Celebration Day for Young Teachers of the Faith

By Jordan Grantham, October 2016
Bishop Vincent with Bede Polding College, Windsor students. Image: Jordan Grantham/Diocese of Parramatta

Secondary students who volunteer as Special Religious Educators (SREs) in state primary schools gathered at Bede Polding College, South Windsor for a day of fun, faith and formation to celebrate their contribution to faith education on 19 October 2016.

80 students from five schools attended the first celebration day to receive inspiration and encouragement. In the workshops, students learned from common experiences and shared their growth over the course of the program. Many reported increased confidence and expressed what an honour it had been to support the primary school students.

The day was a collaboration of the Confraternity for Christian Doctrine (CCD), Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta and Catholic Youth Parramatta. It combined presentations and group workshops.

Bishop Vincent congratulated the gathered students and commented on the uniqueness of the program, which was the first of its kind in Australia. The program commenced fifteen years ago in Caroline Chisholm College, Glenmore Park and now has spread to 19 Colleges in the Diocese.

Bishop Vincent empathised with the courage of students to share and teach the Faith and encouraged them to persevere.

“We can only be a better person when we are prepared to launch into the deep,” Bishop Vincent said.

Cecilia Zammit, the Director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine said that “being involved in ‘Scripture’ lessons, the high school students reflect on their own faith and the younger students seem to engage easily with the older students.

The positive attitude of the SREs can help state school staff understand the benefit and purpose of religious education in schools.”

The story of the Good Shepherd is a favourite amongst small children and Bede Polding College, South Windsor was the perfect venue with their agricultural program and several sheep grazing on the site!

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