The first catechists in any child’s life are the family members with whom he or she lives. What happens at home – both positive and negative – provides lessons for life. In the family, faith is shared as part of the unfolding of daily life. The home or “domestic church” provides a real place in which a child learns his or her faith as well as understands it.
Our goal is to create a program of lifelong faith formation that is centered in and flows out of the events of Church life. We want to make church matter in the lives of our young people. Church life embraces all ages and generations, promotes faith growth at home and promotes participation in the life of Christ.
Faith Formation at St. Patrick Parish comes to families through two formats:
Family Formation for Grades K-6:
Family Formation (FF) is a family model for faith formation. Parents and children have the opportunity to learn together. Each year, a particular theme will be covered – this year we will be learning about the Salvation history and the big picture of God’s plan through scripture.
Our model would have families coming once a month during the school year to the church. Parents receive a lesson and preparation for teaching at home the rest of the month. K-6 graders receive a lesson with a catechist. Then together as a family they will complete two additional follow-up lessons at home each month. Lessons include short videos, games and worksheets done together as a family. In most cases, information is presented in a way that allows parents to explain it to all ages of their family. When information may be too difficult for younger students, a simpler activity is provided so they can still have side by side learning with the family. The follow-up lessons give our families a way to review and learn the truths of our faith in a way that is engaging and works within our family lives.
Our 2020-2021 year will be held virtually in order to provide a safe environment for all our families. At the beginning of each month, parents, 5th and 6th graders will attend a Zoom session where they will view a portion of the “T3: The Teen Timeline”” video series, followed by breakout sessions to process the information. K-4th graders will not be present at these Zoom sessions but will instead, at the beginning of the month, view a pre-recorded class presented by a catechist. As an added benefit to going virtual, parents will be able to participate in their K-4th grade lesson as they watch it with their child. Our parents may gain insight into new ways to communicate our faith with their children.
FF also includes a service and prayer component, through Mass Reflections and Service Project Reflections. Together these form a “head-hands-heart” model that has proven to help form healthy, well-rounded Christian disciples. Further explanations can be found in the Frequently asked questions section. Links to the reflections are found here on the website.
Coming Together Nights (CTN) for Grades 7-8:
Coming Together Nights (CTN) is faith formation for the 7th and 8th graders here at St. Patrick Parish. CTN’s take place Sunday evenings during the school year from 6:15 pm – 7:45 pm in the just after the 5:00 pm mass. This year we will be holding our classes virtually via a Zoom session. A typical CTN night begins with group prayer. Students and small group leaders will then listen to a 15 minute gospel centered presentation by a speaker who could be a member of clergy, community leaders, parishioners, etc. These presentations cover a wide range of topics from forming a more personal relationship with Jesus, forgiveness, prayer, and moral issues. We then break up into small groups (5-9 students and at least 1 adult group leader). These small groups will remain the same for both the 7th and 8th grade years. Small group is key to the success of CTN! Here is where the leader and small group of students really get to know one another and have a chance to discuss their faith, triumphs, and struggles with everyday life of being a middle schooler, in a safe and supportive space. Our evening ends with praise and worship lead by a musician. Here your kids will learn the words and sometimes dance moves to some fun and popular Christian music. They will know that this is another way to Glorify God!
We hope that Faith Formation at St. Patrick will be an enjoyable experience for your family, filled with memories that will be treasured for years to come. As your children grow into adulthood, it will be a joy to see them appreciate and consult their faith in their decision making. You will surely see the fruits of your commitment as they pass on the Catholic faith to their own families someday.
Need additional info? Contact the Faith Formation office at 630-553-6671.