Family Faith Formation
Who should enroll?
All families with children in grades 1 - 8 who do not attend Catholic school are welcome and expected to enroll.
Did you say families? Don’t you mean children or students?
Thanks for being so observant. Indeed, we did say families. Our program is designed to support and enrich family life. Families--meaning one parent or guardian (or designated adult) and all registered religious education participants from that household-- will have encounters with our Catholic faith during the faith formation unit sessions. Here’s why we want to include parents:
Since they have conferred life on their children, parents have the original, primary and inalienable right to educate them; hence they...have the right to educate their children in conformity with their moral and religious convictions, taking into account the cultural traditions of the family which favor the good and the dignity of the child; they should also receive from society the necessary aid and assistance to perform their educational role properly. (The Holy See, Charter of the Rights of the Family, October 22, 1983, 5)
(Catechism of the Catholic Church #2226) 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.
When reading these assertions from Church doctrine, the roles of the family and parish in their partnership in youth faith development is evident. Parents are the primary educators while the parish community holds the supporting, or secondary, role in helping to educate and fully initiate children into full membership of the Church.
In order to best serve and enrich family life in our faith community, we offer a faith formation program that provides families with spiritual enrichment and support, advances parish faith formation goals, and provides flexibility to meet the diverse needs of families. Thank you for being partners in discipleship with us in growing God’s eternal kingdom.
What are the fees?
A registration fee is charged on a per family basis and includes workbooks and supporting materials. There is an additional sacramental preparation fee for students receiving sacrament(s).
- Registration Fee: $65/family from June 16 - Sept. 1. (plus any sacrament fees)
- Sacramental Preparation Fee: $15 per student receiving sacrament(s)
Example, One Student: First Reconciliation & First Communion $15 + Reg. $65 = $80.
Example, Two Students: Reg. $65 + Confirmation $15 + First Reconciliation & First Communion $15 = $95.
- Early Registration Fee (discount!): $55/family April-June 15. (plus any sacrament fees)
- Late Registration Fee: $75/family after September 13. (plus any sacrament fees)
- Income based scholarships are available. All families are welcome!
At what age should we begin?
Hopefully, you’ve been forming healthy faith habits over the past six or seven years--praying with your child(ren), attending Mass, and modeling a Christian lifestyle--but, even if these aren’t all yet habits, this is a great time to start. Pick up a registration form from the kiosk in the narthex, download the form on the tab below, or call the Director of Religious Formation to register your family if you are unsure or have questions. We are looking forward to supporting you all as you introduce and grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ in His Church.
How long should we be in the program?
As Catholics--and members of any faith community really--we are never done learning and growing in our relationship with God and our goal of seeing Him face-to-face in Heaven. When our youth prepare for Confirmation, we ask them to agree to be part of the Catholic Church as the last step in their initiation into the Faith, but first step in ownership of their own faith journey as a fully initiated member. It is really important that they know what we and God are asking of them. Even children who faithfully attend weekly Mass with their families need the time and space to examine their religious experiences and make sense of what it means to be a part of the Church. Family Faith Formation gives parents support in helping their children to learn about their faith and what happens at Mass. Each year of the program builds stronger faith families and encouragement for children to grow in their own faith and understanding. Walk with your child on your faith journeys. They will choose what you choose. Placing God at the center of our lives is never a wrong choice.
When do we meet?
Families--one parent or guardian (or designated adult) and all registered religious education participants from that household--will sign up to meet once a month at the parish on a Wednesday evening from 7-8:00 pm or Sunday morning from 10:50-11:50 am for a faith experience based on the current learning unit. At the monthly meeting, families will begin together in prayer and then children will go with their grade level catechists for an experience and/or activity based on the unit topic. Adults will remain with the Director of Religious Formation for an exploration of the next unit, discussion, and idea sharing. During the other weeks of the month, families will enjoy learning about their faith together at home and will complete brief pre-made assessments at the end of each session that will be submitted electronically to their catechists to monitor growth. Also during these weeks, the catechists and Director of Faith Formation will check in with families via email or other similar methods of communication to answer questions and provide materials and/or support. Catechists will also provide feedback on the mini-assessments and there will likely be occasions for students to share with each other.
Sacrament Prep: There will be additional meeting requirements for sacrament preparation which will be shared with those involved. These will include meetings for additional instruction, prayer, experiences, activities, and logistics regarding the sacrament(s) that will be received.
What about COVID? What if we can’t meet?
This faith formation program is very flexible since it is a hybrid model meeting both in person and virtually. This limits physical contact. Additionally, the options of meeting date further minimize physical contact. When we are able to meet, parents will meet in the gym while students will be taken directly to classrooms. As we begin the program this year, opening prayer will be done over the PA instead of with families. All meeting groups will be required to maintain social distance guidelines, mask wearing protocols, and other hygienic guidelines as required of the St. Aloysius School students which align with the recommendations of the CDC, Wood County Health Department and Ohio Governor DeWine’s mandates. Our program can be fully delivered and supported remotely, if necessary.
What is the curriculum?
The curriculum includes Loyola Press’s Finding God series for students in grades 1-6, and Loyola Press’s Called to Be Catholic and Dynamic Catholic’s Decision Point Confirmation prep for grades 7-8 as part of their two year formation and sacrament prep program. Additionally, we are fortunate as a Diocese to have been gifted a wonderful treasury of faith resources through the FORMED app. 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 watch for how to sign-up and begin using FORMED.
How is God calling you to share your faith with others?
Consider volunteering as a catechist or aide. The more people helping out, the better the experiences and there are many ways to get involved, including one-time events. We are looking for a few individuals to facilitate learning experiences at various age levels or as mentor families for other families who are just coming back to the Church. If you can share your time and/or gifts with us, please contact the Director of Religious Formation to begin training.
Contact the Director of Religious Education, if you ...
- have questions or concerns.
- have not yet registered your family.
- have, or know of, older children who should be attending classes but are hesitant to start for fear of being behind.
- would like to help with the religious formation of our parish children.