The parish of St. Anthony considers religious education to be: a process that continues throughout one’s life; a journey toward the holy that the parish can facilitate and nourish; a way to develop the eyes to see and the ears to hear the ways in which God is made known to us. The centrality of the liturgy in our Catholic faith, and the call of the Second Vatican Council for the full, active and conscious participation of all in that liturgy, suggests that the entire life of the parish community flows from and returns to the liturgy; the entire life of the parish is, in some form or other, religiously educative. A welcoming atmosphere is part and parcel of educating religiously, being congruent with the message of Christian witness and hope, and essential for its call to lead meaningful lives of service and love.
Registration for Religious Education 2016-2017
Registration for the upcoming religious education year will take place on Monday evening, September 12, at 7:30 pm, and on Tuesday morning, September 13, at 10 am. Both meetings will be held in the church. One parent from each family is expected to attend one of these sessions. There is no charge for religious education at St. Anthony’s, but each family is required to commit ten hours of service time over the course of the year to some parish endeavor.
One of the hallmarks of the parish of St. Anthony is the sense of community that is palpable whenever parishioners gather, whether in the church or in the parking lot. This community is a gift; it is in the relationships that we form, and that form us, that we discover our strengths as well as our weaknesses. It is in this sacred space where we all work together for a common purpose, where we worship together as a people of God, that we become attentive to the divine spark within ourselves and others, prompting us to treat one another with respect and care. It is within community that we recognize our dependence upon God, as well as our mutual interdependence. It is within community that we contribute to the unfolding of the reign of God.
This community is also a challenge. A community by its very nature makes demands upon its members. It requires active participation and commitments of time, talent or other resources. The flourishing of a community depends largely upon the degree of participation of its constituents.
Part of the mission of the community that is the parish of St. Anthony of Padua is to offer Religious Education to the children of parishioners. Our program strives to provide a foundation in our tradition for children in grades one through eight. The program focuses on the building of each child’s relationship with Christ, endeavoring to nurture a sense of Catholic Christian identity within each child while they learn to respect those who practice other faiths.
Parents are the first teachers of their children; they play an integral role in their children’s religious education. That is why our program depends upon the time, talent and energy of the parents as well as the catechists. Without the active participation of parents our program can not succeed.
The parish does not charge a fee for the religious education program but there are expectations of the following:
- that all participants are registered with the parish;
- that parents will give a minimum of ten hours of service to the parish throughout the year (this can be in any area of parish life, from volunteering at the annual picnic to being a parking lot monitor on Sunday mornings; details will be provided at the parent meeting);
- that children will attend class each week and parents will discuss with their child what he/ she is learning;
- that parents will bring their children to Mass on the weekends.
Religious Education is the responsibility of us all. Children are learning by our example how to live, who and what to care about, and in Whom to place their trust. Our challenge is to do the best we can to help them know they are the beloved of God, and that by caring for one another and the world they are sharing God’s love. Our gift will be when we see our children becoming who God created them to be…with our help.
Adult religious education is concerned with teaching one another to live well, as Christians, in an increasingly complex world. Parish life lends itself to a wealth of teaching/learning experiences. St. Anthony Parish offers many opportunities to enrich lives, including annual parish retreats in Advent and Lent, evenings of reflection with guest musicians such as Gregory Norbet and Dan Schutte, and talks by university professors on matters of faith. Concerts by local musicians are offered on an ongoing basis, engaging the senses in the beauty that evokes a sense of the divine. An informal adult faith-sharing group meets on Sunday mornings, offering an opportunity to discuss ways in which the Gospel relates to people’s lives. The Men’s Group and the Women’s Group provide monthly forums for discussion and reflection. In these and other ways, the parish tries to create an atmosphere wherein the Spirit can flourish.