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Twelve young disciples answer the call

By Connie Cassar, Catholic Outlook, April 2010

Young students from Patrician Brothers’ College, Blacktown are members of the parish SRE team.
Earlier this year, students in Years 10 and 11 from Patrician Brothers’ College, Blacktown were invited to think about the ministry of Special Religious Education (SRE) teaching scripture at the State primary schools in St Patrick’s Parish, Blacktown.

The aim was to involve the youth (our secondary students) in the SRE ministry and to help fill the vacancies in the infants and primary classes. The students will also assist the catechists with large classes. This will give them an opportunity to share their gifts and perhaps have an impact on their own spiritual journey.

The three State primary schools in Blacktown Parish are Blacktown North, Blacktown West and Blacktown South. At present, there are 12 catechists covering 17 lessons each, which means there are catechists teaching more than one class each week to ensure none of the students miss out on Religious Education.

Jim Prendegast, RE co-ordinator, and Denise Grzelj, Year 11 co-ordinator, from Patrician Brothers’ College were thrilled with the response, with 12 students becoming involved in the SRE Ministry. On 22 February, the students began the SRE inservicing process after school hours.  

The students are now involved in SRE each week in some infants and primary classes at Blacktown South Primary on Flushcombe Road, under the supervision of Jim and Denise.

Jim indicated that he would like this to be the start of something great for the boys at Patrician Brothers’ College and to continue each year having students in Years 10 and 11 involved in the SRE ministry.

I am grateful to Geoff Scott, principal at Blacktown South Primary, who agreed to have the Patrician Brothers’ students attend Scripture classes each week, and to Rebecca Brusch, SRE co-ordinator, for her help and co-operation.  

Thanks to Colleen McCunnie, CCD parish co-ordinator from Blacktown Parish, who also assisted in starting this process. One of the students who volunteered for this ministry remembers Colleen as his Year 4 Scripture teacher when he attended Blacktown South Primary. SRE teachers do have an impact on the children they see each week.

Connie Cassar is the Regional CCD Co-ordinator for Blacktown Region.

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