Religious Education

Contact Information

Cecille S. Toy
Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE)
Email: CRE@st-dunstan.org
Office Tel: 650-697-7451

Important News & Updates

Religious Education Registration Now Open for School Year 2021-2022
Please register online here:
https://forms.gle/DiUotcBhEMEMRyRf9

Classes are on Tuesdays, starting on September 14, 2021 through May 17, 2022.  Classes will be held in person* whenever possible, conforming to the mandatory Safety requirements of the civil authority as well as of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Classes are held Tuesdays with the following grade level schedule:

  • Grade 1 – 4:00-5:00pm -- Catechist Maria Soberano
  • Grade 2 – 5:30-6:30pm -- Catechist Tatyana Larson
  • Grade 3 – 5:30-6:30pm -- Catechist Maria Soberano
  • Grade 4 – 4:00-5:00pm -- Catechist Sue Pallari
  • Grade 5 – 5:30-6:30pm -- Catechist Vaiola Kautoke
  • Grade 6 -- 5:30-6:30pm -- Catechist Terri Cuellar
  • Confirmation I – 7:00-8:30pm -- Catechists Marvin Laubacher and Delenne Franco
  • Confirmation II – 7:00-8:30pm -- Catechists Roneil and Stephanie Urbino

Don’t delay, register now – Registration Deadline is September 3, 2021.

*In cases when a student will need to stay at home (i.e. sick or on quarantine), classes may be streamed via Zoom. While face to face class is in session, there will be no live interaction between the student on Zoom and the rest of the class or the Catechist. The Catechist may send out homework questions to make sure that the student understood the class and paid attention, in order to be counted as being present for the class.

*If the situation requires the school to close our doors and stay at home, we will resume classes via Zoom for everybody. The schedule will stay the same, and the Zoom link for the specific class will be emailed to your family.

Help Needed:

On May 10, 2021, Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter "ANTIQUUM MINISTERIUM", instituting the Ministry of Catechist.

… recognition should be given to those lay men and women who feel called by virtue of their baptism to cooperate in the work of catechesis (cf. CIC can. 225; CCEO cans. 401 and 406). This presence is all the more urgently needed today as a result of our increasing awareness of the need for evangelization in the contemporary world (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 163-168), and the rise of a globalized culture (cf. Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti, 100138). This requires genuine interaction with young people, to say nothing of the need for creative methodologies and resources capable of adapting the proclamation of the Gospel to the missionary transformation that the Church has undertaken.

Are you being called to serve the children/youth of our parish community who will be the future of our Church?  Is faith important enough that you want to have the opportunity to share your faith? We welcome more volunteers to our program – we can always use help in many ways: Catechist Assistants, office assistants, and event volunteers, including Youth Ministry.

Now more than ever, the need to help share our faith and show the depth of the love of God with our students and families is apparent.  This is a great ministry that allows you to live out Christ’s mission to spread His teachings.  Be part of our Faith Formation family.  No experience is required; we will provide the training.  Please, prayerfully consider if you hear the calling from the Holy Spirit.

Contact Cecille Toy by email at CRE@st-dunstan.org

Our Mission:

The St. Dunstan School of Religious Education is an important part of the St. Dunstan Parish Community. We provide our students with a desire to share in the adventure of faith, learning, liturgy, and life. Our faith formation program is in partnership with the parents, for children to grow in love, knowledge, appreciation, and desire for Jesus Christ and become active members of the Catholic Church. We are committed to helping parents provide and encourage their children with a solid spiritual foundation of their Roman Catholic faith.

In line with the above-mentioned Mission Statement, the goals of the Religious Education Program at St. Dunstan Parish are:

  • Inculturation with today’s students who are natives of the Digital World, who have all been away and isolated for the past 15+ months because of the pandemic, who are facing possible challenges of social interaction, depression, and spiritual hunger.
  • Connect with the students and their families, listen to their stories, and welcome them back as members of the Body of Christ.
  • Create opportunities for a relationship with these students and families that will develop into a deep and personal relationship with Christ.
  • Partner with the parents to provide basic catechetical instructions, Catholic teachings of the Church, learn to appreciate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, other forms of prayer, and awareness to the devotion to the Blessed Mother, such as praying the rosary.
  • Full participation in the life of the Catholic Church and foster community among the children, their families, and the parish community.
  • Empower students to follow the great commandment to love God and love our neighbor, to follow their mission and spread the good news to the rest of the world and be a true disciple of Christ.
  • Ongoing conversion to Jesus Christ and the Gospel and encourage the lifelong spiritual journey to continuously deepen their faith and relationship with God.

