Dear Parents and/or Guardians:
Welcome to our parish Religious Education classes for children in grades one through eight on behalf of our Pastor, Father Luke Jauregui, and our religious education staff. Our program is a faith-centered process in which all Catechists, aides, and other volunteers interact with the children and share their own faith with them through a process of prayer and formal teaching on the basics of the theology of the Catholic Church.
This handbook has been designed to provide an overview of our religious education program for children in public schools. However, they are not meant to be the sole provider of your child’s religious education. Rather, they are intended to supplement the religious formation you are already giving your child at home, and the experience of learning with our parish community more about Jesus, the Church, and our most important worship, the Mass.
Consistent with this approach, this handbook describes our curriculum and administrative policies. It is our hope that it will give you an understanding of our program and encourage you to actively participate if you can. Please keep the success of our program in your prayers. We look forward to the upcoming year of working with you as together we pass on our Catholic faith to your children. Again, welcome, and we look forward to having your children this coming year.
Sincerely in Christ,
Director of Catechetical Ministries
St. Pius X Religious Education
1120 Cuyamaca Avenue
Chula Vista, CA 91911
Parish Office (619) 420-9193
Pastor: Father Luke Jauregui
Associate Pastor: Father Edwin Tutor
Pastor Emeritus: Father Donald Kulleck
Religious Education Office
Director: Ms. Dora Castañeda Ext. 105
Secretary: Mrs. Lorena Gracia Ext. 104
Fax: (619) 420-9353
Religious Education Office Hours:
Tuesday - Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Monday - By appointment only
Friday and Saturday — closed
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:
4:15 p.m.—5:30 p.m.
OVERVIEW OF THE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM
The Religious Education program at St. Pius X Catholic Church has classes for children in grades one through eight. Classes are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays. Please contact the Director of Religious Education if you have a child with special needs.
Classes with special learning needs (i.e., mentally or physically challenged) are welcome and included in our programs if they do not exhibit behavioral problems. Parents are asked to indicate their children’s special needs at registration time Special Religious Education classes will be held on Thursdays only, it may be necessary for the parent/guardian to have someone (18 or older) attend classes with your child. Your children are a wonderful gift from God, yet it may be difficult for a catechist to give them the attention they need and get the required elements in a lesson covered in a classroom situation. (Most of our Catechists are parish volunteers, not trained educators.)
St. Pius X Religious Education program uses the Sadlier Publishers “We Believe” for all levels. The Diocese of San Diego’s Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry is responsible for recommending textbook publishers for religious education programs. The textbooks recommended have been reviewed by the Office and are in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and comply with guidelines stated in the National Catechetical Directory.
Each textbook series uses the Catechism of the Catholic Church as its foundation, source, and inspiration. The structure of the Catechism’s “four pillars” - doctrine, liturgy and sacramentality, morality, and prayer are echoed throughout the textbook series. The entire body of Catholic doctrine is not conveyed in any single year, but each year religious education builds on those that preceded and lead to what follows, according to the child’s level of understanding. Copies of all texts used in our program are available for parent review.
Masses are held during class time periodically throughout the year. Parents are always invited to participate in these Masses. The dates for the Masses are listed on the student’s schedule. These Mass days are an integral part of our curriculum.
Although there is no set length of time of preparation for the reception of the Eucharist for the first time, the minimum is two years in the Diocese of San Diego. First Reconciliation (Confession) is celebrated prior to the reception of First Eucharist.
Catechesis for the Sacrament of Reconciliation clarifies the relationship of the sacrament to the child’s life, helps the child recognize good and evil, repent of wrong doing and seek forgiveness.
Catechesis for the Sacrament of Eucharist (Communion) gives the student an understanding of God’s love, the importance of the meal, their participation in the sacrifice of Christ, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The children are taught that the Holy Eucharist is the real body and blood of Christ, and what appears to be bread and wine are actually His living body.
Diocesan guidelines require that parents be prepared to assist in the catechesis of their children for the sacraments. Therefore, sacramental preparation sessions for parents are given by the Pastor. Currently, one session is giving in the first year of preparation and one session is given in the second year. Additional meetings may be held in the second year of preparation. These sessions are required for parents who wish their child to receive First Holy Communion at St. Pius X Church.
Children should be familiar with the parts of the Mass. Therefore, regular Mass attendance at St. Pius X is required for children to be recommended to receive the Sacrament of Eucharist. Students will be given Mass Attendance Cards to turn in each time they attend Mass at St. Pius X. Church.
