Update on St. James’s CCD program

St. James has teachers ready for CCD but not enough children enrolled; St. Bede Parish in Point Breeze has plenty of students but needs more teachers.
It was a sensible decision to move St. James’s CCD classes to St. Bede as the first act of a new partnership among St. James, St. Bede and St. Charles Lwanga in Homewood, said Mike Myers, president of the St. James Parish Pastoral Council.

Only 18 students were enrolled in the most recent CCD class at St. James, and the parish was anticipating even fewer in the class set to begin the last Sunday in September, Myers said. Rather than continue to bear the costs of a full CCD program for so few students, the council decided merging the programs would be the first act of the partnership the parishes are forming at the direction of the Diocese.

“They’re very much in need of teachers, and we have teachers who are anxious to teach,” said the Rev. Warren Metzler Saturday at the first of three receptions for parishioners with questions about the future of CCD at St. James.
Myers announced the pending change at each Mass last week, emphasizing that the new partnership among the parishes was not a sign that the churches would otherwise be consolidated or closed. So far, parishioners haven’t been asking him much about the change, which he hoped was a sign his reassurances were heeded.

Families’ costs for CCD at St. Bede should be about the same, and both parishes use the same set of textbooks so the curriculum will be identical, Myers said. While both parishes will be supervised by St. Bede’s CCD director, students will still take their milestone sacraments, like their first Communion and Confirmation, at St. James.

The times for the classes are still to be determined: St. James usually held theirs from 9:45-11 a.m. Sundays, but St. Bede’s classes go from 9:30-10:30 a.m. to accommodate their Mass schedule, Father Metzler said.

St. James Parish Pastoral Council will meet next week to discuss the partnership, and then all three parishes’ councils will hold a joint meeting the following week to get to know one another, Myers said.

Future topics of discussion for the partnership could be sharing the RCIA program, depending on how many sign up for the next group.

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