Welcome to St. Aloysius’ Family Faith Formation Page!
We cannot wait to share the Good News with your family!
Who should enroll?
All families with children entering grades K-8 can participate and those families with children who do not attend Catholic school are especially expected to enroll. Those preparing to receive sacraments must be enrolled in a faith formation program or be attending a Catholic school.
Did you say families? Don’t you mean children or students?
Thanks for being so observant. Indeed, we did say families. A family faith formation program is designed to support and enrich family life. Families—meaning at least one parent or guardian (or designated adult) and all registered religious education participants from that household—will encounter Jesus through our Catholic Faith during the faith formation monthly sessions.
The Family Faith Formation (Fx3) program gives parents the support they need as their children’s primary educators in the Faith. The program is presented in a four-year cycle that aligns with the pillars of the Catechism instilled by Peter in Acts 2:42: Profession of Faith, Liturgy & Sacraments, Life in Christ Jesus, and Christian Prayer. Each year in the program builds stronger faith families and encouragement for children to grow in their own faith and understanding. The more encounters with faith experiences and faith models, the greater likelihood of living and participating in the life of the Church.
Here’s why we want to include parents:
- “Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2226)
- "The right and duty of parents to give education is essential... irreplaceable and incapable of being entirely delegated to others." [Familiaris Consortio, 36]
- "Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators.” [Gravissimum Educationis, 3]
- "The family's catechetical activity has a special character, which is in a sense irreplaceable." [Catechesi Tradendae, 68]
When reading these assertions from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and papal exhortations, the roles of the family and parish in their partnership in the faith formation of children are evident. Parents are the primary educators while the parish community holds a supporting role in inviting, educating, mentoring, and walking with children on their journey into full membership of the Church. While PSR, CCD, RE… have always been about supporting parents, Family Faith Formation is a response to the needs of families in our time in our culture and in our world, today!
What are the fees?
Our registration fee is $65 per family. Fees include a Parent Guide and Activity Book per family with additional Activity Books available, as requested, for an additional fee of $15/book. Depending on how a family wishes to use the Activity Book, only one may be necessary. At this time, there are no additional sacramental preparation fees for materials with the exception of fees for attending the DragonSlayer Retreat ($30) for First Communicants and for the multi-day Confirmation retreat to Damascus Mission Camp ($85) in Centerburg, OH.
The registration fees do not cover the costs of all materials as we strive to keep the cost of participation manageable for all families. We provide many additional liturgical year materials, Domestic Church box items, and food items, such as the additional coffee and donuts on Sunday mornings or Advent, Christmas, Easter… festive items. We may occasionally ask for donations of particular needed items and ask that you contribute to these costs as you are able.
All parish families are encouraged to register. Income based scholarships are available based on need. Every family is welcome.
At what age should we begin?
Hopefully, you’ve been forming healthy faith habits over the past four or five years—praying with your child(ren), attending Mass, and modeling a Christian lifestyle—but, even if these aren’t all habits yet, this is a great time to start! Register by following this link to complete the form and submit payment. Call the parish office for assistance. We are looking forward to supporting your family as you grow in faith and relationship with Jesus Christ.
How long are students in the parish faith formation program?
The Family Faith Formation program is designed with students from K-8 in mind and the program begins in late August/early September and finishes in late April/early May.
As Catholics, we are never done learning and growing in our relationship with God the Father who loved us into being. When our youth prepare for Confirmation, we help them to understand that they are just beginning their Catholic Faith journey as they receive the sacramental grace that fortifies them and fully initiates them into the Faith, but this is far from the end of their faith formation. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit open their hearts to be docile–willing to be taught–and much guidance and accompaniment remains needed in supporting their spiritual development and overall well-being.
When do the formation sessions meet?
Families—at least one parent or guardian (or designated adult) and all registered religious education participants from that household—will meet twice a month. A calendar will be provided and posted on a Trello Board of resources.
- There will be an opening Mass and orientation to meet catechists and pick up materials.
- The first session is on a Sunday morning from 9:05 a.m.-10:05 a.m. near the beginning of the month, conveniently situated between the 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. Masses to help families prioritize regular Mass attendance. The focus of this first session is to present content and discussion opportunities for parents/guardians while the children pray and learn together with a catechist and their school-age peers. Presenters for the Adult Gathering will vary to enhance the content being shared.
- The second session is a Community Gathering and these will typically be scattered throughout the parish calendar where most appropriate, but will otherwise be on a later Sunday morning from 9:05 a.m.-10:05 a.m.. These Community Gatherings will also often include whole families meeting with other families in small groups rather than children meeting separately. These are designed to build community and belonging.
- Eighth graders and other teens preparing for Confirmation will meet on Sunday evenings from 6-7:30 p.m. based on a provided calendar.
What are some of the other program details?
- Each family will be provided a Parent’s Guide and a Student Activity Book. These are not really individual workbooks but are more of a collection of activities for families to choose from. You may request to purchase a second or third additional activity book for $15 each if you desire this for your family/household needs. Those with more than one younger student or with two-parent households, will likely desire to purchase additional books.
- Instead of monthly assessments, families will create and maintain a culminating board or booklet of their activities that will be shared in April/May. Basic materials will be provided.
- Communications will be maintained through Flocknote emails (bottom left corner of our website), a Trello resource board, and our parish Facebook Site- St. Aloysius Catholic Church(@stalbg.org) and the Fx3 Community- St. Al’s RE Family Faith Formation.
- Families will have flexibility to choose how, when, and what they do for each month’s lessons based on their interests and schedules. The goal is to keep Christ at the center of everything, to practice faith together, to experience faith in new ways, and to learn about God and Jesus through prayer and through others. Families will come to know God–our loving Father, Jesus a true friend and our Savior, and the Holy Spirit our guide and counselor, in new ways. The desire is to KNOW God!
