RELIGIOUS EDUCATION UPDATE
We are finally approaching the start of our classes! And although we may never get used to dealing with accommodating the pandemic requirements and precautions we live under, we do adjust to them and try to live life as normally as possible. Those accommodations for our classes will look a lot like what your children experience in school during the week. We will review our COVID-19 policies and class procedures during a parents’ meeting on our first day of classes.
As a reminder, only students, catechists, and staff will be allowed in the building and classroom areas. Students will be required to check in upon entering. Students, catechists and staff must wear masks at all times. Social distancing is required. Parents will be required to provide a signed COVID-19 Health Screening Agreement, a completed Student Screening Checklist to enter the building each day of classes, and an appropriate and effective mask for each child (face shields are not acceptable). Children will not be allowed in the building if any of the Screening Checklist questions are marked “Yes” or they display obvious COVID-19 symptoms. Catechists and staff will conduct daily COVID-19 self-examinations per the Parish COVID-19 Reopening Policy. Cleaning of the facilities will be performed in accordance with diocesan policies.
Our program this year focuses on simple, age appropriate, Scripture-based activities in support of Bishop Boyea’s calling for a Year of Scripture to begin this coming Advent. The goal is to help families better understand the Bible through joining together in prayer, reading the Scriptures and Spiritual works, and discussing as a family what they have read.
Families are encouraged to talk during the week about what their children learn in class. That may not always be easy given everything going on around us. As I have mentioned before, I remember those years when Kimberly and I struggled to balance work, school, sports, scouts, visiting grandparents, and having fun as a family. Getting our children off to CCD classes on Sunday morning was always a challenge between their early morning paper route and 10:30 am Mass. Sometimes we grumbled about it, and sometimes we failed. Although we are glad we don’t have to go through that phase of parenting anymore, we often wish we would have tried harder to make more time at home to pray as a family and teach our children their faith.
Our Catechism says parents have the first responsibility to educate their children. That includes making sure they attend religious education classes, teaching the faith at home, and making family prayer part of the daily routine and decision making. For our parish religious education programs to work, our children must experience all of us—parents, relatives, friends, and parishioners alike—engaged in our faith by outwardly living a life devoted to Christ through our words and examples. They must see us as truly faithful to the virtues of patience, temperance, charity, humility, diligence, kindness, and chastity. Not in a showy way, but in a way they can relate to.
Classes begin on November 1st for St. Mary on the Lake (after Mass), and November 8th for Sacred Heart (between Masses). St. Mary on the Lake will meet monthly for classes. Sacred Heart will meet on a weekly basis. Class schedules for the year will be provided at the parent meeting and available on the parish websites.
There will be a parent meeting on November 8 in the Parish Hall. Please drop your child(ren) off at the school for Religious Ed and head to the Parish Hall for your parent meeting.
We are still in need of a catechist at Sacred Heart to teach Grades 5-6, as well as additional volunteers’ help on Sunday mornings to assist with student check-in. If you are interested, or know of someone who may be, please contact me. Please continue to pray for our parishes and children as we navigate this difficult time, and thank you for all your support!