Friday Greetings, Cherished Catechists. I pray this finds you all healthy and doing well.
I don’t know about you guys but for me, I feel like everything going on around us right now is surreal. While I know most of us are healthy and fortunately, have not had anyone in our families affected by the Coronavirus, it doesn’t diminish our Church’s responsibility in taking a thoughtful and proactive approach to keeping all of you, your families, and our parish families healthy and safe.
To ensure we do all we can to limit the spread of this virus, we have decided to suspend all Religious Education activity effective immediately. All classes, meetings, and activities will be postponed until further notice. I will be forwarding an email out to all our Religious Education families today or first thing tomorrow as well. This also includes Children’s Liturgy of the Word, Sunday School, and the Nursery.
In discussing the time-frame, as you’re probably aware, it’s a bit uncertain. We will continue to remain on hiatus until we feel it is safe to resume. As you know, Fr. John also receives Diocesan recommendations and directives on some of these important decisions, which assist in guiding him as needed.
At this point, for your planning, the earliest we will likely resume is Monday, April 13 (Easter Monday). We are hopeful that will provide enough time to work through this health crisis. However should things change, this time-frame could possibly change as well. Let’s hope it changes for the good! IMPORTANTLY, for Monday classes, you will notice that Monday, April 13, was identified as a RE holiday as the Church is closed. I would recommend, should we be back on track, that you consider holding class that Monday BUT ONLY IF your schedules permit. I suspect the kids will be excited to reconnect and resume some fun activities. However I will leave this up to you and will be touching base with you individually on this. Most of our RE kids are in school that day so provided we get the thumbs-up from Fr. John and are back on track, attendance should be pretty strong.
So…What do we do in the interim? How do we keep the faith discussions going at home and encourage parent involvement in the absence of classes? My recommendation is that Catechists forward to your parents each week, an email highlighting the chapters you will be covering. For all Finding God curriculum, we are working to ensure a link so that families may access the chapters. We’ll be in touch soon with an update. You may instead choose to scan or email worksheets, or possibly even take pics on your phone to email to the parents. I will defer to you on how and what to send along to them.
Sunday School and Children’s Liturgy Catechists…This is neither necessary nor practical for you, so no follow-up will be expected.
Eucharist 2 Catechists, please refer your parents to the St. Mary’s Press Go Seek Find link. The parents can access the necessary chapters and present the curriculum to their child at home, just as an absence would be handled.
And finally…Confessions for Grades 3-8! This one hurts my heart. L This sacrament is such a cherished and important component of our RE Program and for most kids, the only time each year they spend in Confession with our Priests. Should the Church continue to offer Saturday Confessions, please encourage your families to bring their child to Confession during the regularly scheduled times. Additional times may be offered during Holy Week as well.
I think that’s about it for now. I will be in touch with each of you via phone and email to address the specific needs of your classroom. I remain sensitive to all our parents will be attempting to manage at home given partial responsibility for school curriculum will soon shift to them. Essentially the parents are home-schooling their kids for a portion of the curriculum for a few weeks. That is not lost on me. So, let’s make it easy for both them and you…Let’s shoot for 20-30 minute lessons/activities for the parents. It is my hope and goal that we’re able to inspire within our parents a desire to partner with us in ensuring the flame of faith is kept alive within their child’s heart during this challenging time.
In closing, take care of you and your loved ones. Stay safe. We cherish each and every one of you.
Our goal is to teach Catholic Christian doctrine to Preschool through Junior high school age parishioners while encouraging a great prayer life, a closer relationship with Jesus, and a greater connection to the Body of Christ with each other. Through the light of instruction, our purpose is to inspire every person’s faith to become more loving, conscious and alive.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word – Teachers guide children through the readings of the Mass and the homily at a language level that they can understand. Children are invited to participate in the Liturgy of the Word each Sunday during the 8:30 am and 10:00 am Mass. Children participating are dismissed from Mass and congregate in classrooms in two groups, Grades 1-3, and Grades 4-6.
Nursery – Provides a loving, cheerful and safe environment for children while their parents attend the 8:30 am or 10:00 am Mass. Parents who use the Nursery agree to participate and help in the Nursery on a scheduled basis. Registration is held in August. Please call for registration and fees.
WE AT THE DIOCESE OF ORANGE ARE COMMITTED TO PROVIDING A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR OUR CHILDREN AND YOUTH.
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