The Church of St. Therese of Deephaven PARENT & STUDENT HANDBOOK

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1 The Church of St. Therese of Deephaven PARENT & STUDENT HANDBOOK Revised 4/1/2016

2 Scholarships are available upon request.

3 Table of Contents Saint Therese Vision and Mission Statements... 1 Pastor & Faith Formation Staff Contact Information... 2 Faith Connections... 3 Faith Formation Policies Sacramental Preparation Program Contacts... 7 Reconciliation... 8 Eucharist st Eucharist Policy... 9 Confirmation Catechesis and Formation Program Descriptions Pre-K / K Elementary: Grades Middle School Catechesis: Grades Middle School Catechesis: Grade Senior High Catechesis & Confirmation: Grades Youth Group: Middle School & Senior High Adult Bible Study Notes... 18

4 St. Therese Vision and Mission Statements PARISH VISION We at St. Therese Catholic Church are a Eucharistic Body sharing our faith journey and growing ever closer to God. PARISH MISSION As members of the body of Christ we are inspired by the fire of faith to: Offer spiritual formation for all generations. Provide a welcoming house of prayer, worship and community. Being stewards of who we are and all that we have. Respect the dignity of creation. So that we as a Church grow closer to God. Core Values Spirituality We actively live and express our faith through liturgy, prayer, sacramental life and ministry. Respect for Knowledge We develop and participate in educational opportunities for all generations in our parish. We support the continued success of the St. Therese School. Generosity We are thankful for our gifts and generously give back with our time, talent and treasure. We provide generous service and support to those in need. Commitment to Community We welcome all people as visitors or members of our parish community. We promote activities that strengthen our sense of parish unity and the greater community. Leadership We seek and support inspirational leadership in every aspect of our parish. FAITH FORMATION MISSION The Faith Formation Ministry of the Church of Saint Therese welcomes families, youth, and all adults to develop a living faith. This process occurs through ongoing knowledge of the faith, moral education, community life, prayer, liturgical education and service. In addition, we cultivate intergenerational relationships in which adults are empowered to pass on their Catholic faith to the youth by sharing and modeling an active Christian life. 1

5 Pastor & Faith Formation Staff Please see the St. Therese parish website for staff contacts: st-therese.org. St. Therese parish office:

6 Faith Connections Faith is a gift that is nurtured both in and by one s home and community. Below are suggestions for nurturing faith. In Our Faith Community Family Prayer, Service and Ministry Opportunities, Parish Office Administrative Services Faith Formation Pastoral Ministry Worship Music St. Therese School Principal Pastoral care can assist with spiritual and emotional needs and life transitions. Contact Other resources are listed on the St. Therese web site, In Your Home Join the community for Liturgy on a regular basis. Before Mass, read the scriptures and share your thoughts with family and friends. After Mass, continue the conversation with What did you hear? Talk about the symbols and actions. Support and nurture family with intentional choices. Eat and pray together. Meals were important in the life of Jesus. At mealtime, families have opportunities to share values and pass on their faith. Consider choices that are family-friendly that support your values. Pay attention. Look for opportunities to live and celebrate your faith. Protect family time by saying no when activities consume you. Clearly state your messages of faith, love and support often. 3

7 Faith Formation Policies DRESS CODE & FAITH FORMATION ATTIRE The Church of St. Therese encourages students to take pride in their attire at Faith Formation. The dress and grooming of students in Faith Formation becomes the concern of staff and others, if it causes disruption of the educational program or if it is inappropriate or offensive to other students. Since we are all made in the image of God, students need to dress in a manner which is reflective of this respect. This should take into consideration the safety, health and welfare of others. While we understand the importance of self expression and style in one s dress, there is a time and place for such expression. It is expected that students will strive for modesty in their attire. The following guidelines apply to students during their time at St. Therese at both Faith Formation and parish liturgies. DRESS AND GROOMING The following dress and grooming items are expressly prohibited: Clothing that does not cover the midriff and chest and clothing that does not cover undergarments are examples of dress that creates a distracting environment. Clothing that includes words or pictures that are obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, convey sexual innuendo, abuse or discrimination, or which promote or advertise alcohol, chemicals, tobacco or any other product that is illegal for use by minors. Clothing and other items or grooming in a manner that represents and/or promotes threat/ hate groups or gangs. Shoes with wheels are not allowed in the building In addition: Each catechist has the option of allowing students to wear a hat. Hats must not obstruct the student s view or interfere with learning in any way. Hats are never to be shared. To help students learn that hats are not always appropriate, we have identified times when hats are not worn. These times include Mass, prayer, or at any time when adults ask that hats be removed. PROCEDURE FOR INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR First offense Verbal warning Second offense Removal from class and parent notified Third offense Parents are called to pick up child/youth. A conference is held with child, parents, catechist and staff to discuss when/if the child/youth may return to class. TOBACCO, ALCOHOL, AND OTHER DRUGS The use and/or possession of tobacco products, drugs, alcohol or weapons are strictly prohibited on any church property or at any event. 4

