Religious Education for Children
Farewell remarks from Diane Lawrence-Moriarty.
Join us in welcoming our Religious Education Team for the 2021-2022 School Year
Tim Smyth will be our new Traditional Religious Education Coordinator
JaneAnne Campbell will be our new Sacrament Coordinator for
First Communion, Reconciliation and Confirmation
Peggy Swanson will oversee the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Program
Christi Walkup will continue as Religious Education Administrator
Tim Smyth. I have served as a catechist and member of the Ascension Knights of Columbus. I received a B.A. in Religious Studies from DePaul University, Chicago, and an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Dominican University, River Forest. Prior to working as Coordinator of Traditional Religious Education, I ran my own social business dedicated to providing transitional employment for at-risk youth and returning citizens. I reside in South Oak Park with my wife, Joanne, and my twin daughters, Maggie and Emily.
As catechists, I believe that our first responsibility is to help students establish a firm grounding in Catholic teaching. In our increasingly secular culture, we need to help our young people develop a clear understanding of how God is classically defined, the proper relationship between faith and science, and how the Catholic tradition approaches scripture. It is my hope that our students will also come to cherish the sacraments and take inspiration from the saints and Catholic culture, with particular emphasis on our rich history of social justice and the arts.
JaneAnne Campbell has been involved in parish ministry work for thirty years and will receive an MA in Liturgical Ministry from Catholic Theological Union in August. She has been a member of Ascension since 2008: she and her husband, Ray, sing in the choir; and their children, Richard and Lizzie, attended Religious Education and sacramental prep at Ascension. JaneAnne is excited to be joining the Ascension staff and looks forward to working with the First Communion and Confirmation programs.
Peggy (Margaret) Swanson. I have been a member of Ascension parish since 1980. My husband Eric and I have 5 children now married, and 18 living grandchildren, 10 of whom live in Oak Park. The other 8 are in nearby Oak Lawn and Crystal Lake. I retired as manager of Maze Library in 2007 to spend more time with my grandchildren who range in age from almost 2 years up to 19.
I trained as a level 1 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) catechist in 2012. The CGS program has enriched my faith life immeasurably! I also became a lector at Ascension a few years ago.
During the past pandemic year I joined a team of catechists to produce the monthly subscription box/bag we called “Gifts From God”. The work of creating this family faith project was challenging and rewarding. Diane Lawrence was the glue that held the project together and she will be greatly missed. We are very much in a transition year in Oak Park Catholic parishes. Part of this transition is creating a management quilt of the DRE’s responsibilities for the 2021-2022 school year. Diane asked me to consider filling the ministry of coordinating the CGS program at Ascension during this upcoming school year, and I accepted this new challenge.