Parent Handbook for Classroom Catechesis

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1 Parent Handbook for Classroom Catechesis ST. MARY-HOLY CROSS

2 Dear Parents, We thank you for leading your child on his/her faith journey. The St. Mary-Holy Cross Religious Education Program, for children in PreK through sixth grade, provides part of your child s faith formation. You, as parents, are the primary teachers of your child in their learning the Catholic faith and living out the Gospel. As explained in the Catechism, no.2252: Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They have the duty to provide as far as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their children. The Catholic Church explains the six tasks of Catechesis are: 1. Promote knowledge of the faith 2. Promote knowledge and meaning found in the liturgy and the sacraments. 3. Promote moral formation in Jesus Christ 4. Teach Catholics how to pray to Christ 5. To live in community and to participate actively in the life and mission of the Church 6. Promote a missionary spirit preparing the faithful as Catholics in society The students will again be using Alive In Christ series published by Our Sunday Visitor. Not only will the students be engaged in a variety of ways to learn about our faith and God in the classroom, but they will also be bringing home activities that will further their faith at home! We will continue to include in openings a relatable version of the corresponding Gospel for the upcoming weekend. The kids will be presenting many of the stories as well. We welcome you to join us for the first 15 minutes of class time. Our service projects this year will focus on caring for our world in various capacities. We will be doing projects that support those in need of food, funding due to natural disasters, Toys For Tots during Christmas, hand made Valentine cards for the elderly, letters to soldiers who are currently deployed, supporting animals in unfortunate positions, etc. The service projects for the year are outlined in this handbook and subject to change is more prominent needs arise. In addition, myself and the catechists will be reaching out to the students to gather ideas on service projects they would like to do and will have the students then vote on a short list. We want to engage the children and make sure they know their ideas are valued and actionable. We thank you and support your efforts in providing for the spiritual needs of your child. We, along with the catechists, are here to help you in any way that we can. Our catechists love God and want to share their faith with your children. The catechists, who are volunteers, are answering God s call to share their gifts and faith. We thank each of them as they prayerfully prepare, present and participate in the lessons of faith they are teaching your children. Please read this handbook and let me know if you have any questions. You may contact me at or via Blessings, Stacie Hergenreter - Catechetical Leader

3 Goals and Objectives Goals and Objectives for each class are taken from the Diocesan Standards and Benchmarks for Religion Classes Kindergarten 6th grade. These can be found on the Diocese of Des Moines webpage: We hope the catechists demonstrate to the students that catechesis can be fun and exciting, and we hope to accomplish this by having monthly mission activities, as well as gathering as an entire R.E. family each week during class time. Catechetical Program Alive in Christ Alive in Christ curriculum is for grades 1-6 and maintains the tradition of teaching and reaching God s children. Alive in Christ features a unique spiral scope and sequence based on seven essential doctrinal themes. Age-appropriate content for each theme is presented at every grade level as the child grows and develops. Sacramental Preparation Our Sacramental Preparation Program for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist completed in second grade. However, it is open to anyone older who has not received these Sacraments. This process includes attendance of Religious Education classes, participation in learning centers, completion of an at-home book, and parent attendance at parent meetings. These dates are listed below: Day Date Time Place Event Wednesday October 11 6:00-6:30 p.m. St. Mary s Church Friday and Saturday Saturday and Sunday November 3 & 4 November 11 & pm (Friday) 8am-4pm (Saturday) during all Masses Ed. Center Holy Cross and St. Mary s First Reconciliation Parent Meeting First Reconciliation Learning Centers and workbooks are due Blessing of the First Reconciliation students Saturday November am St. Mary s First Reconciliation Service Wednesday Friday and Saturday Saturday and Sunday February 28th March 23rd and 24th April 7th & 8th 6:00-6:30 p.m. 4-8pm (Friday) 8am-4pm (Saturday) during all Masses St. Mary s Ed. Center Holy Cross and St. Mary s First Eucharist Parent Meeting First Eucharist Learning Centers Blessing of the First Eucharist students Saturday April 14th 10:00 a.m. St. Mary s Rehearsal Sunday April 15th 2:00 p.m. St. Mary s First Eucharist Mass

