Launching this Fall: Children’s Ministry Program
We are launching a new children’s ministry program this fall at Corpus Christi. I want to explain in detail my rationale for this decision.
When I first arrived at Corpus Christi and met with Fr. Bacik, he gently cautioned me about initiating any ministry that would detract from campus ministry, which is the reason that this parish exists. I took that advice seriously and couldn’t help but think that part of the reason our campus ministry has been so successful over the years and won national awards is due to the singular focus we place on student
This past fall, a family approached me with a story that many of you have heard or experienced over the years. This particular family absolutely loved this parish but were sending their children to public school. They lamented to me that this would mean that they would likely have to leave CCUP as their children became involved in a PSR or CCD program at another parish that was not their first choice.
Though I was sympathetic to their story, I was still very committed to the idea of CCUP as singularly focused on campus ministry and therefore hesitant to entertain their proposal.
Over the subsequent months, I bounced the idea off of many people at my meet and greets as well as with pastoral council. It was suggested to me that if college students would volunteer to be the catechists, the dual goal of supporting these families and enhancing our campus ministry might be able to be achieved.
The UToledo faculty and staff members on pastoral council also alerted me to our responsibility to serve not just the students at UToledo, but also the faculty and staff. When a faculty or staff member has young children, they argued that CCUP should be their parish and a place where their children could receive religious education. At the same time, I was instructing five eighth graders and freshmen in our parish who were preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, which they received in March. It was a wonderful experience, but also made me realize that these students deserved more attention and consistency than I was able to provide.
Based on this process of discernment, and the large number of students who volunteered for this opportunity, we have decided to go forward this fall with a three-pronged children’s ministry program.
A second grade class, taught by three college students, will prepare the students for First Reconciliation and First Communion. An eighth grade class, taught by three college students, will prepare the students for Confirmation. Finally, at the 11 a.m. Mass, two students and one adult will provide children ages 3-7
with a Liturgy of the Word service meant to engage them at their level.
This program is geared toward families in our parish whose children are in public school but who want to remain part of our parish family. It is also geared to the children of UToledo students, faculty, and staff who want to be a part of their university parish community. Our intention is not to poach families from neighboring parishes. I feel a responsibility to provide this service, taught by our students, to help our permanent community continue to grow and diversify, and to support parents with the religious education of their children after we celebrate baptism with them.
We have no intention of growing this into a full PSR program or venturing into the realm of youth ministry.
We simply want to provide the basic religious and sacramental formation for the children of our parish.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns,