With more than 25 years of catechetical experience, Carol Mulkeen has begun her journey as the new director of religious education in St. Catherine Laboure Parish, Middletown.

Beginning in 1994, Mulkeen served as a catechist in her home parish, St Mary, Colts Neck. After earning her master’s degree in theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary, School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, in 2016, she became the director of religious education in Our Lady of Perpetual Help-St. Agnes Parish, Atlantic Highlands, where she served until her new appointment in Middletown.

Mother to three children, Justine, Nicholas and Sean, Mulkeen said she has been actively involved in catechesis since her children were young. “Each church is unique and beautiful. I will miss the children who attended [OLPH-St. Agnes Parish’s] religious education classes and the wonderful teachers that gave so much of their time to making their class a special place to learn about God and the beauty of our faith.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mulkeen is formulating a plan for catechesis that is both sage and engaging – one that is likely to include online learning. She believes, however, that “community is a vital part of the religious education experience.” 

“In-person education is essential to children, and we are committed to returning to weekly in-person classes as soon as it is safe to do so.,” she said.

Along with the parish community, Mulkeen is working Kathleen McGuire, Sacrament coordinator and religious education office manager, as well as her predecessor, Jackie Callahan, who had been the DRE in St Catherine Laboure for the last 30 years.

 “It is such a privilege to be part of the St. Catherine Laboure Parish family, and I am looking forward to my years here.”

As the school year approaches with uncertainty because of the pandemic, Mulkeen said she leans on “the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the prayers of our Blessed Mother, and the many volunteers of our parish community. We plan to have a very good 2020/2021 religious education school year.”