Kay Hetherington, the new parish catechetical leader in St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Farmingdale, has more than two decades’ experience in faith formation and religious education.

In addition working in the Diocese of Paterson, she has served as a catechist in St. Joseph Parish, Keyport, (now part of Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Keyport), and St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft.

Hetherington earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biblical literature, then a master’s degree in student development with an emphasis in pastoral counseling, both from Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, Calif. She worked in higher education before entering into full-time ministry as director of Nazareth Farm, a Catholic retreat program in rural West Virginia for high school and college-age students.  

St. Catherine of Siena Parish plans to open this fall with a catechist-led, virtual format, which parish staff see as an opportunity to expand the reach of catechesis. Among the challenges: transitioning the religious education program to an online learning platform, though the parish made technology upgrades to the parish center and implemented virtual training for volunteer catechists and aides.

“We are seizing the moment!” parish pastoral assistant Laura Randazzo said, also expressing her joy of having Hetherington on board. “[St. Catherine pastor] Father Angelito Anarcon and I are so pleased to have Kay serve in the role of PCL. Her breadth of experience in religious education is a compliment and wonderful asset to the program.”

In a previous interview with The Monitor, Hetherington – the mother to five grown children – explained her goals for religious education. “My desire is for kids to realize they make a difference to the Church now,” she said.