• Catechists are dedicated individuals who are willing to share their faith with children ages Kindergarten through 8th grade.

    Catechists meet weekly with their assigned class on either Sundays or Tuesdays.  There are 20 sessions of Mass & Class per year.

    Training and online formation is required and provided by the parish and the Archdiocese.

    Additionally, ALL catechists MUST be VIRTUS trained.

    If interested in becoming a catechist  or a catechist aide for the Religious Education Program please contact

    Elizabeth Kos at 708-447-6812 or red@stmaryriverside.org 

     

Mr. Bert Austin

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Mr. Bert Austin

Bert is a retired engineer, interested in sharing his knowledge and experience in Catholicism with the youth of our parish. He and his wife, Berni, have been blessed with ten children. His youngest son is profoundly deaf. In addition to work-related professional organizations Bert has been active in the Boy Scouts, Little League, St. Mary Parish and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

 Sandy Briolat

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Sandy Briolat

Sandy Briolat a former high school chemistry teacher and has three children who have gone through Religious Ed.  She recently completed the RCIA program. Sandy has volunteered at St. Mary's for about 10 years, and just started teaching with Mrs. Barb and the 8th grade confirmation candidates. She loves the passion that Barb and Father Tom bring to the program and their desire to make the REd students feel included in the parish.

Mrs. Jill Dourlet

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Mrs. Jill Dourlet

Jill Dourlet substitute teaches the Children’s Liturgy of the Word during Sunday’s 10 am family mass. She brings classroom experience as a technology trainer and instructional designer. 

She desires to share the journey of faith along with her own young children, which she hopes will deepen their relationship with Jesus.

Jill strives to mentor children in a life of prayer by offering encouragement and bringing joy and enthusiasm through her teaching of God’s Word.

Mrs. Melissa Halusek

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Mrs. Melissa Halusek

Melissa Halusek is a lifelong resident of Riverside and has been a parishioner at St. Mary since her baptism.  She has always believed in the importance of giving back to the church community. When Melissa was in high school, she was a catechist assistant and is now in her fourth year of teaching Religious Education at St. Mary.  She has taught second grade at Pleasantdale Elementary School in Burr Ridge for 18 years and has a Master's Degree in Teaching and Leadership. This year, Melissa is enjoying teaching her daughter Addie and other fourth-graders as a REd catechist on Tuesdays.

Mrs. Elizabeth Kos

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Mrs. Elizabeth Kos

Elizabeth Kos has been a member of St. Mary's Parish her whole life!  She began as a first grade catechist in 2013 and has been teaching second grade on Sunday mornings since.  Elizabeth currently works for the Servants of Mary and is pursuing her Masters in Catholic Theology and Education.  When not worshiping and volunteering at St. Mary's, Elizabeth, along with her husband Craig, can be found driving their two sons around to various sporting events and activities.  Her words to live by are: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is Love (adapted from Paul's First letter to the Corinthians, 13:13).

 Nancy Mangiantini

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Nancy Mangiantini

Nancy Mangiantini, a retired public school teacher with over 25 years experience, teaches first grade REd in Room 5 on Sunday mornings. Her grandchildren's involvement in St. Mary's School and St. Mary's REd inspired her to volunteer. Of course her favorite Bible stories are the stories of Noah, Daniel and Hannah (Hana) since her grandchildren are named after these Biblical spiritual leaders. She lives by this quote of Pope Francis, ”We need to see each child as a gift to be welcomed. cherished and protected."

Mr. Simon Mireles

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Mr. Simon Mireles

Simon Mireles has been a member of St. Mary Parish since 2012 after joining as choir member and cantor. There was a need for a 6th grade catechist during that year, and he has filled the role ever since. Simon brings classroom experience from his time as technology teacher at St. Ferdinand and religion studies at Notre Dame High School for Girls. Simon hopes to impart to students the loving care God brings to all as expressed in Psalm 34: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me.”

Mr. John Showel

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Mr. John Showel

John Showel and his family have been members of St Mary parish since they moved to Riverside in December 2003. His older 3 children have all been  Religious Ed astudents and confirmed at St Mary; the youngest 2 will be confirmed this spring, God willing. Seven years ago, retired DRE, Barbara Outly talked John into teaching an occasional class, when he had time. He has taught 6th grade most years since then. John volunteers as a Catechist because as each 6th grade class learns about the Bible, expecially the Old Testament, he likes to learn and discover more.

Mrs. Missy Strobel

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Mrs. Missy Strobel

Missy Strobel and her family have been members at St. Mary's since they moved to Riverside 8 years ago.  She soon realized how difficult it could be to get 4 small kids to church each week, so she started teaching Children's Liturgy of the Word in hopes of getting her kids more involved in church.  Four years later, the program has grown greatly, and so has her love of the children at St. Mary's.  Missy also teaches REd for 3rd graders, and serves on the Parish Council.

Mr. Trey Van Dyke

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Mr. Trey Van Dyke

Trey VanDyke has been a member of the St. Mary faith community for over 50 years (28 of them with his wife Jeanne). He has served as a lector, Eucharistic minister, Parish Pastoral Council member, small group faith formation facilitator, Deanery Council member, and Archdiocese Pastoral Council member. Trey’s day job is teach people to play golf as a member of the PGA of America. He uses those same coaching skills with his 7th Grade REd students to help coach them to be Holy!