Welcome to the site of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for the Diocese of Parramatta.

The CCD supports the 47 parishes of the diocese by conducting training courses that accredit Catechists/Special Religious Education Teachers (SREs) who teach in state schools. There are currently 700 wonderful volunteer Catechists/SREs representing their parishes in around 200 state schools across the diocese. Currently there are 350 students from Catholic Colleges in the Parramatta Diocese who assists as SREs in the classroom.

These classes provide the opportunity for the seeds of faith to be sown and then nourished by parents, parish life and future Catechists/SREs.

If you are a Catechist/SRE, this site is designed to provide you with the support and resources you require in carrying out your invaluable work in helping children understand Jesus’ message of ‘Love one another as I have loved you’.

If you are considering becoming a Catechist/SRE, or simply want to know more about the work of the CCD, I hope this site is useful to you in gaining an insight into this important ministry of taking the Good News into our schools.

Our Role

The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) is a worldwide organisation designed to further the religious education of children. It was established in Rome in 1552 by Pope Pius IV and throughout the world by Pope Pius X in 1905. In 1958, Cardinal Gilroy linked the many organisations conducting catechetical work within a central diocesan Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in the Archdiocese of Sydney. Following the establishment of the Diocese of Parramatta, a Diocesan CCD was established by the then-Bishop of Parramatta, Bishop Bede Heather, on 15 June 1987. The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine exists for the religious education and faith formation of Catholic students in Government and Special Schools through the training and support of Catechists/SREs. The CCD is accountable to the Bishop of the Diocese of Parramatta.

Aims & Objectives

The CCD of the Diocese of Parramatta is a service ministry to parishes. It undertakes to provide service and support to parishes by:
• Providing Parish Co-ordinators and Teams with appropriate leadership and management skills
• Conducting accreditation courses, inservice opportunities, personal support and ongoing formation to Catechists/SREs
• Facilitating the development of skills in Religious Education, Theology, Co-ordination, Leadership, Training and Pastoral Care
Providing advice on the approved curricula and a communication network

Diocese of Parramatta CCD Advisory Board

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to provide advice to the Director on the following matters:
• Long-term and annual planning including the annual budget
• Provision of new services and deletion of existing services
• Evaluation of the effectiveness of the organisation
• Curricula

Chairperson: Fr Ian McGinnity – Parish Priest, North Rocks Parish
Very Rev Chris de Souza, EV Education & Formation Diocese of Parramatta
Rev Christopher Antwi-Boasiako, Administrator, Cranebrook Parish
Mrs Carmen Cassar – Mission, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
Mrs Coral Peters – State School Teacher and SRE Coordinator
Mrs Julie Daly – Parish Coordinator of SRE, Lalor Park Parish
Mrs Cecilia Zammit – Director CCD Parramatta
Mrs Maree Collis – Minutes Secretary, CCD Office Manager

Useful Links

Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta
Official site of Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta

Archdiocese of Sydney CCD
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Archdiocese of Sydney

Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay CCD
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay

Catholic Diocese of Wollongong CCD
Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Catholic Diocese of Wollongong

Our Mission

The CCD consists of a united group who are mainly volunteers, dedicated and committed to Special Religious Education in State Schools.

We strive to ensure that Catholic students attending Primary, Secondary and Special Education State schools and their families have an opportunity to hear the Good News, to develop a relationship with God and to feel welcomed and valued members of the Church community.

We endeavour, by our living of gospel values, to nourish and support the faith development of the students and their families.

We will strive to help the children we teach to know and understand Jesus’ message of ‘Love one another as I have loved you’.

We accept the responsibility of continually calling each other to ongoing formation and commitment to mission.

We value the opportunity to work alongside other denominational groups in common commitment to students in State schools.


Our Catechists/SREs come from all walks of life for example parents, grandparents, self employed people, retirees, university students and senior secondary students.
If you are a Catechists/SREs with the Diocese of Parramatta and require teaching resources we’re here to help!

Become a Catechist Today

Thank you for your expression of interest in helping to share the joy and hope that Jesus brings to many.

At the Mass for Catechist Jubilee, Pope Francis said ,‘God is proclaimed through the encounter between persons, with care for their history and their journey….His message is passed on through simple authentic testimony, by listening and welcoming, with joy which radiates outward.”

Your role as a Catechist

In making this commitment and to be an effective volunteer catechist, we would like you to:

  • Be a living witness of Christ and a witness of God’s love.
  • Faithfully hand on the teachings of Christ as taught by the Catholic Church.
  • Adapt to the needs of students.
  • Exercise due care for the safety and good behaviour of students in your care.
  • Have a current Work with Children Check Card (WWCC), aware of and accept guidelines of Child Protection legislation and any other relevant legislative provision.
  • Cooperate willingly with the parish priest in fulfilling your duties for catechesis.
  • Attend accreditation workshops and training opportunities in classroom management and child safeguarding.
  • Use the authorised curriculum programs.
  • Be available for a minimum 30 minutes each week during school terms for SRE lessons;
How YOU will benefit as a Catechist

The rewards of being a catechist are quite significant and include:

  • Receiving quality training and professional development.
  • Having the opportunity to deepen your own faith.
  • Contributing to the development of your own parish.
  • Sharing the Catholic faith with others.
  • Meeting new friends.

