Children are gifts to parents, communities, and society. The children who participate in Sunday religious instructions at St. Catherine of Genoa parish are, indeed, special gifts to our parish. We cherish our gifts and work hard to nourish their minds and teach them the Catholic faith with their parents’ help.
The month of March marked exactly one year since we transformed religious education classes from in-person classes to online instruction in our parish. In the beginning, it was a struggle for some catechists and the families they serve, but together we smoothed out the rough waves and sailed ahead. When the new semester began in September last year, our DRE, Parents, Catechists, and the Pastor worked together through a variety of workshops to make the 2020/2021 school year a success. One of the highlights of our new school year was the parent workshops.
In December 2020, the fifth and sixth-grade students and their parents came together to discuss Friendship and Bullying: Healthy Relationships. Last month, February 2021, the catechists, students, and parents came together again to discuss Digital Discipleship: Safe and healthy habits in online environments. Brenda Henry-Offor, one of the devoted Catechists, facilitated these two events. Parents welcomed the open forum sessions where they felt free to discuss various ideas and issues relating to the topics discussed. Students felt comfortable sharing and discussing their thoughts, fears, and other relevant issues. It was truly encouraging to watch parents discussing these topics with their children. One of the most significant outcomes of the workshops is that parents felt supported when their children accepted the guidance in the workshop that they were trying to impart at home about online safety. On both occasions, parents and students reported that they found the workshops helpful and informative. We are looking forward to future workshops using the same in-person format.
Above is a glimpse of the attendees at the second workshop with a discussion about Digital Discipleship. As cold as it was on that day in February, some parents and the children managed to attend. We had fifteen (15) attendees at the second workshop, bearing in mind that there are eleven (11) 6th Graders and five (5) 5th Graders in our Religious Education Program. Twenty-four (24) people participated in the first workshop. We give thanks to the Almighty for all His mercies!