Dear Religious Education families,
The archdiocese has welcomed us to resume our parish’s in-person Religious Education program, and we are excited to get under way. Welcome back! Religious Education is going to look a bit different than it did two years ago.
First of all, our major in-person gatherings will be moving from the Church Hall to the school cafeteria. This is a somewhat fluid situation due to possible renovation of the Church Hall, and I will be sure to keep in contact with everyone as the schedule evolves.
Second, and more importantly, the Covid-19–induced Zoom sessions pushed us in the direction of family catechesis. This is a direction we really need to begin to move toward permanently, even without the pressure of the virus--and sadly, we need to be ready in case the situation with the virus takes a turn for the worse. The time has now come to family catechesis in person. Starting this year, we are transitioning to family catechesis.
What does this mean for our families? In terms of scheduling, we will be moving back to Sunday mornings from 8:00 AM to 9:40 AM. However, rather than weekly student drop-off sessions, we will be having monthly family sessions. Families will come together for nine (9) sessions from September to May. Our full Religious Education calendar will show twenty-one (21) events in all (not including events directly related to sacramental preparation or the sacraments themselves). Of these twenty-one events, nine (9) will be the family faith formation sessions in the school building; eight (8) will be Sunday evening 5:00 PM Masses, followed by potluck supper; And one (1) will be a one-hour session in January focused on child personal safety. It is mandated for all RE programs by the archdiocese--it will be students and catechists only.
At the nine sessions for both parents and children, everyone will come together in the school cafeteria on selected Sundays at 8:00 AM (we now have an elevator to help those who cannot take the stairs) where we will pray, have some light breakfast fare (basically coffee and donuts) and be together for a short opening session (10-15 minutes). From there, catechists will take the kids upstairs for a lesson that will prepare them to work with parents over the following month. One catechist will stay behind to help prepare the parents for the following month. From there, everyone will be invited to worship at 10:00 AM Mass.
The materials we will be using are from a Catholic Church in Minnesota that, over the past thirty years, has designed an effective family catechesis program. It is called “Family Formation.” They will provide us with the materials we need, so there will not be bound textbooks this year--those in sacramental preparation, however, will be receiving books.
I know that this is a lot to ask of parents, but the time has come in which Religious education needs to be more than passing on prayers and facts. We all need to evangelize one another today; we all need to help one another remember what it means to be part of the faith so that we can effectively pass it on. Family formation can be a joyful way to help make this happen.
Tuition has not been raised, and please feel free to contact me if you have any challenges this year with payment. I invite you to join us as we pray, reflect, learn, and be a parish together.
Tuition for 2021 - 2022 is as follows:
$200.00 for one child
$325.00 for two children
$400.00 for three children
$415.00 for four children
+$30.00 for each add'l child past four
Religious Education Tuition and Sacramental Fees can be paid by check and mailed to or dropped off at the Rectory at 10134 S. Longwood or through Give Central at the link below. Please mark it for either Religious Education or Sacramental Fees. Pay tuition fees here.
Religious Ed is for children in grades 1-8 this year. To ensure sure continuity in religious development, it is necessary that all children and parents attend monthly sessions regularly.
Materials for monthly work will be handed out at the monthly sessions. Children are to be respectful and courteous toward the catechist and other children during sessions. Children are expected to participate, pay attention in sessions, and complete any assignments on time.