Sounds like a commitment you are prepared to make? Please complete the details below:

Become a Catechist (Expression of Interest)

Thank you for showing an interest in the work of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. Please complete this form to register your expression of interest. Your local Parish Coordinator will be in contact soon.

What is SRE?

Special Religious Education (SRE) is the time set aside in Government Schools for Catechists (also called Scripture Teachers) from the local Catholic Church to teach Catholic children about Jesus and his message of salvation. SRE is mandated by the Education Act (1990) and gives parents the choice to have children formed in the faith of their family.

Why is SRE Taught?

The Catholic Church sees the education of Catholic children in the Faith as integral and key to its mission. The NSW Department of Education (DOE) describes SRE “as an integral part of school activities.” SRE can be seen then, as part of “a well-rounded education that values and supports the intellectual, creative, physical, social and emotional development of each child.”

Who are Catechists?

SRE teachers (Catechists) are volunteers who are approved, authorised, and trained by the local parish and Dioceses of the Catholic Church. SRE can only be provided by a religious group approved by the Department of Education. The Catholic Church is an approved provider and the curriculum outlines are publicly available.

What is Taught?

Catholic SRE teaching programs are approved by the Bishop of the Diocese in liaison with educational experts, for use by Scripture Teachers. Programs contain suitable lessons for children from Kindergarten to Year 6 and there are a variety of programs for Secondary Schools students as well. For more information about the program used in your child’s school, please see your local Parish SRE Coordinator or your Parish Priest.

How can your child attend SRE?

Catholic children are always welcome to attend Catholic SRE classes at their school. Usually parents would nominate what religious denomination they wish their child to attend when completing the school enrolment form. Parents also have the right to change the SRE class their child attends at any time or even withdraw them from SRE. This can be done by notifying the principal of your child’s school.

Some great benefits of SRE schooling
A Positive Message

We begin with the understanding that we were created by a loving God who calls us to fullness of life. In a culture which often focuses on the negative aspects of life, Catholic SRE is a breath of fresh air, where students are encouraged to see themselves as God sees them – inherently good, full of potential and capable of being a force for good in our world.

The Morals and Values of Jesus

Encouraging children and young people to develop a relationship with Jesus is a key part of Catholic SRE. The curriculums used by Catholic SRE teachers aim to help children and young people make moral choices that are life-giving for themselves and others. Through the exploration of the teachings of Jesus and the stories in the Christian Scriptures, and by encouraging students to pray, Catholic SRE aims to provide children and young people with a framework to help them make choices that recognise the value and importance of our relationship with God, others and our world.

A Pathway for Catholic Sacraments

Children attending Catholic SRE classes receive lessons that give them background preparation for the Sacraments that may be available to their age group. Catholic SRE teachers liaise with the local Catholic Parishes to ensure that students and their families are aware of the Sacramental programs being offered locally.

For More Information

Do you have any questions about Catholic SRE and how lessons are organised in your child’s school? Or perhaps you would like to meet or speak to a Catholic SRE teacher? Please do not hesitate to contact your local Catholic SRE Coordinator or your local Church Parish office.

Orientation Booklets

Thank you for volunteering to teach Special Religious Education (SRE) in your Parish.

NSW government legislation provides various religious denominations with the opportunity to teach religious education to the students attending government schools.

Time is set aside in the school timetable for religious education classes to take place once a week. The time allocated can vary slightly between schools but for the majority of schools the lesson is half an hour.

‘Teaching SRE is an educational process aimed at helping the students learn about their particular faith.’ (Taken from “Teacher’s Pet” by Mark Hillis p 7 1995)

Part of the requirement of SRE is that volunteers receive training to develop skills and techniques in teaching children. This introduction today will prepare you to go into a classroom for the first time and lead you into the Accreditation Course that you will undertake later this year.

The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) is a worldwide organization designed to further the religious education of children. It began around 1556 and was promulgated to be established in every parish throughout the world by Pope Pius X in 1905. In Australia Cardinal Gilroy, in 1959, linked the many organizations doing catechetical works within a central archdiocese Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

Following the establishment of the Parramatta Diocese, a Diocesan CCD was established by Bishop Bede Heather on the 15 June, 1987. Its primary aim is to assist the bishop to undertake the religious education and faith formation of Catholic students attending NSW Government schools.