If you are not able to meet these requirements, First Communion for your child will be postponed until a time when you are able to do so.
Students who have not been baptized or have been baptized in another faith will be prepared in a process called Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) adapted for children.
Registration for fall classes begin in May for returning students and the beginning of June for families new to our program. The office closes in August for the summer, and registration will resume when the office reopens in September. Registration closes the week before classes begin.
Religious instruction begins when students are in the first grade and continue until the eighth grade, at which time the students will attend the high school program for preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Families must be registered in the Parish to enroll their children in Religious Education classes and must present the child’s baptism certificate at the time of registration.
Families must be registered in the Parish to enroll their children in Religious Education classes and must present the child’s baptism certificate at the time of registration.
The fee for Religious Education classes is $85 for one child, $45 for second child, and $30 for each additional child in the same family. Cash and checks are accepted, and a payment schedule can be arranged, if needed. The tuition is used to cover the cost of the textbook, supplies used in the classroom and insurance coverage for the time the children are in class. Registration fees are non-refundable. No one will be denied Religious Education for financial reasons. Contact the Religious Education Office to make confidential arrangements.
Class placement is done on a first-come, first-serve basis. Currently, registered families have early registration privileges in May before registration is opened to new families in June.
Children who are in first or second grade who have not had any previous religious education will be placed in level one classes. Children who are in third grade and older and have not any previous religious education will be placed in level one class according to their grade level. All other children will be placed in the level of their school grade.
Regular attendance at Religious Education classes is an important factor in deepening a child’s understanding of the triune God through the study of Scripture, prayer, Church teaching and community. If your child will be absent from class, please notify the Religious Education Office (420-9193 ext. 104). If we have not received a call from the parent, the absence will be recorded as unexcused. Your child is expected to make up missed work at home.
Attendance at class each week provides the child with the necessary faith development required to receive these sacraments. An absence in any year of 5 times at either Mass or class, will result in the child(ren) being removed from the program. A letter will be sent home from the office confirming that your child(ren) have been dropped from our program. Conflicts with school, sports, band, hobbies and any other outside interests will NOT be considered an excused absence. By placing a priority on attending Mass and religion classes, the child(ren) learn, the importance of their Catholic faith in their lives.
Our program follows the public school year round calendar. Children on year round schedules are expected to be present, unless families are out of town on vacation. If you do go out of town, please contact the office to advise them and your child(cren) will be excused.
C. Arrival and Dismissal
All students are to wait on the blacktop area on the Cuyamaca Avenue side of the grounds, between the Mother Seton Center and the St. Pius X School building for their teachers to open the classrooms at 4:15 pm. Students are NOT permitted to wait on the East Emerson Street side of the building, as there is no supervision on that side of the building before or after class. All students should enter the grounds through the open gates on Cuyamaca Avenue.
We expect students to be on time for class each week. Parents should refrain from dropping the students off too early since we do not allow students in the classrooms without the Catechist present.
Driving and parking on the playground for drop-off is NOT permitted.
The dismissal bell rings at 5:30 p.m. Catechists and aides will escort all students to wait inside the gates of the pavilion which is behind the Parish Offices in the parking lot. The main entrance will open the doors at 5:15 p.m. for persons wanting to park and pick up their children, otherwise all cars will enter through the main parking lot entrance and park their cars (engines must be off) next to the pavilion and await instructions from our staff. The child(ren) will be called and brought forward to their awaiting vehicle. All engines must remain off until the child(ren) have entered the vehicle. After the first four cars are ready to leave, they will proceed to go down the parking lot to the end, where they will exit on the Naples Street exit (down by hall). The next four cars will then approach. Parents can walk up and pick up their child at the pavilion. Caution must be taken when doing so. Parents may not wait nor block the pick up zone (Cuyamaca Ave. side) in front of the double gates by the school. Double parking outside the parish is NOT PERMITTED. Please do not block the driveways across the street. We will not allow any children to leave the pavilion area unescorted. Parents who wish their child to walk home must send a signed note to the office so that a pass can be given to your child. No child will be allowed otherwise to leave the grounds without this pass.
Please pick up your students promptly after class, any student left will be brought to the Religious Education office to wait for their parents.
D. Early Pickup
Although, we discourage early pickup, it is sometimes necessary for parents to make arrangements for an early dismissal for their child. If a child must leave early, the parent must submit in writing a request for early dismissal of their child stating the reason, time, and date that the child must leave early. The child will be brought to the Religious Education Office for pick up. Parents are to come into the office and meet the child at the Religious Education office. No child is to leave the building early before reporting to the Religious Education Office.Parents must sign out their child in the office. Please do not go to the child’s classroom to pick them up. You may be asked to show a photo I.D. at time of pickup.
