The Catholic University of America


 Recinella Defense
Ms. Therese Recinella presented her treatise for the degree of Doctor of Ministry on Thursday, February 25 at 2:00 p.m. Her treatise is titled, “Lectio Divina: A Spiritual Practice for for Lay Volunteer Catechetics."
Oral Presentation of D. Min Treatise
Ms. Therese Recinella
for the Degree of
Doctor of Ministry
Thursday, February 25, 2016
2:00 pm, Caldwell Hall, Happel Room
Committee in Charge
Project Director: Sr. Margaret Schreiber, O.P., S.T.D.
Reader: Dr. Susan Timoney, S.T.D.
Delegate: Rev. Raymon Studzinski, O.S.B., Ph.D.
Lectio Divina: A Spiritual Practice for Lay Volunteer Catechetics
A formation of catechists is a challenge in the Church today, especially in parishes served by volunteers. Most parish catechetical programs rely on volunteer lay catechists. When parishoners volunteer to serve the parish as catechists, they need formation for their ministry. Praying daily Scripture is an important spiritual practice for all Christians but especially for catechists. A familiarity with Scripture that is rooted in prayer deepens a catechist’s relationship with Christ, who is central to catechesis. With such spiritual practices, catechists are better able to bring people into relationship with Jesus Christ. In general, little has been done to give catechists consistent and systematic formation in praying with Scripture. The ancient Christian practice of lectio divina is a spiritual practice that is one way of helping catechists become centered on the word of God. Lectio Divina is the prayerful reading and reflection on Scripture that provides a structure that can help lay volunteer catechists pray with Scripture. Little has been written on the benefits of spiritual practices for lay volunteer catechists, especially the use of the ancient practice of lectio divina as part of a catechist formation program. In order to meet this need, this project presents a formation program for catechists using the spiritual practice of lectio divina. The project began with a workshop to introduce the practice of lectio divina and five sessions designed to develop the practice of praying with Scripture. The movements of lectio divina were used as the methodology for the project. The selected Scripture passages focused on discipleship, as the task of evaluation used in the project indicate the participant developed an increased understanding of praying with Scripture and now use Scripture to pray with their students.
            There is a need for more research in spiritual practices for those that volunteer in parish ministries. It is evident from this project that the spiritual life is vital for the integration of theological and human formation. Research needs to be done in how the spiritual life and Catholic spiritual practices integrate theological, doctrinal, and human formation. In addition, more research is needed on the kinds of spiritual practice present in the lives of those who volunteer in parish ministry.