Dear Parents and Guardians:
I hope all is well! Since the parish closed in March 2020 due to Covid-19, the Religious Education staff and the Pastor has been working to continue to support you in your efforts to collaborate with us as we continue to provide religious education for your family. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, reminds us in his new General Directory for Catechesis that those being catechized can live their life in a simple and spontaneous way. We are called to accompany each other on a journey toward Christ, with parents/guardians taking the lead for their children.
Here is what we have been working on during the past few months:
Given the uncertainty of the times, a blended learning model for religious education has been approved by the Diocese of Brooklyn. This model allows religious education to be done in both an in-class or at-home setting depending on the circumstances. It also addresses the fact that the parent/guardian is the primary educator and formator of their children in the Faith.
The following is a breakdown of what the blended learning model entails:
In most cases, the at home distance learning sessions will begin with the catechist addressing the student and the parent(s)/guardian(s) for approximately 20 minutes using GOTOMEETING, TEAMS, etc. The student will complete his/her assignment using the e-book during the week. A hard copy of the textbook will also be provided. Parents or guardians should be available during the week to assist the child if he/she needs assistance. All will reconvene the following week at the appropriate time using the link to connect.
Using this model, the student will learn the material at home and discuss it when and if the class meets in person. The class meeting times may be different from the times the class meets for distance learning. Classes may not meet every week, depending on the schedule. Information will be sent to you regarding the new policies for in class gatherings (masks, social distancing, etc.).
PLEASE NOTE: In a Diocesan memo dated August 26, 2020, Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio sent out a directive, to all parishes, that all parish religious education programs, faith formation programs and Pre-Cana experiences will be held virtually.
Remember! This pandemic will not last forever. We are here to help you educate and form your children in the beautiful faith, so that they may know God’s grace and comfort during these stressful times. We are trying out a new way to learn and there will be challenges along the way. We ask for your patience and prayers and look forward to a time when we can safely gather once more!
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
We are praying for you all and please keep us in your prayers. Let us work each day to become the best missionary disciple possible.
Lisa Sampson Director of Faith Formation Our Lady of Light Parish
Protecting Our Youth
Letter from Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio:
In 2002, the Catholic Bishops of the United States met in Dallas, and approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and pledged to address the issue of sexual abuse by clergy, lay employees and volunteers in the Catholic Church. The Charter includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. Since 2002, the Bishops have revised the Charter twice and will continue to make changes as necessary.
In order to implement the goals expressed in the Charter, the Safe Environment Program was opened in 2004. This program includes training to assist priests, deacons, pastoral ministers, employees and volunteers to be aware of any signs of sexual abuse with the children with whom they might come into contact, conducting background searches to reveal any past criminal activity that might endanger children entrusted to our care, and administering codes of pastoral conduct which serve as guidelines for pastoral activity. Protecting God’s Children is a tremendous responsibility that the Church has and must fulfill.
Of equal importance was the need to reach out to victims and their families who have been impacted by sexual abuse by clergy. For many years, the Diocese of Brooklyn has been offering assistance to those who have presented themselves to the Diocese as victims of sexual abuse by clergy through the Office of Victim Assistance. We are committed to helping anyone who was hurt as a minor by sexual abuse to seek help and to begin the healing process. Healing is a journey which can be taken in different steps. Circumstances for each victim are varied, but the commonality is that there is a need to feel that someone understands their pain, acknowledges the wrongdoing and offers an apology in the name of the Church.
We hope that through the links on this page, you will find valuable and useful information on the resources provided within the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens to address the issue of sexual abuse by clergy, lay employees, and volunteers in the Catholic Church.
As Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, my prayers continue for all the victims of sexual abuse by clergy or other Church personnel within our Diocese and throughout the Church and all those affected by its occurrence. May the Lord bring healing and peace.
Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D.
Bishop of Brooklyn
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