DIVINE SAVIOR PARISH RELIGIOUS FORMATION HANDBOOK

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1 DIVINE SAVIOR PARISH RELIGIOUS FORMATION HANDBOOK GRADES 1-8 RCIC/SPECIAL FORMATION CONFIRMATION

2 CONTACT INFO Divine Savior Religious Formation Office 6700 Main Street Downers Grove, IL Mark Hoffmeyer Director of Religious Formation , ext. 132 Eileen Burel Religious Formation Coordinator , ext. 131 Attendance Line , ext. 140 Religious Formation Fax

3 DIVINE SAVIOR PARISH RELIGIOUS FORMATION HANDBOOK CONTACT INFORMATION.... (Inside Front Cover) INTRODUCTORY LETTER STAFF AND CATECHIST COVENANTS... 4 A. GENERAL INFORMATION RELIGIOUS FORMATION FOR OUR YOUTH Overview... 5 Faith Formation Diocesan Curriculum Levels of Formation... 6 PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT... 7 PRAYERS... 8 SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION... 9 HOME-BASED PROGRAM B. CURRICULUM LEVELS OF FORMATION PRIMARY JUNIOR HIGH R.C.I.C SPECIAL FORMATION CONFIRMATION JOURNEY C. GENERAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ATTENDANCE ARRIVAL/DISMISSAL BEHAVIOR COMMUNICATION DRESS CODE EVALUATIONS MEDICATIONS REGISTRATION SAFE ENVIRONMENT SPECIAL NEEDS

4 D. CALENDAR CLASS SCHEDULE Wednesday Sessions Thursday Sessions SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION EVENTS First Reconciliation / First Eucharist Confirmation Journey FAMILY AND PARENTAL PRAYERS... (Inside back Cover) 2

5 August 2016 Dear Parents: Welcome to the school year! We have spent these past months preparing our curriculum and calendar for the year. As always, our focus is on providing opportunities for both the children and parents to get to know God better, to deepen their relationship with God, and to be enthusiastic about God s presence in their lives. As Catholics, we are required by Jesus to put into practice our faith. To emphasize to the children that our faith is indeed a way of life, the student text, as before, will be supplemented with hands-on activities, group projects, family activity materials, prayer opportunities, special Catholic devotions, and other events. We are fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers who are willing to give of their time and talents to assist in the religious formation of our students. Please note a key word here assist. Our Catholic faith has long taught us that the primary responsibility of religious formation lies with the children s parents and guardians. We are anxious to assist you in this endeavor, but please know that without your commitment at home and through regular Mass attendance, our efforts will be in vain. Please refer to page 7 for more details. We publish this handbook with the intent of providing essential information to you and working in harmony with you. Within this handbook you will find, among other things, general information on Religious Formation at Divine Savior, an overview of the curriculum at each level, policies and procedures on various matters, and the calendar of sessions and events for the upcoming year. Please take the time to review this handbook so that you will be acquainted with the happenings and expectations of the year. Let us all work together to help our children grow in the knowledge and love for God! And if we can assist you in any way, or if you ever have any questions or concerns, never hesitate to ask! Sincerely in Christ, Mark A. Hoffmeyer Director of Religious Formation 3

6 STAFF S COVENANT We, the members of the staff, who have welcomed the Call of the Lord to be leaders in religious formation, acknowledge that the parents or guardians of students in our program are the primary educators of their children. To assist the parents or guardians in their task we promise: To present a curriculum that is approved by the Diocese of Joliet, that is within the guidelines published in the National Catechetical Directory and that expresses the theological traditions of the Church To thoroughly train all catechists in doctrine, scripture, prayer and teaching methods To promote a positive, creative learning atmosphere rooted in Christian values To select all speakers for the required parent programs with great care To participate regularly in the liturgical life of the Church To role model the Christian lifestyle in daily actions To nurture our own spiritual growth and educational skills by participating regularly in retreats, workshops, courses, conventions, and diocesan seminars CATECHIST S COVENANT I pledge my commitment and support to Divine Savior Parish by serving as a catechist in the Religious Formation of our youth. I promise: To share in Jesus mission of proclaiming and witnessing to the reign of God To contribute in a positive way to the goals and objectives of Religious Formation To attend all planning meetings and functions to the best of my ability To be open to accepting responsibilities in areas where I may be of service To follow through with my commitments To invite and enable my students to ongoing conversion to Jesus in holiness of life To abide by the policies and guidelines of Protecting God s Children I ask for: Grace from the Father Compassion from the Son, and Wisdom from the Spirit 4

