Dear Religious Education Families,
I hope this message finds you safe and well! I can’t believe it’s been 3 months since I’ve seen any of you, and I very much hope I can see you again soon. While I remain home, I hope many of you have been able to carefully resume more normal activities and especially to participate in Mass as you able, though I certainly understand if you, like me, are still confined to your homes.
During this time at home, I have spent a great deal of time in prayer. I hope you have also found a way to become closer to God. Perhaps the distance learning resources provide at the end of last school year helped, as was the goal. I have also spent many hours researching and studying ways to make distance learning more effective and engaging. I have taken our needs to God in prayer and I believe He is showing me the direction to lead our program in the future. Father Rosenbaum has done the same, and is also preparing to face unknowns in the near future.
Leaders in our diocese have instructed us to be ready for at least part of our programs to take place remotely this coming school year. We are not saying that students definitely will be learning from home. (I mean instead of classes. We all know the domestic church is the primary catechist of our children and youth). I am saying we will be ready to equip our domestic churches better this time if it becomes necessary again.
To ensure that St. Clement Religious Education is able to continue without interruption, I have been and continue to write plans using resources that will be available either to catechists and students in the classrooms or to parents and students at home. Right now, it is simply too soon to predict what the future holds. Since I understand that most of you were using Google Classroom for class, I have begun lessons using it as well. However, if we find a majority of us prefer another Educational Management Platform we can do that instead.
I know many of you were able to participate in the online lessons this Spring. Thank you for taking that step with me. I promise better in the future! To help make it better I it will be extremely helpful to know what resources you have available at home. For example, in addition to knowing if you have internet access, it will be of great assistance to know how you access the internet. Do you use a PC, laptop, Chromebook/webbook, tablet or smartphone etc.? Does each student have his or her own device or are you sharing? If you need a non-internet way to engage, there will also be a way to tell me. I’ll also be asking for parent and student email addresses again (just to be sure I have the most up to date). Per diocesan policy, parents will continue to receive copies of communication sent to students. In the next few days, you will be receiving a family technology survey. Please be on the look- out for it, complete and return it as soon as possible. All responses will be kept in confidence.
I plan to hold either virtual and/or in person sessions in the beginning of September to announce our plans for the year. I can tell you now to mark on your calendars for classes of some sort will begin on Sept. 13 as Bishop Mark has requested. I know our Candidates who were to be Confirmed in April, are still eagerly awaiting the sacrament. I will have a date and plans for you soon. Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.
Finally, if we are able to resume in person classes, we are in need of at least two catechists. If you are a Confirmed Catholic in good standing with The Church, we ask you to prayerfully consider joining our team. I look forward to sharing our faith and more updates with you soon.
Yours in Christ,