After modifying its religious education program to better meet the needs of the Micronesian community, St. Anthony of Padua Parish has doubled in size since last year. (Courtesy Glenn Rymza)
After modifying its religious education program to better meet the needs of the Micronesian community, St. Anthony of Padua Parish has doubled in size since last year. (Courtesy Glenn Rymza)
After a visit from the bishop of Micronesia to Portland’s St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Southeast Portland this summer, the parish made an effort to reach out to its Micronesian families. Most of the religious education classes at the parish are now filled with Micronesian youth.

“I just used the opportunity to spot parents and talk to them about the sacraments,” said Glenn Rymza, director of religious education at St. Anthony.

The summer Mass with the bishop brought Micronesians from Salem to Vancouver together, providing the parish the opportunity to talk with a number of the families and youths. The parish modified the time and classes of the program to better cater to the needs of the Micronesian community. The program has doubled. Rymza hopes the growth in religious education participation will lead to growth in parish participation as well.

“We’re hoping the more involved youth are, the more active they can become,” said Rymza. “As the youth grow up, they become the new leaders in the parish.”