Parish Volunteerism on the Rise

December 20, 2018

Clearly we live in busy times.  Our days can be filled with family chores, work commitments, and the necessity of meeting our personal daily responsibilities.  The time available to volunteer for various community groups or recreational organizations has diminished.  The results of a recent assessment of children’s faith formation for the Diocese of Charlottetown was both surprising and very promising.

“I am very encouraged by what recent annual reports have revealed”, stated Bishop Richard Grecco.  “The number of children involved in our catechetical programs has increased and more importantly, the number of volunteer catechists has grown significantly.”

Level Three catechist Marlene Wisener from St. Pius X Parish reviews an Advent lesson with Sarah Jane Hartigan and Sam Dunn

Charlene Peters has been the Diocesan Coordinator for Catechetics for four years.  She assists thirty parishes and pastoral units with their religious program.  Charlene has overseen the introduction of a new program (Be My Disciples), now offered in all parishes across the Diocese.

“Some of the more positive features of the new program are that it is child-centered and invites the integration of faith into life”, commented Charlene Peters. “As resources go, Be My Disciples is a good one, however the real success of a parish catechetical program lies in the engagement of the families and the volunteers.”  

 The number of children involved in the catechetical program (from grade 1 to grade 9) increased from 2519 in 2016-2017 to 2631 in 2017-2018.  Similarly the number of youth preparing for and celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation was 379 in 2017-2018, compared to 328 in 2016-2017.   At the same time, the number of volunteer catechists had grown from 369 in 2016-2017 to 401 in 2017-2018, representing an increase of more than 8.5%.  It is important to point out that all volunteers adhere to the “Strengthening Our Caring Community” policies that specify guidelines for engaging appropriately with youth and requiring each volunteer to have a police check.

“I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of these volunteers”, remarked Bishop Grecco.  “Their commitment and enthusiasm to pass on the faith to the next generation is deeply appreciated.”

For further information regarding the children’s catechetical program, contact Charlene Peters at 1-902-368-8005 Ext. 226 or e-mail: catechetics@dioceseofcharlottetown.com.