Pandemic Options

Like everything else in our world right now, we are struggling to provide a workable process for conducting PSR during the pandemic. The Archdiocese is encouraging us to conduct in-person programs if at all possible but they also realize that local circumstances may dictate otherwise. Now that the Mehlville district has opted to start school in the virtual world PSR is pushed in that direction as well. Here at SMMA we are offering our families 3 options hoping that the pandemic restrictions will be short lived and we can return to normal .


Option 1: In-person, at Church, Mondays, 6 – 7:15 pm

This option is our regular program . Students & catechists will wear masks. Procedures will be modified to accommodate distancing (SMMA School has reconfigured its classrooms). Most of our catechists have expressed a desire and willingness to hold in-person sessions and since we expect a reduced number of participants we should be able to make this work. More details will be given to those who opt for this one.


Option 2: At-home, church-directed, parent moderated

            This is our “default” option and it is basically what we did toward the end of last year when we were forced to shut down. In this model I modify the lessons of our program for parents to implement at home. Using this model all of our “remote” students will be in sync with the regular program when we are able to re-open completely. If our in-person classes (Option 1) are forced to close down then those folks automatically go into this model. We suggest and encourage (but not require) that our families dedicate the established PSR time frame for these lessons.

            In writing the plans I try to minimize (actually eliminate) parent prep time. Each of our classes has 3 components: Prayer piece, lectionary piece and curriculum piece. If you have more than one child, 2 (prayer and lectionary) of the 3 parts can be done together and then the 3rd part is unique for each grade level.

            A few people have expressed concern about too much “screen time” connected to remote classes. There will be an internet piece to each class but it will not be the majority of the session.


Option 3: Home-Schooled, text book directed, parent instructed

            When it comes to Catholic Religious Education a relatively standardized curriculum has been developed over the years that is very consistent from one publisher to the next. It is not as structured as a math or science class might be but each grade level addresses basically the same topics. The design and order of the lessons will not match up with our regular program but the overall objectives will. From a parent’s point of view, the chapters and activities of the book directs the order and scope of the lessons. Obviously, the parents are also able to tap any number of on-line resources that are available to supplement the lessons.

            We have always had a handful of families who have asked for assistance with home-schooling materials and this option just broadens that offering a little. I am leaning toward OSV’s (Our Sunday Visitor’s) Alive in Christ program for those who select this option.


Click on the link below to select your option. We traditionally begin the week after Labor Day so please make your selection by the end of August so I can get things set up. Thanks. —

Pandemic Option Selection