Director of Religious Education, Bridget Rao, 978 475-0050 x28, firstname.lastname@example.org
Administrative Assistant, Joanne Heim, 978 475-0050 x38, email@example.com
The Religious Education Office of St. Augustine Parish offers a complete and comprehensive basic religious education program for students in grades one through 10. The program serves over 1100 students which reflects the involvement of nearly 600 families. The goals of the program are four-fold:
- to teach the message of Jesus
- to build up the community of Catholic believers
- to develop authentic lives of prayer and worship
- to foster a spirit of service to others within the Christian community and beyond
Over 200 volunteer catechists minister to the youth of the parish each year. They are supported by a staff which consists of a director and coordinators for grades 1-3, grades 4-6, grades 7 & 8 and for Confirmation preparation. Catechists meet regularly to discuss curriculum, teaching strategies and enrichment. Efforts continue to offer professional development opportunities to each teacher via Archdiocesan certification programs.
Ever cognizant of the fact that parents are the first catechists, the program is designed to make connections between what is taught in the classroom and its application to living a true Christian life. Parents are urged to take full advantage of the life of the parish by attending Sunday Liturgy with their children.
For parents who are considering home schooling their children for Religious Education, please thoroughly and carefully read the Archdiocesan guidelines. If after, thoroughly reviewing these guidelines, you would like to home school your child(ren), please contact the Religious Education Office to make the appropriate arrangements.
Please note that there is absolutely NO parking in the emergency drive-through lanes next to the Center for Education and Ministry.
The United States Conference of Bishops has issued a Charter for the protection of Children and Young People. The charter mandates that all dioceses in the United States will establish “Safe Environments” programs. Besides training programs for adults in how to identify and prevent child abuse, these programs are also to include training programs for children and young people that include age appropriate materials pertaining to personal safety – including information about improper touching and when they should seek assistance from trusted adults.
The program for adults, Virtus – Protecting God’s Children, has been running in the Parish for the past seven years. For students in the Religious Education program, Talking about touching (TAT) the program for Grades 1- 3, and Keeping Children Safe (KCS) the Program for Grades 4-8 is now in its third full year of implementation.
Your child(ren)’s safety is very important to us. In order to help address the task of providing a secure environment when teaching Religious Education to 1100 children in a multi-use facility we have implemented the following procedure for dropping off and picking up students:
- Essex Street doors and parking lot doors will be locked 10 minutes after the start of class.
- Parents/care-givers will not be allowed to come into the building to pick up their children. Children may be picked up after class by utilizing the drive through system or by waiting outside the Essex Street doors where their children will be brought to them by Religious Education staff.
- Parents/care-givers will not be allowed to walk their children into the building. Children may be brought to class by utilizing the drive through system or by bringing the children to the Essex Street doors where the children may enter but not the adult. Religious Education staff will be present at both doors.
Please discuss this procedure with your child(ren) and to all those who take responsibility for transporting them to and from class.
For some time we have been aware that many of our families often go through difficult times, whether it is a sick child, a sudden death or some other family crisis and our response has often been inadequate. In order to address this need and to ensure that Religious Education does not end at the classroom door we have instigated a ministry under the leadership of Kerry Larney. Kerry and her team of “Angels” will respond to referrals from the Religious Education staff – this may take the form of practical help or spiritual support. For more information about this team or if you wish to join or if you need help please contact Bridget Rao