Frequently Asked Questions (or questions we wish people had asked)
Q.Why do we have to pay for religion?
A. The parish spends $161,000 a year to offer a religious education program for children. The fees collected help to pay only some of the expenses. Since the fees don't cover the whole cost, the money from the weekly collection is used to make up the difference.
Q. Someone said that the children in our program have to put money in the collection every week in church.
A. "Someone" probably misunderstood what the children's envelopes are for. We encourage the children to do good deeds (even helping Mom and Dad counts!) and offering up the good deeds to God by writing (or drawing) the good deed on the envelope and dropping it in the collection basket on Sunday. It helps them to be involved. Of course if they had some money to donate, they could do that too. Sometimes they use the money to buy food for the poor and then bring the food to the church; or they put some coins in the bucket when we collect food at the family Mass. But it's all voluntary.
Q. Why is there a fee for the first year when there are no catechists being paid? Parents are doing the teaching.
A. Catechists are never paid any of the years. We are so grateful for the women and men who share their time and faith teaching our children in the others years of our program. Fees collected throughout the life of the program pay for the materials and program costs associated with the entire religious education program for children. The rest of the money for the program comes from money donated on Sundays in the weekly collection.
Q. I don't have a child in the program. Can I make a donation to help pay for a family who is struggling financially?
A. Of course. Contact Sister Christine in Parish Social Ministry who works with families in need.
Q.My family is having a hard time financially. Will my child be turned away from the program if we can't pay?
A. We asked Sister Christine in our Parish Social Ministry program to answer this one:
"The reason we have Parish Social Ministry and the St Vincent de Paul Society is to help people in need. I've worked with many families over the years and helped them with things like Religious Education expenses as well as necessities such as food. We've offered things like financial counseling and other support. People in need are not made to feel embarrassed about seeking some assistance. We know that some families are living from paycheck to paycheck -- and some aren't even getting a paycheck at this time. So if you're having a tough time, we can help. Your child will not be turned away if there is a financial problem.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who brings in food to our pantry and who contributes to the support of Parish Outreach."
Q. I understand that in future years there is a discount for people who support the parish in the church collection. But I find using the contribution envelopes so inconvenient. Is there a way our family could support the church electronically like we do for most of our other expenses? This IS the 21st century after all.
A. Actually the most convenient way for many families to donate to the church is through Faith Direct. Families can choose how much they wish to give each year and then sign up for the electronic giving program. They can change the amount or stop and start the program anytime throughout the year. To begin online giving, go to Faith Direct by clicking here. However you give, know that we are grateful for your contribution and we do a lot of good with it.
Q. How does my support of the Religious Education Program compare with what I'll be facing in sports fees if I sign my child up for sports leagues in the Levittown community?
A. Religious Education -- eight months of guidance and support; twelve months of spirituality: $195 (We're open EVERY Sunday! Mass on Saturday nights too.)
• 7year old tackle travel(Nassau County) football (games on Sunday) $200 for a season (uniforms extra)
• Intramural Swimming $180 for five months
• Travel Swim Team $1600-$2000 a year
• Intramural Baseball $125-135 a season
• Travel Baseball $1500-$1800 a year
• Intramural Basketball $135 a season
• Children's Theatre Classes $300 each semester
So is Religious Education a "bargain"? No. But it's in line with other activities our children participate in.
Do you have a question? Use this handy form and someone will get back to you with a couple of days.