- Childcare for older infants through pre-K will be available as volunteers are available. This will allow parents attending the adult session to attend without children.
- Sacrament Prep: There will be additional meeting requirements for sacrament preparation which will be shared with those registered. These will include meetings for sacramental instruction, prayer, faith experiences, activities, and logistics regarding the sacrament(s) that will be received.
- Quinceaňeras: We will be hosting a “Gathering of Women” preparation program for those interested in a quinceaňera liturgical celebration. The preparation includes an initial and final session with the Director of Religious Education with two interior sessions that explore the cultural, historical, and symbolic aspects of the celebration and then a final ceremony planning session prior to rehearsal. For more information and to express interest, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the curriculum?
For Fx3: We are using A Family of Faith by the Sophia Institute for the Family Faith Formation sessions. The program is presented in a four-year cycle that aligns with the pillars of catechism instilled by Peter in Acts 2:42: Faith, liturgy/sacraments, life in Christ Jesus, and Christian Prayer and includes a monthly Scripture memorization verse, monthly saint focus, and monthly Sacred Art focus. The program is designed to support families to live liturgically, not academically. The lessons are not “homework” rather are lived faith experiences within families.
All the content required for the two monthly lessons is contained in the Parent Guides and Student Activity book with supplementary content provided on the Trello Board.
Protecting Youth and Those That Serve: Those entrusted to work with youth must complete the Protecting God's Children® for Adults training and all youth enrolled in the parish school and religious formation programs are requested to have Teaching Safety - Empowering God's Children™ training. Parents will receive information about the training and when it is scheduled during the calendar review.
For Sacrament preparation: All youth preparing to receive a sacrament must concurrently be enrolled in either a Catholic school or parish faith formation program.
Second graders and those preparing for the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist/Holy Communion will begin utilizing the Encounter with Christ curriculum by Our Sunday Visitor. This curriculum has been partially integrated into the Fx3 sessions and St. Al’s school curriculum and will require a few additional gathering sessions that may include parents. A parent session for each sacrament will also include an initiating student session for all those receiving the sacrament.
Seventh and Eighth graders will prepare for Confirmation over a two-year period. Seventh graders will begin their preparation in four ways: participation in the Fall retreat, beginning of charitable and spiritual works of mercy, and beginning to discern both a sponsor and a patron saint. A journal of charitable and spiritual works of mercy should be kept over the two-year process of preparation.
Eighth graders, while still participating with other family members in the Family of Faith program or by attending Catholic school, will utilize Ascension Press’ Chosen. This 24-session program has been aligned with the Family of Faith program so that families can better live and share their faith learning. Eighth graders will meet on Sunday evenings with a catechist(s) for their formation and sessions. Some sessions will see both Fx3 and school students combined while a few will be complete at home with sponsors or parents, and still others being completed in smaller groups based on school enrollment. These sessions will meet more often than the Sunday morning Fx3 sessions.
Eighth graders will complete works of spiritual and corporal mercy with a goal of 10 over their two-year preparation and will be asked to attend two important retreats, the Fall retreat with the Seventh graders and an offsite retreat to Damascus Mission Camp in Centerburg, OH, just prior to receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. Specifics will be provided at a parent meeting. Sponsors and patrons should be decided early in this second prep year.
A full calendar of all formation sessions and sacrament preparation sessions is available at this link.
Other Sacrament Prep: Good News! It’s never too late to be baptized, or to profess one’s beliefs in and join the Catholic Church! If your child or other family member has not received sacraments and wants to prepare to do so, let’s begin a conversation and then make a plan. Faith Formation outside of these traditional age groups is always ongoing and we’re happy to discuss your needs.
In addition to the Family Faith Formation program for grades K-8, we hold occasional activities for middle grades youth, SAY FIAT (St. Aloysius Youth Faith In Action Team, grades 5-8) and have a regular schedule of faith formation and social activities for teens. (St. Aloysius Youth Teens, grades 9 -12). We also offer family-based preschool programming opportunities, such as the Play and Pray events, and hope to have individuals interested in initiating others.
FORMED.org: Several years ago, we were fortunate as a diocese to have been gifted a wonderful treasury of faith resources through the FORMED app. Our parish has opted to continue to purchase this service as a supporting resource for all parishioners to live and grow in faith. Much like Netflix, Hulu, or other streaming services, FORMED offers a variety of exciting and informative Catholic programming options for the entire family. There are truly some binge-worthy options to enjoy and some of the programs will be used to enhance the learning sessions and sacrament preparation. Please sign-up to take full advantage of this gift.
How is God calling you to share your faith with others?
Please consider volunteering as a catechist or aide. The more people helping out, the better the experiences, the more faith witnesses to share, the stronger the relationship building with Jesus and each other. Consider also:
- Being a greeter as families arrive
- Subbing for a classroom catechist
- Overseeing the teens who provide childcare
- Sharing a 5-minute witness talk with parents or as a classroom guest
- Becoming a Confirmation sponsor
- Sharing faith through the Cross the Street initiative
- Prepping materials for family sessions
Contact the Director of Religious Education if you...
- Have questions or concerns
- Need help registering your family with the parish or Faith Formation program
- Have, or know of, older children who should be attending classes but are hesitant to start for fear of being behind
- Have a child(ren) who wants to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation, or Confirmation and need preparation
- Want to plan a Quinceaňera celebration
- Would like to help with the religious formation of our parish children including youth, middle grade students, or adolescents
Catechists are not experts or theologians. They love God, love their Faith, and want to share the Good News with our youth. They want to help parents, not supplant them. That may well describe you!