WHAT IS AN SRE CATECHIST?
SRE Catechists are members of St John the Evangelist Catholic community who volunteer to teach or assist Catholic SRE, also known as “scripture”, in government schools. SRE Catechists come from all walks of life but share the common mission of providing Catholic religious instruction for Catholic children. SRE Catechists are mums and dads, grandparents, retirees, professionals and students.
Where are our families?
HALF our Catholic children are in Public Schools.
You can make a massive difference in the lives of Catholic children and their families by committing to spend 30-minutes with a class each week for the school year. All training and teaching materials are provided – We will show you how to pray and explore the Good News about Jesus with Catholic Students as a Special Religious Education (SRE) Teacher or helper in the classroom. By choosing to support this mission, you will help form the faith of Catholic children and create connections between the local parish and their families. This is the mission of a lifetime and an opportunity not to be missed!
“The impact of the pandemic in 2020-21 has been profound for all of us. Each of us can tell stories of loss and pain – stories of disconnection from our communities of faith and loved ones, financial hardship, experiencing sickness or even the sting of death. Hidden amongst these stories are our children and young people, struggling to make sense of everything happening around them. Now, more than ever, they need hope and the reassurance of faith in a good God who sees our pain and weeps with us, knows our fears and sits beside us, and works in and through us as we struggle to make ourselves and this world into the Kingdom of God.
I am so grateful to the Catechists who deliver this message of hope to Catholic children and young people in state government schools each week. In this time of uncertainty, your commitment is certain and sure. I encourage all faithful women and men to consider becoming involved in this important work. Your efforts will undoubtedly live on into eternity.”
Most Rev Brian Mascord, Bishop of Wollongong
WHAT IS CATHOLIC SRE?
Catholic SRE is offered in over 140 government schools around the Diocese of Wollongong. Each lesson is approximately 30-minutes in length and is taught from an authorised curriculum, Christ Our Light and Life. This curriculum is provided to SRE Catechists and contains detailed lesson plans to make teaching in the class as simple as following the steps provided. A lesson usually contains 4 elements – Prayer, introduction, story and activity.
In our Parish, there are five government public schools (Bradbury Public School, Campbelltown Public School, Campbelltown East Public School, Campbelltown North Public School, and Leumeah Public School) as well as three state high schools (Bradbury High School, Campbelltown Performing Arts High School, and Leumeah High School).
HOW DO I BECOME AN SRE CATECHIST?
SRE Catechists are authorised and trained by their local parish priest and the CCD Wollongong Team. After obtaining a Working With Children Check and submitting a Teacher Engagement Form, signed by you and your parish priest, you will complete SRE Catechist Training (Level 1). This training is offered live in-person or can be completed online via a video course. After this, the parish will provide you with a teaching curriculum and you will be assigned a class to teach/help. Most new SRE Catechists begin in the ministry as a helper.
WHAT’S THE COMMITMENT?
SRE Catechists commit to the ministry on a yearly basis. This means committing to a class of Catholic children for one school year. This allows the students time to build a student-teacher relationship with the SRE Catechist and provides them with a sense of stability within their Catholic SRE lessons. Some SRE Catechists have been involved in the ministry for many years whilst others choose to volunteer for shorter periods of time (eg, a university student may be an SRE Catechist for a couple of years).
CHILD PROTECTION (PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS & SAFEGUARDING)
All SRE Catechists must have a verified Working With Children Check and complete compulsory SRE Catechist Training, which includes Child Protection and Classroom Management. Working With Children Checks are provided by Service NSW and are free for volunteers. The parish or the CCD Wollongong team can assist you in obtaining your check. Your participation in the ministry is subject to the approval of our Parish Priest and the CCD Wollongong Team.