Faith Formation Handbook

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1 Faith Formation Handbook

2 Table of Contents Table of Contents 1 Staff Contact Information 1 Letter from Father Paul Gary 2 General Parent Information Grades Parent information grades Parent information grades Quick Guide: Protecting God s Children Touching Safety Curriculum 5-6 Reporting Sexual Abuse 6 Sacraments: First Penance & First Communion 9-10 Confirmation Staff Contact Information Coordinator of Faith Formation: Amy Ankenbruck ext 14 Coordinator of Youth Ministry (grades 7-12) Cheryl Finch ext 12 Faith Formation Assistant Chrissy Stublaski ext 15 First Communion Coordinator Ellen Bree ext 13 Confirmation Coordinator Carol Weddle ext 12 1

3 Dear Parishioners of St. Luke s Church, September 3, 2013 Thank you very much for enrolling your children in Faith Formation classes at St. Luke s. We are happy to introduce our new Director of Faith Formation, Mrs. Amy Ankenbruck, and looking forward to another exciting year of teaching your children at St. Luke s Catholic Church. The primary teachers of the Faith are the parents. You might remember hearing the priest say to the parents at baptism: You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him (her) in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep God s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking? Our Faith Formation program at St. Luke s is designed to help parents fulfill their role of teaching the Catholic Faith to their children. With your help we can teach your children their prayers, such as the Lord s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Sign of the Cross, the Rosary and the Act of Contrition. With your help we can also prepare your children to receive the sacraments. Building our lives upon the rock foundation of Christ will prepare us to face all the troubles and storms of life. Together, we can teach your children about Jesus, the Mass and the Seven Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and the Greatest Commandment. As you include faith formation in your children s life, please help them not to miss Mass on Saturday or Sunday. The two complement each other. God bless you always. Father Paul Q. Gary 2

4 Faith Formation Grades 1-12 We recognize that parents are the primary educators of their children. St. Luke Faith Formation will support and assist parents in their duty. We believe that religious education is continuous, developmental and a life-long process. Therefore, parents who enroll their children in Faith Formation are expected to provide continual enrollment through elementary, middle and high school in order to begin the life-long process of understanding and appreciating the Catholic faith. Continuous Education from grades 1-12 Faith Formation is offered from grades Since the formation of one s faith is developmental in nature, it is of most benefit that Faith Formation occurs consistently throughout a child or youth s school years. Children are expected to begin Faith Formation classes in first grade and continue through high school. Attendance in Sacramental Preparation Diocesan policy mandates two years of sacramental preparation for First Communion and Confirmation. At St. Luke, this is typically grades one and two for First Communion and grades seven and eight for Confirmation with the celebration in the fall of ninth grade. It is the expectation that parents will ensure the enrollment of their children in those grades for Sacramental preparation. Non-attendance in these grades may result in a delay of the sacrament celebration. Continuous Attendance within the Faith Formation year It is expected that all children and youth attend every scheduled weekly class, with the exception of illness or a death in the family. A courtesy phone call or is appreciated to report student absences. Extracurricular activities are not considered excused. If a child or youth cannot attend due to extracurricular activities, a schedule change should be made prior to the start of classes to accommodate the schedule or conduct home schooling. 3

5 Class day and time: Grades 1-12 Faith Formation Classes Sunday (see schedule for dates) 2:15 to 4:15 (Confirmation Celebration Prep) 6:00 to 8:00 (Phase I and Phase II and T4C only) Monday (Weekly) 4:00 to 5:00 (Grades 1-5 only) 6:00 to 7:00 (Grades 1-6 and Phase I and Phase II) Wednesday (Weekly) 4:30 to 5:30 (Grades 1-5 only) 6:15 to 7:15 (Grades 1-6 and Phase I and Phase II) Remember: In order for your child to attend St. Luke Faith Formation you must be a registered member of St. Luke. Inclement Weather & Cancelation of Classes In the event of severe weather conditions, St. Luke staff will notify WSOC-TV of any cancellations. Therefore, obtain information through WSOC-TV or their internet site at WSOCTV.com. We will also change our voic to reflect any updates to the Faith Formation schedules. Be mindful that children from three (3) counties attend St. Luke Faith Formation classes, therefore your child s school closing may not reflect cancellation of Faith Formation. 4

