Working with Children & Youth

Safe Environment – Protecting God’s Children

All adults who have regular contact with children and youth in the parish are expected to participate in safe environment training, including attending one Protecting God’s Children abuse awareness session. While required for catechists and others working with children and youth, PARENTS AND OTHER INTERESTED ADULTS are invited and encouraged to participate in maintaining a safe environment at St Robert’s Church. Protecting God’s Children sessions are offered throughout the Diocese; a listing may be viewed at
Sessions will be offered at St Robert’s – 6:00 PM Wednesday, September 23, 2015, and 9:30 AM Thursday, September 24, 2015.

Contact: Teri Burns 616.676.9111 (Ext. 115)

 Catechists & Catechist Assistants

Catechists share their love for Jesus Christ with children and youth through the ministry of catechesis. Catechist Assistants help the catechists during the faith formation sessions. Experience heart-felt joy and loads of energy as you share the Good News of Jesus Christ with children and youth. We will provide you with training, resources, and childcare.

Contact for Early Childhood:  Karen Ottenweller 616.676.9111 (Ext 132)

Contact for Be My Disciples (Grades 1-5):  Jolana Peard 616.676.9111 (Ext 123)

Contact for Catholic Connections (Grades 6-8):  Christine McCarty 616.676.9111 (Ext. 124)

 Catechist Formation & Certification

Because catechesis is a significant ministry of the Church, the formation of catechists and catechist assistants is a priority. Therefore, catechists are required to engage in ongoing catechetical formation leading to Catechist Certification. The Diocese awards levels of certification – Basic, Advanced, Master – based on hours of training in three dimensions: Spirituality, Theology, Methodology. A variety of learning formats, including online courses, webinars, local seminars, and parish adult faith formation events, are available to customize your personal certification process.

Contact: Teri Burns 616.676.9111 (Ext. 115)
Special Needs Faith Buddies

Students with special physical and mental needs may be included in regular faith formation sessions or they may have personalized religious instruction, depending on their specific abilities and needs. Faith Buddies are persons who companion with children and youth with special needs to engage them in learning activities, prayer opportunities and social events.
Contact: Teri Burns 616.676.9111 (Ext. 115)