Dear Billerica Catholic Religious Education Families,
We hope that your family is safe, healthy, and together during this unusual time in our society. While daily life has been disrupted for all of us, Billerica Catholic Religious Education and the Catholic Community of Billerica continue to offer you the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Church.
What we have been doing this spring, and are prepared to do in the fall if needed:
1. Send you regular lessons and materials to use at home as you are able – these were sent by email to families. They are also all available on our website.
2. Offer live classes through Zoom online meeting technology (for many older children/teens)
3. Offer new opportunities for families, children, and teens to enrich our faith
There will be religious education in the fall (see below)! How it happens will depend on our ability to ensure the safety of the participants, volunteers, and staff. For examples of what next fall may look like outside of on-site classes, visit our website to see what we did virtually this spring to conclude our religious education year.
Each year, we have made small changes in order to fine-tune our program, always seeking to improve how we offer Faith Formation to our children and their families. As we look to the fall of 2020, we are excited to announce the following adjustments to BCRE if the pandemic conditions allow us to resume our regularly scheduled program:
1. Grades 1 & 2 will return to being one program, under the name “Seekers”.
2. We are adjusting our schedules and use of facilities so that Grades 1-8 [Seekers (Grades. 1-2), Explorers (Grades 3-4), Pathfinders (Grades 5-6), and Navigators (Grades 7-8)] can meet at the same time (for 75 minutes) at most locations, in the same week, to simplify our week-to-week schedule. This means:
– Sundays at St. Andrew will offer Grades 1-8 from 8:35-9:50 (before the 10am Mass)
– Mondays and Tuesdays at St. Theresa will offer Grades 1-8 from 4:00-5:15pm and 6:00-7:15pm each evening.
– Wednesdays at St. Mary will have Grades 1-4 (Seekers and Explorers) meet together from 4:00-5:15pm, and Grades 5-8 (Pathfinders and Navigators) from 6:00-7:15pm.
3. One adult from each family will be expected to assist with one program, either as a “Rotating Helper” (much like Pathfinders had helpers sign up in the 2019-2020 year) or as a committed volunteer (catechist/teacher, aide, hall monitor, etc), for those families with one or more children in Grades 1-8. This replaces the expectation that one adult attends regularly with a child in the younger grades. Rotating helpers, who assist once every two or three classes, may lead activity or service project stations, run ice-breaker games, assist with set up or clean up of class sessions, and other similar roles. Please see our website for more details.
Registration for 2020-2021
Usually in March and April, we open BCRE registration for the coming year. Traditionally one-third of our families take advantage of these early days in order to register for their preferred class time before the limited spaces fill up. However, this has not been a usual spring, and we realize that many families remain overwhelmed with responsibilities and are experiencing employment and financial uncertainty.
However, for those families who wish to do so, we are opening BCRE Registration for 2020-2021 through Online Registration. For those able to make their offering now (which is appreciated), this can be done through the Online Giving portals either as a guest or with your existing online giving account. Other families may wish to register for BCRE now and choose the “Bill Me Later” and/or “Financial Aid” options on the registration form. By offering online-only registration at this time, we can ensure the correct order of registrations without needing to have someone in our office to receive the mail, thus respecting the order of the registrations we receive. We encourage families to sign up early, as spaces fill quickly and are enrolled on a first come, first served basis, and depend on committed volunteers in various roles.
We hope that your family is safe and healthy during these unusual times. Please know that the Catholic Community of Billerica is praying for you and that we are here to serve you and your family.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.
The BCRE Team
Last Updated: May 23, 2020