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Children's Faith Formation

CHILDREN'S FAITH FORMATION AND SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION

This year, we are offering several different programs for our children's faith formation and sacramental preparation on Sundays and Wednesdays. All children beginning in PreK are invited to participate in our faith formation programs.  Children in the 2nd grade or older in the parish who have completed the required preparation are eligible to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion in the winter and spring of 2024, respectively.  And teens in the 8th grade or older who have completed the required preparation are eligible to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in the spring of 2024. We have attempted to align the times for most of our programs so that family members can attend faith formation programs at the same time and, on Sundays, attend Mass together as well.  Please see below for a full description of our programs as well as the Frequently Asked Questions section for specific requirements for reception of the sacraments.

 

OVERVIEW

 

FAMILIES FORMING DISCIPLES 

AND FIRST RECONCILIATION &

FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION

ECHO AND CONFIRMATION PREPARATION

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

OVERVIEW*

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Sundays only) - Montessori-style classes for children ages 4 & 5.

 

Families Forming Disciples (Sundays and Wednesdays) - for all children (along with at least one parent) in grades 1 and older (two years required for reception of First Reconciliation and First Communion in the 2nd grade or older for those not attending a Catholic school or a Catholic home school program).

 

First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation (Sundays and Wednesdays) - specific preparation for children (along with at least one parent) in grade 2 (as well as older children who have not received these sacraments).  Required for all children, including those attending a Catholic home school program, in order to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion.  Children not attending a Catholic home school program must also register for Families Forming Disciples.  All children must have previously completed at least one year of Families Forming Disciples or a Catholic homeschool program prior to registering for First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation.

 

Echo (Sundays and Wednesdays) - for children in grades 6-8 and older children who have not received the sacrament of Confirmation (Echo satisfies the requirements for the two-year foundational preparation -- normally 7th and 8th grade-- for Confirmation at the end of the 8th grade or later for those not attending a Catholic school or Catholic home school program).  Children who have not yet received baptism and/or First Reconciliation and First Communion may not register for Echo. Rather, they must register for Families Forming Disciples.

 

Confirmation Preparation - specific preparation for children in grade 8 (as well as older children who have not received Confirmation). Required for all children including those attending a Catholic school or Catholic home school program in order to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.  Children not attending a Catholic school or Catholic home school program must also register for Echo.  Children who have not yet received baptism and/or First Reconciliation and First Communion may not register for Confirmation Preparation. Rather, they must register for Families Forming Disciples.

*Please note that we also have several relational ministry programs available for our middle school and high school children.  More information about these programs can be viewed on our Teen Ministry page.  There is a separate registration available for these programs.

FAMILIES FORMING DISCIPLES AND

FIRST RECONCILIATION AND FIRST COMMUNION PREPARATION

OVERVIEW

The Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion are administered at St. Catherine’s towards the end of the 2nd-grade year (or later grades for children who have not received these sacraments).  Please note that children in a Catholic grade school receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion with the school.  There are two components to parish preparation for the sacraments: the foundational preparation and the specific preparation.  

 

The foundational preparation is a two-year preparation and can be fulfilled by attendance at a Catholic home school or our Families Forming Disciples family catechesis program (child and at least one parent) in the 1st and 2nd grade (older children who have not received these sacraments must still complete two years of Families Forming Disciples).

 

The specific preparation consists of attendance at five workshops as well as a retreat (child and at least one parent) in the 2nd grade (or later for older children who have not completed the required foundational preparation).  All children, regardless of where they attend school, must complete the specific First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation program in the parish in order to receive the sacraments.

 

SCHEDULE

For those who are enrolling in our Families Forming Disciples program (those children not attending a Catholic school or Catholic home school program), you will have the option to attend on Sunday mornings (11:15am-12:05pm in English or 12:45pm-1:35pm in Spanish) or Wednesday evenings (5:45pm-6:35pm in English or in Spanish).  The times align with the time we have our Echo program for children in grades 6-8 scheduled (or older children who have not received Confirmation), so if you have older children, all the children can participate in religious education programs at the same time.  The Sunday time also allows families to attend Mass together immediately before or after the religious education programs.

CURRICULUM

The topics covered in our Families Forming Disciples program are taken from the materials provided by the Archdiocese of Atlanta and will cover God’s covenants in Sacred Scripture, the Life of Christ, as well as the Church’s liturgical seasons and sacraments (all materials will be provided to the families).  Children in the Echo program will also cover similar topics so that they will be able to participate in the home conversations with the rest of the family as well.

