St. Joseph Church at 61 N. 23rd St, Battle Creek, MI 49015-1726 US - Educational Opportunities
Understanding our faith is key to our effectively practicing it. Education in the faith is important for all in our parish community, young and not-so-young. As part of our Plan, we have identified six areas that will help us keep focus on the importance we place on education.
Increase educational opportunities for our youth.
- We will develop a youth team to sharpen our focus on the education of our youth. The team will include the Director of Religious Education, the Clergy, Youth Directors, and appropriate school representatives.
- Given the importance we place on youth education, we will further develop a funding plan for our youth programs, particularly those with a strong educational component.
- We recognize that transportation is a key struggle for parents of youth who want to participate in our programs. To reduce those barriers, we will consider ways to provide transportation options for our youth, which may include the purchase of a parish vehicle for this and other uses.
Increase educational opportunities for adults.
- It is important to educate the parents of school kids to the necessity of practicing the faith. Parenting is a critical responsibility and a difficult task in this day and age. The parish can provide assistance to parents in this role. Parents are responsible for guiding their children in their faith journey and making core decisions in the best interest of the youth.
- We will offer specific educational opportunities for parents. A parish curriculum and annual educational plan will be developed that encompasses adult and youth education.
Increase sense of belonging and community.
- We believe we must increase the interaction between the parish and the schools to increase our Catholic identity. Traditionally, parishes were built around schools, and schools were built around parishes. This helped the vitality of both. Over time, the Catholic education identity has diminished such that some parishioners do not identify the school as their school. In fact, the Battle Creek Area Catholic Schools are OUR schools, even those who do not have children there.
- Catholic identity calls for parishioners taking ownership of the schools, helping the vitality of both. We will work to showcase the schools to the parishioners through communication and involvement of youth in everyday parish life.
- We will also increase and encourage parishioners’ prayerful support of our youth.
- We also recognize that parishioners are seeking more ways to socialize and interact with each other. This includes both faith-related activities and social activities. This is especially true of our youth and young adults. Some examples would be Saint Patrick’s Day events and other holiday gatherings.
Increase the favorable perception of Catholic Education.
- We must do more as a parish to advertise the success of our students, especially in the Catholic schools. BCACS students and the school system have much to celebrate. The school and parish relationship is one way to highlight our student successes. For example, it has been many years since we have had over 50 incoming freshmen in our high school. We had this in 2006/2007!
- We must showcase our BCACS schools more in our parish.
Open awareness of Catholic school opportunities for youth.
- We will work at helping the parishioners see that Catholic education is a part of the overall mission of the parish, not a separate entity.
- We will do this from the pulpit and by increasing the parishioner involvement in school activities.
- We must also do a better job at making people aware that any student may attend our schools, regardless of financial situation. There is a perception by some that sending children to Catholic schools is simply out of reach financially. As a parish, we will communicate proactively the various opportunities that may be available with regards to funding.
Provide opportunities to promote religious vocations.
- Clergy will become more involved with youth programs, and continue a strong presence in our schools.
- We will also encourage family support of religious vocations from within the family.
- We will also involve more seminarians in our parish activities.