A Little Help?

This comment came from Nancy in Puerto Rico and she is looking for some help…I thought that y’all could pitch in with your thoughts/advice:

See full size imageHi, Joe! I always look forward to reading your e-mails – you are a blessing for all of us!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything you do!!!!

We just finished our classes at our Church and we already had our big end-of the- year meeting with our priest and DRE. Since we have a new priest at our Church, we are implementing new things. One of them is that we have a Board of Directors to help our DRE with all the monthly activities that we have for the students and for the parents, among many other things. I will be the treasurer and I was wondering what is the average cost of catechism classes at the Parochial Churches in the States? Parents at our Church make one payment when they come to register their child in August and it’s usually $20 – for the whole year! I want to do a small research prior to my first Board meeting next week – we are getting ready for next school year, too! – because we usually have to spend from our pockets to cover many of the expenses. Could you give me an idea on this matter, please?

God bless you,
Puerto Rico

About Joe Paprocki 2737 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

15 Comments on A Little Help?

  1. We charge (approximately) the price of a textbook: $15 per student. But no family is asked to pay more than $50. We budget for the rest of our expenses.

    Interestingly, 3 parishes in our area merged into one parish 2 years ago. Before the merger, PSR fees were all over the board: $6, $15, and $30 per student. I guess it really depends on the parish, the expenses, and the budget.

  2. My parish currently the rates are $75 per child. Additional cost for the Confirmation overnight retreat. Catechists are give a free pass.

    in the past we have offered discounts for multiple children families, or higher costs for sacrament classes. Our finance committee set the current rate, not the DRE, and is basically making sure the program pays for itself. The good part is we don’t have to do any additional fund-raisers.

  3. Hi Joe and Nancy

    I want to thank you too, Joe for this enriching catechist site. My catechists
    love your stuff and I love how you connect us all together. I am looking
    forward to your presentation in the Seattle area next month.
    As for Nancy’s request, we are a large parish in tacoma, WA and we ask for
    a $50 suggested donation for a family with one child and $65 for 2 or more
    children. Hope this helps you with your board meeting.

  4. In our mid-sized, midwestern parish we charge by the family $50 for pre-registration (before the end of the previous school year) and $60 for registration (over the summer). The pre-registration discount really gets a lot of people to commit early and it helps with our planning. We also charge a $10/child fee for sacrament prep classes because we do order extra books & plan additional activities for them. Certainly, no child is ever turned away because the family cannot afford the fees.

  5. Hi!
    Our parish charges $85.00 for Elementary Formation (grades K-5), $100.00 for Middle School Formation (grades 6, 7, and 8) and High School Formation (grades 9 and 10), and $150.00 for Confirmation (usually 11th grade). Other than for Confirmation, additional sacramental fees are charged. (Families with multiple children do receive tuition discounts. We also forgive fees or discount fees for families in need of financial assistance.) I am finishing my eighth year here and the fees were set before my time. Each year I have advised maintaining the same fee schedule. The fees are used to purchase textbooks, supplies, and other materials for the children. In our area (a suburb of Milwaukee, WI) fees vary considerably.

    My suggestion would be to do a comprehensive survey of the surrounding parishes to see what the going rate in your area is.

    May God bless all of your new beginnings!

    PS: We have just begun discussion about setting the elmination of sacramental fees as a goal. Hopefully, we can eventually move to the elimination of all formation fees.

  6. Interesting responses – even in the deep rural and less-affluent parishes in our diocese (Illinois, outside of Chicago) , the fees begin at $100 for the first child… but this is for 9 months of weekly classes. The range in our diocese is from$100 to $150 in the poorer areas to $350 in the more affluent suburban parishes.

  7. In our parish, we charge $80 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. Catechists’ kids go for free, you can deduct $10 if you register the May before classes begin and no family is ever turned away because they can’t afford it.

    We are in Eastern Massachusetts, so cost up here differ from other areas. I agree with Rosalie that you should check with surrounding parishes or your cluster if your diocese is set up that way.

    • >Catechists kids go for free, you can deduct $10 if you register the May before classes begin and no family is ever turned away because they can t afford it.

      Those are wonderful ideas!!!! 🙂

  8. $20.00 is pretty low, but if your people are poor it is good. There are a lot of things on the internet that can supplement your work. Also, most publishers of religion books have website that provide many good things. God bless.

  9. Our parish in the midwest charges $20 per student with a $50 maximum per family. This fee was set before I began at the parish.

  10. I’m in the Boston area. We try to set our registration fee based on costs. I believe Theresa talked about setting it according to the price of the textbook. We do that too but also charge a little more to help cover other things. There are no extra fees for sacramental programs. We charge $60 for one child, $100 for two and then $130 for three or more. This of course does nothing to cover the salary of the DRE. Compared to sports fees in our area, this is a bargain. My advice is to be sensitive to what the people in your area can afford to pay, look at your expenses and then come up with something reasonable.

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