An Interview with Jessica Stefanick: Aide for 5th Grade Faith Formation Class

08-06-2017Parish Life

What was it that inspired you to become involved in this ministry?

It happened during the last session of Symbolon. I was participating in the program with my two sons and at the end of our class, all the teachers came together so that the parents could acknowledge their gratitude. Bridget said that if anyone we knew might be interested in serving as an aide or a catechist in the children's classes to let her know. When I heard that plea, I got a gut reaction that I should speak to her. But I thought, I am a single mom of two and it would be too much and I can't do this now. So I made a deal with God that if in six months I was still thinking about teaching, I would inquire about it. Six months later I was still thinking about serving so I called Bridget and asked if I could help out and she put me in a classroom as an aide.

What roadblocks or 'hang-ups' about teaching did you have to overcome before actually making this commitment?

The first thing was my boys. I had to find a way to have them in class at the same time I was there. The other thing was that I did not feel equipped, not knowing enough about God and the Scripture enough to teach others. I did not how to make lesson plans and wasn't sure about how to teach. Doubt and fear were big obstacles as well, like when you start something new. I often wondered, is this something that I really should be doing?

Describe how you experience God as a catechist/aide.

I experience God all the time, watching the kids and seeing how much they are absorbing. I have learned so much about God and his love simply by teaching! It is the best way to learn. In planning for class, when I open the Bible to prepare what I am going to teach the kids, I experience God in Scripture. God is working through me and through the kids in this supportive environment.

How has your involvement in this ministry affected your relationship with God?

It has been the start of a relationship that continues to grow. I am opening up my Bible with consistency. I am praying every day and praying with my sons too. If I am teaching the kids how to pray, I need to do it first and understand what it means to make a commitment. Last year, I gave the kids a prayer journal because that is what helped guide me in my prayer and deepen my conversations with God. I have discovered how to pray with Scripture and to become more aware of what the Lord is sayingto me, what he desires for me.