The Office of Discipleship and Parish Life has been re-envisioning what Faith Formation will look like this coming year.
This school year, each family will have the opportunity to pick a faith formation program that is right for their family. We have three choices to choose from. All three programs will be starting in October 2023.
1.) Catechesis of the Good Shepherd that meets 1x a week
2.) Family Faith Formation that will meet monthly and give you resources to grow as a family in your faith
3.) Finding God Family Catechesis in the Home-this is a parent and book lead catechesis that can be used for families with one child or multiple children and different levels.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
**Registration for CGS Level II is closed-classes are full.
Sessions are held one time a week for the students in the designated space called the Atrium. Sessions focus on introducing a loving relationship with Jesus focusing on Scripture and Liturgy lead by specially training catechists in the Montessori methods of teaching to create a place of prayer and reflection.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was born from the joy of the children in their encounter with God and lives in being nourished by this joy. It has also been observed that children of the same developmental stage even though belonging to different cultural backgrounds, respond to certain elements of the Christian message in the same way. Over time through being with children in a specially prepared environment called an atrium, observing and listening to their responses, scriptural and liturgical themes developed that most resonated with children’s religious needs according to their age levels. Thus the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd divests itself of any strictly scholastic character, so as to become an experience of life, an education in faith, and a celebration of the encounter with the Father, in listening to Jesus, the one Teacher, and in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Level I (3-6 y.o.-PreK-K) will be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM and on Wednesdays from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon.
Level II (6-9 y.o.- 1st to 3rd grade) will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00PM to 7:00PM.
Level III (9-13 y.o. -4th-6th grade) will meet on Thursdays from 10:30AM-12:30PM and 5:00PM to 7:00PM.
Registration is $60 per child, or a maximum of $100 per family. Registration must be paid when forms are submitted. When registration is complete, you will get a link to a Sign Up for the session times. If your desired session is currently filled, we ask that you please put your name on the waitlist and select a different time slot.
If you are registering for Level 1, please know that all students must be potty trained and be able to follow simple instructions.
We are always looking for assistants to help out in the classroom and create materials. Assistants are not eligible to assist in their student’s classroom. There will be a training for new assistants to understand their role in the Atrium. Please let Elizabeth Haberstroh or your catechist know if you are interested.
Family Faith Formation Registration
As we begin the catechetical year in September 2023, we will be offering a new Family Faith Formation program, which will incorporate the themes of gratitude, celebration and remembrance, and will draw on the Catechism of the Catholic Church for monthly catechetical topics. This program will emphasize faith as the journey of a lifetime. It will be an opportunity to experience together how significant elements of our faith, such as prayer and sacrament, apply to all ages and states in life and become a lived reality that transforms us individually and as a faith community.
The program is designed for families with children in pre-K through grade 8. Adults who do not have children of their own, but are part of the parish community are also welcome to attend and participate; themes will be addressed in common as well as in separate breakout tracks for adults and children. When registering, you will be asked to indicate whether you prefer to attend monthly sessions on Sunday afternoon from 4:30 PM-5:45 PM, or on Thursday evenings from 6:30 PM -7:45 PM.
Families with children who attend Mother of Sorrows School or participate in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and at home faith formation are welcome to participate in Family Faith Formation, if desired.
Finding God Family Catechesis in the Home
Finding God Family Catechesis in the Home comes with a script and instructions for parents. A study guide and online assessments are provided. The assessments ensure that the child is progressing and understanding the lessons. If a parent is teaching more than one child at a different level, the great thing is that Finding God is a spiral curriculum. A Spiral Curriculum integrates the fundamental themes of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with Scripture and Catholic social teachings. As children are introduced to and revisit concepts and vocabulary from one year to the next, their knowledge and experience both broaden and deepen as they grow in faith as committed disciples of Jesus.
At Home students are encouraged to participate in 2 Family Faith Formation Sessions and the Days of Service that the Parish is offering each year in addition to sending their completed assessments at the end of each lesson to the parish office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faith Formation for Those with Special Needs
All children deserve an opportunity to discover our faith and build a relationship with God. The Faith Formation for Those with Special Needs program supports families by making faith formation and sacramental preparation available to all children with unique needs. This program is facilitated by youth mentors and gathers from mid-September through April.
Please click the button below to register. Contact Elizabeth Haberstroh with any questions.
Would your student like to serve as a youth mentor? Please register here:
Order of Christian Initiation
Thinking of joining the Catholic Church? Don’t know where to begin? The Order of Christian Initiation (OCIA) may be the place for you! The process of joining the Roman Catholic church is known as the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA). The Catechumenate, as it is often called, is a late 20th century restoration of a 2nd-3rd century process that prepared people for acceptance into the Christian Faith.
The OCIA is a faith journey, which consists of four distinct steps:
Stage 1: Inquiry: Checking it out!
You are finding out about Jesus, Christianity, and the Catholic church. You are asking questions and checking it out, but might not be quite ready to commit.
Stage 2: Catechumenate: Learning about the faith!
As your faith begins to develop you need to learn and grow more. You focus on catechesis in this stage: learning about the faith,
How to live as a Christian, and developing your interior life. Your job now is to come into closer contact with the Living God and learn more about the Catholic Faith.
Stage 3: Getting ready for rebirth!
This period of purification and enlightenment is the final stage before being fully brought in or initiated into the Church. This stage of intense reflection calls you to deeper conversion in preparation for your renewal at Easter.
Initiation! You’re received into the Church during the Easter Vigil Mass, where you’ll receive the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. (if you’ve already been baptized, you won’t be baptized again.)
Stage 4: Reflection on the mysteries of the Mass
This stage of mystagogy during Easter is for continued reflection on the sacraments you have received at Easter, especially the Eucharist. It is a time of celebration as you participate fully in the Mass and Sacraments.
All people who are open to discerning their personal experience of faith and to learning more about the Catholic Church are welcome to begin the OCIA process. Many people come to an awareness of their desire to learn about membership in the Catholic Church in various and different ways. Often it may be a personal faith tragedy, or a friendship or discussion with a person of faith which leads one to begin this exciting journey. All that is truly required is a sincere desire to learn, to grow, and to develop one’s relationship with God.
The OCIA process can be applied to the following 3 groups:
Unbaptized: Persons (age of discretion: 7+ years)
Those who have never been baptized and who need a process to help them grow in awareness of God’s call to conversion as well as ways to respond to that call. They are considered catechumens.
Baptized in Another Christian Church: Those who were baptized into another Christian denomination and wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. They are considered candidates. For baptized Christians interested in possibly joining the Catholic Church, the process will vary depending upon the depth of one’s religious and spiritual readiness.
Baptized but uncatechized Catholic Adults: Those who were baptized as infants and not given any religious instruction in the Catholic Faith. These adults will be prepared to celebrate the sacraments of penance, confirmation and Eucharist. They are also considered candidates.
For further information, please fill out the inquiry MOS OCIA registration form below and someone will contact you to begin the discussion.