From the Coordinator's Desk

Any messages, announcements, or posts from the Coordinators of Religious Education (CRE) will be posted below.

HEAVEN'S NEW ANGEL

posted Dec 9, 2015, 9:47 PM by St. Kevin Religious Education   [ updated Dec 9, 2015, 9:55 PM ]

I'm sure that many people know that life is not an easy road.  There are always bumps along the way.  Everyone has their fair share of bumps, and sometimes we get weighed down by the challenges we face.  Sometimes, we wonder why we face these challenges and why they have been placed in our midst.

This is no doubt applicable to one of our families who, unfortunately, suffered the loss of their young daughter as she died over the Thanksgiving break.  There is nothing I can conceive to be more painful for a parent than to lose their own daughter, their own child that they have cared for and raised throughout that child's short life.  The loss of a child is something that may never truly go away from the mind of a parent. 

Upon looking back at what took place, it makes me wonder, why?  Why did this have to happen to such a beautiful, loving girl who had barely lived her life in this world?  Why did this have to occur to this family?  And I'm sure many of us are saddened by the fact that this family will never see this young girl again here in this world: never see her grow up, never see what she would have done when she got older, never see what accomplishments she would have achieved. 

Yet, no matter how short her earthly life was here on earth, when you think about, she did accomplish something.  She accomplished bringing happiness, joy, and love to her family and everyone she met.  Isn't this something that what we are all called to do?  To help make the world a better place and to spread the love of Christ to everyone we meet?

And if we have faith, we should not think of this as a sad moment, but a moment to rejoice.  No doubt the pain will not go away instantly.  And no doubt there will be feelings of sadness over the fact that we will no longer see her physically.  But we also have to realize that now, she is in a better place.  Yes, the body may be dead, but the soul lives on up above.  In fact, she is in a better position than we all are now!  Imagine, being there in the presence of God, of Jesus, of Mary, of all the saints and angels!  No more pain, no more suffering, no more turmoil, just peace, love, and tranquility.  I'm sure that it is something that we all strive for, and this young girl has already reached it.  And now that she is that much closer to our Lord, we can now ask her to intercede for us here on earth.  She is now an angel watching over us.

And in reality, she is still with us in our midst!  As I told the kids this week, we know that Jesus is our friend, right?  Yet, do we see him?  No.  But even though we can't see him, we know that he is with us, walking with us on our journey of faith.  It's the same thing with Sophia, or with any other family member that has died.  Even though we cannot see her anymore (her body is gone), she is still with us in spirit.  She continues to live in the hearts of those who welcome her in.  We have the images of her that will help us to form lasting memories. 

Most importantly, we have the love, mercy, and grace of God.  Nothing can bring us true peace other than the grace of God!  It is Christ who accompanies us and gives us the strength to carry on and continue to live our life as He will it.  In addition, we have the support of all those that love and care for us: our families, our friends, our communities of faith who join in solidarity with what the family is going through.  This support helps us to realize that we are never alone, that we have the love of Christ with us, and the support of all who care for us.

Please continue to pray for the Vazquez family as they continue the process of mourning and healing.  It is indeed a challenging road ahead.  But let us always remember that Christ is always by our side, and all we need to do is call out to Him, as he said, "Come to me all you who labor and are burned, and I will give you rest."  Let us join in solidarity as we keep them in our thoughts and prayers.




Heaven has gained an angel,

and her name is
Sophia.




ANOTHER CATECHETICAL YEAR

posted Jul 29, 2014, 12:11 PM by St. Kevin Religious Education   [ updated Jul 29, 2014, 12:12 PM ]

It is hard to believe that another summer is almost over!  In less than three weeks, our children will once again hit the books for another year of learning.  We hope that you and your families have had the chance to relax, take a break, and enjoy the love you share as a family.

As we approach the beginning of another school year, we are getting ready for another Catechetical Year here in the Religious Education program.  Last year, we had an enrollment of over 500 students over three class days.  We had almost 80 students celebrate Confirmation, and almost 130 celebrate First Communion.  In addition, we had many successful projects throughout the year, from our Thanksgiving Food Drive, to our Christmas Toy Drive.  None of the things we are able to accomplish is possible without first the grace of God, but also through the support of you, the parents of the children in our Religious Education Program.