7 A. GENERAL INFORMATION RELIGIOUS FORMATION FOR OUR YOUTH Overview Why Religious Formation and not Religious Education or Religious Catechesis? Simply, education or catechesis is often associated with just a learning of facts or a memorizing of lists (such as the Ten Commandments or the Seven Sacraments). However, Religious Formation is much more. It is helping one to know, to celebrate, and to contemplate the mystery of God. It is getting to know Jesus and wanting to follow him. And as that knowledge and desire progresses, that relationship with God and with Jesus is nurtured. Religious Formation also emphasizes the need for liturgy and sacraments, with the desire that all the faithful be brought to full, conscious and active participation in the Church. By examining and transmitting the core values and attitudes of Jesus, Religious Formation prepares its participants to live in a Christian community and to be active in the life and mission of the Church. Faith Formation Diocesan Curriculum The Diocese of Joliet has instituted a Faith Formation Curriculum which is to be followed in all religious programs in the Diocese. The four goals of this Curriculum, and how Religious Formation at Divine Savior meets those goals, are as follows: Goal 1: Know and understand the basic teachings of the Catholic Church. Students learn fundamental teachings that provide the foundation of one s Catholic faith. Such teachings include the Trinity, the Creeds, the Marks of the Church, Jesus life and teachings through Sacred Scripture, and the origin, Tradition, and mission of the Church. Goal 2: Know and appreciate the importance of the liturgy and of the sacraments in the life of Catholics. Students learn about the parts of and purpose of Mass, the sacraments and how they are signs of God s love which transform our lives, and how the Eucharist is the most important celebration of our faith community. Goal 3: Understand and appreciate that through Baptism we are called to life in Christ. Students learn how the Commandments and Beatitudes guide them to live good moral lives. They also learn about the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy and how they are to apply such service and stewardship in their lives. And they learn to understand the presence of God s grace in their lives. 5

8 Goal 4: Recognize and engage in personal and communal Catholic forms of prayer, of scripture study, and of other experiences that deepens one s spiritual life. Students learn the importance of, and the types of, prayer, how Scripture can be incorporated into prayer, and how Sunday readings and homilies should be discussed and applied in their lives. Levels of Formation Religious Formation at Divine Savior meets the needs of our youth by offering specific curriculums at the following levels based on the age or religious educational background of the students: Primary: Grades 1-5 Junior high: Grades 6-8 R.C.I.C.: Students in grades 3 through 11 who wish to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist Special Formation: Students in grades 6 through 11 who have received the sacrament of the Eucharist but have since missed at least one year of religious education Confirmation: Grades 9-12 Details regarding the curriculum for each of these levels can be found beginning on page 11. 6

9 PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT The religious formation of any child begins long before he or she is enrolled in school. At Baptism parents are entrusted with their child s life that God gave them. It is through the living witness of parents that children first experience the faith. Children will learn the importance of attending Mass, prayer, and receiving the Sacraments by the example of their parents. This experience is irreplaceable and lasts throughout life. It is this religious formation that is the foundation of all religious formation that a child receives in a classroom. This responsibility of parents is a true ministry. Therefore, a major emphasis in our program is parental involvement. First, we encourage parents to review the lessons with their children each week before class and discuss with them what they have learned when they arrive home. You will be provided with a copy of your child s specific curriculum by class to assist in this. Additionally, built into the textbooks, for each chapter, are activities for the students to do with their family. The activities on these sheets support what is being presented in the chapter. We ask that you and your child together do at least one of the activities found on these sheets for each chapter. Please note that this is not student homework but a family faith activity. There may be other special at-home activities that will be provided throughout the school year. We ask that parents take the time and do these activities together with their children. Parents are also asked to attend all scheduled parent meetings, to actively be involved in the sacramental preparation programs, to work with their children on learning their prayers, and to respond to all requests. It is also important that parents, along with their children, attend Mass and other liturgical celebrations on a regular basis. The role parents play in their child s religious formation does not end when the child starts formal classes. The Religious Formation Department joins with you in this formation and is ready to assist you as parents. Key to our success is your active involvement and living as role models of God s love. Let us work as a team to help your children progress in their faith! 7