Download the Orientation Booklet for your needs below:

CCD Primary SRE Orientation Booklet
CCD Secondary SRE Orientation Booklet
CCD Student SRE Orientation Booklet
The Bishop of Parramatta has authorised ‘Christ our Light and Life’ as the approved primary curriculum to be taught across the diocese.
Resources available from CCD Sydney on 02 9390 5122 inlclude:

  • ‘Christ our Light and Life’ Teaching Manuals and Student Activity Books
  • ‘To Know Worship and Love’ student text books
  • The Big Books series attached to the Kindergarten to Year Two program
    Visit CCD Sydney
Resources available from the CCD Parramatta Diocesan Office

The CCD Office in Parramatta has a growing number of resources which are available to be borrowed for a two week loan basis. These include the Big Books that support the ‘Christ our Light and Life’ curriculum, posters and a great range of music for use in the classroom. Please contact Maree Collis at the CCD Parramatta Office on 02 9890 4731 to arrange a time to call in and see the range of resources which will support you in the classroom and in your personal faith journey.

Resources available for borrowing from the CCD include:

  • DVDs/Videos
  • CDs
  • Books
  • Posters/Overhead
  • Classroom Ideas

Click here for a full list of the resources available through the CCD.

Resources available at your Parish Level

All parishes receive support materials for the ‘Christ our Light and Life’ program. These resources have been developed by Br Julian Quinlan mfs and cover lessons from Kindergarten to Year 6.

 The Catholic school in your parish is a major source of resources. Approaches have been made to all our Catholic Schools asking for their support for the work of SRE teachers in the State Schools. Please ask your Parish Co-ordinator for details of borrowing arrangements. Each parish holds a copy of the resource ‘Assemblies for Christmas, Easter and Education’.

Looking for a little help in teaching the Good News in the classroom? Maybe our ‘Top tips for teachers list’ can be of assistance! This list is updated regularly, so please check back here from time to time when you’re seeking inspiration.

If you have a specific question which you need with, please feel free to email the CCD.

Four teaching points to help you have a successful lesson:
  1. Planning is the key to good lessons; make your lessons interesting by making them visual. Use pictures and storybooks this keep the children’s attention.
  2. Use a quick craft activity to show the aim of the lesson, children enjoy the activity and can take something home to remember the aim of the lesson.
  3. A quick way of finding out what your class thinks is to have a class vote. Ask the children to raise their hands. Choosing activities helps the children to feel involved.
  4. When you need to use a loud voice to be heard, be sure to lower it again as soon as you have the class attention. Being firm and in control helps keep the children on track.
Information for parishes when recruiting for Catechists/SREs

The following ‘2018 Recrutment Package’ is available as a resource for parishes to download:

2018 Recrutment Package


“Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation.”
Mark 16:15

The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) for the Diocese of Parramatta supports parishes by conducting training courses that accredit Catechists/SREs – to teach in state schools.

The Level One Training Course is designed for newly appointed Catechists/SREs and Assistants who are required to complete the training course during their first year of teaching. The course also caters for Catechists/SREs and Assistants who are currently teaching but haven’t attended a training course for more than five years. Providing you with an introduction to the ministry being undertaken in the state schools, this course prepares Catechists/SREs and Assistants with:

  • Basic teaching skills
  • Insight into how children learn
  • An introduction to the Bible
  • An understanding of the context of the legislation under which the CCD operates in state schools
  • Spiritual nourishment

This course is 28 hours in duration run over 14 sessions and is offered in three formats:

  • A seven-day course over seven weeks (9.30am-2.30pm, two sessions a day)
  • An evening course over 14 weeks (7pm-9.15pm, one session a night)
  • An Reconnection day/evening is held approximately 4 weeks after session 14. This session is used to revisit and consolidate the learning’s of the course.

Details of Level One training courses can be obtained from the co-ordinator in your local parish. To receive your Level One Certificate, all sessions must be completed. Any missed sessions can be made up at other Level One courses across the year at various venues where they are offered. Another component of the Level One Training course is to complete a Lesson Observation Response. In this response, you will be asked to observe a suitably qualified Catechist/SRE in their classroom and to complete a questionnaire on what they see as best teaching practice. In Session 14, a DVD – the ‘LOT’ – is shown to assist you in carrying out this response.

In most cases, the Level 1 certificate is presented at a Regional Mass.

Click here for an outline of the Level One Training Course.
Click here for the CCD Training Course Enrolment Form.

CCD Training Course Dates & Venues 2018– Level 1

Richmond Parish Meeting Room – Fridays – 9.30 am to 2.30 pm
February – 23
March – 2, 9, 16, 23
April – 6 & 13
May – 25

Greystanes Parish Meeting Room – Fridays – 9.30am to 2.30pm
May – 25
June – 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29
July – 6
August – 17

North Parramatta Parish Hall – Mondays – 9.30am to 2.30pm
Sept – 3, 10, 17 & 24
Oct – 15, 22 & 29
Nov – 26

The Level Two Training Course is designed for Catechists/SREs who have completed Level One and are:

  • Currently teaching a class
  • Presently helping in a classroom
  • Regularly relief-teaching in a classroom

Building upon the work undertaken in Level One, the Level Two Training Course provides opportunities for the further formation of a Catechist/SRE, through topics that include:

  • Faith Development of Students
  • Sacraments of Initiation
  • Further Scriptural studies
  • Classroom Management
  • The Beatitudes
  • An update on Diocesan Child Protection

To receive your Level 2 certificate, you will need to attend all sessions of the course. In addition all participants are also required to prepare and self-evaluate a specific lesson.

