Join our program as a catechist

Be faithful in small things for it is in them
that your strength lies.
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

Each year, approximately 100 catechists participate in our programs: Sunday Preschool held during 9:30 Mass and Wednesday Children's Faith Formation classes held on Wednesday evening. Countless additional volunteers help us with Vacation Bible School, held each June, and retreats for students participating in sacramental preparation programs.Sacred Heart Church | Catechists

We encourage our catechist to seek growth in three areas: classroom management skills, personal spirituality, and understanding of the teaching of the Catholic Church.  In-service opportunities are offered and suggested throughout the year that will meet the needs in all three areas.

In addition to adult participation, we welcome student volunteers from 8th grade through high school to act as aids during Sunday Preschool, help during Vacation Bible School, and (when arranged in advance) to act as a lead catechist and receive Dowling religion credit during senior year. Most important of all, our student helpers are incredible role models for the young children of our parish.

If you are interested in volunteering in our program, please call our office or email us at

Catechist Resources

The Catholic Toolbox is an unlimited resource of Catechist materials: information, lesson plans, worksheets, games, crafts, you name it! In addition, you will be lead to many websites that you will want to bookmark and visit as you add to your lesson plans.

* Here is a great resource for parents or catechists: 

Catechist Journey is a great web site that can act as a resource for Catechist ideas and support. Joe Paprocki is a master catechist! He has written a series of books that are available in our library.

* Try this 3-minute Retreat to refresh your day. Don't forget to check out the additional resources available on this web site.

* You will find great information on our Resource Page.  

* Our Sunday Visitor has some resources for classroom Lenten activities that might be fun! Read more...

In-Service Opportunities

For all Catholics, it is important to continue the life-long journey of growing in faith, especially as an adult Catholic. Learning never ends, and faith is a daily commitment. At Sacred Heart, we feel that as catechists guiding the young people of our parish, nothing is more important. Each Catechist is asked to attend in-service events as preparation as a catechist. In response to your commitment to the children of our parish, our catechists receive tuition reimbursement for their own children and, as a lead teacher, a stipend for preparation and instruction. We provide growth opportunities and ideas throughout the year for our catechists.

In addition to the in-services we have offered, there are options throughout the year to help our catechists grow in faith and knowledge of the Catholic truths that we teach our children. If you are in need of additional in-service opportunities, visit the GIFT page to see the many possibilities. It is your responsibility to contact Marcia Schaul by phone (225-6414 ext. 317) or email to let her know that you have attended an event. Please contact Debbie in advance to be sure the event can be approved. Below you will find ideas to help you fulfill your in-service commitment:
  * If you attend a programs offered by GIFT such as a book discussions, Bible study, special interest workshops, etc.
  * If you take an active leadership role
in a parish organization such as Knights of Columbus, Women's Guild or one of our beautiful choirs;
  * If you attend our Parish Mission, a Bible Study, or any Catholic faith based event in our diocese; 
  * If you participate in our Parish Day of Service (held in October each year), or another on-going service commitment.

Sacred Heart Parish, 1627 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines, IA 50265 | Phone: 515-225-6414 | Fax: 515-225-0286 |

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