Two years ago, Carol Freda became the parish catechetical leader in St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Avon-by-the-Sea, after teaching religious education in her parish of St. Dominic, Brick, for 15 years.
This year, she will continue to serve the parish community of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, but will also serve youngsters and their families in Ascension Parish, Bradley Beach, where she will assume the role of PCL. Freda will also begin her 17th year as a second-grade catechist in St. Dominic Parish.
As part of the Faith in Our Future initiative, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Ascension Parishes will merge no later than July 1, 2018. As Freda explained, the programs will remain unchanged at their separate churches until 2018, with St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish serving 140 students and Ascension Parish instructing 85 students.
Freda reflected on her tenure in the Avon-by-the-Sea parish and shared her enthusiasm for the journey ahead.
“I have loved working with the amazing children and the catechists at St. Elizabeth’s for the past two years,” she said. “Watching the dedication and spirit of the teachers passing on our faith is awe-inspiring. How blessed am I to now be able to do the same at Church of the Ascension.”
Freda, who once worked on New York’s Wall Street, put aside her career in Manhattan’s financial district upon the birth of her son years ago. Learning of the need for additional catechists at the Brick parish, she volunteered to instruct the pre-school class, and her catechetical work continued.
Freda and her husband, Carmine, have been married 24 years; they have a son, also named Carmine, who graduated from St. Dominic School and Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. He is currently a sophomore at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken.
Being involved in three different religious education programs is an opportunity Freda is looking forward to as the 2017-18 catechetical year begins.
“Every faith formation program is unique and special, just like the children, and I am excited,” she said.
~ By Rose O’Connor, correspondent