In most cases, the Level 2 certificate is presented at a Regional Mass.

Click here for an outline of the Level Two Training Course.
Click here for the CCD Training Course Enrolment Form.

CCD Training Course Dates & Venues 2018– Level 2

IFM Blacktown – Wednesday Evenings – 7pm to 9.15pm
Feb – 28
March – 7, 14 & 21
April – 4 & 11
May – 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
June – 13, 20 & 27
August – 22

Emu Plains Parish Hall – Mondays – 9.30am to 2.30pm
July – 30
August – 6, 13, 20 & 27
September – 3 & 10
November – 5

The Level Three Training Course is for Catechists/SREs who have completed Levels One and Two and who are currently teaching a class.

Based at the Diocese of Parramatta’s Institute for Mission at Blacktown, the Level Three Course centres on an individual Catechist’s/SREs faith journey.

This course marks the completion of the Special Religious Education Accreditation Courses. Importantly, it also opens up new dimensions of further study from the Institute for Mission courses, as well as courses in Broken Bay and Sydney.

This course runs for about 10 weeks of four-hour duration during the day.

At the completion of the full Accreditation Course (Levels 1-3) the Catechist/SRE teacher receives their Graduation Certificate at the Annual Special Religious Education Diocesan Mass and awards Ceremony.

SREs are encouraged to further their faith development with courses offered through Institute for Mission (IFM) & at the various institutes across Sydney.

Click here for an outline of the Level Three Training Course.
Click here for the CCD Training Course Enrolment Form.

CCD Training Course Dates & Venues 2018– Level 3

IFM Blacktown – Fridays – 10am to 2pm
March – 9, 16 & 23
April – 6 & 13
May – 4, 11, 18 & 25 
June – 1

At various times throughout the year, inservices may be offered in such fields as:

  • Child Protection updates
  • Smartboard Inservices
  • Visual and Creative Arts particularly associated with Easter and Christmas
  • Inservices on the program ‘Christ our Light and Life’

A series of Reflection Days are also offered across the diocese during the year.

Please speak to your local Parish Coordinator, who will have the information on hand about what is being offered around the Diocese of Parramatta or in dioceses nearby.


A team of Regional Co-ordinators provides support to Parish Co-ordinators and Parish Teams to assist them in their ministry.

There are six CCD Regions within the Diocese of Parramatta. Please visit the Regions below for an in-depth look into the work of the CCD in your local area. Please feel free to approach your local Parish Co-ordinator/Team or parish priest if you have any questions about teaching Special Religious Education in your parish.

Blacktown Region Co-ordinator Connie Cassar

Blacktown Region Co-ordinator
Connie Cassar

Regional Coordinator’s Message

Welcome to Blacktown region,

There are seven parishes in the region – Blacktown, Doonside, Lalor Park, Marayong, Plumpton, Rooty Hill and Seven Hills. Within the parishes there are 31 state schools including a Special Needs School and there are more than 3,000 students enrolled in SRE classes.

“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

This quote, from Saint Teresa of Kolkata, often comes to mind as I work alongside such dedicated and passionate people. There are the 170 SRE volunteers in the Blacktown region and it is with great passion and love for the ministry, that they go out to the children in the state schools and teach the Good News about Jesus. I am thrilled to have increasing numbers of senior students from the Catholic Secondary schools join the SRE team teaching in local primary schools: Patrician Brothers’ College Blacktown, St Clare Catholic High Hassall Grove, St Agnes Catholic High Rooty Hill and Nagle College Blacktown.

There are secondary state schools where SRE is taught weekly; The Hills Sport High, and Rooty Hill High. Mitchell High and Blacktown Girls High have series of six seminars across the year for Year 7-11 students.

Across the diocese, CCD places importance on orientation and training sessions for new SREs. At these sessions held in parishes, the prospective SREs are given vital information about the ministry, training, code of conduct and the commitment that this ministry requires. Many of SRE teachers and helpers who attend the primary training courses have learnt creative ways of engaging students and have gained confidence and knowledge as SREs. Reflective days and workshops are on offer across the diocese each year.

On school visits it is wonderful to see the SREs in the classroom use a variety of different resources and methods such as Smartboard, craft activities, music and drama. Having students act out the parables is a great way of bringing scripture alive in the classroom.

Recruiting for more SRE teachers is ongoing, so as to ensure all classes are covered. It is always inspiring to have the commitment of the long servicing SRE teachers, the secondary student SREs and the university student SREs who volunteer to do this great work each week.

Connie Cassar
Regional Co-ordinator of the Blacktown Region
for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD)

Blacktown Schools

Teaching days across the Blacktown Region are Tuesdays to Thursdays. Times vary across the parishes. Please see below for a full list of schools within our region.

