The Religious Education Office of St. Augustine Parish offers a complete and comprehensive basic religious education program for students in grades 1 through 10. The program serves over 800 students which reflects the involvement of nearly 400 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, reviewing these guidelines, you would like to home school your child(ren), please contact the Religious Education Office to make the appropriate arrangements.
The United States Conference of Bishops requires that all dioceses in the United States establish “Safe Environments” programs. In addition to training for adults on how to identify and prevent child abuse, these programs include training for children and young people with 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, is offered on a regular basis at St. Augustine and parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Boston. For students in the Religious Education program, Talking about Touching (TAT) is for grades 1- 3, and Keeping Children Safe (KCS) is for grades 4-8.
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 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.
Please do NOT park in the drive-through lanes which are also fire lanes.
Recognizing that many of our families occasionally experience difficult situations, whether a sick child, a sudden death or some other family crisis, and in order to ensure that education in the faith does not end at the classroom door, we have a ministry which is designed to provide support, practical or spiritual. Parishioner Kerry Larney and her team of “Angels” respond to referrals from the Religious Education staff. For more information about this ministry, whether you are seeking help or seeking to help, please contact Bridget Rao
Class Cancellation Policy
In the event of inclement weather, parents/care-givers will be notified of class cancellation by broadcast on TV Channels 7 & 5, via this website and a recorded message on the parish phone line at 978-475-0050. As a general rule, if Andover Public Schools are closed due to weather, there will be NO Religious Education classes that day.