10 PRAYERS The importance of prayer is continually emphasized throughout the school year. Specific prayers of the Catholic Church are introduced at the appropriate grade level. All classes begin and end with prayers, which will include traditional and non-traditional prayers. Children will be tested on their knowledge and understanding of prayers throughout the year. All children will also participate in praying the Rosary and the Stations of the Cross during the school year. All children in grades 3 and above, along with students in our Special Formation classes, will participate in Reconciliation services during Advent and Lent. The prayers that are taught to the children need constant reinforcement. It is therefore essential that parents assist their children in the learning of these prayers, as well as emphasizing the importance of prayer by frequently praying together as a family. 8

11 SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION We invite our students to join with the Divine Savior Church community in celebrating the sacraments of First Reconciliation (First Confession), First Eucharist (First Communion), and Confirmation. Through parent meetings, at-home preparations, classroom study, workshops, prayer, and liturgical celebrations, the children receive the necessary ingredients for a meaningful initiation into sacramental life. Preparation for the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist begins in the second grade, while preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation takes place in the eighth and ninth grades. The Catholic Church requires that a child have the opportunity to receive the sacrament of First Reconciliation before receiving First Eucharist. Our program meets this obligation, and separates the reception of the two sacraments by an appropriate time period. Catholic formation is an ongoing process. Therefore, it is extremely important that each child attend, wherever possible, Religious Formation classes for all grade levels beginning with grade 1. Students in grade 3 or higher who wish to receive the sacrament of First Eucharist will be required to enroll in the R.C.I.C. Program for two years in order to receive the necessary formation prior to receiving the sacrament. Additional details regarding the R.C.I.C. Program can be found on page 13. Students who have received the sacrament of First Eucharist, but have subsequently missed at least the prior year of religious formation and wish to receive the sacrament of Confirmation, will be required to enroll in the Special Formation Program for one year, followed by an additional year of formation and then the Confirmation Journey, for a total preparation period of three years. Additional details regarding the Special Formation Program and the Confirmation Journey can be found on pages 14 and 15, respectively. Family participation in the preparation process for these sacraments is of the utmost importance! Families will be informed of, and will be expected to attend, parent meetings and other activities or events. Families are expected to provide a home faith environment that supports prayer and Scripture reading, and regular Sunday Mass attendance and participation is critical so that these children understand and appreciate the importance of these sacraments. 9

12 HOME-BASED PROGRAM We understand that there are parents who wish to have their children formed in the Catholic faith but, due to other commitments, are unable to have their children attend on our scheduled dates. We also understand that there are parents who wish to home-school their children in the Catholic faith. Therefore, we are pleased to offer a textbook-and-on-line home-based program for specific grades. In this program, parents and their child(ren) will work together at home on the chapter material. The policies and procedures regarding this program are as follows: 1. This program is offered for students in grades 1 and 3-7. It is not available for students in grades 2 and 8 (because of sacramental preparation requirements) and students enrolled in our RCIC and Special Formation programs. 2. There is no change in the fee structure for students enrolled in this program. 3. Parents will be required to attend a meeting in the Pastoral Center on Tuesday, September 6th at 7:00 p.m. for specific information on this program. 4. Parents and each child are to complete the Home Session Plan for each chapter as assigned. Completing each chapter includes * Parents use the online session plan while reviewing the textbook material with their child. * Students complete the written assignments including the Connect Your Faith and Live Your Faith activities. * Parents and students complete the Chapter Reviews and Unit Reviews together. * Students complete the Interactive Review online. * Students complete the E-Assessment online and, with the parent s assistance, forward the results to the Religious Formation Office. 5. Parents and students will be required to meet with the Director of Religious Formation twice during the school year. It is important to note that the children participating in this program will miss many of the special discussions and events held in the Church and Pastoral Center throughout the school year. Also, parents and students must have regular access to a computer to complete the work. The Religious Formation Office will monitor each student s progress through the E-Assessment results. Students whose assessment results are subpar of who fail to complete the assessments may be required to repeat the grade level in the following year. 10

