By Christine Persichette
Through prayer, conversation and a lot of note-taking, on Feb. 25 educators learned how to help children grow in their faith.
An annual gathering, held this year at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church in Queens, brought together hundreds of Catholic school teachers, directors of religious education and catechists from throughout the Brooklyn Diocese to share ideas and learn new ways to allow young Catholics to become more faithful.
Their mission, according to Ted Musco who oversees catechesis programs in the Brooklyn Diocese as the Secretary for Evangelization and Catechesis, is to go out and make disciples.
“The takeaway for tonight is that people will leave here renewed and enthused about the mission of the Church,” he explained. “As catechists they have an opportunity on a weekly basis or a monthly basis to convey the true faith to young people, as well as their parents and other family members.”
Participants used books from Sadlier’s Publishers to do that. To connect with students today, those books have gone high-tech with a new program– called “Christ In Us,” which helps catechists reach out to the next generation of Catholics.
“It’s a K through 6 program,” explained Deacon Matt Halbach, Sadlier’s Executive Director of Catechesis. “It’s very technology rich and deep. It allows access online to very integrated, intentional resources that pair with the print lessons.”
Those lessons can be accessed from anywhere on phones, tablets and computers. This allows children to share the resources with their family members, which these catechists find so important.
“I feel it’s a very dynamic program,” said Sister Ancy Jacob, the Religious Education Director of Saint Michael’s Church in Flushing, Queens. “I really wanted our parents involvement in our parish as well as our children. We can’t do it alone, anything, we need the support of the parents.”