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Sister Joanne Manns, M.P.F. - Director of Religious Education
Roseanne De Bari – Religious Education Secretary


 

CALENDAR 2017-2018

 

 

September 20 Religious Education Classes
4:15 PM to 5:30 PM (Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)
7:15 PM to 8:30 PM (Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8)
September 26
(Tuesday)
ALL 7TH GRADE STUDENTS and PARENTS -
Mandatory Meeting - 7:00 PM in the Church
September 27 Home Instruction Program Meeting - Parents and Students
7:30 PM in the Library
October 3
(Tuesday)
1st Grade Parents Meeting for new families in the program
at 7:00 PM in the Church - Introduction to the Religious Education Program. (Meeting for parents of first child entering the program.)
October 10
(Tuesday)
2nd Grade Parents Mandatory Meeting* at 7:00 PM in the Church - Sacrament of Reconciliation (* meeting only for parents whose first child is receiving Reconciliation)
THE PASTOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DEFER THE RECEPTION OF THE SACRAMENT FOR FAILURE OF THE PARENT TO ATTEND THIS MEETING
October 18 Grade 8 - "Growing in Faith" Test (administered during class)
November 1 NO CLASSES - ALL SAINTS DAY - HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION
November 8 NO CLASSES
November 22 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY - NO CLASSES
December 3 ADORATION SUNDAY - Adoration in the Church from 2:00 PM to 4:45 PM - Mandatory visit for students in Grades 2 to 8.
December 6 Home Instruction Program - Parent Meeting / Student Test #1
7:30 PM in the Library

Progress Reports distributed
December 13 Last class before Christmas Recess
January 3, 2018 CLASSES RESUME
January 16
(Tuesday)
First Reconciliation - 7:00 PM in the Church - Saint Augustine School - Grade 2
January 23
(Tuesday)
First Reconciliation - 7:00 PM in the Church - Religious Education Classes
February 6
(Tuesday)
2nd Grade Parents Mandatory Meeting* at 7:00 PM in the Church - Sacrament of First Holy Eucharist (* meeting only for parents whose first child is receiving First Eucharist)
THE PASTOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DEFER THE RECEPTION OF THE SACRAMENT FOR FAILURE OF THE PARENT TO ATTEND THIS MEETING.
February 7 Home Instruction Program Meeting / Student Test #2 - 7:30 PM in the Library
February 14 ASH WEDNESDAY - NO CLASSES
February 15 7th Grade - Sponsor Forms to be mailed for Confirmation Class of 2019. Complete and return by March 15.
February 16 Way of the Cross - 7 PM
February 21 Progress Reports to be distributed
February 23 Way of the Cross - 7 PM
March 2 Way of the Cross - 7 PM
March 3
(Saturday)
2nd Grade Students and Parents - Liturgy Practicum - 10:00 AM in the Church - Attendance is Mandatory
March 9 Way of the Cross - 7 PM
March 14
(Wednesday)
8th Grade Confirmation Retreat - Teen Outreach Event
Saint Joseph High School - Mandatory
March 15 7th Grade Sponsor Forms due back in the Religious Education Office
 
March 16 Way of the Cross - 7 PM
March 23 Way of the Cross - 7 PM
March 25 and April 1 HOLY WEEK AND EASTER WEEK - NO CLASSES
April 18 Home Instruction Program Students only - Final Test - 7:30 PM in the Library
April 24
(Tuesday)
7th Grade Student and Sponsor Mandatory Meeting - 7:00 PM in the Church - Sacrament of Confirmation - Growing in Faith
April 25 LAST DAY OF CLASSES FOR THE 2017/2018 SCHOOL YEAR
Progress Reports distributed
May 1 & 2 First Eucharist Practice - 4:15 to 5:30 PM in the Church
May 2 Confirmation Practice - 7:15 to 8:30 PM in the Church
May 5
(Saturday)
SACRAMENT OF FIRST HOLY EUCHARIST

- 10:30 AM - Religious Education Classes
-   1:00 PM - Saint Augustine School

CONFIRMATION - DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED FOR CONFIRMATION MASS / CEREMONY WHEN PROVIDED BY THE BISHOP'S OFFICE
 

 


PHILOSOPHY
 

Our Religious Education Program is an extension of the mission of our parish to share our love and concern for all of God's people. We do so in accord with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and its faith tradition.

We believe that Christianity is a way of life. Therefore, our purpose is to help children and young adults develop as whole persons, enabling them to contribute to the adult Christian Community.

We believe that parents are the natural educators of their children. In fact, by their vocations they are the first ones officially charged with the spiritual care of their own children.

