In light of recent guidance from the Archdiocese of Boston concerning faith formation (religious education / CCD) programs, there are some items I can share with you now regarding BCRE in the fall. Further decisions will be made as members of our team return from furlough on September 1.

View the email here.

See the July update post here.

Ask and it will be given to you;
    seek and you will find;
    knock and the door will be opened to you.

For everyone who asks, receives;
    and the one who seeks, finds;
    and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

-Matthew 6:7-8

 

Updates from Billerica Catholic Religious Education (BCRE)

 

As summer continues and many ask about what the coming months might look like, I wanted to write and provide useful information that I hope brings some consolation.

 

There is a lot of information in this post, but it is needed because of the complexity of our situation. Please carefully read it all the way through, and ask any questions you may have.

 

In light of recent guidance from the Archdiocese of Boston concerning faith formation (religious education / CCD) programs, there are some items I can share with you now regarding BCRE in the fall. Further decisions will be made as members of our team return from furlough on September 1.

 

In short, we want to provide the best faith formation experiences for our community. We expect that families are going to be overwhelmed with expectations and guidance from school and other activities. We neither want to be “just another zoom video” nor do we want to be “another place where we have to go, wear masks, and stay away from each other”.

 

We want to be the zoom or place you go that provides hope, meaning, and purpose. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is worth nothing less than these principles.

 

Here is what you can expect from BCRE in the coming months:

  1. Even if we are able to offer on-site faith formation in the coming school year, at no time will a family or child be required to attend on-site. This means:
  1. Our home study programs will offer the same content and support as our on-site programs, even if the on-site programs happen virtually for some of the time.
  2. Since we anticipate a lot of fluidity between various scheduled groupings, we will do our best to be flexible.
  3. We will offer home study options for High School Level 1 and Confirmation level 2, which we have not in the past.
  4. Families and children/teens will not be penalized or have sacramental opportunities jeopardized for not participating on site, though preparation-at-home may be expected.

 

  1. At no time will we require anyone who volunteers with us to come on site.
  1. If you are interested in volunteering with Billerica Catholic Religious Education, but have been hesitant to offer, please let us know your preferences about on-site or virtual learning. Since our Coordinators will be setting up the virtual experiences, you do not need to be a computer expert.
  2. Our plan to pilot a “rotating helper” role for adults with children in grades 1-8 will likely need to wait another year.
  3. We will need MORE volunteers than in the past in order to hold Small Groups in Navigators and High School, since we will need two adults with each group in a zoom breakout.

 

  1. When we begin BCRE programs in October, it is very likely that they will all start virtually. The requirements (cleaning, limits on participants) that we must meet in order to meet on site is extensive. Our first priority will be to provide faith formation to everyone we serve, then to figure out how to gather on site if possible.

 

  1. Our online registration is open and ready to receive your family’s information, so you may sign up for whatever we are able to offer in the next school year.
  1. Please keep in mind that the online registration system was developed based on what we hope to offer.
  2. If you sign up for an on-site class, and that class is able to meet on site, you will not be obligated to do so.
  3. It is very helpful to know if your family will be participating in faith formation for our planning purposes.

 

  1. The usual emails with class schedule confirmations that come starting in mid-August will likely start coming in mid-September.

In short, there will be religious education / faith formation in the fall – how it is offered has yet to be decided, and will depend on how the pandemic unfolds, and the guidance we receive from the Archdiocese of Boston and government authorities.

 

We hope that your families remain healthy and safe during this continued time of pandemic. Although our staff will be limited through August, please reach out to Tony with any questions you might have. We will do our best to get back to you.

 

You are in our prayers!

The BCRE Team