When parishes announced they were no longer having public Masses or church events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this brought typical religious education classes, youth retreats and preparation programs for first Communion and confirmation across the country to a stop or at least sent them in a slightly different direction.
Parishes, unlike many schools, were unable to put in place online programs for distance learning. In many cases, parishes had to furlough their directors of religious education while not continuing business as usual. The teachers of religious education classes are almost all volunteers, facing their own challenges in the current pandemic.
But at diocesan, and sometimes parish levels, church leaders have been working hard to come up with creative ways to stay connected with these young people and their families and to give them resources to help the students continue to grow in faith during this time of isolation.