8 Faith Formation Policies ELECTRONIC MEDIA To create a positive learning environment, all cell phones, MP3 players, IPods and any other electronic devices or toys must be off during class time. HARASSMENT It is important to maintain a Christian environment that encourages faith development. Respect for the dignity of each person is essential in our Catholic tradition. It is vital that faith formation programs provide a learning and working environment free of any form of harassment or intimidation. Harassment is defined as a single incident or pattern of behavior that creates a hostile, offensive or intimidating environment. Harassment can include, but is not limited to the following: Bullying Physical or mental abuse Threatening behavior Racial insults Derogatory ethnic slurs Unwelcome sexual advances or touching Sexual comments, jokes or gestures SAFETY PRECAUTIONS The Faith Formation Ministry Area has policies in place for fire, severe weather and medical emergencies. Catechists are informed of these policies during fall training sessions. DROPPING OFF/PICKING UP CHILDREN FROM CLASSES All children in grades 1-5 must be escorted by a parent, *older sibling or another authorized adult to their assigned classroom, and then signed in by that escort. When class has ended, parent, *older sibling or authorized adult must sign out the child from the assigned classroom. Any parent wishing to give their consent to have another adult or sibling pick-up their child from class must fill out and sign an authorization card and leave it on file with the class catechist. *Older siblings who are authorized to pickup younger siblings must be grade 6 or older. PARKING LOT PROCEDURE Only children in grades 6-12 may be dropped off at the front door of the education center for Faith Formation classes. All other children must be escorted to their classroom by an authorized older sibling (grade 6 and up) or adult. All vehicles must be parked in lined parking spaces in the lot. No pull-up parking along curbs or in non-lined spots is allowed. Any car parked in non-lined spot is subject to ticket and tow. Anyone parking in a designated disability parking space who does not have a disability tag or license plate, will be subject to ticket and tow. Extreme caution must be exercised while backing out of parking spots due to the presence of young children and youth in the lot. Keep your children in sight and close to you while moving through the parking area. (continued on next page) 5

9 Faith Formation Policies PARKING LOT PROCEDURE Continued Do not use parking spaces designated Day Care Parking Only. PLAYGROUND POLICY Children are not allowed to use the playground unless supervised by an adult. ATTENDANCE Attendance will be taken in all classes. If there has been no communication from the parents and your child is not present within the first 15 minutes of class time, you will be notified. Your child s safety is our first concern. If your youth arrives late or needs to leave early, a note will be required. Attendance line: This is a direct line where you can leave a message. SR. HIGH Catechesis/Confirmation ATTENDANCE POLICY Important! Please see page 15. SEVERE WEATHER If inclement weather occurs, please check WCCO-TV Channel-4 or Website, for cancellations. If St. Therese School cancels classes early, all Parish Faith Formation Programs will be cancelled as well. SPECIAL NEEDS POLICY At St. Therese we invite all families and their children with special needs to fully participate in Faith Formation and sacramental preparation. YOUTH EXPECTATIONS Attend Church on Sundays and Holy Days To help youth become fully formed and well informed throughout their Faith Formation process, we ask students to participate in all of the scheduled classes and activities with an open mind and positive attitude. POLICY FOR THE PREPARATION OF SACRAMENTS Uninterrupted ongoing faith formation provides the seamless faith development that is essential for the reception of the Sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation. Attendance at Mass and the regular reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are crucial to the forming of one s faith. We recognize that some students may have had an interrupted formation process. These students will be required to take a year of Faith Formation with 75% attendance or more prior to registration for sacramental preparation. Exceptions to this policy may be on an individual basis. This is ONLY for those who come to us with an already interrupted process. 6

10 Sacramental Preparation For complete information regarding sacraments, contact the staff listed below. Baptism Baptism preparation classes are held each month. The sacrament of Baptism is celebrated on designated Sunday s throughout the year. Carol Laubach Reconciliation Preparation for First Reconciliation is a family-centered program for children grade two and above and their families. Group celebration is in late Fall. Liz Lammers First Eucharist Preparation for First Eucharist is a family-centered program for children grade two and above and their families. Group celebration is in the Spring. Liz Lammers Confirmation The Confirmation program is open to youth grades Celebration is typically in the Spring. Angie Wilz Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults/Children (RCIA) RCIA is the process in which one inquires about being Catholic and takes the steps into full initiation of the Catholic Church. Garrick Comeaux

