KALAMAZOO – Bright and early every Tuesday morning, something exciting is happening at St. Monica Catholic School.
Parents take off their heavy winter coats, pull up chairs beside their children, and share the word of God in a loving and learned way.
It’s all part of St. Monica’s Bible Study and Parent-Student Catechism, a program for students in Grades 4 through 7 who are now in their third year.
Classes are taught by the Pastor of St. Monica, Reverend Larry Farrell and Deacon Kurt Lucas and are open to any parent who wishes to bring a Bible and join the discussion. Parents who have participated in the program say its rewards are overwhelming.
âStudying the Bible has become our special time together. As mother and son, we draw closer to God together, âsaid Annie Signorello, who attends regular Bible studies with her son, Dominic, a fourth grade student at St. Monica.
“I feel that my relationship with my child has grown spiritually stronger as we both continue to learn,” Signorello continues. âStudying the Bible has reminded me of how easy it is to walk in the ways of God. “
Through Bible study, Tammy Kokx said that she and her seventh grade son Christian “have made a spiritual bond.”
âWe shouldn’t expect more from our children than we expect from ourselves,â Kokx said. âStudying the Bible has allowed me to think more about my prayer life and what I can do to improve it on a daily basis. It also allowed me to reflect on my personal relationship with God and how I can strengthen it.
The Bible study was initiated by director Becky Reits, who was inspired by the text and study guide âGo and Make Disciplesâ published by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The guide encourages evangelistic efforts that will allow Catholics to renew their enthusiasm for their faith and to share it with others.
The biblical study of Saint Monica also coincides with the publication of the apostolic letter of Pope Benedict âVerbum Dominiâ (âThe Word of Godâ), in which he pleads for a renewed interest in the study of the Bible, especially among families.
In our busy lives, it is important, said the Pope, to create âtimes of silence to hear the word of the Lord and to meditate on it, so that through the action of the Holy Spirit it will remain in our hearts and speaks to us every day of our life.
Deacon Kurt Lucas said the purpose of this parent-student Bible study “is to get our parents to talk about faith.”
Lisa Cavanaugh, who shared Bible study with her sons Ronald, sixth, and Connor, fourth, said the experience gave her insight into “what my kids are learning in their religion classes. , and I like being able to be Outside of. “
Studying the Bible, she said, “really made me aware of the great environment my children are blessed to be a part of every day.”
Daniel Backman, who attends class with his fourth-grader daughter Lucy, said that “the classes have strengthened our awareness of the importance of regular Bible study.”
âThe experience of a Bible class – like this one – is one of the main reasons I send my kids to a Catholic school,â Backman said.
Jenny Niesen, assistant principal of St. Monica, attended with her son Jacob, a sixth grader, and said she “would recommend this experience to all … parents.”
Bible study meets from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. every Tuesday in the community building of the parish. The theme for each month is based on a chapter in Scott Hahn’s book, âSigns of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Rootsâ (Doubleday, $ 23). Topics included everything from âMassâ to âMental Prayerâ and âIntercession of Saintsâ.
Parents can read Hahn’s book in tandem with the class, but all they really need is a Bible and a willingness to learn. Parents who do not have children in Bible study are also welcome to attend, in order to grow in their knowledge of the Bible.