“The Christian family loudly proclaims both the present virtues of the Kingdom of God and the hope of a blessed life to come.” – Lumen Gentium

Sacramental Prep and Religious Education for Grades K-12

SJB Religious Education

SJB Religious Education

St. John’s offers religious education in family model starting in kindergarten and extending up through 12th grade.

RE begins in September each year, concluding in May. The core feature of our program is a focus on parent education and empowerment to be the primary formators of their childrens’ faith.

This is coupled with a bi-monthly required class for middle and high schoolers, and an optional bi-monthly class for elementary age children.

Enrollment for Religious Education at St. John’s for the 2022-2023 school year is now open! Please click the button below to register your family.

If you do not wish to pay via credit card, you will need to set up an appointment with Danielle Coon in person to register and pay, by emailing daniellec@johnthebaptist.org.

OVERVIEW OF ST. JOHN’S RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM 

Education and formation in the faith is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to their child. In a modern age increasingly hostile to religion, it is vital to take this duty of formation in the faith seriously to truly equip those who will be the future of the Church.

While we know that parents are called to be the primary educators of the faith for their children, we also know that teaching in this way may be very new for many parents. With this in mind, we are focusing on preparing and forming our parents as a cornerstone of our RE program so that they may be confident instructing their children. 

We also have classes for children to attend in person to act as supplements to the discussions on the faith they have at home with parents.

 

Parent classes for 2022-2023 year will be on the 2nd Sunday of the month, from 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM.

 

Children’s Classes for the 2022-2023:

Elementary 1st Year: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of the month, 4:00-4:45 PM

Elementary 2nd Year: 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of the month, 4:45-5:30 PM

Middle/High School: 2nd & 4th Sunday of the month, 12:00-1:15 PM

The heart of our sacramental program is actually teaching and building up our parents to be leaders and educators of the faith at home with their children. All parents are required to attend a once a month class, from 1:30-3:30 PM on the 2nd Sunday of the month.

 

Classes feature small groups, sacred art, a theology lesson, and prayer!

Elementary Children: All elementary children have the option of also attending in person classes, though they are not required. The home should continue to remain the place where the majority of faith conversations take place. Classes are:

3:30 – 4:15 PM for children in their first year of sacrament prep.

4:15 -5 PM for children in their second year of sacrament prep.

Middle and High Schoolers: Acknowledging that middle and high schoolers have a greater capacity for depth and discernment in the faith at their age, they are required to attend a bi-monthly class throughout the course of the year in addition to their parents attending class.

The Class time for 2022-2023 is: 12-1:30 PM on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month.

For Students Applying to Receive their Sacraments

All students who feel prepared to receive their sacraments and thus desire to submit an application need to have a sponsor for their Confirmation. To qualify as a sponsor, individuals need to be actively practicing Catholics, meaning they regularly attend Sunday mass as well as holy days of obligation, and practice a sacramental life. To verify that an individual qualifies to be a sponsor, each sponsor also needs to complete a letter of verification which their pastor signs. The sponsor verification form can be found here:

Frequently asked questions about Family Catechesis

 

Shouldn’t the religious education of children be left to the parish?

The old model of faith formation and religious education has been ineffective, and struggled to transform family life. Since many young people who go through this old classroom-style faith formation are leaving the faith, we are proposing a new model (which is actually an ancient model) where the parish focuses on catechizing the parents in order to strengthen parent/child engagement in the Faith. This increases the likelihood that a child will receive an authentic education in the Faith and develop into a knowledgeable and practicing Catholic. Countless studies have shown that parental engagement with the child is the single most effective way to develop young people into disciples of Christ.

 

What if the parent doesn’t know the Faith well, or know how to teach?

A Family of Faith is completely turn-key for the parents, giving them the easy-to-understand content and step-by-step instructions for each activity, helping them to gain knowledge of the Faith and confidence as they teach it. Various tools are also available to help parents turn potentially problematic situations into successes, such as what to do when a child asks a question you do not know.

 

But what if parents don’t want to be bothered and remove their child from religious instruction altogether? Wouldn’t we be better off just maintaining the status quo?

This did not prove to be the case in the pilot tests conducted with Family of Faith at parishes across the country. While it is true that some parents opt to simply not do any religious education instead of becoming involved in the program, the vast majority of families are finding A Family of Faith to be far more flexible, enabling them to transform the family activities they already do into encounters with God. Parents are able to enter into those “teachable moments” of everyday life. A Family of Faith leads parents into a conversion to Jesus Christ, which is beneficial to the parish, but most of all to the children they are raising.

 

Is there a lot of work involved for families? How much time will this program take?

No. There are two lessons to teach each month, along with a variety of family and child activities. Each lesson should take no more than 30-45 minutes to complete, and requires minimal preparation on the part of the parent.

 

For what age children has this program been developed?

Because this program focuses on teaching the faith to parents and helping them make it an organic part of family life, it is perfect for parents with children of all ages. For example, a monthly feature called “Your Catholic Home” gives specific advice for ways to make the Faith a regular part of each day. The Children’s Activity Books are recommended for children in grades K-6, and features engaging activities at various grade levels. Parents can skip the activities they believe are too elementary or too advanced for their child.