Faith Formation for All

 A Lifelong Ministry

Grounded in Scripture and Catholic tradition, Faith Formation for All (FFA) is a ministry of lifelong faith formation. So wherever you are on your faith journey, come and join us!

We share our faith in God, in Jesus Christ and in one another as Church. We tell our story; we form relationships rooted in the theological virtues of faith, hope and love; we commit ourselves to share our gifts with one another in a spirit of civility, charity, and understanding. We respect and value the life experiences of each person on their faith journey. It is truly an invitation for all to come and share their stories.

Faith Formation for Children & Youth

We seek to form young disciples by introducing them to Jesus and our Catholic Christian faith. Our children come to know the love that Jesus has for them and seek to share that love with others. Because children and youth are part of Faith Formation for All, they gather on Wednesday evenings with others who are also seeking to grow in their faith, instilling in them the message that our formation in faith is a lifelong journey. Each week, people of all ages are invited to share a simple meal together in Dillon Hall, join in a brief prayer service in the church, and then participate in break-out sessions with others their age.

Scroll down for registration information.

Materials

We use the Faith First and Be My Disciples materials from RCL Benziger for grades K–1 and 3–8. Our 2nd grade sacramental prep materials are part of RCL’s sacraments programs. Students have their own books which stay in the group bins. Additional activities and further information about the curricula can be found at www.faithfirst.com, bemydisciples.com and rclbsacraments.com.

Catechists

Faith Formation for All catechists are trained for their ministry role. An initial training session is provided as well as yearly renewal sessions. The time commitment is approximately two hours most Wednesday evenings from September through May. Any parish member high school age or older is welcome. In addition, all adults undergo a background check, complete safe environment training and sign a Code of Conduct. All catechists under age 18 provide written references and sign the Youth Code of Conduct.

Our catechists are the backbone of Faith Formation for All and we would be unable to provide this ministry without them. We always need catechists to lead, substitute and help with special projects. Please consider offering your talent and time to this meaningful and fun ministry. For more information, contact Cheryl Taylor.

Sacramental Preparation

Saint Thomas Aquinas famously said, “grace perfects nature.” As Catholics, we believe that the Sacraments are channels of God’s grace. Our ability to receive and appreciate that grace is enriched when we are well-prepared to celebrate those Sacraments. Therefore, we offer programs of preparation for those children who expect to celebrate the church’s Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, those youth who expect to celebrate Confirmation, and those adults who are seeking to marry, to have their child baptized, or themselves be initiated into the Catholic Church. For more information, please go to our Sacraments page and explore the Sacraments of interest to you.

Community

We offer special evenings for the entire parish. On Advent wreath making night, all parishioners are welcome to create an Advent wreath from fresh pine boughs. On Jell-O/Bingo night, we hold a Jell-O creation contest and enjoy a fun-filled evening of Bingo. For our Table Prayer, we gather as a parish community for prayer and a meal and to celebrate a year of sharing our faith together.

Schedule

Faith Formation for All on Wednesday evenings offers faith formation for children in grades K-8 (including preparation for 1st Reconciliation and 1st Eucharist in 2nd grade) and adults. The schedule for the evening is as follows:

5:45pm Simple Family Meal (free-will offering)

6:30 Community prayer (held in the church)

6:45 Faith formation break-out sessions (catechists process with the children to their rooms, adults meet in Dillon Hall)

7:45 Grades K-8 end

8:00 Adults end

Calendar

September 2018

23 2nd Grade Parents Meeting
26 FFA – Week 1

October 2018

3 FFA  – Week 2
10 FFA – Week 3
17 No FFA – MEA break
24 FFA – Week 4
31 No FFA-Halloween

November 2018

  7 FFA – Week 5
14 FFA – Week 6

21 FFA – No FFA-Thanksgiving Break
28 All Parish Advent Wreath Making Night

December 2018

  5 FFA  – Week 7
12 FFA – Week 8
13 First Reconciliation Celebration
19 FFA – Week 9
26 No FFA- Winter break

January 2019

  2 No FFA  – Winter break
  6 2nd Grade Parents meeting
9 FFA – Week 10
16 FFA – Week 11
23 FFA – Week 12

30 All Parish Jell-o Bingo Night!

February 2019

  6 FFA  – Week 13
13 FFA – Week 14
20 FFA – Week 15
27 FFA – Week 16

March 2019

  6 No FFA  – Ash Wednesday
13 FFA – Week 17
20 FFA – Week 18
27 FFA – Week 19

April 2019

  3 No FFA  – spring break
10 FFA – Week 20
17 No FFA – Holy Week
24 FFA – Week 21
27 First Eucharist Retreat

May 2019

   1 FFA  – Week 22
4/5 First Reconciliation Celebration
8 Table Prayer

 

Protection of Children and Youth Initiative

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) mandates that all dioceses provide age-appropriate, church-approved safety instruction for children in faith formation. Children in grades K-5 will engage in the safety awareness programs Child Safety Matters and KidSmartz, grade 6 uses NetSmartz and grades 7-8 use the middle school NetSmartz and VIRTUS curricula. The information will be presented throughout the year as part of our regular faith formation sessions. For more information or to receive a copy of VIRTUS, Teaching Boundaries and Safety Guide: Guide for Caring Adults, Parents and Guardians, contact either the Coordinator of Faith Formation with Children or the Coordinator of Sacramental Preparation with Children.

