The ministry of the Director of Catechetical Ministry provides the parish community with a much needed service in order for the parish community to effectively and systematically fulfill its teaching mission. The question of adequate salary and benefits for the DCM is one which presents concern on the part of both the parish community and the DCM. The Director of Catechetical Ministry has a right to expect a living wage. The parish may need to examine its priorities in order to provide a just salary for the DCM.
In order to assist parishes in determining an appropriate salary for the DCM or other Program Coordinators, the Diocese of San Diego, Office for Human Resources provides sample job classifications and pay ranges for parish-based positions in the Diocese. She is bidden to offer catechesis her best resources in people and energy, without sparing effort, toil or material means, in order to organize it better and to train qualified personnel. This is no mere human calculation; it is an attitude of faith. And an attitude of faith always has reference to the faithfulness of God, who never fails to respond CT, The Director of Catechetical Ministry or Program Coordinator, whether compensated or non-compensated, is accountable for his or her work and welcomes evaluation.
The parish community has a right to expect and be assured that a competent job is being accomplished.
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Regular reports of programs, statistics and finances should be considered routine. The maintenance of adequate records of students, catechists, personnel, programs, income and expenditures, etc. In addition to regular reports to the pastor, pastoral council and parish community, the leader should conduct periodic self-evaluations and on-going evaluation of programs.
The performance appraisal should be based on the job description. It should include identification of strengths and weaknesses of the leader and realistic goals and objectives for future improvement. If open communication, regular reporting and on-going program evaluation is occurring, the performance appraisal should not be overly time-consuming, threatening or traumatic.
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Upon assuming responsibilities at the parish, the new catechetical or evangelization leader should contact the Diocesan Director for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry. New leaders are asked to complete a Leadership Profile and are also encouraged to attend orientation meetings for new personnel and initiatory interviews, if they desire. All Catechetical and Evangelization leaders are invited and encouraged to attend leadership inservices and other programs designed for their specific ministry and to keep in close contact with the Diocesan Office to maintain open communication and foster a spirit of collaboration.
The Catechetical or Evangelization leader is aware of the need for continual growth and learning. In the Diocese of San Diego, opportunities for professional growth are offered on an on-going basis.
The Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry provides regular inservice days for Catechetical and Evangelization Leaders which enhance their ministry. The varied program offers workshops, lectures and roundtables in the areas of theology, catechetics, sacraments, evangelization, administration and spiritual growth. The office offers an Advent morning of reflection and end-of-year retreat. The Diocesan Office sponsors conferences, workshops and renewal days given by persons of national or local prominence, providing opportunities for growth in knowledge and expertise in specific areas.
Program offerings are listed in the Program Brochure issued at the beginning of each year, on the diocesan website, in the diocesan newspaper and in periodic mailings. Other diocesan offices also provide workshops and courses in their areas of responsibility.
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They are catechists first. Attendance at these events should be considered a normal part of the work schedule for the catechetical or evangelization leader and should be negotiated with the pastor and included in the job description. Taking into account all that has been said, it is easy to understand why many Church leaders are candidates for stress, exhaustion or burnout.
The catechetical or evangelization leader will strive to achieve the delicate balance of burning with zeal and enthusiasm without burning out. Certainly prayer, spiritual direction, discernment, and support of others involved in the ministry of catechesis will provide strength to meet the many challenges. Use of allotted vacation benefit will provide refreshment and renewal each year. Catechetical and evangelization leadership will need to eliminate certain stress causing behaviors, such as the tendency to over plan each day, the inability to relax without feeling guilty, the compulsion to overwork, impatience with interruptions, or the tendency to think about all the projects one is involved in at the same time.
Stress is not necessarily bad, but the effective leader learns how to deal with stress creatively. The leader can be easily overwhelmed and caught in a dichotomy familiar to all Church ministers—the better the person is in the ministry, the more people will be drawn to the leader and the easier it is to be consumed in the process. It is important for Catechetical and Evangelization leaders to know themselves, to set attainable goals and to use common sense in planning programs and activities.
Professional counseling service is available through the Employee Assistance Program EAP to employees and their family members who are experiencing problems of a personal nature. To make an appointment, call the EAP directly at In accord with our respect for the dignity of each individual, the Diocese of San Diego maintains a strict policy prohibiting harassment in any form, including sexual harassment. Harassment is any form of conduct that is not welcome, is personally offensive, and undermines the integrity of employment and professional relationships.
The Church takes particular offense to this type of behavior. Any employee who is found to harass or to discriminate against another employee on any unlawful or inappropriate basis will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. The diocese encourages individuals who believe they are being harassed to promptly notify the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome. However, if this is either ineffective in stopping the behavior or, for whatever reason, employees are not comfortable with this direct communication, they should immediately contact their supervisor.
If the supervisor is the source of the prohibited harassment, or is unwilling or unable to assist the employee, the matter should be reported to the Office for Human Resources as soon as possible. The Diocese of San Diego has implemented a formal Policy on Sexual Misconduct which provides reporting requirements and procedures for the investigation and remedy of harassment incidents. If a person believes that they have been the object of sexual misconduct, or have witnessed such behavior, they should notify their immediate supervisor or the Director of Human Resources, Diocese of San Diego.
Any such notification will be kept confidential. In accordance with civil law and within the context of the social teaching of the Church, absent individual employment contracts, personnel are employed for an indefinite period and are subject to termination at any time, for any legal reason, with or without cause or notice. When employees are contemplating termination of their employment, it is recommended that ample notice be given so that catechetical and evangelization programming will not suffer and appropriate replacements can be found.
It is good practice to give as much notice as possible, but at least two weeks notice is recommended. When employment is terminated, all records of students and personnel are the property of the parish. The sacramental basis is the Sacraments of Initiation, not the Sacrament of Ordination. The minister is also aware of the vast contribution which the Church has made to human growth and potential and also of its need for conversion and renewal. The minister creates an environment where a true sense of communion and community can be experienced. The leader provides opportunities for members of the catechetical and evangelization staff to pray, grow and celebrate together.
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