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Faith Formation

Dear Religious Education Parents & Students,

Welcome to a new year of Religious Education for St. Jude & St. Julia.Whether you are a returning family or brand new to the program – I am so glad you will be joining us this year!I can’t believe it is already August & we are thinking ahead to a new school year. My family has enjoyed our first summer in our new house – the upper east side hasn’t been nearly as scary as I thought! The kids are especially happy with their new pool & friendly neighbors!

On the back of this letter is the Religious Education calendar for the 2015-2016 school year, which includes class times as well as special events.The next page is the registration form.You only need to complete one form per family.This is a two-sided form, so please ensure you complete the back page as well.For children making sacraments this year, the sacrament form will be handed out approximately one month before the sacrament date. This form must be completed in-full before your child can receive the sacrament desired. This is a change from our prior policy, but has become necessary as the Diocese now requires all intake information before the sacrament takes place. All of these forms are available on the St. Jude website for your convenience.

After meeting with several parents & Fr. Detisch about the future of our program, I’ve decided to make our Wednesday afternoon religious education for grades K-8. This will be more accommodating to parents with children in multiple grades as well as expanding on the exciting atmosphere that our Wednesday program has!

This year our 9th & 10th grade classes will incorporate our Young Disciples as the instructors. This program consists of young adults studying to be future youth ministers & religious ed directors. The Young Disciples program began last year with four young ladies who dedicated a year of their lives to youth ministry while also attending college full-time. This team runs our OLCS Middle School Youth Group under my direction & I am excited to have them begin teaching your children this year. They are exceptional leaders with fresh ideas & a heart for ministry. I think your children will be refreshed & engaged with these relatable Young Disciples.

Our focus this year is to engage our young people, build lasting bonds between classmates & to realize that practicing the faith goes far beyond the classroom. Recently, I was asked to sit on the Erie County Drug & Alcohol Advisory Board. This is a great honor for me, but more importantly, it inspires me to provide a great program for your kids. The young people that your children will encounter, in their schools & neighborhoods, need to see the passion of the Gospel in their eyes & the example of Christ’s love in their hearts. Given the current state of violence among young people in Erie, we want to strengthen our community & give hope to our students so that they can go out & be disciples to their peers, providing a faith experience that they may not otherwise receive.

God bless,

Jesse Spanogle

Coordinator of Religious Education & Youth Ministry

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Child Protection and Creating Safe Environments Online Safety Tips for Parents & Kids

Have open conversations with your children about the kinds of websites they are allowed to visit. Clear, simple, easy-to-read house rules for use should be posted on or near the computer monitor. Once you establish guidelines, check to make sure that your users stay within these agreed limits. Encourage them to turn off the monitor and tell you immediately if something online makes them scared, uncomfortable or confused.

To see what the Diocese of Erie is doing to help create safe environments, check out http://www.eriercd.org/protectyouth.htm