Faith Formation (Religious Education) Director-Fran Mackowiak
Email: [email protected]
Our Faith Formation Program goes beyond “religious education” to include all six foundations of catechesis as set forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as well as The National Catechetical Directory (NCD) and General Catechetical Directory (GCD). The foundations are: knowledge of faith, liturgical education, social justice/outreach & moral formation, teaching to pray, community life and missionary spirit. These foundations go beyond “education” by “forming” one’s entire life. We are concerned with helping each person “develop an ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ” or “daily encounter with Christ.”
We teach as Jesus did by spreading the Good News through discipleship, service, the sharing of faith stories, prayer, and teaching God’s message as well as the Tradition and traditions of the Catholic Church.
Let us remember:
Conversion of heart is at the center of catechesis. The aim of every class and program must be to form participants into disciples who act with the mind and heart of Jesus Christ always willing to be changed into His image and likeness.
Faith Formation is a lifelong process that is gradual and regular. It is about recognizing the invitation by Christ to come and follow Him-and invitation at every stage of life.
To know the basics of the faith is important at each level. This is not just a “head” experience by heart, imagination, attitude experience as well. These basics are presented and integrated in our lives in class, family and Church community setting.
Catechesis means “echoing through one’s very being the presence of Christ.” This is the responsibility of all the Baptized. The whole community is called to pass on the faith through sharing one’s faith as a united and loving Body of Christ and through daily example.
Family Faith Formation is a significant goal in the Faith Formation process. This is the family actively attempting to “do faith.” Family Households of faith are offered to provide some types of shared Family in Faith experiences. Family participation in Sunday Eucharist is “the source and summit of faith.”
God’s forgiving, healing love helps us to grow and become sharers in the ministry of reconciliation. As Christian parents, we lay the foundation of this ministry by giving unconditional love, forgiveness and reconciliation to our children. And as our children experience this in our care, they begin to glimpse the true nature of the love of God and the promise of lasting peace and happiness, which is God’s promise to us. Families requesting the Sacrament of Reconciliation will have their child’s regular studies supplemented with an additional program which involves the parents more actively in the preparation for the Sacrament. Included with regular Mass attendance are parent sessions to support the parents in preparing your child and a retreat experience for parents and child.
The celebration of the Eucharist (The Mass) is at the heart of our Catholic Faith. Children and their parents must make the commitment to attend Mass regularly. Attendance in classes does NOT suffice for the reception of the Sacraments. Mass attendance is required for those requesting the Sacraments.
The day of first Holy Communion is the beginning of a new journey with Jesus. Beginning on this day, we are able to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, the Real Presence of Jesus, every day if we so choose. We are certainly encouraged to partake of this sacred feast at least weekly. As we do so, we participate in a special grace that helps us in our daily walk through life. Eucharist also helps us to understand that our walk with Jesus is truly a journey of life that never ends.
Families requesting the Sacrament of Eucharist will have their child’s regular studies supplemented by an additional program which actively involves the parents in the preparation for your child’s First Communion.
Upon completion of two years in the high school Faith Formation program or a Catholic High School, students will be invited to enroll in the immediate preparation for Confirmation. This includes attendance at a day-long Confirmation retreat, faith-sharing classes, confession and interviews and participation in an indivual or group service project. As with the other sacraments, Mass attendance is an integral and important part of this preparation.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC)
This form of the rite of Christian initiation is intended for children, not baptized as infants or who are baptized but have not received any formal catechesis, who have attained the use of reason (age 7 +) and are of catechetical age.
They seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or guardians or, with parental permissions, on their own initiative. Such children are capable of receiving and nurturing a personal faith and of recognizing an obligation in conscience. But they cannot yet be treated as adults because, at this stage of their lives, they are dependent on their parents or guardians and are still strongly influenced by their companions and their social surroundings.