By Carol S. Adams
Eighteen years ago some parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi in Fairfield Glade approached the pastor, Father George Sheehan, asking for religion classes for their children. Father Sheehan told them they could have classes if they could find a teacher.
Fortunately for them, their children, and all the children to follow, they found Carol (Mrs. Robin) Campbell, who had just retired from teaching in Michigan. However, a problem arose when they found that the 11 eligible students ranged in age from kindergarten to high school. Obviously more than one teacher was needed. Shirley Wolfgram agreed to teach the younger ones, and Jackie Houser took the high-schoolers. Carol Campbell led the middle group.
In 1996 some changes occurred. Father Sheehan retired, and Mrs. Wolfgram and Mrs. Houser moved. Another Carol Campbell (Mrs. Tom) agreed to step forward and join the program. The two Mrs. Campbells bonded. Both had been teachers in Michigan, and they became teaching buddies. Mrs. Tom took the younger students and Mrs. Robin the older ones.
Through these many years, the two Mrs. Campbells have worked with seven pastors and have involved their students in parish life with May crownings, Advent’s Jesse Tree, and making church banners and cards for people on the prayer list. First Communions, confirmations, and participation in the Lenten Stations of the Cross have made the parish’s religious-education students an integral part of the parish.
Mrs. Robin and Mrs. Tom are retiring this year. As they reflect on their many years of service to the community, they remember fondly the feeling of being part of a family with the older students helping the younger ones, with some students staying only a short time and others for most of their school years. The seeds that they have sown will continue to bear fruit under the direction of Amanda Bacon, assisted by Judy Piotrowski.