Registration

To register your children in our Faith Formation for All ministry, please download this PDF and print it out. After completion of the form it may be mailed or dropped off at the parish office. Our mailing address is found on the form. 

Faith Formation for Adults

The faith questions we have as adults are not the same as the ones that occupied our minds as children. At Saint Thomas the Apostle, we seek to engage adults as adults – respected in their unique state of life and their own journey in faith. Because adults are part of Faith Formation for All, they are invited to gather on Wednesday evenings with people of all ages for a simple meal and a brief prayer service. They then gather with other adults for a thought-provoking combination of presentation and conversation about our faith. In addition to the Wednesday evening program, we also offer a similar program on Wednesday morning, and we offer other special opportunities for adults throughout the year such as book-discussions, film-discussions, and occasional speakers.

There is No Need to Register

Just come as you are. See the calendar below.  

Materials

We emphasize fresh, relevant content drawn from a variety of sources and authors.

Sacramental Preparation

Adults interested in learning more about Catholic Sacraments, please visit our Sacraments page and look for the section on the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

Community

We offer special evenings for the entire parish. On Advent wreath making night, all parishioners are welcome to create an Advent wreath from fresh pine boughs. On Jell-O/Bingo night, we hold a Jell-O creation contest and enjoy a fun-filled evening of Bingo. For our Table Prayer, we gather as a parish community for prayer and a meal and to celebrate a year of sharing our faith together.

Schedule

Faith Formation for All on Wednesday evenings offers faith formation for children in grades K-8 (including preparation for 1st Reconciliation and 1st Eucharist in 2nd grade) and adults. The schedule for the evening is as follows:

5:45pm Simple Family Meal (free-will offering)

6:30 Community prayer (held in the church)

6:45 Faith formation break-out sessions (catechists process with the children to their rooms, adults meet in Dillon Hall)

7:45 Grades K-8 end

8:00 Adults end

Calendar

September 2018

26 FFA – Week 1

October 2018

  3 FFA – Week 2
10 FFA –  Week 3
24 FFA – Week 4

November 2018

  7 FFA – Week 5
14 FFA – Week 6

28 All Parish Advent Wreath Making Night

December 2018

  5 FFA – Week 7
12 FFA – Week 8
19 FFA – Week 9

January 2019

 9 FFA – Week 10
16 FFA – Week 11
23 FFA – Week 12

30 All Parish Jell-O Bingo Night

February 2019

  6 FFA  – Week 13
13 FFA – Week 14
20 FFA – Week 15
27 FFA – Week 16

March 2019

  6 Ash Wednesday
13 FFA – Week 17
20 FFA – Week 18
27 FFA – Week 19

April 2019

10 FFA  – Week 20
17 Holy Week
24 FFA – Week 21

May 2019

  1 FFA  – Week 22
  8 Table Prayer

Sacramental Preparation

Saint Thomas Aquinas famously said, “grace perfects nature.” As Catholics, we believe that the Sacraments are channels of God’s grace. Our ability to receive and appreciate that grace is enriched when we are well-prepared to celebrate those Sacraments. Therefore, we offer programs of preparation for those children who expect to celebrate the church’s Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, those youth who expect to celebrate Confirmation, and those adults who are seeking to marry, to have their child baptized, or themselves be initiated into the Catholic Church. For more information, please go to our Sacraments page and explore the Sacraments of interest to you.

Catechists (Teachers)

Sacramental Preparation catechists are trained for their ministry role. An initial training session is provided as well as yearly renewal sessions. The time commitment is approximately two hours most Wednesday evenings from September through May. Any parish member high school age or older is welcome. In addition, all adults undergo a background check, complete safe environment training and sign a Code of Conduct. All catechists under age 18 provide written references and sign the Youth Code of Conduct.

Our catechists are the backbone of Faith Formation for All and we would be unable to provide this ministry without them. We always need catechists to lead, substitute and help with special projects. Please consider offering your talent and time to this meaningful and fun ministry. For more information, contact Martina Hernandez.

Our Faith Formation Team

Bill Nolan

Pastoral Associate – Faith Formation / Social Outreach

Bill oversees the faith formation, sacramental preparation and social outreach programs for the parish. He is directly involved in leading adult faith formation and spiritual enrichment programs. Bill joined St. Thomas the Apostle in 2005.

Cheryl Taylor

Coordinator of Faith Formation with Children

Cheryl coordinates all aspects of our children’s faith formation programs, which comprise Seeds (ages 3-5) and Liturgy of the Word with Children (ages 6 and older) on Sunday mornings and Faith Formation for All(grades K-8) on Wednesday evenings. Cheryl has been on staff at St. Thomas the Apostle since 2006.

Martina Hernandez

Coordinator of Sacramental Preparation with Children

Martina organizes the parish sacramental preparation programs for children, including First Reconciliation and First Eucharist for second grade and Confirmation for grades 9 and 10. She began working at St. Thomas the Apostle in 2010.

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