13 B. CURRICULUM LEVELS OF FORMATION PRIMARY LEVEL Grades 1-5 In grades one through five, the children begin to learn and understand what to believe as Catholics, how to pray, how to worship, and how to live out those beliefs. Grade One The first grade curriculum is an introduction to the Church as a community and how we are to act as members of this community. Also, the children are introduced to God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and they learn how they are to help people and how they are to pray and be holy. Grade Two The second grade curriculum is in two parts. The first part, covered in the first half of the year, focuses on the three persons of the Blessed Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The students also learn abut the sacrament of Baptism and are introduced to the bible. The second part, covered in the second half of the year, concentrates on preparing the children for the reception of the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist and focusing on the purpose of these sacraments. Grade Three The third grade curriculum concentrates on a study of the Church and how its members are called to carry out its mission of loving, caring, serving, praying and forgiving. The children also learn about the seven sacraments and the importance of each. Grade Four The fourth grade curriculum focuses on God s covenant with his people and the laws he gave them to live by the covenant the Ten Commandments. Also covered are Jesus teachings of the Lord s Prayer and the Beatitudes, the role of the Holy Spirit, the parts of the Mass, and the Works of Mercy. Grade Five The fifth grade curriculum concentrates on the Seven Sacraments how they are celebrated and the ways the grace from the Sacraments deepen our relationship with Christ and strengthen us to follow him. 11

14 JUNIOR HIGH LEVEL Grades 6-8 In grades six through eight, the students deepen and extend their knowledge of biblical history, examine the life and teachings of Jesus and His followers, and review of the basic truths of the Catholic faith. Grade Six The sixth grade curriculum focuses on the history of God s relationship with His people and the salvation that He has offered over the ages, as presented in the Old Testament. Importance is placed on how God s messages pertain to today s junior high students. Grade Seven The seventh grade curriculum is a study of the New Testament, with an emphasis on the events in the life of Jesus. These events include his parables, teachings, healings, and his relationship with people. Importance is placed on the meaning of Jesus events for today s junior high students. Grade Eight As the first year of preparation for Confirmation, the eighth grade curriculum concentrates on exploring the deeper meanings of the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church, with an emphasis on the Seven Sacraments and the Ten Commandments. Other areas of focus are the Holy Trinity, the Beatitudes, the Virtues, the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, the Mass, and Sin. The relevance of these topics, along with the importance of morality, for teenagers is stressed. The need to put faith into action is also emphasized. As a result, students are required to complete a minimum of six service projects (two each for the Parish, the community and the family). 12

15 R.C.I.C. R.C.I.C. stands for Rite of Christian Initiation for Children. Christian Initiation is a process of faith formation that transforms individuals in this case, children (with the help of their parents) to become active members of the Body of Christ. Specifically, the R.C.I.C. Program ( RCIC ) at Divine Savior is for children who have not participated in formal religious education classes at previous grade levels and wish to deepen their relationship with Christ through the reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist. There are three levels of RCIC at Divine Savior: Level 1: Children in grades 3 through 5 Level 2: Children in grades 6 through 8 Level 3: Children in grades 9 through 11 RCIC is a two-year program. Students will receive general formation instruction during the first year. In the second year, students will focus on, and prepare for, the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, which they will receive in the second half of the year. The policies and guidelines regarding participation in RCIC are as follows: Any child who missed at least the prior year of formal religious education is to participate in RCIC. However, if in the previous year the child missed Grade 1 of formal religious education, that child will complete Grade 1 s program at home and be placed in Grade 2 with his/her peers, in lieu of participating in RCIC. The child, along with at least one parent/guardian, will be required to meet with a designated adult at least twice during the school year to ensure completion and understanding of the Grade 1 material. Any student in RCIC who had not been baptized must receive the sacrament of Baptism prior to receiving First Eucharist. Students beyond Grade 10 may not enroll in the first year of RCIC and should instead enroll in Divine Savior s R.C.I.A. ( Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults ) Journey when in Grade 12. Parents are expected to enroll their children in the appropriate grade-level Religious Formation classes in the school years subsequent to participation in the second year of RCIC. (Note that students must be enrolled in two consecutive years of formal religious education prior to being admitted to the Confirmation Journey.) 13

16 SPECIAL FORMATION We understand that there may be circumstances that can cause a child who has been a continuous member of the Church one who has been baptized and participated in First Eucharist to miss one or more grade levels of religious formation. The Special Formation Program ( Special Formation ) enables such a child to receive instruction in the basic truths of the Catholic Church that he or she may have missed. There are two levels of Special Formation at Divine Savior: Level 1: Children in grades 6 through 8 Level 2: Children in grades 9 through 11 Special Formation is a one-year program, with the exception of students entering Special Formation in grades 8 through 10 who are required to attend two consecutive years of formal religious education prior to participating in the Confirmation Journey. All other students will be placed in the appropriate grade-level class following completion of the one-year Special Formation. The policies and guidelines regarding participation in Special Formation are as follows: Any child who has received the sacrament of First Eucharist and missed at least the prior year of formal religious education is to participate in Special Formation. Students beyond Grade 10 may not enroll in the first year of Special Formation and should instead enroll in Divine Savior s R.C.I.A. ( Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults ) Journey when in Grade 12. Where applicable, parents are expected to enroll their children in the appropriate gradelevel Religious Formation classes in the school years subsequent to participation in Special Formation. 14

