It is that time of year again – time to get ready for the school year. This means that we are also preparing ourselves at the Newman Center for the return of our students and for the education of your children in our Religious Education classes. We have made some changes to our program with hope that it will make it easier to manage. I would like to just highlight what the
make-up of the classes will be this year:
Kindergarten through Grade 2 will become a single class with two instructors.
Grade 2 will continue preparation for First Reconciliation on Saturday, December 8th at 10:00am and
First Holy Communion on Sunday, May 5th at the 10:30am Mass.
Grades 3, 4 and 5 will remain a combined class. The program here will have two instructors.
Grades 6, 7 and 8 will be combined to form the Junior High class. Instructors may give directions for a community service project. If you have any questions, please contact your child's classroom instructor. The details are TBA as of 9/23/2018.
Grades 9 and 10 will form the Pre-Confirmation class. We are using a program developed by DymanicCatholic.org (founded by Matthew Kelly). It will be a two-year program approach. At the end of the two-year cycle (grades 9-10), the Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated (with our 11th graders). Students preparing for Confirmation will be responsible for 25 individual service hours (between 9th grade commencement and Confirmation in 11th grade). These hours should be kept in a personal log and turned in via e-mail to our Director of Religious Education by the Confirmation date. Additionally, each Confirmation candidate is to 1) write a one-page essay on their Confirmation Saint and why they chose that saint and 2) write a one-page letter to describing why they want to be Confirmed in the Catholic Church. These should turned in with service hours. A class combined service project will not be required for this year's Fall 2019 Confirmation candidates.
There are many ways for students in the Junior High and Confirmation classes to carry out their service projects. They could reach out to the Amherst Survival Center, Craig’s Doors, The Fisher Home Hospice Facility, Kate’s Kitchen in Holyoke, Gray House in Holyoke, and/or support a foreign mission. There are many options here. They may participate in the Thanksgiving Food Drive, volunteer for Action Day, visit one of the nursing homes, the hospice home, etc. The candidate can seek approval of potential volunteer hours by contacting the Director of Religious Education or their instructor.
We will need help setting up the café as well as the Giving Tree, sorting food, making ornaments, and deliveries. Date to be announced.
If Religious Education classes have to be cancelled you will be notified via e-mail by 7:30am Sunday morning. The notice will also be posted on Channel 40 news. If inclement weather is approaching, simply check your e-mail often and watch the news.
If you would like to volunteer, please feel free to contact me directly. Parents, I strongly encourage you to consider teaching in the classroom. Our college students offer a great perspective, but their schedules are not as routine or available as those not in college.
It is my hope that all confusion can be settled and structure can be added to this year's program to ensure the best education we can provide for God's Children.
Director of Religious Education