For safety reasons, all parents who wish to visit the classrooms must check in at the office. Students may not bring friends to class with them. We do encourage you to take visitors to Mass if they are interested in our church.
All students received a tentative schedule on their first day of class, which includes class dates, chapters covered in class and vacation dates. A monthly newsletter with upcoming events and other pertinent information for parents will be sent home with the students. We encourageIf you stated that you can receive e-mail, we will be sending all related information. Parents will also be contacted by letter or a phone call.
We are here to serve the religious education needs of your children. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, pelase feel free to share them with your child’s Catechist or call or e-mail the Religious Education office.
An emergency information form was given at the time of registration, if you did not fill it out, please do so and return it promptly to the Religious Education Office. Please print all information so that it is legible and please sign the form.
1. Evacuation of School
In the event of an earthquake, fire, or other necessity, students will be evacuated from the school and the Mother Seton Center. They will go to the center of the parking/playground area and line up single file by grade level. After attendance is taken, students will sit down on the ground and wait for their parents/guardians to arrive. Catechists and aides will remain with their classes. Students shall participate in fire and disaster drills. Proper procedures for evacuation shall be explained to the students. ORDERLY AND SILENT COMPLIANCE IS MANDATORY. At school there are emerency backpacks for disaster supplies on hand in case of a school disaster.
2. Pick Up of Children
The Cuyamaca Avenue gate will be opened for parents to drive in to pick up their child(ren). Parents will stop where the children are sitting, get out and sign out their child(ren) at one of two or three tables, according to alphabetical order. A picture ID (i.e. Driver’s license, military ID, or similar) must be shown at the time of pickup. Drivers will exit the grounds through the gate near the parish hall. Students will only be released to parents or guardians or to those people whom you have designated on the emergency form that you provided at time of registration.
3. Lock Down of Premises
In the event it is necessary to lock down the premises, students will stay in the classroom with the doors locked and blinds down until the “ALL CLEAR” is given by the official in charge of the premises. At this point, the drive-through gates will be opened and we will proceed as above. No one will be admitted to the premises until the “ALL CLEAR” has been given. Catechists and aides, who are all volunteers, will leave the remaining students with the Director and office staff until a parent, guardian or designated pick up person can arrive.
Catechists and aides, who are all volunteers, will leave the remaining students with the Director and office staff until a parent, guardian or designated pick up person can arrive. (a picture ID will be required)
HEALTH CONCERNS AND MEDICATION
Medical information is vital. If your child has a medical concern, it should be brought to the attention of the Director at the time of registration. If a child is diagnosed with a medical condition after registration, please inform the office so that it can be noted in case of an emergency.
The usual policy is to not administer medication to students during religious education classes. Arrangements can be made if there is a need to make a policy exception. In an event that a child is unable to continue to participate in the classroom activities, the Catechist/aide should bring the child to the office so that their parent may be called. If the parent cannot be reached, the Director of Religious Education will call the person listed as the Emergency Contact.
Child abuse is of serious concern. Pursuant to state law, we are required to report suspected child abuse. Consistent with Diocesan policy and local legal codes, the Parish Catechetical staff, both paid and volunteer, has a moral and legal duty to comply with the law to ensure the welfare of a child. All educational volunteers who suspect that the physical or mental health or welfare of a child or youth may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect shall report it immediately to the Director, who shall then contact the Child Protective Services. The Pastor shall be promptly informed that a report is being filed.
Students in all levels will receive safe environment training each year. Prior to the presentation in class, parents of children in those levels will receive a letter explaining what will be presented to the children, as well as suggestions on how they can continue the conversation at home with their child.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION STAFF
With the exception of the Director and the Secretary, all Religious Education staff are volunteers. Teachers, classroom aides, office aides, and especially safety volunteers are needed for a successful and safe program.
Catechists are certified by the Diocese of San Diego through a 48 hour Basic Catechist Course which prepares them to teach religion. Many are parents with students in the program.
Interested adults who are practicing the Catholic faith and who like working with children and youth are most welcome to volunteer in our program. Please call the Religious Education Office if you can help. Training will be provided at no cost to you.
Ensure that their children attend classes regularly and on time. Classes begin at 4:15 p.m. and are over at 5:30 p.m. Call the office if the student is ill and will not attend class (420-9193 ext. 104). Otherwise, they will be marked as “unexcused”.
