"For to me life is Christ and death is gain" (Phil 1:21)

Religious Education

FAMILY FAITH FORMATION PROGRAM 2019/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

The Religious Ed program at St. Joseph’s will take on some major changes this year. Over the last three years I have paid attention to the program and have consulted many of the teachers and we have found these three things to be of concern. First, the kids are tired on Wednesdays, they aren’t ready to learn, they have been sitting and learning all day and many of them are coming to Religious Ed from exhausting practices. Second, there are far too many conflicts on Wednesday nights that result in poor attendance, kids have sports practices, state tournaments, homework and sleep to do on Wednesday nights… these things are important and they tend to make church take a backseat. Third, our Wednesday night program does not empower parents to be the primary teachers of the faith to their children. All of us parents vowed to be the teachers of the faith to our children at their baptisms, the Church should empower parents and help them in that responsibility, not take that responsibility away from them.  

All of these things being said, myself and a close group of adults that have worked with the kids from the parish came up with what we firmly believe is the best solution to all of these problems… a family based Faith Formation program that happens on Sundays after mass. Here is how it will work. On Religious Ed days, families should attend the 10:00 a.m. mass together. Immediately following mass all the families in the program will gather in the social hall for a potluck style meal. After the meal is concluded we will enter into the teaching portion of the program. Some of the teaching will be done at the tables amongst the families, some will be done from the front by either Josh or Fr. Anthony, and for the younger kids some of the teaching will take place in classrooms. During the teaching portion of the program we will have child care provided for families with little children. Because this change is dramatic we will only be having Religious Ed on 10 Sundays, 9/22, 10/6, 10/27, 11/3, 11/17, 1/19, 2/2, 2/16, 3/1, and 3/15. Only families with kids in grades 1-7 will be a part of the Family Faith Formation Program. The kids in grades 8-11 will meet after the Family program is concluded. I cannot overemphasize the importance of attending as a family. One of the main reasons for the change is to try and empower us as parents to fulfill the vows we took at our child’s baptism. If, for any reason, you cannot attend as a family, please let me know.

As far as who brings what for the potluck, I will send that information out as we get closer. We will be bringing back the Children’s Mass (by grade). The Schedule for which grade has which mass can be found below. There will still be a registration fee associated with the program of $30 per child, family max of $70. The registration fee will cover the cost of all the curriculum, supplies and facility maintenance associated with the programs. To register, please fill out a registration form and send it to Josh. If you have any questions feel free to message Josh via the remind app or by email, [email protected]

SCHEDULE FOR RELIGIOUS ED DAYS (9/22,  10/6,  10/27,  11/3,  11/17,  1/19,  2/2,  2/16,  3/1, and 3/15)

10:00 a.m. MASS (Families should attend together if possible)

11:00 a.m. POTLUCK MEAL (I will send info on who should bring what as we get closer to the date)

11:40 a.m. FAMILY PORTION (here the families will be given material to go over together at their tables, parents will lead)

12:00 p.m. TEACHING PORTION (little kids go to child care, 1-3 go to classrooms. Parents and 4-7 stay in social for teaching)

12:40 p.m. FAMILY PROGRAM FINISH

1:00 p.m. 8-11 GRADE PROGRAM START

2: 00 p.m. 8-11 GRADE PROGRAM FINISH

SCHEDULE FOR CHILDREN’S MASSES

9/22: first mass, no grade                  1/19: 3rd Grade    

10/6:  7th Grade                                    2/2:  2nd Grade

10/ 27: 6th Grade                                  2/16: 1st Grade

11/3:  5th Grade                                    3/1:  8th & 9th Grade

11/17:  4th Grade                                  3/15: 10th & 11th Grade