Pre K through Grade 5 Faith Formation
Faith Formation is a lifelong pursuit rather than something accomplished in a single year. Each year builds on the previous one. To aid in that for our early childhood and elementary grade children, the Faith Formation program includes:
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - an authentic following of the Montessori philosophy of learning, which is believed to be most beneficial for developing the religious potential of the 4yo-6yo child.
• With the Montessori philosophy of learning, children learn through discovery as they work with beautiful material intentionally developed for them. This method supports children in recognizing and nurturing their religious life more fully and naturally, by expanding their knowledge and understanding of the faith through experiential encounters with it. Children hear and see stories from the Bible and the liturgy of the Church (action and elements), and then are allowed to process these through wondering questions and creative work activities.
• The Level I (4yo-6yo) Catechesis of the Good Shepherd curriculum focuses on fostering the child’s relationship with Jesus and therefore includes presentations in the areas of Practical Life, Nomenclature and Movement, Geography, Prophecies, the Infancy Narratives, The Good Shepherd, the Kingdom Parables, the Paschal Narratives, Baptism, and Gestures of Eucharist.
• In order for the children to appreciate what is being covered in the weekly presentations, it is important for children to be at Mass on a regular basis.
Celebrating the Lectionary - a curriculum of weekly lectionary-based lessons that help to bridge the Gospel to the children’s daily life. Celebrating the Lectionary highlights Prayer, Breaking Open the Word and Action through discussion around the Liturgical Calendar, a reading of and reflection upon the Sunday Gospel, Church Teaching, and Activities. In order for the children to appreciate what is being covered in the weekly sessions, it is important for children to be at Mass on a regular basis.
Our Sunday Visitor / Encounter with Christ – material for children in YR-2 Sacrament Preparation for preparing to receive First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. Each lesson focuses on meeting Jesus while also highlighting important Catholic signs and symbols, gestures and prayers. In order for the children to appreciate what is being covered in the weekly sessions, it is important for children to be at Mass on a regular basis. Material for children in YR-2 Sacrament Preparation for preparing to receive Confirmation will be developed using supportive information from Matthew Kelly’s Dynamic Catholic.
Ligouri Publications / Journey of Faith - following the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) model of catechesis, a child 7 years of age or older who has not been Baptized or has never received any religious education are welcome to be part of the Children's Initiation process. This process prepares the child and family for the reception of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Eucharist. The group meets for regular Faith Formation specific to the stages of Inquiry, Catechumenate, Lent, and Mystagogy. In order for the child to appreciate what is being covered in the weekly sessions, it is important for the child to be at Mass on a regular basis.
Family-Based Catechesis - resources for parents to assist in sharing and growing Faith within the family.
Additional Faith Formation Materials and On-Site Opportunities: Keep watch for opportunities to engage in periodic events that encompass catechesis through hands-on activities and/or liturgically based themes.
Think First/Stay Safe Review: One regularly scheduled Faith Formation session each year will consist of presenting for review the Think First/Stay Safe material as mandated by the Diocese. As has been the case in the past, parents have the option of covering the material with their children or youth at home, but will be asked to sign a diocesan OPT-OUT form. Information is available to those new to the program.
Cup of Faith: Formation for Families – Cup of Faith is a monthly opportunity for parents and their children to share in the faith journey. For 40 minutes, parents meet with a guest presenter for discussion on the month’s topic, and meanwhile, the children meet in a separate space for a catechetical experience on the same topic at their level. For the last 20 minutes, the parents and children reunite to continue the process of faith sharing as a family. Cup of Faith is a lovely way of supporting parents in their role as primary catechists to their children. Please go to the Cup of Faith link for more information.
Cup of Faith Calendar for 2014-15