11 Sacramental Preparation Reconciliation The community of St. Therese invites families with children entering the second grade or older to prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Reconciliation, the Sacrament of Forgiveness/Healing, has traditionally been celebrated in the second grade prior to the reception of First Eucharist. Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation includes: Parent orientation. In this session, parents will review current Catholic teaching and practice of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, learn about the process for preparing their child for Reconciliation and receive the catechetical teaching materials for athome study with their child. Home-study. From September through November, parents will work with their child to complete the catechetical materials in the home. Parent / child retreat. This retreat provides an opportunity for both parents and children to learn and share more about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Contact Person: Liz Lammers Eucharist The community of St. Therese invites families with children entering the second grade and older to prepare for the Sacrament of Eucharist. First Eucharist (or First Communion) is traditionally celebrated in the second grade. Parents are asked to support the preparation of their children for the Sacrament of Eucharist by regularly attending weekend Mass and registering their child for and fully participating in weekly Faith Formation classes and events. Preparation for First Eucharist includes: Parent orientation & formation session: In this session, parents will learn about the process for preparing their child for 1st Eucharist and receive the catechetical teaching materials for at-home study with their child. In addition, the session includes and overview of current Catholic teaching and practice of the Sacrament of Eucharist. Parent / child retreat: This session provides an introduction to the Eucharist at a level appropriate for the child in Grade 2. Home-study: From February through April, parents work with their children to complete the catechetical teaching materials. Rehearsal: Parents and children come together one last time prior to the reception of the sacrament to finalize preparation. Attendance at this session is required for your child to be part of a 1st Eucharist celebration in the spring. Contact Person: Liz Lammers

12 Sacramental Preparation 9

13 Sacramental Preparation Confirmation Prerequisite note: St. Therese Faith Formation policy requires that all students must complete a year of foundational faith formation prior to beginning the Confirmation process. The foundational year must immediately precede the Confirmation year. A student must have attended a minimum of 75% of their Faith Formation classes during 8th Grade. If not, an additional course of foundational catechesis will be required. Attendance at a Catholic School in the preceding year fulfills this requirement. Contact a Faith Formation staff member with questions about foundational catechesis. Confirmation is generally celebrated in May or June of each year. The Church of St. Therese of Deephaven seeks to provide the young person with sound Catholic doctrine as well as foster the development of his or her personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Youth may enter the Confirmation catechesis and preparation program as early as Grade 9. The 1-year program includes a total of 25 sessions (20 catechetical + 5 immediate preparation) calendared from September through April/May. (Note: The core curriculum at a Catholic High School (CHS) exempts youth who attend a CHS from the first 20 sessions.) In order to begin the preparation sessions immediately prior to celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation, a youth must complete coursework based upon the 4 pillars of the Catholic Church: Prayer; Creed; Liturgy and Sacraments; Morality, and complete a weekend long Confirmation retreat at the NET center in St. Paul. Youth will be required to complete weekly reading and homework assignments. The 20 catechetical sessions occur from September through March. Upon completing the 20 catechetical sessions, youth begin 5-sessions of immediate preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation with their sponsors. Confirmation is celebrated in May or June. For a complete overview of the Confirmation program, see page 15. Contact Person: Angie Wilz

14 Catechesis and Formation Sunday Pre-K/K Grade level: Pre-K/K Pre-Kindergarten children who are 3 years old to 5 years old before September. Kindergarten - children who are attending kindergarten in the Fall. Dates and Times: Sessions meet on most Sunday mornings from 9:15-9:55AM. Description: This program, for pre-kindergarten through kindergarten level children, is held in the lower level of the St. Therese Church. Pflaum Gospel Weeklies, a lectionary-based curriculum, is used to break open the Sunday Gospel for the day. Children are taught through large group singing, prayer, drama and small group activities. St. Therese high school youth serve the children as catechists with adult supervision and direction. Objectives for the Sunday program include: Gather the children together as a faith community. Present the Sunday Gospel. Discuss the Sunday Gospel. Model music and singing as a means to praise God, using music to build and express our faith. Practice select parts of the Mass, with emphasis on The Sign of the Cross and The Our Father. Present a fun and engaging faith-filled celebration for children. Provide parents with a weekly take-home resource to extend the Sunday message at home throughout the week at home. Please note: All children must be signed in and out, escorted to the classroom, and picked up from the classroom by a parent or designated adult. All children should be dropped off in the classroom only when a catechist is present. Parent Commitment: Regular participation at weekend liturgy is a central element of this program and our Catholic faith. Please make every effort to regularly attend Mass with your child. 11