17 CONFIRMATION JOURNEY Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation in the Church it completes and seals Baptism. Those who are preparing for Confirmation are on a journey to personally affirm and strengthen their faith, deepen their relationship to God, and increase their involvement in the Church community. Confirmation is a lifelong challenge to live the way of Jesus and to contribute in building up the Church. Preparation for Confirmation at Divine Savior begins in eighth grade (and in the second year of the upper-level RCIC and Special Formation classes) with a review of the fundamental beliefs and practices of the Catholic faith. During this year students are required to perform service and complete other assignments in order to be invited to the Confirmation Journey the following year. The Confirmation Journey is open to high school freshmen who have successfully completed Religious Formation for grades one through eight. It is also open to all high school students who have successfully completed the second year of the upper-level RCIC or Special Formation. In , the Confirmation Journey for the candidates will include, at a minimum, attendance at the following: Nine preparation sessions, each of which includes participation at Mass A one-evening Human Trafficking Conference with parent(s) A minimum of two Youth Ministry Sunday evening gatherings A full-day retreat A Reconciliation service Attendance by the student is required for at least seven preparation sessions and at all other events listed above. Attendance is also expected at Mass for the weeks throughout the Journey. Students must also complete written assignments and continue to perform service for the church and community. Other family members are to work with the candidate for at least one of the parish or community events. All candidates will be individually interviewed shortly before the date of Confirmation to ensure that they are ready to be confirmed. 15

18 C. GENERAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES The following general policies and procedures apply to all programs and levels of Religious Formation unless otherwise noted. ATTENDANCE 1. If your child is not able to attend class due to illness or family emergency, please contact the office ( , ext. 140) at least one hour before classes begin. Please leave child s name, grade, catechist and reason for absence. We will call to verify any absences not reported. 2. Students are to attend classes on a regular basis if there is to be continuity in their Religious Formation development. Parents of any student with excessive absences will be contacted by the Director of Religious Formation for a meeting before the student returns to class. 3. If a student is late and arrives after classes have begun, he/she is to report to the office before going to the classroom so that the attendance sheet can be corrected. When possible, a note from the parent should explain the reason for the lateness. 4. In case of inclement weather, please check the Parish website at for information regarding the closing or cancellation of classes. Notification will also be provided to various radio and television stations. 16

19 ARRIVAL/DISMISSAL Parents and guardians who are dropping off or picking up children before or after classes are urged to use extreme caution at all times in the parking lot. We request that students NOT ARRIVE EARLIER THAN 15 MINUTES BEFORE CLASSES BEGIN. We additionally ask that CHILDREN BE PICKED UP PROMPTLY AFTER CLASS. When picking up your child, please park your car and either wait by your car or walk to the Pastoral Center. Do not wait in your car in the drop-off area. This causes a line of traffic which can prevent other cars from entering the lot. For the Religious Formation classes, no student may leave the Pastoral Center grounds without being accompanied by an adult. If your child is allowed to walk or ride a bike home, you must notify the Religious Formation Office in advance and in writing. Early Dismissal In certain circumstances, we understand that there may be a reason for your child to have an early dismissal from the class. It is required that you send a note with your student on the day of the early dismissal explaining the reason and the time you will pick up your child. When picking up your child, please come to the front office and someone on our staff will bring your child to the front office so that you can sign him or her out. If someone other than a parent is picking up a child early, the note must reflect the name of the person and that person should be ready to show identification. Early dismissal should be the exception, not the rule, and frequent requests for early dismissal will result in a conference with the Director. 17