The Religious Education program assists parents and guardians in passing on their faith through the Catechism ministry. The program helps children/youth build and strengthen their relationship with Jesus and the Church. Catechists do this by proclaiming the Word, building a sense of community, leading to prayer and worship, encouraging loving service to others, and through the example of their own lives.

The Religious Education Catechists are volunteers. They are people who have answered the call to minister to our children/youth and who have prepared themselves in different ways to serve as Catechists. Above all, they are people for whom faith is important enough to share.

Overview of The Program:

The St. Dunstan School of Religious Education welcomes all children and youth, who are baptized Catholic and those wishing to be baptized in the Catholic faith, to enroll and participate in our Religious Education Program. Enrollment priority is given to those families who are registered in our Parish. If your family is not registered with our Parish, please fill out our parish registration form.

2021-2022 Program:

These challenging times with Covid-19 calls each of us to reflect on the best practices to implement in our programs for the safety of our children/youth, families, staff, and volunteers. This has not been an easy task depending on the progression of the disease and the directives of the State of California, our cities, health departments and the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

We at St. Dunstan Parish want to provide the best possible formation of our young people. Our faith life is a treasure that especially during these times, needs to be supported and deepened. And now more than ever, our parish families need us to minister to them in many ways and provide them with our support.  We have an unprecedented opportunity to build and strengthen our domestic church, at home.

The Religious Education school year has traditionally mirrored that of the St. Dunstan Parish School: from September to May.  Class sessions are regularly scheduled on Tuesdays, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm for Grades 1 and 4, 5:30-6:30pm for Grades 2, 3, 5 and 6.  Confirmation I & II classes are from 7:00 to 8:30pm.  The Parish Administration, Principal and Administration of St. Dunstan School have allowed Religious Education students and staff to occupy and use the school classrooms during these sessions.

Classes are divided in 3 Categories (Preparation for the Sacramental of First Holy Communion, Faith Formation, and Preparation for Sacramental of Confirmation) in the following levels/grades:

  • Preparation for First Holy Communion I (Grade 1)
  • Preparation for First Holy Communion II (Grades 2)
  • Faith Formation (Grade 3)
  • Faith Formation (Grade 4)
  • Faith Formation (Grade 5)
  • Faith Formation (Grade 6)
  • Preparation for Confirmation I (Grade 7 or 8)
  • Preparation for Confirmation II (Grade 8 or 9)
  • Special Sacraments Class for students older than Grade 2 who have not received the Sacrament of Baptism, Reconciliation, &/or First Holy Communion (Grades 3 to 6)

Registration:

Welcome and thank you for enrolling your child/children in our Religious Education Program.  Registration is done online, using this link:  https://forms.gle/DiUotcBhEMEMRyRf9

Our program is open to all students who have been baptized in the Catholic faith or are in the process of Catholic Faith Formation.  If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Religious Education:  CRE@st-dunstan.org

Schedule of Classes:

Grade 1 – 4:00-5:00pm -- Catechist Maria Soberano

Grade 2 – 5:30-6:30pm -- Catechist Tatyana Larson

Grade 3 – 5:30-6:30pm -- Catechist Maria Soberano

Grade 4 – 4:00-5:00pm -- Catechist Sue Pallari

Grade 5 – 5:30-6:30pm -- Catechist Vaiola Kautoke

Grade 6 -- 5:30-6:30pm -- Catechist Terri Cuellar

Confirmation I – 7:00-8:30pm -- Catechists Marvin Laubacher and Delenne Franco

Confirmation II – 7:00-8:30pm -- Catechists Roneil and Stephanie Urbino

Students meet in the St. Dunstan School Classrooms.

Communication:

Throughout the school year, you will receive communication from the Office of Religious Education primarily by email, and sometimes by text or phone call.  Please consistently monitor all communication and announcements.  Add this email address to your contact list to avoid missing any information, requirements, and deadlines:  CRE@st-dunstan.org

As parents, you are expected to pass on any information that your child needs to know.