6 Touchi ng Saf et y Cur r i cul um Disciplinary Policy for Students The Faith Formation staff is aware that the majority of our students attend Faith Formation following a full day of school. However, all of the teachers are volunteers who have offered their time and talent to share faith with your child. These volunteers expect respect and cooperation from each of their students. It is expected that you will talk with your child about appropriate behavior during Faith Formation. This includes following directions, listening to the teachers and peers, paying attention, staying in a seat, not talking while the teacher is talking, and making appropriate comments. Corrective Action First offense: Verbal warning and possible removal from class to sit in staff office with staff member. Second offense: Phone call to parent and possible removal from class to sit in staff office with staff member. Third offense: Parent is expected to attend the next class with their child. If the parent attending with the child does not result in a behavior change, the parent will be given two options: Continue attending with the child until the behavior is corrected or complete the year as home schooled student. Protecting God s Children - Touching Safety Curriculum Catholic parishes nationwide are mandated to implement the next phase of Protecting God s children. The first phase involves the training of all adults who work with children and youth. The second phase involves educating and training children in ways to keep them safe. The Touching Safety lessons are part of a sexual abuse prevention program that is designed to assist parents in educating their children about ways to protect themselves from persons who prey on children or youth. Only through working together as a community can we work toward making a safer world for our children. The Diocese of Charlotte has chosen to use a Virtus curriculum entitled Touching Safety. The Touching Safety curriculum provides six lessons to be delivered over a three-year period. Two lessons are taught each year. At St. Luke we have chosen to teach two lessons in one evening on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 6:30 pm. There will be no regularly scheduled faith formation classes that week. Remember, your child will have a different lesson taught at a different level each year, so they have the option to attend every year. This is not just a one-time lesson! The lessons are broken down to be age appropriate and the children will be separated based on age. As the primary educators of your children, you are invited to review the curriculum that will be posted in the hallway outside of the Faith Formation offices and you are required to attend the session with your child. 5

7 The Touching Safety lessons are optional. Together we are a powerful force in preventing the sexual abuse of children. We are privileged to assist you with this program to empower children and youth to be safe in all environments. Protecting God s Children Diocese of Charlotte Reporting Ministry-Related Sexual Abuse of a Minor All cases of alleged, known or suspected ministry related sexual abuse of a minor must be reported to the proper civil authority. Any person having actual knowledge of, or reasonable cause to suspect an incident of ministry related sexual abuse by any church personnel of the Diocese of Charlotte is to immediately report the incident to the Chancery, unless to do so would violate the Sacrament of Penance. The Chancery will then report the incident to the proper civil authority. After notifying the proper civil authority, the Chancery will immediately notify the Assistance Coordinator, the Promoter of Justice, and the Review Board. Following this, the individual reporting the incident to the Chancery will be notified of the particulars regarding the filing of the incident with civil authority. This reporting requirement is not intended to supersede the right of a victim or witness to individually make a report to public authorities, but is to ensure proper, complete and timely reporting to the proper civil authority. At the time of reporting, the diocese will request to be kept informed as to the progress of that authority s investigation. Should an individual choose to make a report to civil authorities, the requirement to make a report to the Chancery is not removed. You may make a report of sexual misconduct by calling the Chancery at , or by writing to: Chancellor Diocese of Charlotte PO Box Charlotte, NC At the time of reporting an incident alleged sexual misconduct to the Chancery, the person making the report will be asked to complete the diocesan form, Report of Suspected Ministry Related Sexual Misconduct by Church Personnel. For more information go to: Charlottediocese.org and click on the Protecting God s Children tab. 6

8 Prayers to Know Prayers by grade level First Grade: Sign of the Cross, The Lord s Prayer, Hail Mary Second Grade: all prayers in section A Grades 3-6: practice all 2 nd grade prayers Grades 7 and on: all prayers listed below Section A: Sign of the Cross In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen. The Lord s Prayer Our Father, Who art in Heaven hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen Hail Mary Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the Fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen Grace Before Meals Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord, Amen. 7

9 Doxology (Glory Be To The Father or the Trinity Prayer) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Act of Contrition My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen Section B: Nicene Creed I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all age. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: And by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. Who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified. Who has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen 8

