For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Rachel Bielstein. I joined St. Thomas More last year as the Coordinator of Religious Education. Beginning this summer, I will be overseeing the RE program for St. Joan of Arc as well. I am so excited to continue meeting all the incredible people in our family of parishes, Midtown Catholic!
A little bit about myself: I graduated from Creighton University with degrees in Musical Theatre and Theology. I love anything to do with music: I sing, play violin and piano, and enjoy cantoring at St. Thomas More, my home parish St. Mary’s Bellevue, and St. John’s at Creighton University. I also love to dance, and I teach part-time at Omaha Academy of Ballet. In my free time, I enjoy visiting with my friends and family, hiking, snow skiing, reading, trying all the sushi restaurants in Omaha, and playing with my cats.
A major project I am working on currently is one some of you already know about – re-envisioning the Religious Education program for both parishes. We are implementing a model of family formation that will encourage parents to grow in faith alongside their children. Parents are the most important teachers for their children, especially when it comes to teaching faith. Family Formation will equip parents with resources and community support to help them do this.
In Midtown Catholic’s Family Formation program, parents and children will gather twice a month to participate in activities and classes. During the first night, parents and children will attend separate workshops. The second night will see families staying together to participate in group activities with other families. Since this program represents both SJA and STM, each parish will host Family Formation nights, and we will alternate which location we are at every month. I hope that this program
will help families from our parishes become friends because community is essential!
Another dream I have for Midtown Catholic is to bring more performing arts and music ministry opportunities to our parishioners. Throughout my life, I have seen the arts bring people together as well as contribute to community and personal prayer life. Fr. Lorig recently gave me permission to start a youth choir for our parishes, and you will hear more about this later in the summer. I also hope to bring some seasonal music and performance ministry events to our community.
I believe these new programs and ministries will be very positive for our community. I look forward to sharing them with you!
Coordinator of Religious Education