General Religious Education Information
Would you like to enroll your children in Religious Education? You can register and pay online using our secure religious education form You can download and print out our registration form here. Please mail the form, along with your check, to:
Jo-Ann Konieczny, Newman Catholic Center, 472 N. Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01002
No student will be turned away because of an inability to pay. If you would like to receive tuition assistance please contact our business manager David Rondina at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-549-0300 ext 27.
Children of UMass students deduct 50% off tuition with parent’s valid ID, Children of Religious Education Teachers deduct 50% off tuition. Discounts cannot be used on our online form, so please sign up by mail if you receive a discount.
The classes for grades 1-9 meet on Sunday mornings from 9:15 -10:15, the kindergarten class meets during 10:30 mass, and the Confirmation class meets Sunday evenings from 3:30 -6:30 about 2 times a month. The program starts late Sept to end of April/early May. We follow the UMass schedule as well as the Amherst school schedule. To see the full 2012-2013 schedule, please click here, and for answers to commonly asked questions, please click here.
2012-2013 Religious Education
Please see the letter from Religious Education Coordinator Jo-Ann Konieczny below:
Dear Religious Education Families,
I hope that you had a wonderful summer. Welcome back to the Newman Religious Education Program. This year there are some additional curriculum changes to our program. Since I have been working on our Religious Education program it has been my goal to treat Catholic education as an important piece of our children’s growing process and also to treat these students with the respect we expect to be treated with. In that, I have looked for curriculum in middle and high school that is educationally challenging and enriching and a curriculum that integrates different learning modalities. Please note I have listed the information for each grade (or grouping of grades) below:
This group will meet during the 10:30 a.m. mass on the same scheduled dates as grades 1-8. The curriculum we will be using this year is “God Loves Us” by Loyola Press. Please see the schedule and registration forms attached.
This year for grades K-5 we are introducing the “Finding God” series by Loyola Press.
Grades 3 and 4 will be combined into one class.
We are switching to a combined class and a bible study model. Each year we will switch off between the Old and New Testament. This year the group will start with the New Testament (since the 7th grade studied Old Testament last year). The curriculum is divided into 3
six-week bible study programs, with an introduction to Bible Study at the beginning. Our students need to learn to be comfortable using a bible by the time they get to the 8th grade classes.
This grade will be starting the 3-year curriculum text of the Catholic Youth Bible by St. Mary’s Press. They will be working on Prayer and Liturgy. This curriculum seems to work really well with our older students and touches on tough issues with honest and open dialogue. It treats our teens in a mature way. Each student gets the text and accompanying bible at the beginning of 8th grade and continues using them right through Confirmation.
A time change happens for this class this fall. This group will be meeting on Sunday nights at the same time as the 10th grade. Our curriculum is rich and a one hour class was not working well with the topic covered. This class is in the second year of the Catholic Youth Bible curriculum and they are studying morality. See the attached schedule. Note that dinner will be supplied by The Newman Center.
This class will work on the Creed section of the Catholic Youth Bible curriculum. In addition they will begin preparation for Confirmation in the fall of 2013. They meet in the evenings at the same time as 9th grade. Note that dinner will be supplied by The Newman Center.
This class will complete their preparation for Confirmation. The classes will meet on 9/30; 10/14 and 10/28 from 4:30 – 6:45 p.m. Dinner will be supplied by The Newman Center. This class requires no tuition, but please fill out another registration form. Confirmation will be on 11/4 at 10:30 a.m. Please note this class is a continuation from last year and no new students will be admitted.
Opening Pancake Breakfast
This fall we encourage families to get to know each other at a pancake breakfast for the whole community after 10:30 a.m. mass on Sept. 23rd. Ticket information will be available early in Sept. Consider buying your tickets as you sign up for Religious Education. It will be a great way to meet new families and reconnect with friends after summer vacation.
Fall Community Spaghetti Dinner
This dinner was a great success last year. The food was donated and the dinner was free. Our older Religious Education students help the NSA prepare the food and then the whole Newman community enjoys a meal together. More details to come.
Action Day – Nov 18th
The Giving Tree will kick off once again with Action Day. We ask that families consider committing to helping Newman that morning after 10:30 mass in addition to regular classes. The food will have to be sorted for the Thanksgiving Food Drive, ornaments will need to be made for The Giving Tree and the tree will need to be assembled and up in the chapel. We may also be adding some events to this day if there is interest.
Amherst Survival Center
March will be Survival Center month. We will be heading up food gathering efforts for the Center. They have asked each Religious Community in Amherst to pick a month to do this. More details will be coming from the Survival Center.
Odds and Ends
Each week there will be a newsletter from the Religious Education department emailed to the address you provide on your registration form. There will also be copies outside the chapel for those who would like one.
A Bit About Attendance
Because we accommodate the UMass schedule as well as the Amherst Public School schedule, our number of Religious Education classes is lower then almost any other church. I expect that your child will be here regularly. I also understand that things happen. Please be in touch with your teacher and myself if your child will be out for an extended period of time. Our new curriculum builds on knowledge gained year by year, please consider that each year of your child’s religious education is equally as important, whether or not it is a sacrament year
Interested in Volunteering?
We still need a teachers and assistants for our program. Please click here if you are interested in teaching. This year we will offer a discount on tuition for the students of teachers. Please check the registration form. We could also use people interested in taking a lead on our Service Projects. This program exists because of the many hours of volunteer work by your child’s teachers. I know we are not all made to teach, but there are plenty of other ways to help the program.
I look forward to working with you this year. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any ideas or concerns you may have. The best way to reach me is by email email@example.com.
Religious Education Coordinator
*If you are interested in teaching religious education please visit our Teaching Religious Education page.