FAITH FORMATION HANDBOOK

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1 ST. FRANCIS AND ST. MARY PARISH BRUSSELS, WI FAITH FORMATION HANDBOOK CONTACT INFORMATION: Deacon Paul T. Zenefski Deacon s Office: or Parish Secretary: Laura Paider Parish Office: Fax: Faith Formation Coordinator: Laura Hoffman Office number: or Pastoral Minister: Sue Johnson Office number: or

2 COME JOIN US! Weekend Masses: Saturday 5:30 p.m. Sunday 8:30 a.m. Faith Formation Education: For all children attending public school in grades preschool through 12th Grade. Sacramental preparation: Students receive Reconciliation and First Communion in the 2nd Grade and Confirmation in the 12th Grade. Any student transferring to the parish from another location, or who is away from the parish program for a significant period of time, must bring written verification of attendance at another parish program. A copy of the child s baptismal record is necessary for those preparing for the sacraments. GOALS: *To strive to assist students, catechists, and parents to provide many opportunities for the growth in their own faith. *To develop their relationship with God. *To educate about Options for the Poor, in the awareness of social justice projects and the concern for the world community. *To build community with church and in the life of the Spirit. *To have an active involvement in the preparation and celebration of the liturgy. *To involve students to be involved in Parish life. COMMUNICATION: The level of communication between the Faith Formation Department and families has a significant impact on the overall effectiveness of the home / church partnership. The following means of communication are used to help keep church / families informed about the progress of the Faith Formation Program, your children, and church activities. * Calendar schedule of the Faith Formation Activities *Faith Formation Handbook *Parent letters each student will have a folder that they will carry back and forth to class *Telecommunication (i.e. voice mail, and phone calls) *Facebook: St. Francis and St. Mary Religious Education Program *Radio *Web page SNOW DAYS: If schools are cancelled, Faith Formation Classes are also cancelled. If schools are let out early due to weather conditions please listen to WDOR for cancellations. Snow days will not be made up.

3 DISCIPLINE: Since the Gospel spirit is one of peace and understanding, students are expected to exhibit Christian behavior consistent with their age and maturity level at all times. Good classroom order is essential in order for religion sessions to be effective. We only hold class once per week. It is unfair to all students and your teacher to have time wasted with disruptive behavior. The rule will be gone over in the classroom by the catechist. The students should be respectful to fellow students and all catechists. We expect respect and reverence at all times. *If the student seriously disrupts the class a verbal warning is given. *If the student continues with the disruptive behavior, the child will be sent to the Coordinator. *If there is no change, the child will be taken to Deacon Paul and a parent will be called to come and pick up their child. *Lastly the child, parent, catechist, Coordinator, and Deacon Paul will have a meeting before the child will be able to come back to the Faith Formation Program. PERSONAL / ELECTONIC POSSESSIONS: IPODS, MP3 players, Radios, CD players, headphones, laser pencil pointers, electronic games, walkie-talkies, electronic schedulers, and toys of any kind do not enhance the educational / faith formation environment and are not to be brought to the Faith Formation Program (Religious Class). Children will be allowed to bring their cell phone, but will be asked by their teacher to place them in the center of the table. KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE: Parents of 4k through 5 th Graders are to come into the church to pick up their child. We have become all too familiar with stories of physical and sexual abuse. As part of the Church s commitment to keep children safe, the Diocese of Green Bay requires that one session a year is set aside for each grade level which will help children remain safe because they are aware of their own body, have designated someone they feel safe with and can trust to tell, and that they can receive help without feeling guilt or shame if they do tell. All material is provided by the Diocese and is age appropriate. The Pastor, Deacon, all employees and Catechists are Virtus trained to help protect your child. DIOCESAN VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS: Diocesan Mandatory Criminal Background Check Policy: All employees as well as all church volunteers who have regular or unsupervised contact with minors are subject to criminal background checks. The following positions are subject to a mandatory background check: all Catechists, Catechist Aides / Parent helpers, Pastors, all hired personnel for the church and Field Trip Chaperones.

4 *Virtus Training: All volunteers are required to attend a Virtus training session. Visit the Website, for information on the location and dates for training. Also, check the Faith Formation Calendar for scheduled training in our area. *Code of Pastoral conduct for Volunteers: All volunteers are required to sign an annual Diocesan Code of Conduct for Volunteers form. CLASSES: GRADES 4K THROUGH 4 TH - MEET AT 6:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m. WEDNESDAY NIGHT GRADES 5 TH THROUGH 11 TH MEET AT 7:30 p.m. 8:30 p.m. WEDNESDAY NIGHT GRADE 12 TH COMFIRMATION MEETS AT ROSIERE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHTS *A SEPARATE CALENDAR AND LETTER WILL BE SENT. FIRST RECONCILIATION / FIRST COMMUNION: Parents, having chosen to begin the process of Christian Initiation in the lives of your children through Baptism, you are the primary teachers in the preparation for the celebration of the sacraments. Sacramental preparation is essential for developing our Faith. The following preparation for these sacraments includes: Preparation for the sacraments of first Reconciliation and First Communion begin in our lower grades and are celebrated in 2 nd Grade. Older children (3 rd and older) should contact the Faith Formation Coordinator for more information. Regular attendance in our Faith Formation Program is essential. Preparation begins and continues with the family practicing and living their Faith. It is essential that the family attends the Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. Parent Enrichment Classes There will be one for each sacrament and parents are expected to attend. Retreat Day for First Communion This is an afternoon for parent and child to attend together. CONFIRMATION: Confirmation completes the grace of Baptism by a special outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which seals and confirms the baptized in union with Christ and calls them to greater participation in the worship and apostolic life of the Church. (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults) Confirmation is scheduled for our students in grade 12. Each student works with a sponsor through the year. We do preparation classes at Rosiere (St. Hubert s) with students from Maplewood, Rosiere/Lincoln, Dyckesville, and Brussels.

5 Please, feel free to call Sue Johnson with any further questions at (920) TESTING: The Green Bay Diocese requires that grades 5 th, 8 th, and 11 th are given the test ACRE once a year to evaluate our Faith Formation Program along with individual assessments. The other grades are given chapter reviews and chapter tests to make sure we are providing the best curriculum to our students. Results of these tests are used by the Faith Formation Coordinator in evaluating and planning curriculum. Individual student results will be reported to parents. ENRICHMENT OPPORTUNITIES We all know how important it is to provide our children with Religious Education to teach them about God, the church, and being part of the Catholic community to strengthen their faith. As a church, we are here to provide you and your family with a variety of opportunities throughout the year. So, please take the time to look at our calendar, bulletin, and read special fliers that come home. We will provide various programs, adult formation opportunities, speakers, faith filled curriculum extensions, and field trips are offered to enhance the students learning opportunities.

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