Religious Education Program

Mission Statement:

St. Bernard Parish seeks to provide children and their families with the knowledge, experience and skills necessary to become faithful and fruitful disciples of Jesus Christ. In keeping with their age, they will assume responsibility as vital members of our Parish family. They will be able to participate in the Church’s mission to proclaim, celebrate and serve the Kingdom of God here on earth.

If there are any questions regarding the Parish School of Religion, please call Matt Nowicki at 941.730.2995.



Welcome to the first installment in the series: “What we Believe.” Over the next

several weeks this bulletin space will contain a short teaching on what the Church

Believes and Teaches. The intent of these short lessons is to help form us into a

Catholic Community that will strengthen our faith and help us articulate our


Last August, the Pew Research Foundation released the results of a poll that

asked “self-identified” Catholics what their belief was concerning the real

presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Fully, two-thirds of those Catholics

polled, denied the miracle of Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. These

Catholics claimed that the Eucharist is only a symbol to remind us of what Jesus

did at the Last Supper.

In reality, the Church continually teaches that although the “sensible” elements

(meaning appealing to the senses) of bread and wine, continue to exist after the

Consecration, the substance (i.e. the underlying reality) changes into the Body,

Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Risen Lord.

It was the results of this survey that prompted us to begin a discourse of what the

Church Believes and Teaches and to publish it in this public forum.

Next week we will begin our series with a study of the Holy Eucharist.

Our prayer is to assist us in understanding not what the Eucharist is, but rather,

Who the Eucharist is.

May the Holy Spirit be our guide as we begin this journey of faith together.