Primary Educators League

Assisting parents in the eternal vigil of protecting the freedom and holiness of their families.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sr. Fran Donnelly takes on Primary Educators League

(This message was sent Thursday, March 23, 2006 to all Directors of Religious Ed, all parish main contacts and pastors).

Subject: To ALL PARISH MAIN CONTACTS from Sr. Fran Donnelly Re: VIRTUS

This message is being sent on behalf of Sr. Fran Donnelly, Director, Center for Ministry.

Dear Parish and School Leaders:

I would like to thank all of you for your timely return of the School/Parish Verification Forms related to the distribution of the Parent/Guardian Guide Materials. At this time, 66% of all parishes and schools have sent their forms in and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

It has come to my attention that there appears to be yet another round of inaccurate information that is making it very difficult for all of you to stay the course in your efforts to implement the Archdiocesan Protection of Children and Youth Curriculum. There are parent meetings being held around the Archdiocese sponsored by the "" group. While they may be well-intentioned, there are flaws and misinformation in their presentation. And unfortunately, parents are the ones who are confused by it all. That means, of course, that you are called upon to give answers to your parents when they call. We very much appreciate all that you are doing for the good of the whole. And please know that the education staff and my staff are here to support you in anyway that we can.

To my knowledge, the Archbishop remains firm in his approval of the recommended curriculum, as outlined at the February 10, 2006 Leadership Meeting, the February 16, 2006 issue of The Catholic Spirit, and as outlined on the Archdiocesan Website.

Those few parishes and schools who have or will receive approval to use other curricula are receiving Archbishop Flynn's permission to go outside of the approved and recommended curriculum. Archbishop Flynn has not added more choices to his recommended list! There is a difference!

I would like to remind all of you that Archbishop Flynn's expectation is that all school and parish religious education leaders and their pastors will view the materials first hand before making their decision to not use the recommended curriculum. It is not enough to have read or hear about the curricula from other sources. We have concerns that some may be just presuming it is OK to use other curriculum without having previewed the recommended ones and perhaps even without communicating with the Archbishop at all. I would strongly recommend that you have a conversation with your pastor, so that you and he have the same understanding.

The Catholic Education and Formation Ministries staff has made arrangements for the materials to be viewed at numerous times between now and the end of May. You may sign up for a viewing time at the Hayden Center by calling Sharon Fruetel at 651-291-4500. Because of space restrictions, we need you to call ahead for an appointment so that you do not have to wait to get into the Instructional Services Center. Those with appointments will be accommodated first. Also, note that we will make similar arrangements starting next month for parents who wish to view the materials. And remind your parents that before the programs are implemented in your school and parish that they will have an on-site opportunity to see the materials and to have their questions answered.

Thank you again for your support and help in fulfilling the intent of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. As we move forward with this initiative, it is clear to all of us that even without the Charter's mandate, it is absolutely what all of us in the adult world need to be doing to provide safe environments for our children. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but God bless you and keep you.

Sr. Fran Donnelly
Director, Center for Ministry


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