FALL 2017                                                                         WELCOME!
A Message from Religions Education (RE) Director,
Robby Kiley
Dear Religious Education Families,

Welcome to a new year! Kim, Manuela, Theresa, and I are very excited to welcome you all to your Religious Education home! 

We will be sending a quarterly newsletter to all RE families with important events, news and photos to keep you in touch with what your children are learning. 

In this issue, learn about exciting new opportunities for parent engagement, meet the new members of our Religious Education team, hear from Fr. Bill on the advent of the new year, learn about some of our Religious Education catechists and get an early look at our fall mailing and important dates for children in Sacramental years.

We hope this newsletter keeps you informed and engaged with your child's learning! Our goal is to help each family grow in their faith!  Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to serve you!

A Message from Father Bill
Welcome to another season of Religious Education! 

As primary educators of your children, you have the unique privilege of keeping the promise you made when you brought them to the waters of Baptism to raise them in the practice of the faith.  Thank you for entrusting your children to us, as we assist you in that task.  Along with his assistants, Manuela Tugman, Kim Slott, and their committed catechists, Robby is also working to assist you as you continue to grow in your own faith and practice it with our parish community.
I have always enjoyed the "priest visits" once a month to the CCD classes.  This year, Father Eric will make Monday visits, and I will continue to talk to the gathered students on Wednesday. However, there will be a new addition this year.  Both Father Eric and I will do a priest visit on Sunday mornings, which had been impossible with five Sunday morning Masses celebrated too closely together.  With our new Mass schedule (8:00, 10:00, and noon), we have more time between Masses, allowing us to interact with the students on Sunday morning.  We will also continue to offer Penance Services during Advent and Lent on Monday and Wednesday, trusting that you will take your children who come to CCD on Sunday to the Parish Penance Services during those Seasons.
Having spent the summer adjusting to our new church, we look forward to the installation of our parish organ in the east transept in September, as well as the completion of the transformation of our former church into a Gathering Area, Baptistery, nursery, and meeting rooms.  Be sure to take some time to enjoy coffee and donuts and enjoy fellowship with other parishioners in the new Gathering Area. 
Getting to Know Fr. Eric!
Hello Saint Pius RE Families! 

My name is Fr. Eric Burgener and it is a complete joy to be here at Saint Pius X Catholic Church and school. I would just like to share a little bit of myself with you so as to introduce myself at the beginning of this future friendship.
The Saints show us the path to heaven and St. Peter has a strong place in our new church, and as our first pope, has told us to:

"Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope, but do it with gentleness and reverence, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are maligned, those who defame your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed." 1 Peter 3:15
This is the first path or lesson plan for catechesis within the Catholic Church.  All of us by virtue of our baptism have within us the seeds (logos) of heaven, and it is this hope or foretaste of heaven that brings us the joy, and love of God. Catechesis within the church is coming to understand the countless gifts that God has bestowed on us, fostering them, being ready to share the gifts, and suffering for the preservation of the gifts.
Now being ordained, I truly desire to help you understand the gift of the tradition, creation, life, sacraments, and ultimately God himself in heaven! ALSO, helping you find ways to express those gifts in a way that St. Peter would be proud! One of the ways in which I prepared for priesthood was constant study, but also the ten mission trips to universities to speak about the catholic faith. I have had entire classes come and speak to me, professors challenge my beliefs, and yes even endure yelling Christian brethren.
It was in college that I first had my beliefs challenged and I'll never forget one Sunday morning, I was walking out of my dorm to go to Mass and a new friend that I had just met asked me 'where are you going?'  I was nervous and afraid, so I lied about it.  To this day, I remember that moment in which I could have invited him to Mass but I wanted to be cool (today is more 'politically correct') than witness to Jesus Christ with reverence and gentleness.
Please know, that I will do my best to share the truth of the faith in charity, and I would love to have a conversation about the faith or discuss any questions, so that you may be better prepared and ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks for a reason for your hope.
In Christ Jesus, through Mary,
Fr. Eric Burgener
Parent Opportunities to Get Involved and Grow in Faith
In his most recent exhortation, Amoris Latetia (The Joy of Love), Pope Francis reminds us that even in our busy times, "the home must continue to be the place where we learn to appreciate the meaning and beauty of the faith, to pray, and to serve our neighbors" (287). 

