New DREs of the diocese plan to further educating students
By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
September 18, 2003
Several parish and cluster religious education programs are headed by new
leaders this year. They are looking to educate the students of the diocese about
their faith and church.
Shirley Kluver is the new DRE for St. Mary Church in Sac City. This is her
first experience as a DRE. There are approximately 120 students in her program.
"I work at the church a lot," said Kluver. "I think it will be
fun working with the kids. We have the best priest to work with that there
She would like to do some new things with the religious education program
this fall and throughout the year. During October she plans to do a Mass for the
children in kindergarten through fifth grade, when they can invite a grandparent
or special person to come to share a healing Mass with them.
The CCD students in the younger grades will also be sending cards to the
older people of the parish on their birthdays.
"Our program is so good in fact, the kids enjoy coming," said
Kluver. "Our turn-out is so great. I just want to keep the kids coming,
where they can have fun and still learn."
St. Mary's Church in Humboldt also welcomes a new DRE. Like Kluver, Melissa
Caquelin is a first time DRE. She oversees around 150 students in her program
grades first through twelfth. One challenge she foresees is finding volunteers.
She said her goal for the program is "to try to involve the students and
the community a little bit more." She would like to find catechists that
will help bring the parish community together. Caquelin wants to help each
student receive the same quality of religious education, whether they attend the
public school or the Catholic school.
Another challenge is getting the older kids involved more in their faith.
This year she will be starting a new program with her ninth through twelfth
graders where they will meet for an hour and a half every other week in a group
related setting. They will meet in the church together to start. Then they will
go to the gym to have their lesson and then into smaller groups.
"I think more of the age groups will get to build stronger faith and
relate to their age group around them," said Caquelin. "I am hoping
that we will have a good start this year. It makes me a stronger person knowing
that I can be here if anyone needs questions answered or if anything happens to
arise. They know that they can come to me, and I will be able to help them in
Fran Galles is a first time DRE at St. Mary's in Remsen. He has close to 175
students in his program at St. Mary's.
"I taught last year and my wife has been teaching for a few years, and
it looked like it was a challenge," said Galles. "I would like to
stress a little more on morals with our changing times. I think we are so busy
anymore that we don't seem to have time for God anymore. I would like to stress
a little bit more of its importance."
He plans to help the students understand more of the morals as well as other
areas such as dealing with death and different things that are taken for
granted. He would like to explain to them the beliefs of the church on topics
that they don't normally hear about such as suicide.
The Webster County Team Parishes have a new DRE, Sheryl Price, who is among
the first time crowd as well. Her program caters to about 300 students. She has
a teaching degree and early childhood special education and previously taught
"I guess I was just looking for something different and wanted to work
in a Christian atmosphere," said Price.
The team includes St. Joseph Church in Barnum, St. Matthew Church in Clare
and Sacred Heart Church, Holy Rosary Church and Corpus Christi in Fort Dodge.
"Involvement within the parish and the nurturing of my own faith and
wanting to be more involved in the faith," Price explained about what drew
her to become a DRE. "We are implementing the generations of faith program
and that is change for people."
Price would like to see more involvement between the Catholic school students
and the religious education students.
Ronald Rene is the new DRE and pastoral minister for the LeMars area program.
He was previously a DRE in the Wisconsin area in the Milwaukee Diocese and the
Diocese of Lansing, Mich. In his current program there are about 300 between
first and fifth grade, 175 in junior high and 150 in high school
"Where I am now, I have the opportunity to work with a cluster that is
developing and to build on the old with some new and exciting ideas and
teamwork," said Rene. "The importance of communicating what we are
doing and the importance of trying to get people more excited about their
Rene has goals for all ages such as offering catechist formation, offering
opportunities for adult formation including baptism preparation, RCIA and Bible
sharing, offering opportunities for youth ministry.
"In youth ministry, our challenge is that we want to offer youth
ministry for all the young people of our cluster to meet together," said
Rene. "I find it exciting and challenging to be a new DRE and pastoral
minister in the LeMars area cluster but also very rewarding. I think that with
the direction and guidance that we get from Bishop DiNardo and our diocesan
offices is a blessing to what we do in our parishes."