15 Catechesis and Formation Elementary Grade level: 1-5 Dates and Times: Sessions meet on Wednesday evenings from 4:30-5:45PM or 6:30-7:45PM from late September through April (see Faith Formation calendar for dates). Description: This program is held in the St. Therese Education Center and all grades use the Loyola Press curriculum, Finding God: Our Response to God s Gifts. This comprehensive religion program is based on a spiral curriculum that integrates the fundamental themes of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with Scripture and Catholic Social Teachings. As children are introduced to and revisit concepts and vocabulary from one year to the next, their knowledge and experience both broaden and deepen. This program provides lessons in the faith and delivers those lessons through experiential activities that encourage lifelong practice. Children are placed into grade-specific classes led by a team of two catechists. Class sizes will vary depending upon availability of catechists. Please note: Each student must be brought to the classroom and picked up after class by a parent/ designated adult/older sibling. DO NOT leave your child in the classroom or hallway if a catechist is not present. The catechist will not release the child until a parent/ designated adult or an older sibling is present to pick him /her up. Parent Commitment: Regular participation with your family at weekend liturgy is a central element of this program and our Catholic faith. Continue classroom learning at home using the workbook sheets sent home with children each week. Attend the Grades 1-5 curriculum night in the Fall (see Faith Formation calendar for date and times). Be present on assigned days to assist with program-related tasks. Encourage prayer at home with your family. Stay current with your child s classroom activities. Support your child s catechist as a substitute or with other classroom assistance. 12

16 Catechesis and Formation Middle School Grade level: 6-7 Dates and Times: Sessions meet on Wednesday evenings 4:30-5:45PM or 6:30-7:45PM from late September through April (see Faith Formation calendar for dates). Description: This Faith Formation program for youth in Grades 6-7 uses the St. Mary s Press curriculum, Catholic Connections. This curriculum is designed to strengthen the participants Catholic identity and inspire them to participate more fully in the Church s mission. The sessions in the six, 7-week courses will help young adolescents to make connections between the Catholic faith and everyday life and to strengthen their connection to the faith community. The Catholic Connections program offers a comprehensive overview of the Catholic faith that is correlated with the four parts, or pillars, of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The three courses that correspond to the Catechism s first pillar God, Revelation, and Faith; Jesus the Christ; and The Holy Spirit and the Church follow the Catechism by using the framework of the Creed to explore the central beliefs of Catholics. The Catechism s second pillar corresponds with two courses: Sacraments and Prayer and The Eucharist. An entire course is dedicated to the Eucharist because of its centrality and importance for the Catholic church. The third pillar of the Catechism corresponds with the course Christian Morality and Justice. Prayer, the focus of the Catechism s fourth pillar, is explored in several sessions in the course Sacraments and Prayer as well as being integrated throughout the entire program. In each course the youth use as their text book The Catholic Connections Handbook for Middle Schoolers. Youth will be asked to bring this text to class each week they meet AND will be asked to read from it during the week at home. This textbook will be checked out to each student in the Fall and must be returned to St. Therese in the Spring in the same condition to avoid assessment of a fee. Parent Commitment: Participate with your son or daughter at Mass each week. Encourage your son or daughter to do the reading and homework during the week. Be present on assigned days to assist with program-related tasks. 13

17 Catechesis and Formation Middle School Grade level: 8 Dates and Times: Sessions meet on Wednesday evenings 4:30-5:45PM or 6:30-7:45PM from late September through April (see Faith Formation calendar for dates). Description: This Faith Formation program for youth in Grade 8 uses the Loyola Press curriculum, Called to Be Catholic. This curriculum provides young people with a comprehensive presentation of the essentials and key teachings of the Catholic faith centered on The Creed, The Sacraments, The Moral Life, and A life of Prayer. Developed with adolescents in mind, Called to be Catholic offers substantive, engaging content, Scripture, and prayer that inspire young people to deepen their relationship with God and recognize that faith matters. Called to be Catholic provides youth with a doctrinal review as they leave their middle school years and step into the year of preparation for full initiation into the Catholic Church. Youth will use the Called to Be Catholic workbook at home and in class throughout the year. Youth will be required to complete weekly reading and homework assignments. Parent Commitment: Participate with your son or daughter at Mass each week. Encourage your son or daughter to do the reading and homework during the week. Be present on assigned days to assist with program-related tasks. 14

