RELIGIOUS EDUCATION INFORMATION
I really appreciated the turnout at the meeting that was held Sunday, January 7 for all parish members who had questions about the proposed Parish Center. I know I reiterated the fact that this really is a need for our program, for our catechists, and for our children. I was assured that the parishioners of St. Michael’s recognize that need. It has been a long six years waiting for this to get going and the time is here! Thank you! I was asked to give a rundown of the growth of our Religious Education Program over recent years and how the proposed building would accommodate the classes. Some of the past statistics I was given when I became the Coordinator of the program show the total number of students for 3 class years:
As you can see, there was a steady decline decade to decade. During the fall of 2015, we increased to 133 students. Due to more Seniors graduating than new students registering, the past two years have declined slightly:
The great news is that, as we have all seen on Sunday morning, our Pre-k/Kindergarten class has grown from 9 in 2015, to 15 in 2016, to 17 this year!!! Not to mention our baby choir! Both true signs of future growth for our beloved parish.
The question came up of how the classrooms would be used and did we really need them all. The best I can think to do is to compare them to where they are now to show the need for the new space they would be held in. Our Pre-k/Kindergarten class would stay in the backroom of the basement. This is the most convenient since it is held during Mass and it is the safest for our youngest students.
First Grade- meets in the “chicken room”-7-10 students- would use Classroom #1, #2, or #3
Second Grade- meets in the balcony-7-10 students- would use Classroom #1, #2, or #3
Third Grade- meets in the Sacristy- 8-11 students- would use Classroom #1 or #2.
Fourth Grade- meets in the living room of the convent- 8-10 students- would use Classroom #4 or #5
Fifth Grade- meets in the dining room of the convent- 8-10 students- would use Classroom #4 or #5
Sixth Grade- meets in an upstairs bedroom at the convent- 8-14 students- would use Classroom #6
We also have discussed the Main Hall area being used for Confirmation Class, which this year is at 36 registered students since we had to add Seventh Grade. Our last Confirmation class was a total of 20 students. We must also keep in mind that parents are included every other class, so this year we average up to over 80 in the basement on those Sunday mornings. If we go with the proposed Parish Center and move Confirmation Class there, the church basement would be available every Sunday morning for adults such as regularly scheduled speakers or an adult formation program, which we have not had here at St. Michael’s for several years. Our High School class can continue to meet in the backroom of the basement since they meet after Mass when the Pre-k/Kindergarten class is done with the room.
With the varying sizes of rooms in the Parish Center, classes could move if needed based on size, but more importantly our catechists could have a space to call their own, our children could actually hang their art work on the walls of their classrooms, and we could say as a parish that we succeeded in coming together to meet a need and guarantee a sound future for the only religious education available to the children of our parish.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you have gained a better understanding of where our program is, and where it needs to go.
Your Friend in Christ,