Children's Faith Formation
This year, we are offering several different programs for our children's faith formation and sacramental preparation in person and via Zoom on Sundays and Wednesdays. We have Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for children in grades PreK and K, Families Forming Disciples for children in grades 1-7 (but all children of any age are welcome), and Confirmation Preparation for children in grades 8 and older. Please see below for a full description of our programs as well as a Frequently Asked Questions section with information on specific requirements for the reception of the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation.
*Parents with children in 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades should read our FAQ section carefully to ensure that you are aware of the requirements for reception of the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Communion, and/or Confirmation.
In addition to our children's faith formation and sacramental preparation programs, we will also be offering relational and spiritual youth ministry programs for our middle schoolers (B'Tween Life) and our high schoolers (Relentless Teen Ministry and Logos Bible Study). More information about these programs can be found on their specific websites.
Please take a look at our video below highlighting our various programs as well as the video testimony from one of our families who participated in Families Forming Disciples this past year.
FAITH FORMATION &
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (PreK and Kindergarten) - English
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is a Montessori-style program for our younger children in PreK and Kindergarten. Space is limited, and sessions will be offered only on Sunday mornings in person from 11:15am-12:00pm.
Families Forming Disciples (Grades 1-7 but all children of any age are welcome) - English and Spanish
Families Forming Disciples is our family faith formation program for children in Grades 1-7 that will involve the whole family (children and parents) coming together for prayer and catechesis. This program provides the required two-year foundational preparation for those children who wish to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion at the end of the 2nd grade or later and the first of the two-year required foundational preparation for those teens who wish to receive the sacrament of Confirmation at the beginning of the 9th grade (see information below on the new pilot program we are participating in to reduce the age of reception of Confirmation, and please note that children in the 7th grade this year should register for Families Forming Disciples in order to complete the first year of the two-year Confirmation foundational preparation).
Families participating in Families Forming Disciples will meet on a two-meeting cycle on Sunday mornings in person from 11:15am-12:00pm in English or 12:45pm-1:30pm in Spanish; or Wednesdays evenings by Zoom from 6:00pm-6:45pm in English or 7:30pm-8:15pm in Spanish. The first meeting of each cycle will be a large group gathering with other families in the parish led by our clergy. And the second meeting will be a small group gathering with 8-10 other families and will be led by one of our catechists. In between meetings, there will be an in-home project or activity completed by the family members themselves. For a tentative eight-month schedule and description of how the program works, click the Calendar link.
Confirmation Preparation (8th Grade and Older) - English
We are participating in a pilot program to reduce the age of reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation to the beginning of the 9th grade starting this year (prior to this, Confirmation has been received in the 10th grade). Normally reception of Confirmation requires two years of foundational preparation, which can be satisfied by participation in parish faith formation programs for two years immediately leading up to the reception of Confirmation, unless the child attends a Catholic school or Catholic home school program (under the new pilot program this would typically be 7th and 8th grade). However, because of extraordinary circumstances this past year, those who did not participate in parish faith formation last year will be allowed to make up for the first year preparation by participating in the two half-day Saturday workshops which will be offered during the year, and we will cover most of the material covered last year.
So, this year, children in the 8th grade or higher who complete our Confirmation Preparation program as well as our Confirmation retreat in early August of 2022 will be able to be confirmed at the end of August of 2022. Children in the 8th grade or higher should register for Sunday in-person Confirmation Preparation sessions from 3:15pm-4:15pm or Wednesday Zoom sessions from 6:45pm-7:30pm. (Children in 7th grade should register for Families Forming Disciples). Children in Confirmation Preparation (8th grade or higher) this year who did not participate in parish faith formation last year or did not attend a Catholic school or Catholic homeschool program last year must also attend the two Saturday half-day workshops. See the calendar for more details.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Is my child required to attend faith formation in the parish?
A: We encourage all children to participate in our faith formation programs. Only certain grades are required to participate, however, in order to fulfill the requirements for preparation to receive the sacraments.
-Children in the 1st and 2nd grade or higher this year are required to participate in our Families Forming Disciples program along with a parent in person or by Zoom in order to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion in the spring of the 2nd grade year.
-Children in the 7th grade this year should also participate in Families Forming Disciples in order to complete the first year of the two-year Confirmation foundational preparation and receive Confirmation at beginning of their 9th grade year.
-Children in the 8th grade or older this year grade should participate in our Confirmation Preparation program in order to receive Confirmation in the summer of 2022.
-Children currently attending a Catholic school or Catholic home school program are not required to participate in Families Forming Disciples or our Confirmation Preparation programs to receive the sacraments. However, all children, regardless of where they attend school, will need to participate in the specific sacramental preparation workshops and/or retreat during the year they are scheduled to receive the sacraments (visit the Sacramental Preparation page for more information on the workshops and/or retreats)
Q: What if I am not able to participate in Families Forming Disciples with my child?
A: Parent involvement in faith formation is extremely important and dramatically increases the likelihood that children will remain in the faith as they get older. However, we understand that there may be extreme circumstances where it is impossible for parents to participate in our program with their children. In these cases, we will allow children to participate in a special group Zoom session on Wednesday evenings with a catechist. Please register for the particular Wednesday Zoom Families Forming Disciples session below, and then email our parish office to let us know that you will not be able to participate with your child.
Q: What if my child did not participate in faith formation this past year, and I would like them to receive their sacraments at the end of this coming year?
A: Normally, a child is required to participate in Families Forming Disciples for two years in order to receive First Reconciliation and First Communion in the 2nd grade, and a teen would need to participate in two years of Confirmation Preparation in order to receive Confirmation at the beginning of the 9th grade. Because of the special circumstances related to COVID this past year, however, we are waiving the two year-requirement. This year, children in the 2nd grade or higher will be eligible to receive First Reconciliation and First Communion in February and May of 2022 respectively, by completing one year of Families Forming Disciples, and children in the the 8th grade or higher will be eligible to receive Confirmation at the end of this coming year (August 2022) by completing our Confirmation Preparation and participating in two half-day workshops and our day-long Confirmation retreat (information and registration for the retreats is forthcoming).
Q: What are the fees associated with faith formation?
A: Because many of our materials for our programs this year are digital, we are able to reduce our fees significantly. We are only charging a $100 flat fee for each family. This early-bird discounted price will increase to $125 per family after August 9. A $50 retreat fee will also be charged later in the year for those receiving sacraments this coming year (the retreat fee will be charged separately once you register for the retreat -- registration for the retreats is forthcoming).