* Currently not attended

St Patrick’s Parish Blacktown

  • Blacktown South Public School
  • Blacktown North Public School
  • Blacktown West Public School
  • Blacktown Girls High School
  • Walters Road Public School
  • Shelly Public School
  • Mitchell High School
  • Evans High School*
  • St John Vianney Parish, Doonside
  • Doonside Public School
  • Crawford Public School
  • Doonside Tech High School

St Andrew the Apostle Parish, Marayong

  • Marayong Public School
  • Marayong Heights Public School
  • Marayong South Public School
  • Quakers Hill Public School
The Good Shepherd Parish, Plumpton

  • Plumpton Public School
  • Glendenning Public School
  • William Dean Public School
  • Hassall Grove Public School
  • Hebersham Public School
  • Plumpton High School*

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Seven Hills

  • Bert Oldfield Public School
  • Seven Hills Public School
  • Seven Hills North Public School
  • Vardys Road Public School
  • William Rose Special School
St Bernadette’s Parish, Lalor Park

  • Lalor Park Public School
  • Lynwood Park Public School
  • Seven Hills West Public School
  • Seven Hills High School*
  • Kings Langley Public School

St Aidan’s Parish, Rooty Hill

  • Rooty Hill Public School
  • Eastern Creek Public School
  • Rooty Hill High School
  • Rooty Hill High School*
Blue Mountains Region Co-ordinator Melissa Macdonald

Blue Mountains Region Co-ordinator Melissa Macdonald

Regional Coordinator Message

Welcome to the Blue Mountains region.

This region is made up of six parishes: Emu Plains, Glenbrook, Springwood, Lawson, Katoomba and Blackheath. Within these parishes, a wonderful group of Catechists/SREs are spreading the Good News to the children in local state schools.

Our Lady of the Way (Emu Plains Parish) looks after three primary state schools and students from McCarthy College at Emu Plains assist. SRE teachers in the St Finbar’s (Glenbrook) have six state primary schools with the largest group of male SRE teachers in the region. At St Thomas Aquinas (Springwood), Catechists/SREs spread the Good News to four state primary schools and two high schools. This parish has the help of St Columba’s College, who organize the Easter and Christmas Services for the state schools. Our Lady of the Nativity (Lawson) has two primary state schools and at this time is looking for more SRE’s to join their ranks. Mary Mackillop Parish (Katoomba) has Catechists/SREs in four primary schools and one high school. Volunteers from Sacred Heart Parish (Blackheath) are spreading the Gospel message to children in three primary state schools.

Classes taught by our Catechists/SREs vary in size from three students to 30. They also vary in make-up, from all the same aged class to composite classes. The Megalong Valley Primary School has 15 children in total, Kindergarten to Year Six all taught by the one Catholic Catechist/SRE.

The Parish Co-ordinators meet once a term with the regional co-ordinator, sharing information, discussing any issues and enjoying one another’s company. They also hold parish meetings to pass on the information to their fellow SREs. This is a great way to keep in touch with what is happening in and around the region.

A regional newsletter – Spirit and Stars Over the Mountains – is published during the year, helping those who cannot attend meetings stay in touch with other Catechists/SREs. We are very blessed in the Mountains to have such a dedicated group of men and women sharing their faith with the children in our state schools every week. They are Jesus to all who come in contact with them. We, as their Regional Co-ordinators, would like to take this opportunity to thank them on behalf of the parish community they belong to and the parents of the children they reach out to and care for in their SRE classes.

Melissa Macdonald
Regional Co-ordinator of the Blue Mountains Region
for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD)

Blue Mountains Schools

Teaching days across the Blue Mountains region are Tuesday to Friday at various times during the day. Times vary across the parishes. Please see below for a full list of schools within our region.

* Currently not attended

Sacred Heart, Blackheath

  • Blackheath Public School
  • Megalong Public School
  • Mount Victoria Public School

St Finbar’s, Glenbrook

  • Blaxland High
  • Blaxland Public School
  • Blaxland East Public School
  • Glenbrook Public School
  • Lapstone Public School
  • Mt Riverview Public School
  • Warrimoo Public School
St Thomas Aquinas, Springwood

  • Springwood High
  • Winmalee High
  • Ellison Public School
  • Faulconbridge Public School
  • Springwood Public School
  • Winmalee Public School

Upper Blue Mountains

  • Katoomba High
  • Katoomba Public School
  • Katoomba North Public School
  • Wentworth Falls Public School
Our Lady of the Nativity, Lawson

  • Hazelbrook Public School
  • Lawson Public School
Hawkesbury Region Co-ordinator Carol Vella

Hawkesbury Region Co-ordinator
Carol Vella

Regional Coordinator’s Message

Welcome to the Hawkesbury Region.

One way to describe the work of the Catechists in the Hawkesbury Deanery is with the following quote from Jeremiah 17:8. 

“They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.”