20 BEHAVIOR Unacceptable behavior will initially be handled by the catechist. If the behavior problem continues, the student will be sent to the Coordinator s or Director s office. In the event the student is sent to the office, a warning will be issued to the student. If a student is sent a second time, a letter will be given to the student to give to the parents, and a copy of the letter will be mailed directly to the parents. Serious or frequent misconduct will result in a parent-and-student conference with the Director and the Coordinator, and will take place before the student is allowed to return to class. Please note the following general rules, which are posted in each classroom: No disrespect to the catechist or fellow students No gum, food or drink unless provided by the catechist No foul or inappropriate language No verbal or physical abuse No pushing, touching, or shoving of others No pressing on or leaning on the walls No sitting on the tables or stacked chairs No disrespect for other student s possessions No screaming or shouting No running anywhere in the building No going to the restroom without the catechist s permission No talking or leaving of seats if the catechist must leave the room Also, note that no cell phones or other electronic devices are allowed in the classroom. All such items must be dropped off at the front office when the student arrives and may be picked up at the end of class. Disregard of this rule may result in the confiscation of the item. COMMUNICATION Parents are encouraged to call catechists if they have questions or concerns. Catechists are likewise encouraged to call upon parents for assistance. Please be open to communication. It is the best way to prevent small problems for becoming crises. We will have sessions where parents may join their child in the classroom. However, parents are welcome to observe a child s class at any time. In those cases, we ask, for security reasons, that you check in at the office prior to going to the classroom. Letters and other communication will frequently be sent home with students, so please check with each of your children after each session for information from the staff or catechist. 18

21 DRESS CODE Students are expected to dress in a manner suitable for Religious Formation classes. Therefore, clothing that has a satanic or cult symbol, gang symbol, inappropriate sign or inappropriate language are not to be worn to classes. In addition, please note the following regarding dress items and styles: Headgear (hats, scarves, bandanas, visors, etc.) are not to be worn in the classrooms. Excessively short dresses/skirts and shorts are prohibited. Pants and jeans worn below the waist or in an inappropriate manner are prohibited. Low neckline shirts or blouses, see-through clothing, strapless tops, tank tops, mesh shirts, or bare mid-sections are not permitted. Shoes must be worn at all times. Any form of dress determined to disrupt the educational process, is offensive in nature, or is a possible safety hazard will not be tolerated. If you are not sure about an item of clothing, please contact the office before your child wears it. EVALUATIONS The purpose of the student evaluation process is to offer each family some feedback as to what is being observed in class gatherings. This evaluation is not grading faith the catechist cannot determine a child s faith. The evaluation reflects what the catechist is observing regarding behavior and how the child is responding to what is being offered relative to the other children. Evaluations may be sent to parents mid-year. MEDICATIONS All prescriptions and non-prescription medication to be distributed during class time must be given to the child s catechist at the start of class, and may only be distributed by the catechist or one of the adult leaders. REGISTRATION Forms and pertinent information for the following year are provided to each family. Returning families are asked to mail the completed forms and payment to the Office as soon as possible. Please note that for all new students not baptized at Divine Savior, a copy of each child s Baptismal Certificate must be provided at the time of registration, as well as copies of their previous Religious Formation records and sacramental certificates. 19

22 SAFE ENVIRONMENT Divine Savior Parish cares about our children. We know child abuse causes children to suffer emotional scars for many years. We all want our children to be treated with love, care, and respect. As part of its ongoing mission, the Diocese of Joliet requires that all Parish staff members and volunteers who work with children participate in a workshop called Protecting God s Children. The workshop informs them about the permanent harm done to children and also teaches ways to prevent child abuse. It is designed to provide the facts about child abuse and hopefully motivate people to action in preventing abuse. In addition to participating in the Protecting God s Children workshop, all volunteers are required to complete a standard application that includes a release of information to allow for background checks. Volunteers are required to read and operate by the Standards of Behavior for Those Working with Minors. Also, all Catholic schools and parish Religious Formation programs in the Diocese of Joliet must offer instruction for children regarding the prevention of child sexual abuse if it is not offered at the public schools. If it is determined that such instruction is not offered at the public schools, it will be offered during one of the classes, appropriate to the age group. Parents will be invited to attend. You have, by state school code and by the preference of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, the right to exempt your children from any instruction having to do with sexuality. All parents will be notified in advance regarding the presentation and will be sent the following guideline resource: Parents Guide: Understanding and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse. SPECIAL NEEDS If your child has any learning disability, physical handicap or other special need that was not noted on the medical form submitted, please confidentially inform us BEFORE THE START OF CLASSES. Please provide this information in writing so that the best assistance can be provided to your child. Physical and learning disabilities will be handled on an individual basis in accordance with the Diocese of Joliet policies. 20

