Catechetical Sunday 2016- ‘Prayer: The Faith Prayed’
On the weekend of Sept. 17/18th, the Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate Catechetical Sunday, honoring all of those who serve as catechists in our parishes and schools. “The 2016 theme ‘Prayer: The Faith Prayed’ invites all the baptized–especially catechists and Catholic school teachers–to devote themselves to a deeper study and practice of prayer, for their own spiritual good and for the good of those they serve. Daily prayer shines the light of the Gospel on everything we do, so that all our thoughts, words and actions can be informed and measured by love of God and neighbor.
Our Lord’s disciples frequently observed him interrupting his journeys in order to spend long hours alone in prayer to his heavenly Father. They were moved to ask him to teach them how to pray. May we be moved this year to do the same as an essential element of our discipleship. May we all draw closer to the Lord and to one another through a deeper and more faithful commitment to prayer, in private and with others, in communion with the sacramental life of the Church.”
We have begun signing up catechists and volunteers for next fall and registering their children. Catechist/volunteer slots fill up quickly. Please sign-up soon to get your first choice of day/time/grade!
Please consider joining us in this very important teaching ministry. An 8th grade catechist for a Wed. at 4 pm class is badly needed. Catechists teach in teams of two with a class of 15 students. All lesson plans and materials are provided for you and tuition is waived for your children. We even have child care for your younger children. Please call or stop by the Religious Education Office to see what opportunities are available. We can help you choose the grade that is best for you!
We are blessed by nearly 250 Catechists and weekly Volunteers!
The heart of our program is the dedication of our catechists and their willingness to share their faith with our children. For our program to function, we need 250 catechists and volunteers each week! We are very grateful to our wonderful catechists and volunteers who are witnessing the love of Christ to our children.
We have teaching opportunities for pre-school through high school. Our catechists teach in teams of two with a class of 15 students. All lesson plans and materials are provided for you and tuition is waived for your children. Email or stop by the Religious Education Office to see what opportunities are available. We can show you curriculum and lesson plans and help you choose the grade that is best for you. Please prayerfully consider joining us in this very important teaching ministry. Call the office at 896-5683 or email Mary Maguire at email@example.com for more information.
Because of Safe Environment requirements that were established by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, volunteers, staff and clergy at all parishes who work with or have access to children must attend Safe Environment training through the Archdiocese of Omaha and undergo a background check. Safe Environment training must be completed before you can begin working with the students. The current schedule for Safe Environment training is available at www.archomaha.org. All catechists and volunteers must have current Safe Environment certification. (see below)
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The teaching ministry is one of the most important functions of the Church and we are very grateful to the many volunteers who have stepped forward to be catechists.
Thank you to our wonderful catechists who have volunteered to pass on our faith to our children and youth! We have a great mix of new and experienced catechists, who each bring gifts to our students. We need 250 weekly volunteers, so it takes a lot of people to provide religious education for our students. We are blessed that the catechists who step forward are such dedicated and faith-filled people. Please keep these men, women and teens in your prayers.
From the Holy Father, Pope Francis: “Catechesis is a pillar for education in faith. … Even though at times it may be difficult, it is necessary to work hard and make efforts for which you don’t always see the results you hoped for, educating in faith is good! It is perhaps the best legacy we can give: faith!”
Video and Resource Library
Video and Resource Catalogue– Updated 2015
We have many resources available in the R.E. Office to help you prepare for class or to use while teaching. If you are interested in showing a movie or using research materials from our resource library, please either stop in the office, email or call the R.E. Office at 402-896-5683. If you need help finding a resource, please call and we will do our best to find just what you need!
On-line Catechist Education through My Catholic Faith Delivered
St. Stephen’s catechists are now able to take advantage of on-line courses in Faith Foundations and Catechesis through My Catholic Faith Delivered. The Archdiocese of Omaha is currently providing the courses free of charge to catechists from funds collected through the Ignite the Faith campaign. The campaign is ongoing in the archdiocese.
Catechists from St. Stephen’s can use the log-in and password sent to them by My Catholic Faith Delivered. If you did not receive log-in information, please contact D.R.E. Mary Maguire at m.maguire@Stephen.org for assistance. The Faith Foundations class has 36 lessons and the Catechist 101 class has 8 lessons.
Catechist Development and Certification
Catechists are provided opportunities to further their own faith and learn new methods of catechesis through workshops and classes offered at St. Stephen’s and through the Archdiocese of Omaha. All catechists are expected to continue their own formation to enhance their catechetical ministry. Catechist certification is offered through the archdiocese.
St. Stephen the Martyr Adult Faith Formation has many courses and Bible study classes that are perfect for catechists. Please visit our Adult Faith Formation page for more information.
“Safeguarding the Dignity of Every Human Person”
This year’s theme for Catechetical Sunday reminds us that the dignity of each human person rests in the biblical teaching (Gen 1:26-27) that he or she is made in God’s image and likeness. It also reminds us that we, the baptized, may need to actively support and protect others from all sorts of harm, cherishing human life from the moment of conception to a natural death.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ask us ”to pray that we may be vigilant in affirming and nurturing our God-given human dignity in spite of every challenge. Let us use the coming year to reflect on how the Bible, and in particular the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, provide the spiritual and moral foundations for our Christian life. And let us eagerly join with the whole Church in thanksgiving and personal witness to the joy of living the Gospel day by day.”
Circle of Grace
Circle of Grace provides an excellent opportunity to teach about God’s love for us, the gift of Grace and the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is not a ‘Sex Ed’ or ‘Stranger Danger’ class!
Information on the program philosophy and background is included with your lesson plans. If you have questions about the program, please contact Mary Maguire, D.R.E. I would be more than happy to discuss it with you. If you would like to see more background information, the complete parent information packet provided by the Archdiocese of Omaha is available on the Program Information page of our website. This packet also provides additional resources to help parents.