Finally Steve, a former cowboy from Texas, raised his lariat. "Say . . . maybe I should go round some of them stray catechists up?" He twirled the rope hopefully.
"Won't do any good, I'm afraid," I said despondently. "Most of 'em already said they couldn't come for one reason or another. One fellow just bought a new parcel of land he has to inspect. Another gal just got married. And Sue said she had to rearrange the color scheme on her blog."
"Well, why don't we get this show on the road, then, pardner?" Steve suggested.
I began by explaining what the National Directory for Catechesis is, and how it calls for all catechists to undergo a rigorous period of training. "See, it says here that being a catechist is a vocation that requires careful discernment. It talks about catechesis as a ministry that the Church commissions. And see . . . it even says, 'The suggestion that just anyone can be a catechist should be scrupulously avoided in all communications involving the recruitment of catechists.'"
When the gales of laughter finally died down we wiped away the tears of laughter and decided to focus on a plan to recruit more catechists.
"Let's come up with some catchy slogans to incentivize folks to become catechists," suggested Minnie, a nonagenarian busily knitting brightly-colored kneeler covers. Here is what we came up with:
- "Please, please, please, please! We're really, really desperate!"
- "Sign up now and receive a free catechist survival kit, including crepe paper, glue, crayons, coloring pages, Valium (for you, not the kids), and our award-winning classroom management tool, duct tape!"
- "They've gone and cancelled CSI: Des Moines, so there's no longer any real reason to stay home watching TV on Wednesday nights anyway."
- "As baptized Christians, we're each called to teach as Jesus did, by corralling a dozen teenagers into a classroom for ninety minutes and engaging them with creative yet enlightening activities . . . no, wait . . . um . . . by making children memorize a textbook and fill out worksheets? . . . um . . . with glue sticks and construction paper? . . . wait, just how did Jesus teach, anyway?"
- "Sign up now, or we will make a long announcement begging for catechists during all the Masses. If we have to, we will even begin weeping up there, embarrassing you into volunteering. Don't think we're above that, either."
- "Sign up now to receive a lifetime supply of fresh tuna fish!" (This suggestion came from Felix, our cat catechist.)
"Sure you don't want me to just stand outside Mass and lasso some of the folks who leave just after communion?" Steve suggested helpfully. "Or maybe I could just let my handy six-shooters do the talking, if you know what I mean."
"All righty, I guess that's it for tonight," I announced. "Donuts, anyone?"
p.s. You can read the National Directory for Catechesis, which is really an awesome document (well, to catechesis geeks, anyway), at this page at the USCCB.
Also, the saints limerick contest continues. My goal is to collect a dozen limericks for IC by the time she gets back from her silent retreat. She's going to need a good laugh after nine days of Ignatius.
p.p.s. It's been brought to my attention that the text of the NDC is not actually online, but you can buy it from the USCCB with all the money you make as a volunteer catechist. . . .