET 3 Effective September 1,

16 SAMPLE JOB DESCRIPTION FOR A PARISH DIRECTOR/COORDINATOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION This sample assists in the composition of a role description suited to the local parish situation. Selection can be made from these pages to compose a statement of the duties of the DRE/CRE appropriate to the special needs of a particular parish. The sections on accountability and evaluation will normally be included as a part of the job description. Check each of the items that are to be included in the job description. General Role Description The DRE/CRE has the responsibility for direction and formation of the parish catechetical staff in accordance with policies and guidelines for religious education in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The DRE/CRE is a full member of the parish pastoral staff and participates in staff meetings. The DRE/CRE is also a member of the education commission of the Parish Pastoral Council. For further details, see comprehensive roles and job descriptions of DRE and CRE pp General Responsibilities providing opportunities for catechesis for all members of the parish directing (or assisting with) a program of adult religious education directing (or assisting with) a program of youth religious education directing ongoing catechesis for children not attending the parish school directing (or assisting with) the religious education program of the parish school in collaboration with the principal directing sacramental preparation for children and parents Specific Responsibilities The DRE/CRE will: recruit personnel for religious education programs; (adult, youth, child, family, etc.) provide programs for the catechists in methodology, theology and spiritual formation; choose and direct the curriculum of study to be used in the parish programs in collaboration with the catechetical staff and other appropriate staff members; work with the liturgy committee of the parish and with catechists and chairpersons to develop liturgies and prayer services for the various groups with which they work; select and direct an office staff which will prepare supplies for catechists, keep records, order supplies, prepare mailings for parents and catechists, and do other clerical tasks which enable the program to function efficiently; prepare appropriate catechetical programs for parents Effective September 1,

17 research new programs for use in the parish; be the liaison between the Archdiocesan Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry and the pastoral and catechetical staffs; delegate responsibility for particular segments of the catechetical program to chairpersons; the DRE/CRE and Principal of the parochial school will work together to develop inservice for religion teachers in school and appropriate programs for parents reception; the DRE/CRE will be a resource person for the religion teachers and will cooperate in developing liturgical and services for children and parents; the DRE/CRE will work with parochial school personnel and catechetical staff to coordinate the sacramental programs and celebrations of sacraments for school age children. the DRE/CRE will provide a catechumenate process (child, teen and/or adult). The DRE/CRE is expected to attend deanery meetings of Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education. The DRE/CRE is expected to participate in archdiocesan meetings, conferences, and other events for Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education. The DRE/CRE is expected to be a person of faith and give witness to the faith by the life she or he lives. The DRE/CRE will take time to develop her/his own prayer life. She/he will continue to develop needed skills (catechetical, theological, managerial, etc.) by enrolling in university courses or by attending seminars and workshops designed for professional development. Accountability The DRE/CRE shall be responsible to the pastor or his designate. The DRE/CRE will submit the budget for parish catechetical programs to the pastor or his designate. When approved, this budget shall be implemented by the DRE/CRE. Since the pastor has the canonical responsibility for catechesis in the parish, the DRE/CRE will be in constant communication with him regarding the catechetical programs and their development. The DRE/CRE shall participate in meetings of the pastoral staff and the education commission. Evaluation The pastor or his designate will evaluate the work of the DRE/CRE at least once a year using archdiocesan guidelines for performance review. Effective September 1,

18 V. INTERVIEWING CANDIDATES A. The Search Committee Initial screening of applicants is undertaken by a small group. The search committee normally consists of three to five persons. Included on the search committee should be persons who will work most closely with the new DRE/CRE. Examples might be: the pastor or another staff member delegated to represent him; someone in a parish religious education leadership position; a representative of school interests (faculty or board member, etc.); a representative involved with sacramental programs of the parish; and other representatives of parish leadership (parents, members of education commission). The responsibilities of the search committee are as follows: a. to review resumes prior to recommendation for interview; b. to interview applicants recommended by the Archdiocesan Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry; c. to select from among those interviewed two or three applicants who appear to be suitable for employment by the parish; d. to present these applicants for interview by the entire pastoral staff and others designated to participate in the final interview process. B. The Interview The task of the search committee in conducting an interview is to discover whether the applicant gives evidence of possessing the necessary qualities and skills to perform the duties outlined in the job description and to function effectively as a member of their particular parish staff. It will be helpful for the members of the search committee to examine the list of qualities and skills (page 11) expected of a Parish Director/Coordinator of Religious Education. This list is used by Archdiocesan interview panels which screen applicants before they reach the parish. The search committee should also determine additional specific skills needed for that particular parish. C. Final Selection The applicants recommended by the search committee are interviewed by the pastoral staff and other parish leaders designated for this purpose. When the interviews have been completed, the pastor consults with those who have participated and, on the basis of their recommendations, extends an employment offer to a selected applicant. Effective September 1,

19 D. Sample Questions for Use in Interviewing Applicants 1. Personal and Spiritual Maturity the Catechetical Leader as a Person of Faith: a. What does your involvement in Church ministry mean to you personally? b. Realizing that ongoing faith nurturing must be a priority for any minister of the Church, tell us what you do for yourself to enhance your own growth in faith. c. What qualities would you look for in a parish community? 2. Lay Ecclesial Ministry Identity the Catechetical Leader as a Minister: a. What motivated you to apply for this position? b. Describe how you have maintained balance between ministry, community, family, personal and pastoral relationships. c. What do you perceive as the relationship between the Archdiocesan catechetical office, vicariate clusters, and the local parish? d. What have you done in the last year to nurture your ministerial and professional life? 3. Catholic Theology the Catechetical Leader as a Catechist: a. As a parish DRE/CRE, how would you provide catechist training and faith formation? b. What are some important agenda items for a parent sacramental meeting? c. What do you see as some of the core themes of scripture and tradition? d. What recent Church documents have you read? e. What was the last theological course/seminar you attended? f. How do you see the link between Catholicism and Judaism? g. How do you relate personal freedom to Catholic moral teachings and values? 4. Pastoral Praxis the Catechetical Leader as Community Builder: a. Describe the type of working relationship you would like to have with the pastor and other members of the pastoral staff; with parish boards/commissions and program committees. b. How do you handle conflict? c. What does community mean to you? Are there groups (age levels, philosophies, etc.) with which you find it more difficult to relate? d. Describe your experience with other cultures. How would you envision a culturally integrated catechetical program? e. What kind of experience do you have with persons with special needs? What ideas do you have for integrating persons with special needs into the parish catechetical programs? 5. Professional Practice the Catechetical Leader as Administrator: a. Success means different things to different people. Describe a successful religious Effective September 1,

20 education venture in which you have been involved or have organized. Why was it successful? b. Program planning and implementation involve many elements. What do you see as important components of good planning? Define the following concepts: -- sacramental preparation -- parent involvement -- family catechesis -- adult faith formation -- curriculum guidelines -- lifelong formation c. Briefly describe the role of a typical DRE/CRE in a parish. OTHER POSSIBLE QUESTIONS: 1. How do you perceive the role of religious education in the parish? 2. What special contribution do you feel you bring to the Church in Chicago? 3. Are there questions you would like to ask us? VI. HIRING PERFORMANCE REVIEW AND TERMINATION OF CATECHETICAL LEADERS 1. Parishes are to follow the Archdiocesan Policies and Procedures Book II "The People of God" # These can be accessed at 2. If you have any questions or need assistance regarding compensation and benefits, please call the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry, (312) Effective September 1,

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