10 PARENT INFORMATION GRADES 1-6 The Church teaches that parents are the primary religious education providers of their children. After Faith Formation please take some time to talk with your child about what they learned during the session. The We Believe series that we are using provides a page called We Respond and Share the Faith at the end of each lesson. Please talk with your child about this page. Parents of children in grades 1-5 are expected to sign your children in and out of class for purposes of safety. Please do not allow your child to play on the playground before class without your supervision. Teachers and Faith Formation staff are not responsible for children on the playground. Please adhere to the yearly schedule. We have tried to respect school calendars and major holidays. However, on occasion Faith Formation classes may be conducted on days when there is no school. Tardiness is a significant problem. Please bring your child to class on time! Please ask your child to use the restroom before Faith Formation class. Teachers will be asked to restrict restroom visits during class. Teachers lose time at the beginning of class due to tardiness and at the end of class due to hallway distractions. In order to alleviate such issues we have established the following procedures: o o If your child has class in the church building, you will be asked to remain behind the rope outside the faith formation offices until a staff member removes the rope and allows parents to enter the hallway. If your child has class in the modular building the modular units will remained locked until a staff member unlocks the door at the end of class and allows parents to enter the building. First Reconciliation and First Communion St. Luke will abide by the Sacramental Guidelines as set forth by the Diocese of Charlotte. The guidelines may be viewed online at or may be obtained from the Coordinator of Faith Formation. The diocesan guidelines specify that a child must have two consecutive years of preparation prior to the reception of a sacrament. Typically, preparation is made during the first and second grades. At St. Luke, preparation for these sacraments is a combination of weekly Faith Formation and a family, home-based program. Parents should place the focus on a priority of sacramental life in comparison to other activities. This would include weekly participation in Mass, attendance at Faith Formation classes, attendance at parent meetings and retreats, and assuring that a child completes all assigned work. Parents, along with the faith community, will help the child understand the presence of God in the celebration of the sacraments. 9

11 o o o o o Faith Formation is offered for children beginning in first grade. Attendance in first and second grades, consecutively, is necessary for receiving the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion. Families moving in from another parish will be asked to provide written documentation of Faith Formation participation from their former parish. Families with children enrolled in Catholic schools must enroll in sacrament preparation and must participate in all parent meetings and youth retreats. Students do not have to attend weekly Faith Formation classes. Children who have not celebrated the Sacraments in the second grade may participate in another option. Children must still meet the diocesan two year requirement. This will be met by enrolling in Faith Formation class for one year followed by enrollment in faith formation class and in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults for Children the second year. Please contact the Faith Formation office to discuss each individual case. Parents will be asked to sign a covenant agreement for the sacrament. Home Catechesis Some families may choose to provide Faith Formation through Home Catechesis for grades 1 and 3-6. Students must be registered through the Faith Formation department to ensure accurate enrollment records. Families who wish to utilize this option are to follow the policies outlined by the Diocese of Charlotte. The policy may be viewed online at or may be obtained from the Faith Formation Assistant, Chrissy Stublaski. o Parents choosing this option may attend all parent meetings and may wish to participate in teacher meetings if so desired. o St. Luke uses Sadlier s We Believe parish program. A family book will be provided, which follows the grade level class curriculum for the year. o Additional activities may be found at: o Once enrolled, you will be contacted by a Faith Formation staff member regarding textbook, syllabus, contact information, and specific requirements for the year. o Parents should make every effort to begin weekly lessons in September and continue through the month of May in order to conduct 28 lessons. o At two times during the school year, parents may be invited to bring their students to St. Luke for mid-year and end of year course assessment. Results will be shared with parents. o Parents will be invited to bring their children to participate in any grade appropriate social or service events sponsored by Faith Formation. o Parents will be mailed any newsletters or seasonal materials that are appropriate for their child (ren). 10

12 Parent Information Grades 7-12 Confirmation process The diocesan guidelines specify that a child must have two consecutive years of preparation prior to the reception of Confirmation. Preparation is typically done during grades seven (Phase I) and eight (Phase II). Youth participate in sacrament preparation class and will be confirmed in the fall of ninth grade (Confirmation Celebration Class). Families moving in from another parish will be asked to provide written documentation of Faith Formation participation from their former parish. Families with children enrolled in Catholic schools must enroll in sacrament preparation and must participate in all parent meetings and youth retreats required for Confirmation preparation. Students do not have to attend weekly Faith Formation classes until the 9 th grade Confirmation Celebration class- this 4 week class is required for all students. Candidates will participate in community, family and service projects as well as two one-day retreats. Children who have not enrolled in the confirmation program beginning in the 7 th grade may participate in another option. Children must still meet the diocesan two year requirement. This will be met by enrolling in Faith Formation class for one year (NTP1) followed by enrollment in NTP2 class the second year. These classes meet at the same time. Please contact the Faith Formation office to discuss each individual case. Attendance Policy for Pre-Confirmation and Confirmation Celebration Classes Attendance in the pre-confirmation and confirmation celebration classes is extremely important. Students at this age tend to be busy with sports and school activities, so please consider your child s sacrament preparation when enrolling your child in other activities. The Faith Formation office does its best to offer classes at several different nights and times in an effort to accommodate many family schedules. Grade 7-Phase I: If your child comes to class on Sunday nights, they can only miss 4 classes. Each class is 2 hours long, so if they miss 4 classes that is a total of 8 missed classes. Your child will not receive credit for Grade 7/Phase I if they miss more than 4 Sunday night classes. If your child comes to class on Monday or Wednesday, they can miss a total of 8 classes. Each class is 1 hour long. If they miss more than 8, they will not receive credit for Grade 7/Phase I. Grade 8-Phase II: If your child comes to class on Sunday nights, they can only miss 3 classes. Each class is 2 hours long, so if they miss 3 classes that is a total of 6 missed classes. Your child will not receive credit for Grade 8/Phase II if they miss more than 3 Sunday night classes. 11

