“Those called to faithfully and authentically echo the work of God in each age and to each generation are called “catechists”. Catechists are charged with the ministry of promoting and educating in faith every one “whosoever believes.” (Mark 16:16 General Directory for Catechists, 220)
While parents are the primary catechists of their children, women and men from the parish community volunteer their time and talent to pass on the teachings of Christ to the next generation. Through their personal witness to the Gospel, these catechists help our children experience and recognize the presence of God in their lives.
Catechists are registered members of the parish who are interviewed and agree to a background check and receive Child Protection Program training. They are provided with ongoing formation and support as they educate the children.
Responsibilities of Catechists:
• Accepts these children assigned to him/her and as far as possible guides them in the knowledge and love of Christ and Christian living.
• Acquaints herself/himself with the parents of those entrusted to her/him and communicates with them on the conduct and progress of their child.
• Prepares and executes weekly lessons and prayer within a safe environment for all children (Two adult policy, Virtus training.)
• Keeps attendance records of students and reports any problem to the Director.
• Attends meetings and strives through personal reading and study (Adult Education courses) to be well-equipped to perform the sacred duty of Catechist.
• Is requested to obtain basic catechist certificate.
These Programs require assistance in many ways:
Coordinators, often catechists themselves, these master teachers assist in the administration, communication, and planning for a grade level and its meetings. They mentor other catechists.
Catechist Assistant, for the safety of the students, another adult is present during the class. He/she can help with projects, or assist should a child become ill. High school students can obtain community service hours this way.
Hall and Attendance Monitors, assist in providing safety and security for our young people when they are in class and at dismissal. They assist in matters of attendance and are able to provide necessary communication links in emergencies.
Traffic monitors, assist in directing traffic in the parking lots to ensure the safety of children being dropped off and picked up.
The Ministry of Religious Education at St. Mary’s is performed through the help of countless members of our community. Life in Christ is communicated in many ways.
Diocesan Child Protection Policy:
The Diocese of Rockville Centre is dedicated to promoting and ensuring the protection of all children. The Diocese of Rockville Centre will do all in it’s power to create a safe environment for children and young people, to prevent their physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect…(Diocesan Child Protection Policy 2003)
All volunteers are mandated (parents/guardians invited) to take part in Virtus: Protecting God’s Children, a program which provides training in the prevention, recognition and reporting of child abuse.