You are required to notify the Office of Religious Education of any change of email address home address or telephone number (work, home or cell) immediately so that we can update your contact information. This is necessary especially in the event of an emergency.

Expectations from Parents:

As the primary teachers and leaders of the faith for your family, you have a wonderful opportunity to continuously grow and learn more about your own personal faith.  A few examples on how you can have a spirited faith journey are:

  • Sunday mass as a family consistently every Sunday – this is not just a command from God, it is a great opportunity to be fed by God and to worship as a family
  • Family prayers – before/after meals; rosary; novenas; bedtime prayers; praise, thanksgiving, petitions, intercessory prayers together as a family
  • Sacred space at home – create an altar table where you can display the Catholic Holy Bible, the crucifix, your family picture, and other religious articles
  • Daily blessing for individual children – blessing each child before they leave your home for school, lay your hand on top of their head, or sign of the cross on their forehead, as you ask God to bless them and guide their path.
  • Talk to your child after a Religious Ed class and discuss what was learned.  Reinforce the teachings and affirm their own faith journey.
  • Read the Catholic Bible – this is good habit to make for you as an individual and for your family.  The best way to prepare yourselves for the Sacred Sunday Mass is to read all the readings ahead of time.  Go to https://bible.usccb.org/ to get the readings for the mass.  It is good to meditate on the readings prior to the Sunday mass.  For younger children, it is a good practice to read bible stories and become familiar with them.

Every Catholic home should have a Catholic Bible.  If you do not have one, I urge you to get one as soon as possible.  After all this is the Bible where our God speaks to us and guides us.  If you have young children, in addition to your family Bible, it will be good to have a Catholic Children’s Bible that is filled with pictures to show your children as you read them bible stories.  If you have older children starting from Confirmation I and up, I recommend that each of them has their own personal bible that they can use, write on, highlight, and refer to on a personal level.  For Confirmation students, I recommend the Youth Catholic Bible that has some explanations on the sides to help understand the reading.

As parents, we hope that you recognize the importance of the Religious Ed classes and realize the efforts done by our volunteer Catechists who are all so passionate about their ministry.  Please do everything in your power for the children not to miss any of the classes.  If they are sick, please have them stream the class so they don’t miss much.  If there is a compelling reason for your child to miss any class, you are expected to let us know the morning of the class at the latest.  Please send me an email or a text to let me know – provide your child’s complete name and grade level.

Certificate of Sacraments Required:

Your child needs to be baptized at a Catholic Church and we need to have a copy of your child's Baptismal Certificate.

If your child has received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion, we will need a copy of the Certificate of First Holy Communion.

Sacrament Preparation:

First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion Preparation
Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion is a two-year program. Children must attend and successfully complete 1st grade (Level 1) Religious Education classes to be eligible for 2nd Grade (Level 2). First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion preparation involve classroom instruction, parent meetings, retreat, prayer celebrations and attendance at mass. The involvement of the parents in their child's preparation for these sacraments is vital. The Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion are celebrated during the spring of 2nd Grade (Level 2).

Confirmation
Our Confirmation Program is a two-year program for students in Junior High (typically Grades 7th & 8th). Confirmation I (for first year confirmation students) is designed to explore and better understand our Catholic Faith, learn to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Mass as the pinnacle of our Catholic Faith, and begin preparation for Confirmation.

Confirmation II (for second year confirmation students) is designed to finalize the preparation for Confirmation, develop the resolve and confidence in making decisions to be the best version of themselves, develop the hunger to deepen their personal relationship with Christ, constantly encounter Christ at the mass, at daily personal prayer, meditation, and as active members of the Body of Christ by serving. Students must successfully complete Confirmation I in order to be eligible for Confirmation II. The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated during the spring of Confirmation II.

Special Sacrament Program for Older Students (Grades 3 and up)
Students in Grades 3 and up who still need to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, First Holy Communion and/or Reconciliation, will be admitted into our Special Sacrament Program which is a two-year program. Students will attend Religious Education classes plus additional classes as needed, to prepare them to receive these Sacraments over the course of the two-year program. Please call the Coordinator for Religious Education for further information.

Note:  All students who are enrolling from another Religious Education Program or parochial school will be required to provide a letter from the Director/Coordinator of the Program or report card indicating that student successfully completed the course requirements for the grade level before being eligible to enroll at the St. Dunstan School of Religion.