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December 7, 2021 REL PD - Catechist, REL PD - Leaders

Join Your Community at Catechist Stream

Sadlier is kicking off a new live stream for catechists in 2022 called Catechist Stream. We caught up with hosts Steve Bostford and Deacon Matt Halbach to ask them about their favorite aspects of the upcoming show. In this article, Steve and Deacon Matt share a glimpse of the unique personalities and great content they will be bringing to the weekly stream in 2022. Learn more about them and the ways Catechist Stream will support catechists in the new year and register to be a part of the exclusive pilot on December 13.

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A Unique Live Stream to Support Catechists

Sadlier’s Catechist Stream is an upcoming live stream support to catechetical leaders and catechists. Live stream is an emerging mode of information sharing across platforms that allows for interaction in real time. Catechist Stream will be a weekly live show for catechists offering a brand-new type of catechist support. Hosts Steve Botsford, Sadlier’s Senior Director of Digital Catechesis, and Deacon Matt Halbach, PhD, Sadlier’s Executive Director of Catechesis, plan to discuss all kinds of topics with the goal of supporting the efforts of catechists and catechetical leaders through the Catechist Stream community. We asked them to share what makes Catechist Stream exciting and unique in their own words.

A Chat with Hosts Steve & Deacon Matt
Unique and Authentic Approach to Support Catechesis
 

Q: What makes Catechist Stream different from other streaming options? Whom is it for, and why should they tune in?

 

Dcn. Matt: I think what makes Catechist Stream a unique stream is the audience it’s designed for and its content. One of the things Steve and I got super excited about is that there aren’t other streams like this in the catechetical world. Ministry is becoming increasingly digitalized, so why not catechesis? The content is unique because there just isn’t anything like it out there.

 

Steve: Catechist Stream is all about supporting catechists, whether they’re parents, catechists in a parish, teachers in a Catholic school, or catechetical leaders. This show is made for them.

"Our stream offers a way for catechists to connect, to grow, to share. There’s an element of professional development, but it’s more than that."

Dcn. Matt: Our stream offers a way for catechists to connect, to grow, to share. There’s an element of professional development, but it’s more than that.

Steve: There’s a lot of material on YouTube for professional development that people can turn to. But what makes a live stream different is that it’s exciting. It’s live. People tuning in can chat with us and post a question and we can respond to that during the live show. People prefer that live interaction over simply watching a YouTube video. People appreciate the authenticity of live-streamed video. And they can see all the bloopers!

 

Q: What will Catechist Stream be about?

Steve: Catechist Stream will be about a combination of relevant topics. Topically, viewers will expect to see timely seasonal topics, experiences about being a catechist, and what’s happening in the Catholic landscape.

Dcn. Matt: The whole point is trying to engage catechists where they are—where they are in the liturgical year, in their catechetical year, and where they are in their own lives. What are the challenges they face as they swim upstream, and how can we support them? Our lead-off show is tied to a liturgical date on the calendar: the Baptism of Jesus. This show is all about how catechesis is rooted in our baptismal call. We’re called to be priests, prophets, and kings. Catechesis a prophetic action; it’s echoing the faith. That’s literally what catechesis means—“to sound down or echo.” How do we echo the faith in our lives? Part of facilitating that and sharing it with people is engaging them in what’s going on in their lives. We will have how-to shows but also shows that support self-care, with some prayer reflection together on the word of God.

The whole point is trying to engage catechists where they are—where they are in the liturgical year, in their catechetical year, and where they are in their own lives. What are the challenges they face as they swim upstream, and how can we support them?

Steve: Depending on the topic, we may bring in an occasional guest. We hope guests will become an exciting part of Catechist Stream!

 

Q: How will people tune in to Catechist Stream?

Steve: What I like about Catechist Stream is that its accessible on any device from anywhere. This is something that catechists can view live on a computer or on a desktop or phone. Recordings will be available in Sadlier’s Advance Your Expertise in Catechesis Facebook group, which is an established community of catechists and leaders. Group members can re-watch or catch up on past episodes, so, it makes it more accessible to people. We encourage people to join this Facebook group and connect with us there.

Dcn. Matt: Because it’s live, we will be having real connections with each other in real time, being honest about what’s going on, and dealing with those things together as a community. I think it promotes community—a live community—which is very beneficial, not just for professional reasons, but for personal ones. I think we all need real-time socialization, whether it’s digitalized or in person. We plan on having a show every week at the same time. I hope catechists and catechetical leaders will see it as “their time” to connect with a live community of peers and other disciples.

 

Q: What does the name Catechist Stream mean for you?

 

Steve: The sense of community is part of the vision we had for Catechist Stream. It’s not simply watching us talk live on video. It’s all about building community and empowering that community of catechists who might feel like they’re solely swimming upstream. We’re swimming upstream together!

 

Dcn. Matt: Another thing about swimming is that if you’re in a group, you can draft off the people in front of you. Though these difficult times in catechesis, how do we cut through the current? How do we draft off each other?

 

Steve: Catechist Stream is all about supporting the catechist. They will find a variety of types of support by joining and engaging with this community.

The sense of community is part of the vision we had for Catechist Stream. It’s not simply watching us talk live on video. It’s all about building community and empowering that community of catechists who might feel like they’re solely swimming upstream.

Dcn. Matt: The Gospel message has always been a countercultural one. Just to be a disciple of that message and a proclaimer of that message, or in this case for this group, one who teaches about that message and echoes it, you’re in a countercultural position. Because the message is countercultural, even though there are things in the message that are universal, we wanted the stream to provide a very up-to-date, cultural way to transmit that message. We are trying to bring the countercultural with the cultural—what’s happening now—to make it more accessible to people: to grow community, to provide mutual support, to share resources, to highlight thought resources.

The fish, the ichthys, has been used from the earliest centuries of Christianity as a sign of belonging to a Christin community. So, we continue to bring forward and connect that sign, which is a sign of faith, with the action of swimming upstream, because that is how so many catechists and catechetical leaders feel today. Not just because there is so much work today, but also because It’s difficult work to do. We need this time together for support, to be informed, and to be fed.

Want a Sneak Preview?

Don’t miss the chance to be part of the kickoff of Catechist Stream. Register to join us for the pilot of Catechist Stream on December 13, 2021. If you register, you’ll also be invited to provide feedback that enhances Catechist Stream and you could win a $20 Amazon gift card.

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Register Now

In Summary

Catechist Stream will provide a supportive and entertaining weekly livestream to catechists on timely topics. Don’t miss the chance to engage with hosts Steve Botsford and Deacon Matt Halbach, PhD, at the exclusive pilot on December 13.