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  • Writer's pictureCMR Sister

Back2School: Q & A With Sr. Janine Vân

Students are back to Religious Education classes (aka Sunday school) in Catholic parishes throughout the country. We wanted to check in with our CMR sisters who work in parishes so we could join in the excitement for this upcoming school year!

Here is our interview with Sr. Janine Vân, CMR.

What do you enjoy about your ministry at Giáo xứ Đức Mẹ Hằng Cứu Giúp (Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish)? Where do you find God in your ministry?

I was trained to be an educator.  In my position as a DRE (Director of Religious Education), I am an administrator.  I miss being with the students. However I am privileged to support our catechists, to listen to parents' struggles as they guide their children, and to bring together different parish groups for our faith formation program activities. It is amazing to see how much LOVE embraces the children! Everyone's (students, volunteers, catechists, parents etc) selfless generosity is a constant reminder of God's own boundless love!

Any fun first day of school stories?

I help facilitate the PostCon (Post-Confirmation) program with seven other adults.  When we were doing our icebreaker games, two of the teens whispered to me:  "We have a present for you.  We bought it at Walmart."  By the end of the session, in the midst of introductions and games, I had forgotten what they had said.  As they were leaving and I was inviting them to come back the following week, the two boys each handed me an object:  a banana and half a cob of corn, uncooked.  I didn't know what to say so I said what is usually most appropriate:  "Thank you!"

Later that day, I found out that they had texted their Confirmation teacher a few days prior to ask for gift ideas.  The teacher said anything was good.  We couldn't figure out the meaning of the gifts except perhaps they didn't expect eight adults to be with them (instead of the usual two as in other classes) and that they didn't have enough gifts to go around. 

Who knows?  It is enough to be remembered...especially by teenage boys who don't have to come back to faith formation after they have been confirmed!

What do you look forward to this year?

I look forward to officially having Special Needs Faith Formation classes begin for the first time at DMHCG this October.  I am so excited to be working with the volunteers who will be teaching the new students and just to see the children smile and have a good time! 

Check out some Back2School photos below!

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