The combined goal of parents, priests, Religious and educators then is to provide a strong foundation for the formation of mature Catholic Christians; persons who will acknowledge and experience Christ as their Lord.

Without parental support and involvement, our goals cannot be realized. Students need to see and feel that their parents are genuinely interested in what they are doing. The religious education of a child is the opportunity for parents to re-educate and update themselves in the practice of the faith. Today's religious education demands commitment. It cannot be satisfied by simply providing transportation to and from class.

The rationale behind our program therefore is to assist parents in this obligation by providing formal religious education for children and young adults.

 
OBJECTIVES
   
1.
To aid parents in leading their children to an awareness of God in their lives so that they can grow in a free and conscious faith response within the Church.
2.
To provide continuous opportunities to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ, through religious instruction and sacramental preparation.
3.
To integrate faith and Christian living by strongly encouraging participation in the worshiping and serving parish community .
 
PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT
 

We encourage parents to participate in the programs as teachers, aides, clerical, or office volunteers and, where needed, we provide the training required.

Workshops for parents of' children desiring to be prepared for sacraments are given and attendance by at least one parent or representative is mandatory. It is our hope that, in these sessions, we can acquaint the parents with the authentic Church teachings pertinent to a deeper appreciation of the sacrament, as well present them with the thrust of the sacrament preparation program. Full parental involvement is required in all phases of the program.
 
MASS ATTENDANCE
 
Students who are studying the Catholic Faith need to regularly attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. To avoid this responsibility seriously undercuts any training that can be gained through religious education. Liturgy feeds the faith and enables students to better understand what they are learning. Students will he questioned about their Mass Attendance. This is particularly serious when preparing for the reception of sacraments.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
 
Structure
The structure of the Religious Education program provides for the separation of the children by grades. The children in grades 1 to 4 will attend a 4:15-5:30 session and those in grades 5 to 8 will attend the 7:15-8:30 session. All sessions are held on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
 
Communication with Parents

Communication with parents is through the weekly Parish Bulletin which is distributed after all of the weekend masses. Parents should consult the weekly bulletin to keep abreast of all news pertaining to religious education. A Religious Education calendar is distributed to each family at the beginning of the scholastic year.

On occasion, letters will be mailed home or notices sent home with the students as an additional reminder, but all important information will appear in the bulletin and it is the parent's responsibility to obtain one.
 
Transportation
Since no transportation is provided by the schools, it is the responsibility of the parents to provide transportation to and from religious education classes.
 
School Cancellations
If snow or any bad weather condition causes us to cancel classes it will be announced on radio station WCTC , 1450 AM or on our parish web site www.staugustinenj.org. Please DO NOT call the parish office. If regular school is canceled due to inclement weather, religious education will ALWAYS be canceled that day and evening. This applies only to weather closings or in the event that all schools are closed on the state or national level for a specific reason.
 
Fire Drills

There will be two (2) Fire Drills per school year. Fire Drill instructions are posted in classrooms.

 
Visitors
While classes are in session, and immediately before and after class, no unauthorized people may be in the building. Only children attending class that session, staff and faculty are to be inside of the building. If it is necessary to contact a student, come to the School Office, ring the bell at the school and a monitor will admit you.
 
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAY ANY UNAUTHORIZED PERSON GO TO A CLASSROOM OR BE IN THE CLASS AREA WHEN CLASS IS IN SESSION
 
Attendance
Regular attendance is essential for meaningful learning. Attendance in the Religious Education Program is obligatory for all grades 1 through 8. Students must be in attendance for AT LEAST 85% of the scheduled classes in a school year to meet the attendance requirement for promotion. Students having absences for more than 15% of the scheduled classes will automatically be retained. An attempt will be made to contact the parents either by phone of letter when the number of absences gets dangerously close to the maximum. A doctors note is required if there is a health issue.
 
Lateness
All students arriving shortly after classes have begun should report to the monitor to sign in before going to class. When the student arrives in the classroom, he/she should give his/her name to the teacher. This is to prevent an absence from being recorded by the teacher or the office. Habitual lateness is not acceptable and will convert to absences. Lateness in excess of 10 minutes beyond the start of class will be recorded as an absence.
 
Entrance Procedures
All students will enter the school through the main doors and proceed directly to through the gathering area to their classroom. There will be supervision for the children in the building.
 