13 If your child comes to class on Monday or Wednesday night, They can miss a total of 6 classes. Those classes are 1 hour long each week. If they miss more than 6 classes, they will not receive credit for Grade 8/Phase II. That means they cannot move on to receiving Confirmation. Grade 9-Celebration: There will be 4 classes only for Celebration. Students must be in class on time and cannot miss a single class! There are no make-up classes! Your child will be given a schedule and it will also be in the bulletin and on the Confirmation blog. These classes will held on (4) Sundays, 2:00-4:15. There is also be a mandatory retreat on September 21, CODE OF BEHAVIOR Grades Respect! All teachers, Youth Ministers, and parents must be respected and obeyed. It is very important to have respect for other youth taking part in the program. 2. Regularly attend Faith Formation classes, Youth Ministry meetings, activities and community service projects. 3. Social Activities (i.e. Ski trips, etc.) are for active members ONLY who participate in all aspects of Youth Ministry i.e. Service projects. 4. NO smoking allowed on church property or during any Youth Ministry event on or off church property. 5. Possession of alcoholic beverages, drinking of alcoholic beverages and/or any illegal drugs WILL NOT be tolerated. If a student is found to be under the influence during a class or activity, they will be removed from the class or activity and parents will be notified and asked to pick up their child. 6. Policy dictates that students will not bring cell phones, ipods, cameras, gaming devices or musical devices to class. The first time a student has any such device the Faith Formation teacher will confiscate the device and return it to the student after class. The second time, the device will be confiscated by or given to the Youth Minister who will return it to only a parent. The third time, the device will be confiscated and given to Fr. Paul Gary. Parents may make an appointment to retrieve it from him. 7. All youth are asked to dress in a manner that respects and dignifies a religious environment. We request that youth refrain from tank tops, attire that reveals midriff, low rise jeans, skirts that are shorter than fingertip length or from any attire with print containing sexual or profane contents. Please do not wear clothing that promotes cigarettes or alcoholic beverages. CONSEQUENCES 1 st infraction = Your parents will be called (no matter what time of day or night) and you ll be sent home. 12

14 2 nd infraction = Your parents will be called (no matter what time of day or night) and you ll be sent home. You will also be suspended from participating in Youth Ministry social events. 3 rd infraction = Suspended from Youth Ministry until you have met with Fr. Paul Gary I have read and understand the disciplinary guidelines as stated in the Faith Formation handbook. I agree to abide by these guidelines at all times while participating in Youth Ministry activities both at the church and off campus. SIGNATURE Date Youth Ministry Participant SIGNATURE Date Parent of Youth Ministry Participant 13

15 Middle School Youth Group (Grades 7-8) Middle school youth meet once per month from 6:00-7:30 PM on Saturdays. The first meeting will take place September 28 at 6:00 and other dates will be listed in the bulletin. Parents will need to sign students in at the beginning of each meeting. We will have service projects, social events, and guest speakers. Join us for the fun! Remember: in order for your child to attend St. Luke Youth Ministry you must be a registered member of St. Luke. Teens 4 Christ (grades 9-12) Mission Statement: To bring high school youth toward a deeper relationship with Jesus and the Church through discipleship as exemplified by service, prayer and relationships. T4C will meet two Sundays each month. The first meeting of the year will be Sunday, September 22, 2013, at this time you will receive a schedule for the remainder of the year. 6:00 to 8:00 PM in the Family Life Center Fun, food, fellowship and Faith Remember: All T4C members must be registered with Faith Formation AND St. Luke Parish. 14

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