We are committed to helping parents find opportunities to grow in faith as a family. In October, we pray the Rosary with our students as we celebrate the month of Our Lady of the Rosary. Parents are encouraged to join us in the courtyard for prayer with their children, even if you might not be the most comfortable praying this devotion yourself! We provide handouts and rosaries so that anyone is able to jump right in! After all, as Pope Francis reminds us, "it is essential that children actually see that, for their parents, prayer is something truly important" (288).
This year we again invite parents of children in grades one to five to attend our monthly Catechesis with Father classes with their children. We hope you consider joining us!

Mr. Kiley and Mrs. Hestad will be happy to meet with families afterwards and help show ways to bring these topics home. We'll offer ideas for home discussion and further faith formation, so that your whole family can continue to put these lessons into practice!

Please review the information below on a new program allowing the whole family to learn and grow in faith together! And, visit the dates below for additional opportunities to get involved in your child's spiritual growth!
NEW PROGRAM! Whole Family Catechesis
We are piloting a new program this year!

whole family Whole Family Catechesis: Faith.Family.Food. is a program for the whole family that will meet once a month on Tuesday evenings, designed both for families well versed in Catholic practices, as well as for those who may find the prospect of family prayer or Eucharistic adoration to be a daunting task! We will offer separate talks/activities for kids and parents, then bring the whole family together for food and prayer/practice.  Join us for our first session on Baptism on Tuesday, September 26, 6:15 p.m. Registration can be found online at StPius.net/Whole-Family.
Upcoming Events
Week of September 17
Religious Education Opening Masses and Open House

September 26, 6:15 p.m.
Whole Family Catechesis:
Faith. Family. Food.
Week of October 8
Living Rosary in the Courtyard (weather permitting)

Week of November 12
First Catechesis with Father and Adult Faith Formation

December 11 and 13
Advent Reconciliation Services
Parents Welcome!

Week of February 25
Stations of the Cross 
(in the classrooms)

March 5 and 7
Lent Reconciliation Services
Parents Welcome!
Fall Mailing
The 2017-2018 Religious Education school year begins on September 10. The fall mailing will be sent on August 30. 

In this mailing, you will find a welcome letter with news about our upcoming year. You will also find our Religious Education policies and a P olicy Acceptance Form. Families are expected to review these policies, and each child is asked to sign the form.  All of the content of the fall mailing will be available on the RE website

Thank you for being attentive to these important policies as we prepare for the new year!
Do You Have a Student in Grades 2, 7, or 8?
We are thrilled to join with our families of second and eighth grade students as they prepare to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Confirmation. Sacramental years are busy ones, as parent meetings, retreats, and parties can quickly fill up a family's schedule. Before the year gets too busy, I would encourage each family to stop and pray for those children preparing to receive their sacraments. Your example of prayer will be a great encouragement and model for your children!

We know that many families have questions during sacramental years. This is also true for families with students in seventh grade, who will be entering into the diocesan Theology of the Body curriculum this year. To help answer these questions, we offer parent meetings at the beginning of the year. Please note the parent meeting times in the schedule to the right. You can also view important dates and documents at any time on our website: StPius.net/sacrament-information.
Do You Have Young Children Not in Religious Education?
The Children's Liturgy of the Word (CLW) program begins on October 1 and meets on Sunday mornings during the 8:00 and 10:00 a.m. Masses. Children ages four to six are dismissed from Mass before the Liturgy of the Word and invited to hear the Gospel proclaimed from the Children's Lectionary - written so that they can understand and respond to the words of Scripture!

Afterwards, a catechist will help to explain these Bible stories in an age-appropriate vocabulary. Finally, children take part in an activity designed to help integrate the lesson.