The Hawkesbury River, a significant feature of the region, was the inspiration behind the choice of symbol and scripture for our catechists. The quote from Jeremiah reminds us to open our hearts to the many blessings the SRE Ministry contains. Just like the tree in the verse, the SREs continue to bear fruit in the Hawkesbury Region by sharing in the mission of Jesus in spreading the Good News of God’s love to the children who attend the state schools across the region.

The seven parishes that make up the region are Kellyville, Quakers Hill/Schofields, Stanhope Gardens/Glenwood, Rouse Hill, Riverstone, Windsor and Richmond. As the Hawkesbury region continues to grow in population, so do the number of schools we teach in. There is a constant call in the parishes for SRE volunteers. Between them, there are approximately 130 volunteers who teach and help with SRE each week.

In our endeavour to provide SRE in some of the public schools we include the support and involvement of our catholic high school students from St Mark and Bede Polding Catholic Colleges. Students from Year 11 and Year 10 respectively have engaged in the training programme organised by the CCD in Parramatta in co-operation with the local parish.

We have also recently embarked on expanding into more state high schools. There are now five high schools in the region who have regular Catholic SRE classes each week.

If you haven’t heard of SRE before, this may be an opportunity for you to ask at your parish about how you can become involved in this very rewarding work. There are many opportunities during the course of the year to attend parish meetings, training courses, reflection days and in-service days.

The classes, on average, are half an hour for one session a week in the public schools and up to fifty minutes in the high schools. There is of course preparation time involved but there is help to start you off. The lessons are scheduled into the school timetable, during school hours. Your parish can provide you with more detailed information about days, times and available classes.

For all our current SREs the CCD Website has updates and information on courses and in-services being held across the Parramatta Diocese as well as resources such as craft activities and the CCD borrowing library.

From time to time a regional newsletter called the Hawkesbury Heart is sent out to all catechists and will be posted on the website. Your articles are always welcome for submission.

I look forward to meeting up with you at the various events throughout the year.

Carol Vella
Regional Co-ordinator of the Hawkesbury Region
for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD)

Hawkesbury Schools

Times vary across the parishes. Please see below for a full list of schools within our region.

* Currently not attended

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Kellyville

  • Kellyville Public
  • Sherwood Ridge Public
  • Tallowood Special School*
  • Kellyville High School*

Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Rouse Hill

  • Beaumont Hills Public
  • Rouse Hill Public
  • Iron Bark Ridge
  • Rouse Hill High School

Blessed John XXIII, Glenwood/Stanhope Gardens

  • Caddies Creek Public
  • Parklea Public
  • Kellyville Ridge Public
  • Glenwood High
  • John Palmer Public School
  • The Ponds Special Needs School *

St John the Evangelist Parish, Riverstone

  • Riverstone Public
  • Marsden Park Public
  • Vineyard Public
  • Riverstone High*
Mary Immaculate Parish, Quakers Hill/Schofields

  • Barnier Drive Public
  • Hambledon Public
  • Schofields Public
  • Quakers Hill East Public
  • Wyndham Senior High*
  • Quakers Hill High*
  • The Ponds High*
  • Riverbank Public

St Matthew’s Parish, Windsor

  • Glossodia Public
  • Freemans Reach Public
  • Wilberforce Public
  • Oakville Public
  • Maraylya Public
  • Maroota Public
  • Pitt Town Public
  • Windsor South Public
  • Windsor Public
  • Bligh Park Public
  • Windsor Park Public
  • Cattai Public*
  • Ebenezer Public*
  • Wisemans Ferry Public
  • Colo Heights Public*
  • Hawkesbury High
  • Windsor High
Parish of Richmond (St Monica, St Gregory & St John of God Churches)

  • Grose View Public
  • Kurrajong Public
  • East Kurrajong Public
  • North Kurrajong Public
  • Hobartville Public
  • Richmond Public
  • Richmond North Public
  • Bilpin Public
  • Comleroy Rd Public
  • Kurmond Public
  • Londonderry Public
  • Colo High
  • Richmond High
Hills Region Co-ordinator Wendy Hord

Hills Region Co-ordinator Wendy Hord


Regional Coordinator’s Message

Welcome to the Hills region.

The Hills region is made up nine parishes: Baulkham Hills, Baulkham Hills South, Castle Hill, Dundas Valley, Kenthurst, North Rocks, North Parramatta, Rydalmere and Winston Hills.

SREs in The Hills Region bring to the ministry a great diversity of gifts and talents. These are shared with the students in the 25 primary schools and a small number of secondary school in which they teach. Hills SREs use a variety of teaching methods and resources as they teach the approved curriculum Christ our Life and Light: PowerPoint, smartboards, music, drama, a variety of storytelling techniques, craft, quizzes and games and much more.

SREs across the region regularly take the opportunity to participate in training courses and in-services offered by the CCD. These courses and in-services provide opportunities for SREs to gain confidence in their teaching and learn new ways to actively engage their students. This makes their weekly lessons more positive and enjoyable for both the students and the SRE.

The “Spirit of the Hills” is the Regional newsletter which is published each term. It includes information, resources, reports, photos, spiritual input, recipes and small snippets of humour. Through the newsletter SREs stay connected to what is happening across the region and the Diocese.

