The four main areas of the Religious Education program are catechesis, evangelization, prayer and worship, and the social community – all to bring each child closer to Jesus. Catechesis is provided through formal classes open to children beginning at the Pre-K level and on through high school. The catechists teach through the reading of Scripture, lessons utilizing textbooks and the use of creative projects. The children learn about the celebration of sacraments, their Catholic faith, and the history of the Church.
The Religious Education Program offers opportunities for adults to serve the children of the parish as catechists. Catechists dedicate their time and talents, voluntarily, helping the children develop a loving relationship with Jesus, as well as showing them how to live their Catholic faith by practicing what they teach. The three major components of the Religious Education Program are the formal classroom catechesis offered to children in grades pre-K through high school; the RCIAC program – Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults adapted for Children; and the Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
Classroom catechists prepare lessons using resources provided to them; and then meet with the children to present the lesson during the 90-minute weekly classes, as scheduled throughout the school year. These catechists also prepare baptized children for the Sacraments of the Eucharist, Confirmation and Reconciliation. The program offers classes at varying grade levels on Thursday afternoons, Friday evenings, Saturday mornings and Sunday morning. A catechist teaches at one class time per week.
RCIAC catechists prepare children, ages 8 and older, to receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist) according to the Rite of Christian Initiation. These catechists meet with the children on selected Sundays throughout the year, coinciding with one of the Sunday Mass celebrations.
A committee of adults plans the Children’s Liturgy of the Word, including homily preparation, supervision of the children during the liturgies, and scheduling and training of the Junior Lectors.
All adults who serve children must attend the “Protecting God’s Children” child sexual abuse awareness training and undergo a background check, as mandated by the Diocese of Brooklyn.