For the specific First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation program (for all children in 2nd grade or older who have already completed one year of faith formation and are registered for the second year of Families Forming Disciples or attend a Catholic home school program), there will be five workshops and a half-day Saturday retreat.  You will have the option to attend the workshops on Sunday mornings (11:15am-12:05pm in English or 12:45pm-1:35pm in Spanish) or Wednesday evenings (5:45pm-6:35pm in English).  These workshops will cover the specific theology of the sacraments as well as practical details for the liturgies.  Attendance at all five workshops as well as the retreat is required for all children for reception of the sacraments.

REGISTRATION AND FEES

Registration for our Families Forming Disciples and specific First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation programs can be completed by using our Children’s Faith Formation Registration form found on our Children’s Faith Formation website.  There is a $150 flat or $160/$20 monthly fee for each family to register for any of our programs.    If you are registering a child in the 2nd  grade or older for the specific First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation program, please make sure to register for Families Forming Disciples as well (if you are registering a child in the 2nd grade or older who is attending a Catholic home school, you will only need to register them for the specific First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation program).  

 

 

ECHO AND CONFIRMATION PREPARATION

 

OVERVIEW

The Sacrament of Confirmation is administered for St. Catherine of Siena parishioners at the end of the 8th-grade year or later (we are currently participating in a pilot program that has lowered the age from 10th grade to 8th grade).  There are two components to preparation for the sacrament: the foundational preparation and the specific preparation.  

 

The foundational preparation is a two-year preparation and can be fulfilled by attendance at a Catholic school, a Catholic home school program, or our Echo middle school program in the 7th and 8th grade (or older for children who have not yet received Confirmation).

 

The specific Confirmation Preparation program consists of attendance at two day-long retreats during the 8th-grade year (or older for children who have not yet received Confirmation).  All children, regardless of where they attend school, must complete the specific preparation in order to receive the sacrament of Confirmation (children not attending a Catholic grade school or Catholic home school program must also participate in the Echo middle school program for two years  -- typically in the 7th and 8th grade).

SCHEDULE 

For those who are enrolling in our Echo middle school program (those children not attending a Catholic grade school or Catholic home school program), you will have the option to attend on Sunday mornings (11:15am-12:05pm or 12:45pm-1:35pm) or Wednesday evenings (5:45pm-6:35pm).  The times align with the time we have our family catechesis program, so if you have younger or older children, all the children can participate in faith formation programs at the same time.  This Sunday time also allows families to attend Mass together immediately before or after the faith formation programs.

CURRICULUM

The topics covered in our Echo program will be taken from Decision Point, published by Dynamic Catholic.  Additionally, we will also cover the topics that are covered in the family catechesis program, so that the children will be able to participate in the home conversations if families are also participating in the family catechesis program with younger children. 

 

For the specific Confirmation Preparation program (for all children in 8th grade or older who are registered for Echo as well as those who attend a Catholic grade school or Catholic home school), there will be two day-long Saturday retreats.  Attendance at both retreats is required for all children for reception of Confirmation at the end of the year.

 

REGISTRATION AND FEES

Registration for Echo and the specific Confirmation Preparation program can be completed by using our Children’s Faith Formation Registration form found on our Children’s Faith Formation website.  There is a $150 flat or $160/$20 monthly fee for each family to register for any of our programs. If you are registering a child in the 8th grade or older, please make sure to register for both Echo and the specific Confirmation Preparation programs (if you are registering a child in the 8th grade or older who is attending a Catholic school or Catholic home school, you will only need to register them for the Specific Confirmation Preparation program).  

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Questions – All Ages 

 

Q: When should I register? 

A: We ask that you register as early as possible. We have limited the registration fee for all families to only $135. Classes begin at the end of August. 

 

Q: What should I do if I can’t find the answers to my questions here? 

A: Please contact our Children’s Faith Formation office at anam@stcatherinercc.org or 770-428-4271. 

 

Baptism – All Ages 

Q: I have an older child who needs to be baptized, what should I do? 

A: Please contact Joan Hennes at joanh@stcatherinercc.org for more information on how to sign up for Baptism classes. Please contact us as soon as possible to receive important information on this Sacrament. 

First Reconciliation & Communion – All Ages

 

Q: I have a child in public school. What class do I select to register for my child who has not received First Reconciliation and First Communion? 