Just as Jesus commissioned his disciples “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …And remember I will be with you always” Matt 28:19-20 – we too are sent out to do the same. Just as Jesus promised his disciples that he will be with them always, we know that Jesus is with us always as we prepare and teach our lessons.

With an average of 50 per cent of Catholic students enrolled in either state or independent schools, the demand for more Catechist/SREs grows year by year. Parish Co-ordinators are always ready to chat to people interested in finding out more about the ministry, to provide information and answer any questions so that you may discern whether God is calling you to serve in this wonderful ministry.

We invite you to remember in prayer each week all those involved in the ministry of SRE.

Wendy Hord & Helen Zammit
Regional Co-ordinators of the Hills Region
for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD)

Hills Schools

Teaching days across the Hills Region are Mondays to Fridays at various times during the day. Times vary across the parishes. Please see below for a full list of schools within our region.

* Currently not attended

St Michael’s Baulkham Hills

  • Jasper RoadCrestwood
  • Baulkham Hills High
  • Crestwood High

Christ the King North Rocks

  • North Rocks
  • Carlingford West
  • Cumberland High
  • Muirfield High

St Bernadette’s Castle Hill

  • Castle Hill
  • Excelsior
  • Cherrybrook
  • Samuel Gilbert
  • Oakhill Drive
  • Castle Hill High

Holy Name of Mary Rydalmere

  • Melrose Park
  • Ermington West
  • Dundas Public
  • Rydalmere East

St Madeline Sophie Kenthurst

  • Annangrove
  • Kenthurst
  • Glenhaven
  • Dural

St Paul the Apostle Winston Hills

  • Winston Hills
  • Winston Heights
  • Matthew Pearce
  • Model Farms High

St Monica’s North Parramatta

  • Burnside
  • Northmead
  • Northmead High

St Bernadette’s Dundas Valley

  • Telopea
  • Yates Avenue

Our Lady of Lourdes, Baulkham Hills South

  • Baulkham Hills North
Nepean Region Co-ordinator Carmel Fenton

Nepean Region Co-ordinator Carmel Fenton

Regional Coordinator’s Message

Welcome to the Nepean region.

The Nepean Region is situated at the foothills of the Blue Mountains along the Nepean River.

It consists of nine parishes which stretch from the rural areas of Luddenham/Warragamba to Cranebrook, taking in the parishes of Glenmore Park, Penrith, Kingswood, Emerton/Mt Druitt, Mt Druitt South, St Marys and St Clair.

The catechists/SREs of the Region minister to the catholic children that attend the 50 state primary schools within the Region. We are very blessed to have a number of senior students from the Catholic Colleges of Caroline Chisholm, Loyola, St Dominics’, Xavier, Wollemi and Montgrove involved in the ministry of Special Religious Education.

Although the Region covers a wide geographical area, the Catechist/SREs have opportunities to gather during the year and support each other in their ministry and a highlight is the Regional Mass held early each year.

The CCD also provides a Reflection Day within the Region each year, providing another opportunity for Catechist/SREs to gather, reflect and spend quite time in prayer. In addition, most parishes hold regular meetings to again gather together to share experiences and be updated with necessary information to assist in their ministry.

As with most Regions across the diocese, the challenge for recruitments of SREs is ongoing and we appreciate the support of priests in expanding our SRE family. As you walk into the parish church at Luddenham, there is a little sign above the door reminding us of the words of St Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours”.

With this in mind perhaps we can ask ourselves “Can I use my hands, feet, body to spread the Good News to the Catholic children who attend a state school in my parish?”

If your answer is “Yes”, please do not hesitate to contact me or your local parish.

Carmel Fenton
Regional Co-ordinator of the Nepean Region
for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD)

Nepean Region’s Motto

Through the waters of our Baptism “Nepean” is looking out to the future faith growth of the SRE teachers so they can take that growth with the help of the Spirit to the children they teach

Nepean Schools

Teaching days across the Nepean Deanery are Tuesdays to Fridays at various times during the day. Times vary across the parishes. Please see below for a full list of schools within our region.

* Currently not attended

Holy Spirit Parish, St Clair

  • Banks Public School
  • Blackwell Public School
  • Clairgate Public School
  • James Erskine Public School
  • St Clair Public School
  • St Clair High School*
  • Erskine Park High School*

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, St Marys

  • Bennet Road Public School
  • Central St Marys Public School
  • Claremont Meadows Public School
  • North St Marys Public School
  • Oxley Park Public School
  • Werrington Public School
  • Kurrambee Special School*
  • St Marys Senior High School*

Corpus Christi Parish, Cranebrook

  • Braddock Public School
  • Castlereagh Public School
  • Henry Fulton Public School
  • Llandilo Public School
  • Samuel Terry Public School
  • Cranebrook High School*
St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith

  • Jamisontown Public School
  • Kingswood South Public School
  • Orchard Hills Public School
  • Penrith Public School
  • Penrith South Public School
  • Jamisontown High School*
  • York High School*