We will be opening our office in August for our Regular Registration period for the 2014-2015 Catechetical Year.  Those of you who attended classes last year and registered during our Early Registration Period back in May are all set.  You should have received an email with your child's class day and placement.  For those of you that haven't, our first day of registration will be Sunday, August 3rd from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm.  A complete list of the dates and times of registration can be found in the "REGISTRATION INFORMATION" tab above.

In addition, in that tab's drop-down menu, you will find all the information regarding registration, including the registration form, the Requirements and commitment statement, the necessary paperwork, and fees.  Even if you were registered last year, we ask that you please fill out a new form (one per child) for this new Catechetical Year.

We want to remind you that the mission of the Religious Education Program of St. Kevin is to assist you, the primary Catechist, in providing religious formation for your child.  This formation NEVER ENDS with the celebration of the sacrament.  The sacraments are part of that formation.  We hope to see you and your families sometime in August to continue the faith formation of your child in our Religious Education Program.


FIRST COMMUNION IS NEVER THE END ... BUT ONLY THE BEGINNING. CONGRATULATIONS!

posted May 18, 2014, 8:07 PM by St. Kevin Religious Education   [ updated May 18, 2014, 8:09 PM ]


As we wrap up the 2013-2014 Catechetical Year, we would like to congratulate all the 127 students in our Religious Education Program who celebrated their First Holy Communion on May 3rd and May 17th.  It is a blessing to be able to share this special step in your child's faith formation.  All of them have learned much about the Mass and the Eucharist this year, and we know they were very excited to finally receive Jesus in Holy Communion.

While this is indeed a joyous occasion to celebrate, it is also one that reminds us that this is NOT and NEVER the first and the last Communion.  We call it "First Communion" because it is the very first time they partake of the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass.  However, they are now called to come every Sunday to Mass to celebrate and receive Jesus in the Eucharist again and again.  As Fr. Saldaña mentioned during the homily, we are called to be the bowl that keeps Jesus alive in our hearts and lives.  We should try not to be the basket and allow Jesus to "leak" away from the lives of our children and families.  You are encouraged to continue to help nurture the faith of your child by continually maintaining that relationship with Christ through participation in Religious Education and the reception of Holy Communion at EVERY SUNDAY MASS.

Also, Fr. Saldaña emphasized one of the most important points that we work to make known to you: that YOU, the PARENTS, are the FIRST CATECHISTS of your children and that you are called to continue to bring your child back in order to receive formation in the faith.  This formation NEVER ENDS with the celebration of one of the sacraments.  It is a stepping stone to continue to gain more knowledge of our faith.

This past Tuesday and Wednesday, in the First Communion classes, we watched a First Communion movie that helped to especially tie together this second year of preparation.  As the movie mentioned, Jesus in the Eucharist is the greatest treasure we have, and He is constantly there for us, waiting for us to come to him present in the tabernacle. 

In addition, after the movie, one of the students from the Tuesday class shared a story that I thought drives the message home.  He explained how the story went that a man kept trying to fill a hole in some sand with water, but the water kept being soaked in by the sand.  He then said that it represented the fact that there is always so much more to learn about God and that we will never fill our knowledge completely of Him and our faith.  This story is indeed one that we should all take to heart.  As we explained to your children on the last day of class, even us, as Catechists and the coordinators, are constantly learning more about our faith, whether it is in the classroom, through our students' questions (amazing ones at that, as well, on many occasions), at Mass, through personal reflection, Catechetical courses, etc.  Just as the sand soaks in the water and never causes that hole in the sand to the filled with water, so it is the same with our faith.  There is always something that we can "soak in."  Taking the idea of this story, we invite you to continue to bring your child to receive Religious Education classes, even after celebrating First Communion, as there is so much to learn about our Catholic faith.  And those who have continued can testify that their children are growing in their faith in coming to a better relationship with Christ in a fruitful, Christian environment.

