The new school year for CCD kicks-off this weekend in all the parishes around the diocese. Sr. Nina Caccam, SJBP, who is the director of the Office of Religious Education is expecting an increase of enrollment once again following the trend and statistics in the past few years.
Last year’s CCD enrollment was 976 students overall, which was about 60% higher than the previous school year (2015-2016). Sr. Nina attributed the increasing trend of CCD enrollment from the diocese’s effort through the years to motivate and encouraged more parents to pursue religious education for their children. Along with the clergy, CCD coordinators and teachers have been instrumental in motivating the families. The active presence also the religious sisters in the parishes is a big factor in reinvigorating the CCD programs in the parishes.
In the past two years, the Office of Religious Education has revisited the CCD curriculum used by the diocese in order to have uniformity and to further assist CCD teachers and catechists in the parishes by providing specific lesson plans designed for every grade level.
In preparation for the new school year, Sr. Nina has organized workshops for CCD teachers and catechists this time in various parish clusters as compared to a single catechetical workshop done in previous years. Working in small clusters were more effective because this enable the Office of Religious Education to pay attention more closely to the specific needs of every parish. There were three workshops done in Saipan last summer and another in Rota and in Tinian.
To further assist the CCD teachers and catechists, the Office of Religious Education has planned a series of seminars/workshops on various theological and pastoral field which will be relevant for the continuing formation of the catechists. Local clergy have signed up to assist in facilitating these seminars.
Last Sunday, the commissioning of CCD teachers were done in their respective parishes in preparation for the new school year. Reflecting on the Gospel reading, Fr. James Balajadia noticed how the CCD teachers of St. Jude are a mixture of young and old. He just made them realized that in whatever age and circumstances in life, God is calling them to work in His vineyard. He reminded his parishioners that, “teaching CCD is their response to God’s call and at the same time an opportunity to teach and to share their faith.”
Finally, the diocese reminds everyone who has not yet registered for CCD to do so in their respective parishes.