Dismissal Procedures

Students may not be dismissed from class unless directed by the teacher and then only after the final announcements, special instruction, final prayer and the final bell. Dismissal will take place in an orderly fashion, class by class to an assembly area. Then all children will be dismissed to the parking area on the side of the school building (route 27 side). This area is designated a protected area and cars are not permitted to park or wait in this area for the safety of the children. It is the same area that the School uses to dismiss the children who walk home or are picked up by car. Please meet your children at a previously arranged spot in the protected area. Please advise your children not to run into the area where the cars are parked but to wait in the protected area where you should come to pick them up. Also advise your child not to go home with an unauthorized person and to return to the school building if no one is there to meet them. The building is locked about 10 minutes after the dismissal. If no one has come for a student by that time, they will he brought to the Religious Education Office to wait until you arrive; you must then come there to pick them up. Remember the office closes and staff goes home shortly after the end of class.

 
Early Dismissal
Any student who needs to be dismissed at an earlier time must have a reasonable excuse in writing which is signed by the parents. It must be presented to the teacher before the start of class and the teacher will send it to the office. At the appointed time an office person will go to the room and bring the student to the office. The parent must come to the school gathering area to sign the student out. No student will be released before this is done.
 
Illness or Accident
If a student becomes ill or has an accident during class time, he/she will be brought to the Religious Education Office and if the situation calls for it the parents will be called. Every attempt will be made to reach the parent. The parent should come to the school gathering area to pick up the student and sign him/her out.
 
Inquiries
All inquiries concerning any aspect of the Religious Education Program should be referred to the Religious Education Office. The office hours are Monday to Thursday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The telephone number is (732) 297-3011. If you would like to come in, please call to make an appointment.
 
Transcripts
We require a written record of prior religious education for any students entering our school. Upon request, we will also supply one to the receiving school for any student leaving our school.
 
Fees
All fees are be paid by check or money order and should be returned to the Religious Education Office by mail or in person. ALL FEES ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.
 
Lost Books
Each student is supplied with a textbook which should have his/her name written in it. Students are asked to treat their textbook and other class materials with care and respect. We will hold any lost hooks which are returned to the office, so please check with the Religious Education Office. Lost books will have to be replaced at the student's expense.
 
Parent Meetings
Parent meetings will be called as needed to keep the parents informed about changes in policies and programs.
 
Appropriate Attire
Students are asked to be presentable and moderately dressed when they come to class. We ask that for safety reasons children not wear flip flops or shoes with roller skates.
 
Child Abuse Policy

If catechist/director suspects a child has been abused, NJ State Statutes require that Division of Youth and Family Services be notified immediately.

 
Drugs
Drugs are not allowed on premises. If a student is found to be in possession of drugs, the student will be detained until the police are notified.
 
Restrooms

Students will have adequate time to use the restrooms before class begins, and when the need arises.

 
School Facilities
Care and respect is also necessary in the use of St. Augustine of Canterbury School. Students are reminded that the rooms are shared with other students. Desks must not be disturbed, and the classrooms must be left neat and orderly. Students will be held responsible for any defaced property.
 
Class Work and Homework
Class work and homework must be neat and legible and completed on time.
 
Discipline
We need to live and embody the Christian values that we learn. Therefore, all students are expected to be courteous to teachers, staff and other students. Any conduct unfitting a young Catholic Christian will be referred to the Director of Religious Education.
 
STAFF
 
Office Staff

The office staff consists of a Director of Religious Education (D.R.E.) and a secretary.

 
Volunteer Staff

Our faculty is comprised of volunteers from our parish family. Some teachers are professional, while others come from varied professions and occupations. Many of them have families very much like your own. Our in-service program provides our teachers with the necessary training, guidance and support to serve our students. Our teachers are also encouraged to attend diocesan workshops and presentations to strengthen their faith and enhance their skills. Our teachers are committed to their faith and have a strong desire to share it with our students. The diocese also provides certification classes for any of our faculty who are able to avail themselves of this opportunity. Our Catechists and staff must be certified by the Diocese of Metuchen by being fingerprinted and completing the three hour workshop on Protecting God's Children.

 
Communication
Any parent desiring to speak with a teacher should call the Religious Education Office. An appointment can he arranged or the teacher will return your call. We do not give out the telephone numbers of our staff. Teachers are not able to speak with you at the start of class as that takes their time and attention away from the students.
 
THE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM
 
Prerequisites for Entrance

Registration for Religious Education will be during March. Re-registration forms and information will be sent in the mail. Please call the office for forms for new students (copy of the child's baptismal certificate will be needed). Included with registration forms is a Faith Commitment/Mass Commitment Form from Father Robert G. Lynam, our Pastor, which must be initialed, signed, and returned to our office.

 
Class Times and Location
The Religious Education Program has sessions as follows:
Grades 1 – 5 Wednesday 4:15PM – 530PM
Grades 5 – 8 Wednesday 7:15PM – 8:30PM
Classes are held in St. Augustine of Canterbury School.
 
