by Amy Steppig

I believe it was 2008, not long after the Confirmation of my oldest child and right after the Baptism of the child who would prove to be my last, when I sat down to map out the “Sacramental Calendar” of my seven children.  I wondered how I would manage to keep on track of all the First Communions and Confirmations yet to come, especially since we were homeschooling. Last summer I stumbled upon this old list posted in a corner of the kitchen as we embarked upon our “lock down” home renovation project.  I was reminded that, God willing, 2021 would bring that list and the “Sacramental Initiation” of my children to a close.  Miraculously, my youngest child was confirmed in April 2021 in a cathedral (half) filled with people.  Thus, one of the greatest responsibilities of my motherly mission has been fulfilled.

A few short months after my original list was made, a small group of people initiated the idea of a Catholic, hybrid model school in St. Louis.  The main campus, now located in St. Charles, boasts an ever-increasing enrollment.  Who could have predicted that the model would have us so well prepared to endure a global pandemic! And last year, facing obvious obstacles, we were still inspired to begin an additional location to serve the families of South County and the surrounding area. Almost everyone has now experienced a taste of homeschooling or hybrid learning.  We have been at it for over a decade and have found a way to provide excellence in education while forming our children in the faith and keeping them connected to the heart of our homes.  Despite facing restrictions and the possibility of some form of lock down, the idea of continuing our South County plan seemed beyond reach, much like my long list of sacramental dates.  Yet we have persevered in our initial year – successful and eager to expand and grow.

The first step is often the hardest.  I think of my ONE Catholic grandparent and her Catholic line that traces back to my first Catholic ancestor to set foot on the shores of North America.  She was determined that her children would be raised in the faith despite tremendous odds.  Their initiation has led to where I am today – with my grown Catholic family ready for the next generation.

Are you being called to initiate your family into hybrid education?

-Mrs. Steppig