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Longtime church member named to lead religious education

November 15, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

As the new director of religious education at St. Ann Roman Catholic Church in Hagerstown, Angie Scheerer isn't planning on changing what young people learn about their faith but rather how they learn it.

"That is so important. I'll be working with the teachers so we are heading in the right direction," Scheerer said as she continues to settle in to her new job.

Scheerer has been a member of St. Ann for more than 20 years and has been an active volunteer.

In her new job, Scheerer will oversee religion classes for approximately 350 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. She also will be involved in their sacramental preparation for reconciliation and first Eucharist.

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"The challenge is trying to make kids come away with a sense of acceptance and learning about their faith," Scheerer said.

The classes she is overseeing are on the nearby campus of St. Maria Goretti High School because space at the church is limited. The high school-age youth pursue a different program under different direction.

The church school year begins in September, so Scheerer jumped right in and began contacting families as soon as she started her job.

With a curriculum already in place from her predecessors, including most recently Patricia Rogers, Scheerer said she will draw upon her years of studying and volunteering to work with "a very fine group of teachers here."

"I'm learning from them, too - there is such a richness in their backgrounds," she said.

One contribution Scheerer is hoping to make is her commitment to a wider sense of community in a wider world. As an example of that, there was a recent effort within the church to become involved in a project in Haiti that was dedicated to helping the poor country with school supplies for its children.

"We had this collection of supplies for Haiti and the kids here were really touched by that," Scheerer said. "They are now more sensitive to people who have less and that is becoming part of their faith - to help them."

Scheerer, 56, is a native of Hagerstown, although she grew up in St. Mary's Catholic Church parish. She attended St. Mary's School, St. Maria Goretti High School and graduated from St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, Md.

Besides her present position, Scheerer has her professional catechist certification, which is similar to a college minor in personal faith development.

She has taught and substituted in schools and worked in a hospital laboratory, she said.

She has a husband, Joe, and three grown children.

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