We hope to see all of you back here next year as your child continues to grow in his/her faith and as we assist you in your role as the first Catechist of your child and in guiding them on the path of Christ on their journey of faith.


God bless you,

Daniel Mercado

HAPPY EASTER

posted Apr 17, 2014, 10:48 AM by St. Kevin Religious Education   [ updated Apr 17, 2014, 10:49 AM ]

For the past 40 days of the Lenten season, we have been preparing for the most important celebrations of our faith: the Easter Triduum, where we commemorate the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ, the events of our salvation.  Our Catechists have talked to you children about the importance of the Lenten season and how we need to be thankful to Christ for dying on the cross for our salvation and out of love for us. 

Also, in the past few months, we have been busily preparing those who have celebrated and will be celebrating sacraments by the end of this Catechetical Year.  On Saturday, March 8th, we had the Confirmation ceremony for our Religious Education Program, in which 78 students received the fullness of the Holy Spirit and were confirmed in our Catholic faith.  The celebrant was Monsignor Chanel Jeanty, who celebrated the ceremony in place of Bishop Fernando Isern who was unable to celebrate the Confirmation.  Nevertheless, it was a beautiful ceremony and certainly one that we hope will lead all of our Confirmandi and their families to continue to grow in their relationship with Christ on their journey of faith.

In addition, our First Communion classes have been going over the different parts of the Mass in preparation for their First Communion ceremonies in May.  In the coming weeks, they will be celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation and begin rehearsing for the First Communion ceremony.  However, as we have always emphasized, while it is great that they are learning all about the Mass in the classroom, the best way to learn about the Mass is by actually ATTENDING AND PARTICIPATING at Mass every Sunday.  We hope and pray that you help your child come to a better understanding of the Mass and come to know its significance and importance in our Catholic faith by attending Mass as a family every Sunday (or Saturday evening).  There are 168 hours in a week, and Christ is only asking for one hour a week at Mass! 

As we enter in to the Easter Triduum and Easter Season, may the Risen Lord Jesus Christ be with us, guide us, and give us the courage to make His message known to everyone we meet.  May we answer Christ's call to continue His redeeming work and make His presence known especially among those who are lonely, weak, and afflicted.  Let us shout the message and proclaim to others that "JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN!"

Happy Easter!





Your Generosity Knows No Bounds! (December News)

posted Dec 14, 2013, 10:35 AM by St. Kevin Religious Education   [ updated Dec 14, 2013, 10:38 AM ]

In the past few months, we have been very active here at the Religious Education Program.

In October, we distributed the raffle tickets for our annual Parish Festival.  We also held our annual Parents' Meetings, and we thank all the parents for your attendance and showing your commitment to your child's faith formation.  In addition, many of our families and students volunteered at our Annual Parish Festival on December 8th.  We would like to thank all those who volunteered for their generosity in their time and talent in helping make our Festival one of the best.

In November, we held our annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, collecting food and money to aid the St. Vincent de Paul Society of the parish in distributing Thanksgiving boxes to the families in need right within our own parish community.  With what we collected, along with the contributions of the parish community at the Masses, we were able to put together over 170 boxes for the families in need in our community.  In collecting money for the turkeys, we collected over $1,600, which is the best we have ever done!  In addition, our Confirmation students, along with other students and their families, came together on a Saturday to put together the boxes.  Students in the lower grades also colored Thanksgiving pages to place inside the boxes, along with notes of blessing to the families receiving the boxes.  Once again, the generosity and enthusiasm of the families in our Religious Education Program made this all possible!

In December, we participated for the first time in the St. Vincent de Paul Christmas Toy Drive, helping families with children within our own parish community to have a wonderful Christmas with new toys and gifts.  Over the span of one week, we collected more toys than we ever imagined  (See below for a picture of what was collected during the Wednesday classes alone!).  All of these toys and gifts will be used to help the over 250 children in need this year.  They will all have a brighter, happier Christmas thanks to the generosity of both the parishioners and the families in our Religious Education Program.

