Children's Faith Formation
Dear St. Catherine's Families,
We are excited begin another year of faith formation for our families! Our staff has been working diligently to provide excellent programs for our children and teens to grow in their faith and knowledge of God and His Church. Please review our programs below, and if there are any questions, or if there is anything we can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Sincerely in Christ,
Director of 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 Foundational Preparation for children in grades 8 and 9. 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. Additionally, click here to see the letter sent out by Fr. Neil especially on the importance of the family catechesis model.
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 highschoolers (Relentless Teen Ministry and Logos Bible Study). More information about these programs can be found on their specific websites.
Faith Formation Programs
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. Families will meet on a two-week 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 Foundational Preparation (8th and 9th Grades and Older) - English
Our Confirmation Foundational Preparation program provides the required two-year foundational preparation for teens who are not attending a Catholic school or Catholic home school program and are seeking to receive the sacrament of Confirmation at the end of the 9th grade or later. Children in the 8th grade should register for Year I Sunday in-person sessions from 3:15pm-4:15pm or Year I Wednesday Zoom sessions from 6:45pm-7:30pm. Children in 9th grade or older should register for our Year II Sunday in-person sessions from 3:15pm-4:15pm or Year II Wednesday Zoom sessions from 6:45pm-7:30pm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is my child required to attend faith formation in the parish?
A: Children in the 1st and 2nd grade or higher 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, and children in the 8th and 9th grade are required to participate in our Confirmation Foundational Preparation program in order to receive Confirmation in the summer of the 9th grade year. Children currently attending a Catholic school or Catholic home school program are not required to participate in Families Forming Disciples or our Confirmation Foundational 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 a retreat during the year they are scheduled to receive the sacraments. Please click the Sacramental Preparation link in order to register for the workshops and retreat (forms not yet available).
Q: What if I am not able to participate in Families Forming Disciples with my child?
A: Parent involvment in the faith formation is extremely important and dramatically increases the likelood 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 child. In these cases, we will allow children to participate in a special group Zoom session on Wednesday evenings with a catechist according to his or her grade level. Please register for the particular Wednesday Zoom Families Forming Dicsiples session below, and 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 particpate in faith formation this past year, and I would like them to receive their sacraments at the end of this coming year?
A: Noramlly, 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 end 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 at the end of this coming year by completing one year of Families Forming Disciples, and children in the 9th grade or higher will be eligible to receive Confirmation at the end of this coming year by completing our Year II Confirmation Preparation.
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. A $50 retreat fee will also be charged later in the year for those receiving sacraments this coming year (retreat fee will be charged separately once you register for the retreat).