18 Catechesis and Formation Senior High Catechesis & Confirmation Grade level: 9-12 Prerequisite note: St. Therese Faith Formation policy requires that all students must complete a year of foundational faith formation prior to beginning the Confirmation process. The foundational year must immediately precede the Confirmation year. A student must have attended a minimum of 75% of their Faith Formation classes during 8th Grade. If not, an additional course of foundational catechesis will be required. Attendance at a Catholic School in the preceding year fulfills this requirement. Contact a Faith Formation staff member with questions about foundational catechesis. General information: Grade 9 or beyond 1-year program* Curriculum: Catholic Faith Handbook, St. Mary s Press** Twenty Five, 120 minute sessions four, 5-session parts + 5 prep sessions Sessions run from mid-september thru April The first 20 sessions: Each of the first 20 sessions is offered twice: Sundays, 3-5:00pm; Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30pm. Sponsor or parent will attend with candidate one session per 5-week part (total of 4 out of 20 sessions) No more than 3 absences allowed during the first 20 sessions. No more than 1 absence allowed in a single 5- session part. Candidates missing sessions must complete make-up work. The last 5 sessions: Sessions will occur during March, April and into early May. Each of the last 5 sessions is offered once: Sundays, 3-5:00pm. Sponsor and candidate are required to attend all 5 sessions. Special arrangements with the Confirmation Coordinator may be made in the event sponsor is not able to attend all sessions. No absences allowed for candidates. Candidates missing a session will need to arrange a meeting with Confirmation Coordinator, parent, sponsor. Additional requirements: Weekend Mass attendance ALL candidates must attend a NET Confirmation Retreat and provide proof of attendance to the St. Therese Confirmation Coordinator. Payment and registration for this retreat is the candidate s responsibility. Candidate will identify Confirmation sponsor in the Fall by October 15 and complete all forms. Service Requirement: 20+ hours during preparation year Candidate will research and choose a Saint s name and complete essay regarding choice. Candidate will write a letter stating wish to be Confirmed and why, and readiness to receive the Sacrament. Any candidate not baptized at St. Therese will contact the parish of baptism and request a newly issued and stamped Baptismal Certificate be mailed to St. Therese prior to December 15. *Attendance at Catholic High School throughout the year takes the place of the first 20 sessions. Youth withdrawing from a Catholic High School during the school year will need to meet, along with a parent, with the Confirmation Coordinator to determine what additional work must be completed prior to Confirmation. **This curriculum includes four, 5-session parts based on the four pillars of the Catholic Church: Prayer; Creed; Liturgy and Sacraments; Morality. See the Faith Formation Program Calendar for specific Sr. High Faith Formation program dates. 15

19 Catechesis and Formation Youth in Discipleship Grades 6-8 Youth in 6-8th grades have the opportunity to participate in a variety of events and activities throughout the school year. The main event is Wild Wednesday s which takes place from 5:30-6:30 pm in the school gym on the days Faith Formation is in session. Meet us for snacks and fun either after your 4:30 Faith Formation class or before your 6:30 Faith Formation class. Be there or be square! Watch the bulletin for other events. Grades 9-12 Young adults in grades 9-12 are challenged to continue Igniting their Fire. They will have the opportunity to explore and expand their discipleship weekly during Senior High Thursday. It is open to all high school students. We will gather from 7-9 pm Thursday evenings for food, fun, and faith. Once each month, NET Ministries will help us to dig deeper on our discipleship journeys. From 5:00 8:30 pm, youth will be lifted up and led to an ever deeper love of Christ and His Church by the greatest retreat group around and dinner will be provided. Join us for an exciting evening. Net Night dates are on our website. It s the place to be! Other senior high activities may include: Archdiocesan Youth Day Lifeline Masses Bible Study Steubenville Youth Conference Winter Retreat To learn more about the above activities and keep informed about new ones, go to the parish website, Faith Formation, Youth in Discipleship. 16

20 Catechesis and Formation Adult Bible Study Adult/Young adult Description: A living faith is a searching faith it seeks understanding. The adult needs to question, probe and critically reflect on the meaning of God s revelation in their unique lives to grow closer to God. A searching faith leads to a deepening conversion. Like all living things, a living faith needs nourishment. The Church of St. Therese of Deephaven seeks to provide a series of adult formation offerings that serve to nourish the adults in our parish community. Bible Study -Adult Series this series consists of 21 books. Small Faith Sharing groups meet from September through May to study the individual books of the Bible. These groups consist of prayer, faith sharing as well as the study of scripture. Watch the bulletin for further information and sign up. Contact person: Liz Lammers, Director of Faith Formation at

21 Catechesis and Formation 18

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