Information Regarding the 2020-2021 Year of Religious Education
I wanted to let you know that we in the parish staff have come to a decision regarding this year's Parish Religious Education Program (PREP), and that we will only be offering religious education virtually for the time being. We are unable to hold classes in a way that would guarantee safety during this pandemic and don't want to put our students and catechists at risk unnecessarily. Thankfully, the archdiocese has released their own curriculum for everyone to use virtually this year, in lieu of our traditional curriculum. It is called Families Forming Disciples, and encourages families to participate in religious education together. Families will join virtual sessions with catechists two weeks a month (the first and third lesson) and one week they will have brief activities to complete on their own. More information and sample lessons are available at the following link: https://www.evangelizationatl.com/families-forming-disciples
This will be unique this year in that each grade will be following the same lessons. This is how families can participate in faith formation together, including the Zoom lessons. Entire families will attend together. The only exception will be those receiving the sacraments. If you have a 10th grader that will be receiving the sacrament of Confirmation, or a 2nd grader receiving the sacraments of First Reconciliation/Communion, you will be given separate information with details about those classes. An additional change this year is that middle and high schoolers will no longer be meeting on Wednesday evenings. They will have their classes on Sunday mornings at the same time as everyone else. PREP will meet this year from 9:30 – 10:30 am on Sunday mornings. We understand that some people might have a longer distance to travel than others if they are either going to or coming from Mass. With that in mind, if you have to either leave PREP early or arrive late due to Mass, that is not a problem.
Even though base lessons will be the same, catechists will still be welcome to incorporate grade-specific content, as time allows. We will not be purchasing books this year, since lessons will be shared over Zoom and Remind. Because of this, PREP fees have been reduced from $35 per student to $20 per student this year. This $20 fee will go toward cost of the Zoom host accounts required to meet virtually.
Because this is all so new, our plan is still a bit of a work in progress. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we iron out the final details. Also, we are still in need of a few people willing to be catechists this year. As always, it is not a requirement to be an “expert” in the field. This year, you would mainly be facilitating conversation among families, and would have lessons to follow from the archdiocese.
Registration will open August 23rd, and this year families are strongly encouraged to register online. The forms will be posted on our website, and also shared via Flocknote. If you absolutely require a paper registration form, they will be available in the church office Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 and 3:30.
Emily Purcell, DRE