Fees

The fee for the Religious Education Program is an annual per child fee payable at registration.

 
Testing

On a grade level basis, every teacher will require some form of oral and written testing during the year.

 
Progress Reports
All students will be responsible for the basic teachings of the Catholic faith at every grade level. Students must demonstrate their knowledge of these before they can continue to the next grade level. Progress reports are made based on attendance, work, behavior and attitude. They are sent home three times during the year, as noted on the yearly calendar. They are to be signed by a parent and returned at the next class. A final report is made at the end of the year. An unsatisfactory in ANY one are evaluated will be cause for retention. Inquiries regarding these evaluations should be made to the Religious Education Office.
 
Sacrament Preparation
 

Sacrament preparation is provided for:

Penance and First Holy Communion
Confirmation

A student preparing for the sacraments will receive instructions during the regularly scheduled class sessions for two years before reception.

The Office of Religious Education of the Diocese of Metuchen recommends that religious education for the purposes of sacramental preparation be undertaken within the framework of each student's home parish whenever possible.
 
Parents' Workshops
There are Parent Workshops for each sacrament and attendance by at least ore parent (or someone designated by the parent to represent the child) is mandatory at each workshop.
 
Fees
Fees are charged for each student in a sacrament preparation program. They are payable at registration time in the spring along with the registration fee. A communion fee is charged for students entering the second grade and confirmation fee is charged for students entering the eighth grade.
 
First Penance and First Eucharist
 
Penance preparation is separate and distinct from the preparation for Eucharist so that the integrity of each is maintained. Catechesis for First Penance precedes Catechesis for First Eucharist.
 
Evaluations
A student in the Penance and First Eucharist program is evaluated on several points and each teacher keeps and overall profile of a student's readiness. The profile is submitted to the PCL and the Pastor for approval.
 
Confirmation
 
The program emphasizes Christian Initiation as a lifelong process of entering more fully into a life of Faith shared by a community of believers. It allows for the diversity of a student's backgrounds and experiences. The programs consist of several aspects which are designed to assist the student in the process of entering fully into the faith community. In addition to instructions, and included are enrollment ceremony, regular mass attendance, personal, community and church service (a total of 15 hours) and a retreat. The Sacrament of Confirmation is conferred on the eighth grade students at the end of their course.
 
Prerequisites for reception of Confirmation

All students must have two years (grades 7 and 8) of satisfactory progress reports in addition to satisfactorily completing all aspects of the program mentioned above.

7 th Grade--- •  Weekly Gospel Reflection Reports
 
8 th Grade--- •  Essay or project on Saint whose name was picked for Confirmation Recorded
•  A total of 15 hours of service (Service Hours Report Sheet)
 
Sponsors

A Confirmation Sponsor represents the Christian community into which the candidate is now further initiated through the Sacrament of Confirmation.

 
The requirements for sponsors are as follows:
1.
A sponsor must be baptized, confirmed, and be presently practicing his/her faith.
2.
A sponsor must be sufficiently mature as a Catholic, Christian role model for the candidate. (Usually 14 or older)
3. Baptismal sponsors may act as Confirmation Sponsors and are encouraged to do so.
4.
A member of the religious- priest, nun, or brother- may act as a sponsor.
5.
The sponsor does not have to be the same sex as the candidate.
6.
A person who is married outside the church or who is divorced and remarried without an annulment may NOT serve as a sponsor.
7. Parents CANNOT be sponsors for their children.
8.
It is recommended that the sponsor receive the sacraments of Penance and Eucharist prior to acting as a sponsor.
 
Curriculum
 
The Diocese of Metuchen has published Guidelines for Catechesis which ensures a clear and uniform presentation of the faith for each grade level. These guidelines are to be implemented in all parish Religious Education Programs and School throughout out the diocese. All materials used for instruction are in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
 
The following are the themes and objectives as stated in the guidelines.
     
Grade One   
  Theme:
God, Father and Creator of the World; Jesus, Son of God and Our Friend; The Holy Spirit, Giver of Strength and Joy.
     
  Concepts: The Bible tells us how much God loves us.
The Church is the people of God.
The Church is home for the family of God.
Jesus taught us to love other people. The Holy Spirit helps us to care for all the people of the world.
     
Grade Two   
  Theme:
The Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist: Jesus, model for Christian living.
     
  Concepts:
Jesus teaches His friends and followers that they must always be ready to forgive each other. Jesus invited His friends to share a special meal with Him. He told His friends to always share a special meal In memory of Him.
 
Because we are baptized, we are all members of God's special family called the Church. In Eucharist, bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Jesus. We bring the message of Christ to others by following Jesus in choosing to do good, by caring about all God's people, and by living as He asks us to live.
     
