Paying for Catechesis…
Believe it or not, it costs money for the Church to teach you the Word of God:
One who is being instructed in the word should share all good things with his instructor. –Galatians 6:6, NAB
The Church has expenses, just like any organization. When taking classes at your parish, there are costs involved – even if the teachers are all volunteers. The parish still has to pay for the overhead: the materials, the space to hold the class, and the staff that organizes the whole thing. For that reason, we should help pay for and support that ministry.
In many cases, the amount of money you offer the parish for these services is completely up to you. For some classes, such as Bible studies that have costly materials, the parish may pass some of that cost along to you, but usually speaking, if you cannot afford to tithe due to financial reasons, the parish will work with you.
But should we be paying for catechesis? Shouldn’t the Word of God be freely offered to everyone – literally? Yes, of course. Each week, you can enjoy Mass at no cost to you. Tithing is strongly encouraged but completely optional. Why, then, should we pay for classes at the parish? To help support the costs of the ministry.
Today’s verse tells us that we should share the financial blessings that God has given us with those who instruct us in the faith. The money we give will help them teach us about the faith, as well as support the costs of reaching others. If we are blessed financially, it only seems appropriate to share that blessing with those who bless us with the Word of God.
Many classes and services at your local parish do not charge a fee, but it still costs money to run them. Their hope, then, is that you will pay for these services as a community through the offering plate. In this way, those that are more financially capable help carry the costs of those less fortunate. We are sharing our blessings with others in a very important way.
Your parish needs money to run, so do not be offended when your parish comes to you looking for support – even from the pulpit. It is our duty as Catholics to share our financial blessings with the Church. Do not see these costs as paying for catechesis because our gifts help the Church carry out its mission: the Great Commission.