23 D. CALENDAR CLASS SCHEDULE GRADES 1-8 / RCIC Wednesday Sessions Grades 1-5 and RCIC-Level 1 (1.1, 1.2) meet from 4:00-5:45 p.m. Grades 6-8 and RCIC-Level 2 (2.1, 2.2) meet from 6:30-8:15 p.m. 1. Wednesday, September 7, Wednesday, September 21, Wednesday, October 5, Wednesday, October 19, Wednesday, November 2, Wednesday, November 16, Wednesday, November 30, Wednesday, December 14, Wednesday, January 4, Wednesday, January 18, Wednesday, February 1, Wednesday, February 15, Wednesday, March 1, Wednesday, March 15, Wednesday, April 5, Wednesday, April 26,

24 CLASS SCHEDULE PRIMARY / JUNIOR HIGH / RCIC Thursday Sessions Grades 1-5 and RCIC-Level 1 (1.1, 1.2) meet from 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. Grades 6-8 and Special Formation meet from 6:30 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. 1. Thursday, September 8, Thursday, September 22, Thursday, October 6, Thursday, October 20, Thursday, November 3, Thursday, November 17, Thursday, December 1, Thursday, December 15, Thursday, January 5, Thursday, January 19, Thursday, February 2, Thursday, February 16, Thursday, March 2, Thursday, March 16, Thursday, April 6, Thursday, April 27,

25 SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION EVENTS Note: Events and dates are subject to change. First Reconciliation Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Saturday, February 25, 2017, 10:00 a.m. Saturday, March 4, 2017, 11:00 a.m. Parent Meeting in Spanish Parent Meeting in English Student Workshop First Reconciliation First Eucharist Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 22, 2017, 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 28, 2017, 6:00 p.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017, 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 5, 2017, 5:00 p.m. Saturday, May 6, 2017, 11:00 a.m. Parent Meeting in Spanish Parent Meeting in English Student Workshop Practice for English Ceremony First Eucharist English Ceremony Practice for Hispanic Ceremony First Eucharist Hispanic Ceremony 23

26 SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION EVENTS Confirmation Journey For the Sunday Preparatory Sessions, the high school students meet from 8:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. in the Pastoral Center and then proceed to Church for 11:00 Mass. Students are dismissed at the conclusion of Mass. All other events, unless otherwise indicated, begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Church (C) or in the Pastoral Center (PC). Note that events and dates are subject to change. Other events may be added as deemed appropriate. Wednesday, September 14, 2016 Parent Meeting (PC) Sunday, September 18, 2016 Preparatory Session #1 Sunday, October 16, 2016 Preparatory Session #2 Sunday, October 23, 2016 Parent/Student Human Trafficking Conference (C) Sunday, November 6, 2016 Preparatory Session #3 Sunday, November 20, 2016 Preparatory Session #4 Sunday, December 11, 2016 Preparatory Session #5 Sunday, January 15, 2017 Preparatory Session #6 Sunday, January 29, 2017 Preparatory Session #7 Sunday, February 12, 2017 Retreat, 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (C/PC) Sunday, February 26, 2017 Preparatory Session #8 Sunday, March 12, 2017 Preparatory Session #9 Saturday, March 18, 2017 Sunday, March 19, 2017 Monday, March 20, 2017 Late March/Early April 2017 Early-Mid April 2017 Reconciliation Service, 11:00 a.m. (C) Confirmation Interviews, 1:00-7:00 p.m. (PC) Confirmation Interviews, 4:00-8:00 p.m. (PC) Confirmation Rehearsal CONFIRMATION (C/PC) 24

27 FAMILY PRAYER God made us a family We need one another We love one another We forgive one another We work together We play together We worship together Together we use God s word Together we grow in Christ Together we love all men Together we serve our God Together we hope for Heaven These are the hopes and ideals Help us to attain them, O God, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. A PARENT S PRAYER God our Creator, make me a better parent. Teach me to listen patiently to what my children have to say and to answer their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. May I ever be mindful that they are children and not capable of the judgment of adults. Let me provide them opportunities to help themselves and make decisions. Bless me with the patience to grant their reasonable requests and the courage to deny those privileges I know will do them harm. Make me fair and just and kind. Amen.

28 Divine Savior Religious Formation Office 6700 Main Street Downers Grove, IL 60516

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