Any DRE's out there? Questions


#1

I am currently a middle school teacher but am applying for a DRE position at a local parish – I meet most of the criteria. :thumbsup: I sent the pastor a letter introducing myself and was up front about not having DRE experience (but did mention how teaching experience might translate and be applicable). I’m told the pastor cares a lot about being a faithful Catholic and wanting to transmit the faith.

Any suggestions for questions to ask at my interview?


#2

Here's my two cents:

  1. Do you have an organization chart of the parish showing where the DRE position fits? Who is in charge of the staff?

  2. To whom does the DRE report? If not the pastor, why not?

  3. Do parish staff members participate in projects other that those in their primary area? Who determines this? To whom do they report for these special projects?

  4. Are there yearly evaluations with measurements against specific objectives that are agreed to by manager and staff beforehand?

  5. Are there expectations about which Masses I attend or how I participate in Mass? Do you expect me to be an EMHC? What are the expectations of weekend work? How many hours did the last DRE put in a week?

  6. Why is the current DRE leaving?


#3

[quote="PaulinVA, post:2, topic:243362"]
Here's my two cents: Thanks!

  1. Do you have an organization chart of the parish showing where the DRE position fits? Who is in charge of the staff? Job description says DRE supervises staff and volunteers assisting w/ religious ed projects

  2. To whom does the DRE report? If not the pastor, why not? Job description says DRE is under the direction of the pastor

  3. Do parish staff members participate in projects other that those in their primary area? Who determines this? To whom do they report for these special projects? Good question

  4. Are there yearly evaluations with measurements against specific objectives that are agreed to by manager and staff beforehand? Also good to know

  5. Are there expectations about which Masses I attend or how I participate in Mass? It's not my parish, so this will be interesting. Do you expect me to be an EMHC? I hope not, because I feel no calling to do that. What are the expectations of weekend work? How many hours did the last DRE put in a week? I expect there will be odd hours with First Communions, Religious ed classes etc. It's on my list to ask.

  6. Why is the current DRE leaving? She was let go by the pastor-** don't know details.**

I'm working on a list of comments and questions to take with me; thanks for your input!

[/quote]


#4

KCT, my wife is on staff at our parish, and all I can say is that once you work in the kitchen you never want to eat at the restaurant.

I suppose it would be different if you are working in a parish not your own. I bet you find though, that there is subtle pressure to attend Mass every Sunday at the parish you work at.


#5

[quote="PaulinVA, post:4, topic:243362"]
KCT, my wife is on staff at our parish, and all I can say is that once you work in the kitchen you never want to eat at the restaurant.

I suppose it would be different if you are working in a parish not your own. I bet you find though, that there is subtle pressure to attend Mass every Sunday at the parish you work at.

[/quote]

Thanks, I will ask about that. If that's the case, we might might have some issues. Dh and I like our parish. :)

I'm assuming that when First Communion season rolls around, I'd be at the Masses where kids were making individual 1st Communions (and of course with the big groups when those take place). No problems w/ that. We'll see . . .


#6

[quote="KCT, post:1, topic:243362"]
I am currently a middle school teacher but am applying for a DRE position at a local parish -- I meet most of the criteria. :thumbsup: I sent the pastor a letter introducing myself and was up front about not having DRE experience (but did mention how teaching experience might translate and be applicable). I'm told the pastor cares a lot about being a faithful Catholic and wanting to transmit the faith.

Any suggestions for questions to ask at my interview?

[/quote]

talk to your diocesan office of catechetics and get a sample job description for a DRE, and suggestions of what training they offer, so you can show the pastor you are up on things and willing to get further education. You can base the interview somewhat on that job description--ask what grade and age levels you are responsible for, does it include sacramental prep for children, youth, adults, RCIA, infant baptism etc. What does he like about the program as it is currently in the parish, what would he like to change or improve and how can you be part of his plan. Your primary role is to support him in carrying out his vision of what RE should be in your parish. The way you to that is recruiting, training and supporting catechists. Maybe not the first interview, but before the year starts, try and find out what he considers to be immediate problem areas that need to be addressed. That might include the need to "fire" some volunteers.

If you know his priority is solid reliable orthodox teaching, emphasize how your background and formation and personal inclination lead you that way also. I was hired simply because of where I had my formation, he considered that good evidence of orthodoxy.

I got this advice when I started and wish I had stuck to it, but we moved later--don't work in the parish where you worship, and stick to CCD, stay out of liturgy, choir, other parish organizations. I would have added, discourage your husband from volunteering in any prominent way in the parish where you work.

I am trying to think of a tactful way to ask why the former DRE is leaving.


#7

I am not the DRE but the Pastoral Associate who works closely with our DRE. In our parish the DRE also works a lot of nights holding parent meetings and catechist meetings. Also in our diocese, DRE’s are required to have a Master’s Degree in Theology or Religious Education so that they can adequately deal with doctrinal questions and to teach catechists and supervise them. Those who do not have the MA are not allowed to teach catechists or parents, but they can just run informational meetings and let the pastor or a pastoral associate do those things he or she is not qualified to do. It is expected that those without the degree work towards it part time on their own time.

Our DRE attends mass at the parish at least twice a month, more often during “sacrament season.” She is also expected to attend diocesan workshops, has to be very computer literate and able to budget and deal with “crazy” parents (we have our share of them). Our DRE was a middle school teacher at a Catholic school and when the school closed she applied for the position at our place, but she already had an MA in Theology.

Make sure you know how much overtime you will be expected to work (you probably won’t get paid extra for it). Also ask if there are other duties you will be expected to perform. Our DRE also teaches VIRTUS sessions. Another DRE I know has to write the petitions for Mass each week. Many DRE’s also are in charge of Adult education, RCIA, baptism prep. and other adult formation activities. Make sure you know if you will be involved in that and what that entails. IF you have to do RCIA you probably will have to be there every SUnday for dismissal sessions.

Good luck.


#8

#9

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