Religious Instruction During Pandemic Keeps Youth of Brooklyn Diocese Growing in Faith

Tags: Currents Brooklyn Diocese, Brooklyn, NY, Catholic Education, Crux, Faith, Family, Inspiration, Queens, NY

By Jessica Easthope

In the rush to get school moved online, many parents became their children’s teachers. It’s a job Stella and Fabian Uwaechie take very seriously.

“Teaching is kind of my thing, but this time around it’s different because it’s my own kids,” said Stella Uwaechie, a mother of four children.

For the last few months the Uwaechies have been balancing jobs, their children’s schoolwork and CCD, religious education for children.

“I feel like it’s my job, it’s our job as parents to introduce our kids to the church and make sure they are brought up in the right way so it’s very rewarding,” said Stella.

Audrey, nine, Tiffany, seven and Bryan, four say their mom and dad are good teachers, but they miss their CCD community.

“It has been a really good experience for me, I got to meet a lot of new people and have fun and I got to learn a lot more about my Earth, how it was created and my savior,” said Audrey.

Stella and Fabian are prioritizing faith formation at home but relying on guidance from the diocese.

“In some cases the students had their books at home and the catechist could convey to the parents what needed to be done, some parishes were able to provide religious education online but they were few and far between,” said Theodore Musco, the Secretary of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Brooklyn Diocese.

He says he’s blown away by how much parents have stepped up and enthusiastically worked toward developing their children’s spirituality.

“Parents, although sometimes overwhelmed by the children’s regular schoolwork and having them home all the time, made the continuation of religious education possible and do what they could to help their children grow in faith,” Musco said.

For the Uwaechies, their faith goes beyond attending Sunday mass at Christ the King in Jamaica, Queens: they incorporate it into everyday life.

“During the week we do Bible stories and use them as bedtime stories,” Stella said.

When it would have been easy to let religious education slide, with a little collaboration and a lot of love, the Uwaechies made their faith stronger.