Communicate any special needs or circumstances that may affect their child within the classroom. Be an active part of your children’s learning by talking them about what learned in class, and review any assigned homework with their child.
Parent, by word and example, are the primary teacher of their children and teach them from birth throughout life. At Baptism, the parent undertakes the responsibility of providing for their child’s faith formation. The Religious Education staff is here to assist parents in the spiritual formation and ongoing moral development of their child through a formal program of continuous religious education.
Homework!! Please cooperate with our teachers and the spiritual goals that have been set for your children by enforcing the completion of all assignments. Check your child’s folder every week for assignments, notices and calendar updates.
Attend all required meetings.
Notify the Religious Education office of changes in address, phone numbers, custody issues, email address, etc.
Attend Mass regularly as a family. The best religious education that your children can receive is consistent Mass attendance.
1. Behave in a Christian manner at all times, showing respect and being cooperative with adults and other students.
2. Actively participate in classroom activities and discussions.
3. Attend class regularly and complete any assignments or homework.
4. Bring religion education book to class each week, as well as any assigned homework.
5. Take any newsletters, bulletins, or notices home to parents.
6. Code of Conduct:
a. Respect for others and for other’s property
b. Follow classroom rules.
c. No use of tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs.
d. No weapons on premises
e. Do not sit or stand on the railings outside of the
1. Provide a loving, Christian atmosphere within the learning environment so that children will be able to grow in their faith.
2. Prepare and teach designated curriculum.
3. Be a Christian role model.
All students are expected to share in the faith learning experiences of the Parish program. If a child’s behavior disrupts the learning process for him or herself or for others, the steps listed below will be followed to ensure that class participation may continue.
1. At the first incident, the child will be reminded of expected behavior and the consequences of misbehavior.
2. After the second incident, the child will be sent to the office for a discussion with the Director about appropriate behavior.
3. If inappropriate behavior continues, the Director will meet with the student and the student’s parent.
4. If the child’s behavior continues to disrupt learning, it may be necessary to have the child removed from class and continue their studies at home with their parents.
At steps 1—3, the child will be allowed the opportunity to rejoin the class if an understanding can be reached as to how all involved may best continue to learn and grow in their faith.
USE OF PARISH BUILDINGS
St. Pius X School is a parish building to be used by the Religious Education program and are expected to exercise care of church and school property. Nothing is to be touched in classrooms and meeting rooms except what is specifically for the use of the religious education program. Every effort is to be made to respect the school property and the property of the teachers and students who utilize the building on a daily basis. (Classrooms, hallways and bathrooms).
Disrespect of property by students is a serious offense and will have serious consequences, including, but not limited to, suspension from the program.
Children and youth are aware of needs outside of their home, and they can take a role in assisting with these needs. Just before Thanksgiving, children are encouraged to bring canned and boxed food which is given to the Parish Council’s Social Concerns Committee to include in the seasonal food baskets prepared by this group for those in our Parish who are in need.
During Advent and Lent, mite boxes and coin folders are given to each student so that students can donate part of their allowances to the Holy Childhood Association who aid poor children throughout the world. All monies collected are sent to the Diocesan Mission Office, which in turn forwards the donations to the Holy Childhood Association. Many parents will remember this mission outreach from their early school years!
RIGHT TO AMEND
This handbook is primarily a means of communication. It is meant to provide you, the parent/guardian, with helpful information on how we intend to go about our work. The St. Pius X Religious Education program reserves the right to amend this handbook as necessary. Parents will be notified in writing if changes are made to any procedures or information contained in this handbook.
For information regarding marriages, marriage convalidations, quinceañeras, consultations with a Priest, and all other parish appointments, please contact the Parish Office at (619) 420-9193.
For Baptisms, Confirmation for adults, and adult education, please contact Kathy Powers at (619) 420-9193 ext. 106 .
For Confirmation for high school students, please contact Patricia Gradillas, at the Youth Ministry Office (619) 420-9193 ext. 107.
For the St. Pius X Catholic School, call (619) 422-2015.
Please feel free to call and talk with the Director of Religious Education concerning classes for preschool through grade 8 at (619) 420-9193 ext. 104 or 105 by email: email@example.com.
Prayer for A Balanced Life
Grant our family, Lord, the gift of
The grace of due proportion.
May we pray when it is time to pray,
Work when it is time to work,
Laugh when it is time to laugh.
May our lives be whole,
And wholly given to You.