These are just some of the things that has been going on in the past few months.  All of this embodies the generosity and love of the parish community of St. Kevin.  This is what we as the Church, the Body of Christ are called to be:  a beacon of light to all of the presence of Christ in our midst through our service and love.  Everything that we do is never possible without the support and cooperation of all in our community of faith.

A BIG THANK YOU!  to all,  and we hope and pray that you and your families have a Blessed Christmas and a Glorious New Year!





Congratulations!

posted Oct 19, 2013, 8:58 PM by St. Kevin Religious Education

We would like to congratulate one of our very own catechists, Mrs. Diana Ramirez, for attaining her Catechist Certification.
She was honored and recognized at the annual Catechetical Conference of the Archdiocese of Miami on October 19, 2013.

We thank Mrs. Ramirez for her spirit of love and service for the children and families of our Religious Education Program.

As part of our mission, we encourage all of our families to continue to grow in their knowledge of our faith and in their relationship with Christ in order to fulfill their task as the first catechists of their children. 

May the Holy Spirit continue to guide us all on our journey of faith!

Back At It!

posted Aug 23, 2013, 5:48 AM by St. Kevin Religious Education

Dear Parents:

It is hard to believe that we are, once again, at the start of a new school year!  These last 10 weeks of vacation have quickly come and gone, and now we are back to the daily morning routines, after-school activities, and earlier bedtimes.  We hope that this summer has been relaxing, refreshing, and fun for you, your children, and your families.

As well, we are, once again, at the start of a new Catechetical Year in our Religious Education Program.  We have been busily preparing for this new year of catechesis for all our children and families in our community of faith. 

Registration for your child(ren) in our Religious Education Program is now underway.  Be sure to go to the "Registration Information" tab section of our website, and all the information regarding registration, the dates and times, the classes, and the registration form, are all there.

As we continue with registration and get ready to begin classes, we would like to remind you of the purpose of our program.  The Religious Education Program of St. Kevin Catholic Church is here to offer continuing formation in the faith, and the sacraments are part of that formation.  As the first catechists of your child(ren), our role is secondary in assisting you in providing your child with religious formation in our Catholic faith.  We seek to help you in your task in bringing the message of the Gospel of Christ to your child(ren) in all that you think, say, and do.

In addition, with all the hustle and bustle of the new school year, it is important that you remain connected and in communication with your children and with the entire family.  Communication within the family unit is so important to maintain that sense of love and keeping in touch with each other.  Our Sunday Visitor has posted a wonderful article on how you can stay in touch and connected with your children as we begin the school year and throughout.


We hope and pray that you, your children, and your families have a wonderful start with everything involved in this new school year, and we ask you to continue to pray for us and for all the families in our program.


May God bless you and your families at the beginning of this new school and Catechetical year.





SUMMER DOES NOT MEAN VACATION FROM GOD

posted Jun 6, 2013, 5:46 PM by St. Kevin Religious Education

It's hard to believe, but the 2012-2013 school year is over!  It seems like only yesterday when we were beginning the new school year.  This past Catechetical year has also flown by quickly among us, and now we are in "summer time" mode.  A time when our kids get to relax, enjoy some fun activities, and take a break from school.

When we hear summer, we get the mentality of getting away; of taking a break; of going on vacation.  It's true.  We do try to get away from the routines and things we have been doing and have been used to for the past months.  Summer affords us the opportunity to recharge and refresh ourselves, because before we know it, another school year has started in August.

However, this does not apply to our faith and to our relationship with God and Jesus.  God never takes a vacation, and thus, we should also never take a vacation from God.  Wherever we go, there is always the chance to pray, even just one Our Father, every day.  There is a Catholic Church nearby anywhere we go, where we can attend Sunday Mass.  Our summer vacation should not be time away from God.  We should remember to keep God with us, as we go about our rest, relaxation, and fun activities.

Summer affords us the chance to recharge ourselves physically and mentally.  Why can't we recharge ourselves spiritually as well? 

Some ideas on how we can recharge ourselves spiritually are given in this OSV Article.  Click here to read it.


May your summer be restful, relaxing, and spiritually enriching in the Lord.

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