By Jim Lambert
Union Catholic faculty member Mrs. Patti Caffrey was honored on Tuesday night as the Knights of Columbus Middlesex Council #857 CCD Teacher of the Year at a ceremony at the Knights of Columbus Middlesex Council in Woodbridge.
Mrs. Caffrey, who was recognized for her dedication and devotion to educating children in the Catholic community, was honored along with the other Community Service Award recipients.
“I’ve been a CCD teacher since 1988 when I was in eighth grade,’’ said Mrs. Caffrey, a Religion teacher at Union Catholic who has taught CCD for the past 14 years at St. James Parish in Woodbridge “It was my confirmation project and I just never stopped doing it.’’
Mrs. Caffrey, who began teaching at Union Catholic in 2004, felt honored to be recognized for her service and she hopes more young people will get involved in teaching CCD.
“It came as big surprise and it’s great to be honored,’’ said Mrs. Caffrey. “I hope that if people were to see that I’m receiving this award that perhaps it may inspire them in some way to volunteer for their church and to also become a catechist because I think we need more young people volunteering into these positions. It’s not a lot of time, and you can make an impact.''
Mrs. Caffrey said teaching CCD gives her another way to express her faith.
“I’m very excited about my faith and happy to be a Catholic and I think young people need to see more of that,’’ said Mrs. Caffrey, who also volunteers in the summer for the vacation bible school (Sunshine Summer). “We really are required as Catholics to give of our time and to serve. It’s a community of love and service. Jesus said he came to serve, not to be served and we should put the needs of others ahead of ourselves.’’
Mrs. Caffrey said she hopes her teaching inspires her students.
“I tend to think of the kind of person I want them to be, more than just teaching them content,’’ said Mrs. Caffrey. “If I can even just plant a seed of faith for them to draw from for when they are ready for it, or when they need it most, then I feel that’s super important.’’