Sacred Heart Parish, Warragamba

  • Bringelly Public School
  • Luddenham Public School
  • Mulgoa Public School
  • Wallacia Public School
  • Warragamba Public School

St Joseph’s Parish, Kingswood

  • Cambridge Gardens Public School
  • Cambridge Park Public School
  • Kingswood Public School
  • Kingswood Park Public School
  • Werrington County Public School
  • Cambridge Park High School*
Padre Pio Parish, Glenmore Park

  • Glenmore Park Public School
  • Regentville Public School
  • Surveyors Creek Public School
  • Glenmore Park High School*

Sacred Heart Parish, Mt Druitt South

  • Colyton Public School
  • Minchinbury Public School
  • Mount Druitt Public School

Holy Family Parish, Mt Druitt

  • Bidwill Public School
  • Blackett Public School
  • Dawson Public School
  • Emerton Public School
  • Lethbridge Public School
  • Madang Avenue Public School
  • Noumea Street Public School
  • Ropes Crossing Public School
  • Tregear Public School
  • Shalvey Public School
  • Whalan Public School
  • Willmot Public School
  • Niland Special School*
  • Halinda Special School*
  • Bidwill High School*
  • Mount Druitt High*
  • Shalvey High*
Parramatta Region Co-ordinator Fiona Clarke

Co-ordinator Fiona Clarke

Regional Coordinator’s Message

“Cead Mile Failte”, a thousand Irish welcomes to the Parramatta region.

In this great and diverse geographic area we cover a sector of Western Sydney where the Catholic Faith is well and truly alive and thriving.

Parramatta Region covers 10 parishes – Granville, East Granville, Greystanes, Guildford, Harris Park, Merrylands, Parramatta, Toongabbie, Wentworthville and Westmead.

We are very blessed in that every Parish has volunteers that go into public schools weekly and teach the children from the approved curriculum- Christ Our Light and Our Life.

At the moment we have over 2200 primary students attending SRE classes in the 30 Primary and 6 Secondary State schools we reach.

In our region we have the added benefit of increasing numbers of Catholic secondary school students who volunteer as SREs in local state primary schools. We are always looking for SRE’s to come and join this amazing and rewarding ministry. We provide training, seminars, reflection days and in-services through CCD Parramatta.”

“The work of a catechist and religious educator depends on the witness of the Church for the full effect.”

As Pope Paul VI said, People today listen more to witnesses than they do to teachers and if they do listen to teachers it is because they are witnesses.

(Evangelli Nuntiandi (1975) article 41)

Our Holy Father Pope Francis also says:

Good communication helps us to grow closer, to know one another better and ultimately, to grow in unity.

(The Vatican, 24 January 2014)

As SRE’s, we are communicators for the Church and as such bring “The Good News” to primary school children in our region. In these “busy” times it is with such deep conviction and belief in God that we are able to come together and provide the Word of God not only to the Catholic Students themselves but hopefully into their homes and communities thus binding us more closely as a community that knows God.

Blessings on your ministry.

Fiona Clarke
Regional Co-ordinator of the Parramatta Region
for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD)

Parramatta Schools

Teaching days across the Parramatta Region are Mondays to Thursdays at various times during the day. Times vary across the parishes. Please see below for a full list of schools within our region.

* Currently not attended

Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish, Greystanes

  • Beresford Road
  • Greystanes Primary
  • Widemere Primary
  • Ringrose Primary
  • Greystanes High
  • Holroyd High

Holy Family Parish, East Granville

  • Granville East
  • Blaxcell Street
  • Granville South High

St Patrick’s Parish, Guildford

  • Guildford Primary
  • Guildford West

Sacred Heart Parish, Westmead

  • Westmead Primary

St Margaret Mary’s Parish, Merrylands

  • Merrylands West
  • Merrylands Primary
  • Sherwood Grange
  • Hilltop Primary
  • Merrylands High

St Patrick’s Cathedral Parish, Parramatta

  • North Parramatta
  • East Parramatta
  • Central Parramatta
  • Arthur Philip High
  • Macarthur Girls High
St Anthony’s Parish, Toongabbie

  • Toongabbie Primary
  • Girraween Primary
  • Meadows Primary
  • Metella Road
  • Girraween High
  • Pendle Hill High

Our Lady of Mt Carmel Parish, Wentworthville

  • Darcy Road
  • Pendle Hill Public
  • Toongabbie West
  • Wentworthville

Contact Us

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CCD Diocesan Office
Suite 6/10 Victoria
Road Parramatta
NSW 2150
(PO Box 3154
North Parramatta NSW 1750)
Ph: 02 9890 4731

Director: Cecilia Zammit
CCD Office Manager: Maree Collis

Blacktown Region

Connie Cassar

Blue Mountains
Melissa McDonald

Hawkesbury Region
Carol Vella

Hills Region
Wendy Hord
Helen Zammit

Nepean Region
Carmel Fenton

Fiona Clarke