Faith Formation for Youth
St. Mary’s of the Lake Parish
2020-21 Diocesan COVID-19 Guidelines for Parish Catechesis
“Please know we are taking every reasonable precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While no ordinary measures can prevent contagion 100%, we are confident that our arrival/dismissal procedures, the social distancing, employed in classrooms/shared spaces and our cleaning protocols between sessions will go a long way toward making our parish a safe place to grow in the Faith. Please be attentive to all communications and updates about our parish faith formation program so that, together we can help our precious children be physically and spiritually healthy.”
1.) The goal is to reopen for in-person instruction and for our parish to do our best to remain open.
2.) Parents are responsible to keeping their child home if the child or another member of the family household has symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 include: new onset cough or shortness of breath by themselves OR at least 2 of the following: fever of 100.4 or higher, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, runny nose or congestion, sore throat, chills, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.
3.) DRE, catechists and parish staff will self-screen for possible COVID-19 symptoms prior to their arrival at the parish for any in-person classes, meetings, retreats, family faith formation or any other events.
4.) Catechists and volunteers must cohort each class (no close proximity to children in other classes), take attendance and have assigned seating to assist with point of contact should there be a positive case of COVID-19.
5.) To reduce the risk of exposure, parents should not accompany children into any building used for parish catechesis. NOTE: An exception might be made for family catechesis meetings/events/family faith formation. With additional people congregating, however, the DRE and catechists will be even more cautious and diligent noting family members in attendance, seating arrangements and social distancing.
6.) Hand sanitizing will occur upon arrival and departure from faith formation/family faith formation and will be available as needed throughout class time/sessions.
7.) Restroom use will be at a minimum and only if absolutely necessary. Parents need to make certain that their child use the restroom prior to their arrival for class.
8.) Books, pencils, crayons, etc. will NOT be shared between students. Each student will have their own bag of the above contents that will be provided by the parish. Books will not be shared and each student MUST come prepared for class by bringing their books each week.
9.) Both indoors and outdoors, children, catechists and other adults must maintain six feet of distance as much as possible.
10.) Children, catechists and other adults must wear cloth face coverings when entering or exiting indoor areas or rooms and during transitions. If six feet of distance can be maintained, face coverings can then be removed.
11.) If any food, snacks or drinks are offered, they should be individually packaged.
12.) All classrooms, tables, doors, bathrooms, etc. will be sanitized each week.
13.) St. Mary’s of the Lake Parish will be prepared to move to remote learning if needed during the year. This may include a virtual format for catechesis, but no program will be forced to offer catechesis online. Remote options will maintain communication with parents and serve to empower them as their children’s primary catechists.
14.) Many parents may not be comfortable having their children attend in-person faith formation therefore we will provide the opportunity to engage and collaborate with parents in the faith formation program to teach their children the program at home.
15.) If a child attending in-person faith formation tests positive for COVID-19, the family must notify the pastor or DRE immediately. **If the parish is notified that a child had a positive test, any other children or adults withing six feet of the tested child for more than 15 minutes in the two days (48 hours) prior to the tested child developing symptoms will be notified to quarantine for 14 days after the last date of exposure.**
Thank you for your attention to these guidelines as we try to balance relational in-person faith formation mirroring the Holy Trinity with the health and safety of our children, catechists and families all made in the same Trinitarian image of God.
Let us pray for one another in the days ahead. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns as we proceed through the year.
Confirmation 2021-Friday April 30, 2021 @ 7:00 PM
First Reconciliation 2021-April 25, 2021 @ 1:30 PM (following Family Faith Formation)
First Holy Communion-Sunday May 16, 2021 during the 11:00 AM Mass