As part of the Keeping the Faith (KTF) initiative launched by the Cleveland Diocese last January, Saint Joseph Parish (SJP) is now a member of the KTF: Parish Partners for Catholic Education, which is comprised of SJP, Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish (IHM), St. Eugene Parish, Holy Family Parish, and Our Lady of Victory Parish. This partnership works to strengthen all of our Catholic Education initiatives including our Parish School of Religion (PSR). After careful review, myself, along with Fr. James Singler, pastor of IHM, would like to introduce the 2023-24 Parish Partners for Catholic Education PSR program that:
- Is more dynamic and flexible to suit families busy schedules
- holds classes on Sundays from 11:15am - 12:30pm, 1-3 times a month from August to May
- provides additional resources and support for students and catechists
- has the Jones Hall building with dedicated rooms for PSR classes and activities
- has a parent lounge for relaxing, working, or learning more about your student’s curriculum
While still using the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies Curriculum, PSR will also incorporate more dynamic activities that are part of the Faith!Family!Fun! Series. As well, this partnership will keep the talents of our current catechists and the expertise of Pastoral Associate Jessica Plaspohl and Hospitality & Ministry Leader Carrie DePasquale.
Jessica has led the faith formation team at St. Joseph Parish for five years. She previously was the director of faith formation at St. Matthew Parish in Akron, OH for 7 years and prior to that position was a religion teacher at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills, OH for 3 years. Jessica holds a master’s in theology with a concentration in Catholic Bioethics/Moral Theology and a bachelor’s in religious studies. She is a graduate of Archbishop Hoban High School and is a member of the board of directors for the Midwest Holy Cross Associates.
Carrie has a dynamic background in Catholic Education having been both a teacher and principal for Catholic elementary schools for over 20 years. She holds a master’s in education and a bachelor’s in English. Carrie is also an Advanced Catechist and a certified QPR Gatekeeper.
Another plus for the program is that Parish Partners for Catholic Education is in a building with rooms dedicated and only used for PSR classes and events. The building is Jones Hall located on the St. Joseph campus at the corner of Broad Boulevard and 2nd Street. The building includes six classrooms, three ministry rooms, a parent lounge, and a gym. The parent lounge includes sofas, chairs, worktables, beverages, snacks, and wifi. The parent lounge is designed to give parents a place to relax or work, or to socialize with other parents while students attend their classes.
The Parish Partners for Catholic Education PSR program provides many benefits to families as well as to all parishes. Registration begins August 1. Please visit saintjoe.org/education to join our mailing list and receive the PSR registration materials when they are available. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jessica Plaspohl at [email protected] or Carrie DePasquale at [email protected] or call 330-928-2173.
We are blessed to have a new addition to our faith formation program for preschool and kindergarten children ages 3 - 6. Beginning in August, St. Joseph will be a site for Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS).
CGS is rooted in Sacred Scripture and the Liturgy. Children grow in their relationship with God through developmentally appropriate experiences and hands-on materials to fully explore and investigate Catholic traditions. Computers, devices, and other technology are removed to create a more organic environment that teaches children the importance of allowing God to be at the center of all they do to bring calm that allows focus on completing a “work” or task successfully through utilizing the gifts God has granted them. These “works” include everything from praying to woodworking to gardening to artwork.
Dorothy Simonis and Tiffany Reed will be our lead instructors. Dorothy is a retired music therapist and early childhood teacher. She is currently a secular Franciscan who has co-led CGS for ages 3-6 since 2010. Just this summer she has also began training for CGS for ages 6-9. Tiffany is an Air Force veteran who lives in Hudson with her rescue Pitbull and senior cat. Tiffany is a member of St. Mary Parish and has been co-leading CGS formation for ages 3-6 since 2015. To learn more about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, visit cgsusa.org.
CGS for ages 3-6 will take place on Sundays at 11:15am beginning August 20. It takes place at the same time as PSR. Space is limited to16 students, so please visit saintjoe.org/psr to register. Contact Jessica Plaspohl ([email protected]) or Carrie DePasquale ([email protected]) with questions.