Grade Three   
  Theme:
The traditions and beliefs of the Catholic Church; The Apostles' Creed and the Seven Sacraments.
     
  Concepts:
Through stories in the New Testament, we learn of God's love for us through Jesus' example; that God sent God's only son that the world might be saved.
 
The Church is a community that is one, holy catholic and apostolic.
 
The Church celebrates seven sacraments: those of initiation, commitment, and reconciliation. Members of the Catholic community profess their faith when they pray the Apostles' Creed. We share the love of Jesus by living out the Ten Commandments and the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.
     
Grade Four  
  Theme:
The Beatitudes; Catholic Christian Moral Values: The Sacrament of Reconciliation
     
  Concepts:
Jesus shows that He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament when He tells His followers that they are to live by the Beatitudes. The Church is a light to the world and should reflect the Beatitudes.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation brings us to God's healing and forgiveness, and reconciles us to the members of the Church community.
 
By virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism, we understand that it is our responsibility to help those in need.
     
Grade Five  
  Theme: The Sacramental Life of the Church
     
  Concepts:
Jesus is the fullness of the life as proclaimed by the first Christian community in the Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and the Letters of the New Testament.

The Church celebrates seven sacraments. It is through the sacraments that the church celebrates the life-giving signs of Christ's saving action in our lives. When a sacrament is received with faith, the symbols and ritual actions are rich in meaning and always effect our spiritual growth and development. Through the sacraments, we are strengthened to live the Christian life more fully.
     
Grade Six
  Theme: God's Plan of Salvation as recorded in the Bible
     
  Concepts:
The Bible is God's Works to us written in the inspired words of the writers centuries ago. The Old Testament of Hebrew Scriptures contains the roots of our faith.

The Church is rooted in many Old Testament signs and symbols. Church members study, pray, celebrate, and love together as seen in sacred scripture.

We learn to live good lives through the teachings of Sacred Scripture.
     
Grade Seven   
  Theme:
A synthesis of Catholic Beliefs: Part I - Trinity Christian Community Sacraments
     
  Concepts:
By studying all of the New Testament, we have a portrait of Jesus, the Christ. Each Gospel presents a somewhat different image of Jesus, depending on each Writer's point of view, audience, and reason for writing.

The Church teaches that faith is a life-giving gift from God. This gift of Faith enables us to respond to and to believe the truths that Jesus passed on to us in the Spirit-guided Church.

In Baptism and Confirmation, the Holy Spirit empowers us to form the Mystical Body of Christ.

Jesus brought the good news of God's love and proclaimed freedom for all. We are to continue in and through the church, Christ's mission of forgiving, healing, reconciling, and serving anyone in need.
     
  Requirement: Gospel Reflections (View/Print Gospel Reflections) are to be done weekly.
     
Grade Eight   
  Theme:
A Synthesis of Catholic Beliefs: Part II - The Church in the Modern World; Catholic Christian Morality Ecumenism.
     
  Concepts:
By studying the Acts of the Apostles, we see how the message of Jesus, as recording the Gospels, is preserved by the first Christian community and adapted to new people and new needs.

As the Church began to grow and debate the nature of Jesus and His relation to the Father and the Spirit, creeds emerged to preserve the truth of our faith. The sacraments celebrate the living presence and meaning of Christ in our life experience. The Eucharist is central to the life of the Church.

A Catholic attempts to live in harmony with Jesus' teachings: loving God above all things; loving neighbor as oneself; extending special care to the poor, lonely, and the outcasts.
     
  Requirement:
Saint Project or Essay and a total of 15 service hours are to be completed. (View/Print Service Hours Form)
     
Saint Augustine provides Special Needs classes. Please call our office for detailed information.
 
Prayers
 
The following are the themes and objectives as stated in the guidelines.
     
 Grade One: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father, Prayer After Meals
   
   
 Grade Two: Act of Contrition, Review of all previous prayers
   
   
 Grade Three: Morning Offering, Apostles' Creed, Review of all previous prayers
   
   
 Grade Four: Act of Faith, Hope and Love, Review of all previous prayers
   
   
 Grade Five: Mysteries of the Rosary, Review of all previous prayers
   
   
 Grade Six: Memorare, Review of all previous prayers
   
   
 Grade Seven: Angelus, Review of all previous prayers
   
   
 Grade Eight: Prayer to the Holy Spirit, Review of all previous prayers
 
 
Office Hours
 

During the school year the Religious Education Office is open Monday to Thursday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The Religious Education Office is located in the Parish Center - Telephone Number — (732) 297-3011

 
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