4 Policies and Procedures Virtus Training All adult volunteers are required to be Virtus trained in compliance with the Diocese of Des Moines policies. For more information about Virtus training and Protecting God s Children, see the Diocese of Des Moines webpage at: Student Behavior Good behavior will be awarded to one student from each class each month and will be selected by the catechists in each class. The students will get to be part of a fun activity to celebrate. Discipline/behavior- It is expected that all students behave in a Christian manner at all times. This includes: * Respecting others, both peers and adults * Appropriate participation in the day s lesson * Respect of the building and property * Following teacher s instructions * Walking and speaking in an indoor voice. If a student shows disruptive or disrespectful behavior, the following discipline procedure will be used: Step 1 The student will receive a verbal reminder from the Catechist, who will also call attention to classroom rules. Step 2 The student will be asked to leave the R.E. class and will fill out a Reflection Sheet with the help of the Catechetical Leader. At the end of the R.E. class, the Catechist, student and Catechetical Leader will discuss the behavior with the parent. Further action-if behavioral problems continue, the parents will meet with the Catechetical Leader to discuss appropriate next steps. Attendance Attendance is required as part of the Religious Education program. If your child is absent, s/he will be asked to speak with the teacher about any material s/he may have missed. If a teacher finds that a child is behind due to absences, work may be sent home to catch the student up. Arrival/ Dismissal procedures All students must be dropped off and picked up by a parent, guardian, or older sibling 7th grade or older. If another adult is to pick up the student, the parent needs to contact the Catechetical Leader or catechist prior to class time. Classes will be canceled if activities at North Polk are canceled. We will put notice of class cancellation on Facebook and the Parish Website.

5 Sept-6 - Catechist kick-off 6-7 p.m. Sept Classes begin Sept NO CLASS Sept Class Calendar Oct. 4 - Class Oct Class (Parent meeting Reconciliation 6:00 pm) Oct 18 - Class Oct NO CLASS (Trunk or Treat - parents & children come anytime between 6:00-7:30) Nov. 1 - NO CLASS -All Saints Day - Students to attend Mass at Saint Mary s at 6:30 Nov. 3 & 4 - First Reconciliation Learning Centers, Ed. Center Nov. 8 - Class Nov. 11 & 12 - Blessing of First Reconciliation Students at all Masses Nov Class Nov First Reconciliation 10:00 am, Saint Mary s Nov NO CLASS Nov Class Dec. 6 - NO CLASS (Ladies Christmas Party) Dec Class Dec Class-Birthday Party for Jesus (One Class 6-7 pm) Dec NO CLASS Jan. 3 - NO CLASS Jan Class Jan Class Jan Class Jan 31 - NO CLASS--Workshop for Catechists Feb. 7 - Class - Mardi Gras Celebration (One class 6-7 pm) Feb NO CLASS (Ash Wednesday students should attend Mass at Saint Mary s at 6:30 pm) Feb 21 - Class Feb 28 - Class (First Eucharist Parent Meeting in the Sanctuary 6:00 pm) March 2 - RE students lead Stations of the Cross followed by fish fry Mar. 7 - Class Mar NO CLASS Spring Break Mar Class March 23rd and 24th - First Eucharist Learning Centers, Ed. Center Mar Class April 1 - Easter April 4 - Class Apr 7th & 8th Blessing of First Eucharist Students at all Masses Apr Class April 14 - First Eucharist Rehearsal 10:00 a.m., Saint Mary s April 15 - First Eucharist 2:00 p.m., Saint Mary s April 18 - Last Class **Catechist recognition

6 Service Theme for Each Month September- Collection for Hurricane Harvey victims - Funds being sent via Catholic Charities October- Animal Rescue League of Iowa Fetch List donations for dogs and cats. Expressing to the children how we need to care for all of God s creatures. We will be talking about the ARL as well as efforts taking place to protect wildlife. November- Collect food for Food Bank of Iowa and The Blessing Box. We will do various food collections throughout the year to continually express how the most basic needs such as food and water are not easily accessible to all. December- Toys for Tots/Giving Tree. We will have a tree set up in the student center for kids to place unwrapped new toys under for Toys For Tots. A great opportunity for kids to share with others that are less fortunate. January- Writing Letters to Soldiers currently on deployment. We can all send heartfelt appreciation to the soldiers for the protection they provide all of us. February- Make Valentines for nursing homes. We will be discussing the need to care for the elders of our community and how many are very lonely. Valentines from children will be a great surprise for many! March- The kids will decide!!! Catechists and myself will create a short list from suggestions made by each class for the kids to then do a vote on so they are part of choosing who we assist. April- Bring in used books to donate to children s hospitals

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