The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that parents have the “first responsibility for the education of their children” (2223). The document Lumen Gentium, or Light of the Nations, calls the home the “domestic church” (11). It’s the first place that children learn the faith.
At our parishes, the Parish School of Religion (PSR) program is here to support parents in their teaching of the faith. Children can learn much about the faith from Sunday Mass participation, PSR, and sacramental preparations.
Angela Eads, the PSR Principal, leads the program and oversees sacramental preparations for both parishes.
“One of the beautiful aspects of religious education is helping prepare students for the important Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation,” she says.
In non-sacramental years, students are provided with an opportunity to learn about their faith with their peers.
The goal of PSR is to “help develop the children as faith-filled, committed Catholics ready to serve our church and our world by instructing them in the ways of the Gospel.”
PSR is for students in kindergarten to eighth grade from St. Joseph and Nativity parishes. Registration for the upcoming school year will be open through late August. Classes will begin Oct. 4 and are held on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. at St. Joseph Parish School. Second-grade students receive First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, and eighth-graders receive Confirmation.
One of the changes Angela is making this year is to add more service projects and prayer to the curriculum for all ages. Also, seventh and eighth-grade students will have a change to programming. Seventh grade will now be called Confirmation One, and eighth grade will be called Confirmation Two. The seventh-grade program will change from prior years in that it will include service projects and youth group, just like the eighth-grade program.
All of the dedicated catechists from our parishes enjoy teaching the students and the benefits it has in their faith lives. Angela would love to see more parishioners step forward to serve in this vital ministry. Catechists use provided materials to teach students.
“They also share their faith with their students and set an example,” Angela says.
Angela enjoys it when she can go into classrooms and just be with the students.
“I always tell the kids each year they are not allowed to do anything fun without me during PSR,” she says. “I very much enjoy getting to know the students and forming relationships with them.”