A: Two years of Formation (classes) are necessary for First Reconciliation and Communion. We encourage participation in classes for all grades. With this in mind, please find your child’s grade below: 

•    Kindergarten Students – Optional Catechesis of the Good Shepherd or Families Forming Disciples. He or she must attend Families Forming Disciples in 1st and 2nd grade in order to receive First Reconciliation and Communion in Spring of 2026. 

•    1st Grade Students – Families Forming Disciples. If he or she attends class in 2nd grade as well, he or she will receive First Reconciliation and Communion in Spring of 2025 

•    2nd Grade Students – Families Forming Disciples. If he or she attended class in 1st grade, he or she will receive First Reconciliation and Communion in Spring of 2024. If he or she DID NOT attend in 1st grade, he or she will receive First Reconciliation and Communion in the Spring of 2025 - after 2 years of classes have been completed. 

•    3rd Grade Students and Older – Families Forming Disciples. If he or she attended class in the 2022-2023 school year, he or she will receive First Reconciliation and Communion in Spring of 2024. If he or she DID NOT attend in the 2022-2023 school year, he or she will receive First Reconciliation and Communion at in the Spring of 2025 - after 2 years of classes have been completed. *Older students who have not yet received First Reconciliation or First Communion cannot register for Echo or Confirmation Preparation.

Q: My student attended classes at another parish in the 2022-2023 school year and needs First Reconciliation and Communion. What do I need to provide for him or her to receive First Communion in Spring of 2024? 

A: Please provide a letter from your previous parish stating that your child has attended classes in the 2022- 2023 school year. Please register him or her this year for Families Forming Disciples and First Reconciliation & First Communion Preparation.

 

Q: My 2nd grader attended class as a 1st grader in the 2022-2023 school year, is there anything I need to do besides register for Families Forming Disciples? 

A: All students who are in the 2nd grade and attended last year, should also register for First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation. This is required for all children who have completed the first year of the required 2 years of classes. These workshops will be held throughout the year, in addition to Families Forming Disciples. 

 

Q: My 2nd-grade student is in a recognized Catholic Home School program, what should I register him or her for? 

A: First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation. This is required in order to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion. 

 

Confirmation – Middle and High Schoolers 

 

Q: I have a public-school middle schooler or high schooler who has not received Confirmation, what class should I register him or her for? 

A: Echo. We are preparing middle schoolers and high schoolers to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation at the end of 8th grade or later. Two years of Formation (classes) are necessary for Confirmation. We encourage participation in classes for all grades. With this in mind, please find your child’s grade below: 

•    6th Grade Students - May attend Echo in 6th grade, but required for 7th and 8th grade, if he or she will receive Confirmation in Spring of 2026. 

•    7th Grade Students - If he or she attends class in 8th grade as well, he or she will receive Confirmation in Spring of 2025. 

•    8th Grade Students or Older - If he or she attended Echo the previous year, he or she will receive Confirmation in Spring of 2024. If he or she DID NOT attend the previous year, he or she will be required to complete two years of Echo. All 8th grade students or older who have completed the previous year of Echo will also register for Confirmation Preparation and be required to also attend the two Confirmation retreats.

Q: We are parishioners of St. Catherine’s, and my 8th grader attends the Parochial School or a Catholic Home School program, what should I register him or her for so that he or she can receive Confirmation in the Spring of 2024? 

A: Parochial School students and Catholic Home School students (whose families are registered parishioners of St. Catherine’s) will register for Confirmation Preparation, which consists of two required Confirmation retreats. 

 

Q: My 8th grade/high school student attended classes at another parish in the 2022-2023 school year and needs Confirmation. What do I need to provide for him or her to receive Confirmation in Spring of 2024? 

A: Please provide a letter from your previous parish stating that your child has attended classes in the 2022- 2023 school year and register him or her for Echo and Confirmation Preparation.

Q: My high school student needs Confirmation. What class do I select to register for Confirmation, and when will he or she receive Confirmation? 

A: Echo. If he or she DID NOT attend class in the 2022-2023 school year, he or she will be required to complete two years of Echo, and then register for Confirmation Preparation next year in order to receive Confirmation in the Spring of 2025.

High Schoolers Who Have Already Received Confirmation

Q: I have a high schooler who has received Confirmation. What can he or she do at St. Catherine’s? 

A: We encourage our high schoolers to participate in our weekly Bible Study (Logos) and a weekly Sunday evening high school program (Relentless) as well as other retreat and service opportunities throughout the year.

Overview
First Reconciliaton and First Communion
Confirmaton
FAQ
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