Religious Education



Welcome to Saint Thomas More Parish Religious Education Program!

P.R.E.P.

We at Saint Thomas More & Our Lady of Mercy are dedicated to sharing our faith with our parish family. A faith journey is life long and begins with our Baptism. By living the Word and sharing your faith you make it stronger. As Pope Francis eloquently stated, “Life grows when we give it away.” As does faith.

Children need a solid foundation of faith and here at the Parish of Saint Thomas More we help lay that foundation. But we cannot do it alone. While we may be the building blocks the family is the cement that holds it all together.

Growing in faith and forming a lasting relationship with Jesus is the ultimate goal. Being part of a community in Christ is a blessing.

Thank you for joining us in bringing the love of Christ to the children.

God’s Good Blessings,

The Religious Education Staff

Mission Statement

“The Catechetical Ministry (Religious Education) must be understood in relation to Jesus’ threefold mission. It is a form of the ministry of the word, which proclaims and teaches. It leads to and flows from the ministry of worship which sanctifies through prayer and sacrament. It supports the ministry of service, which is linked to efforts to achieve social justice and has traditionally been expresses in spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Its purpose is to make a person’s faith become living, conscious and active through the light of instruction. Catechesis is a lifelong process for the individual and a constant pastoral activity of the Church” -- National Catechetical Directory --
The purpose of our Religious Education Program here at St. Thomas More Church and Our Lady of Mercy Church is to enrich and challenge the lives of our young people with the Gospel message by word and example in a loving and caring Christian Community. Our program recognizes that parents are the primary educators of their children and their religious education; therefore, we strive to affirm and supplement, but never replace, religious education in the home. We continually strive to provide our support and guidance to assist each other in our task, as it is our belief that parents and catechists are partners in the formal religious education process for our children.

Our Program

Jesus told his disciples “Let the children come to me.” (Matthew 19:14). Hence the role of the Religious Education Catechists, Assistants, and Staff of Saint Thomas More and Our Lady of Mercy. We all realize that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children in our Catholic Faith. We understand that it is the parents who first teach children about God and His love for them by having them Baptized in the faith and then enrolling them in religious education classes to guide them on their faith journey.
The Staff at St. Thomas More and Our Lady of Mercy want to assist parents in this endeavor. Therefore, we have established a formal Religious Education Program for grades one through eight. These classes include preparation to receive the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist, and Confirmation. With the help of parents and the grace of God we offer a solid background in the Catholic faith. We are always looking for volunteers to share their faith, time, and talents with God’s children. We offer guidance and training to help you along the way.
Dr. Patricia Colontino - Coordinator of Religious Education - email: pat.colontino@moremercy.orgLiz Halstead - Religious Education Secretary, St. Thomas More Church - email: liz.halstead@moremercy.orgDeborah Gaudino - Religious Education Secretary, St. Thomas More Church- email: debbie.gaudino@moremercy.orgCristi McCarty - Religious Education Secretary, Our Lady of Mercy Church- email: cristi.mccarty@moremercy.org(732) 446-3232 - St. Thomas More Church(732) 786-1835 - Our Lady of Mercy Church

2020-2021 Program Details

Option 1: Home Study Program for grades 3-7

The Home Study program will allow the children in grades 3-7 to complete their books at home. They will complete a 5 question chapter review online and have the results sent to a dedicated email address to track progress.

Grades 1, 2 & 8 must be done in class since they are Sacramental years

In addition, attendance at 4 out of 8 monthly family gatherings will be required. (a schedule of these will be sent out at a later date)

FEES FOR THE HOME STUDY PROGRAM WILL BE THE SAME AS FOR THE TRADITIONAL PROGRAM

Option 2: Traditional bi-weekly program (this is a change from our current weekly program)

Each class will meet every other week for one and a half hours.

During the week the child is NOT scheduled to attend class they will complete the next chapter in their books at home. In order to track progress they will either complete the 5 question chapter review online or have their books checked during class.

Time and day options:

Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday 4:30-6:00 or 5:15-6:45

There will be separate calendars distributed & posted for each time slot.


Gospel reflections: will remain the same for BOTH programs

Choose 5 gospels to be read as a family and submit a reflection for each (One set of 5 reflections per family). Gospels and the link to the summaries will be provided in September. This is considered a required part of the program.

Class sizes will be strictly limited to 16****

Family Gatherings:

We will be offering several family gatherings during the year. Each one will be limited to the first 50 families that register. The gatherings will be held once a month unless interest is extremely high and then we will offer the same gathering twice in the month.

Registration for classes will be online beginning at the end of June. We will send out the exact date in April. Classes will be filled on a first come first serve basis.


****If a class closes because of numbers we will not consider going over the 16 student limit unless the class is filled both at Saint Thomas More AND at Our Lady of Mercy on all days. MOST overflow students will be placed at Our Lady of Mercy since the permitted occupancy numbers there are higher. (we will look at each case individually)

Please call or email the office with any questions or concerns.

General Information

2019-2020 Calendar-Revised 11/5/2019



Catechist Corner


1st RECONCILIATION & 1st HOLY COMMUNION


CONFIRMATION

Confirmation Date and Rehearsal Announcements


Confirmation Retreat

Confirmation Candidates must attend the retreat. If unable to attend their scheduled retreat please call the office to make arrangements to attend one of the others.

Red Packet Forms

Copy of bulletinad_volunteercatechists.pdf