The children are brought back to church during the offering, where they join their families. This is a wonderful way to help children engage in Mass, and we hope you might consider taking part. 

There is no cost, but registration is required. Visit StPius.net/CLW for more information and registration.
Quick Links
Website and Calendar
The Religious Education website is a one-stop shop for all things RE:

The Religious Education calendar is available on the website through Google Calendars. This calendar is updated in real time to reflect changes in dates, school closings, and more.

Meet RE Intern: Chris Gattis
Hello friends, my name is Chris Gattis and I'm happy to be serving as the Religious Education Intern this academic year at Saint Pius X. 
A few biographical details: I'm originally from a rural town in Arkansas and attended a Benedictine all boys high school. I then came to South Bend for college at Notre Dame, and after graduation in 2011 began working as a theology teacher at a Jesuit high school in Houston, Texas. I'm currently in my third and final year of the Master of Divinity program at the University of Notre Dame, and I plan to start a career in ministry in religious education soon after graduation next May. I'm engaged to be married next June, I love to fish and drink good coffee, and I have a 5-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi named Topper. 
During my time in the M.Div., I've served in various ministerial capacities, one being working with undergraduate students who themselves minister as catechists in local parishes (some volunteer here at Saint Pius X). I've enjoyed working with these students and the communities they serve in, and I'm excited to employ this experience and my prior teaching at Pius in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children program as well as in other catechetical and religious education programs. I look forward to meeting you and learning from you this year. 

Catechist Testimonials!
Did you know that there are over fifty people that volunteer their time each week to teach in Saint Pius X Religious Education classes? At the start of a new year, we wanted to highlight some of our catechists. 

We asked them to share a bit about how they became involved in the ministry or why they stay involved now. You'll find their stories below. And for all of you reading at home, know that it is not too late for you to get involved with Religious Education - we are still looking for volunteer aides. No previous teaching experience is required, just a desire to share your faith. Our office will help provide training, lesson planning help, and tons of resources.
Contact Robby ( rkiley@stpius.net) if you're inspired by any of these great stories!

Jared Dees
2nd Grade
As a catechist I get to pass on to students what I was given by people who taught and inspired me with our Catholic faith. Teaching helps me continue to learn more and be a better disciple. We may be the ones teaching, but we learn so much from them along the way. 

Cindy Hestad
5th Grade
A wonderful way to share Jesus with others is to share Him with a child. A wonderful way to learn about Jesus is to listen to the hearts of children. A hidden gem as a Religion Teacher is to hear a group of children praying the Rosary, to ask if we can visit Jesus at the Tabernacle or  tell me they want to know more about Mary, Our Blessed Mother. Teaching my Catholic faith to children has given me so many blessings but mostly it has graced me with an increase of love and knowledge to better live my life for God. 

Phil Hayes
7th Grade
I got involved in CCD after I read a passage from the Old Testament. Moses was giving his farewell address to the Israelites before he died. Moses said that one of the most important things we can do is pass our faith on to our children and grandchildren. Additionally, I have found that when you teach your faith to others, your own faith gets stronger!

Dianne Froehlke
5th Grade
The opportunity for me to share my faith with the students is a blessing. They are so open to learning, and it is so exciting when I can see them truly getting the message, and sharing and communicating with each other about the Catholic faith. I watch them grow as Catholics and it is amazing how even one topic in a class can make a difference for them, and for me!

Bonita Murphy
4th Grade
Teaching CCD at Saint Pius has given me the opportunity to share what I love more than anything else, my Catholic Faith, with my younger brothers and sisters in Christ. Both the lives of the catechists and the lives of the students are enriched by the process. The students learn new aspects of their Faith and strengthen their love for God and His Church, while the catechists are reminded by their students how to trust God completely, enjoy the small daily blessings He sends and love and admire Him just like young children love and admire Him.

Saint Pius X Catholic Church | (574) 277-5760 | rkiley@stpius.net | http://www.stpius.net
52553 Fir Road
Granger, IN 46530