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

Intro copy, our vision/philosophy for youth and children.

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

January

3 No FFA – winter break
10 FFA – Week 10
17 FFA – Week 11
24 FFA – Week 12
31 All Parish Jell-O Bingo Night

February

7 FFA – Week 13
14 No FFA – Ash Wednesday
21 FFA – Week 14
28 FFA – Week 15

March

7 FFA – Week 16
14 FFA – Week 17

21 FFA – Week 18
28 No FFA – Holy Week

April

4 No FFA – spring break
11 FFA – Week 19
18 FFA – Week 20
21 First Eucharist Retreat
25 FFA – Week 21
28/29 First Eucharist Celebrations

May

2 FFA – Week 22
9 Table Prayer
19/20 Registration for fall

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

Intro copy, our vision for adults, philosophy that informs it, offered evenings and mornings, etc.

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

January

3 No FFA – winter break
10 FFA – Week 10
17 FFA – Week 11
24 FFA – Week 12
31 All Parish Jell-O Bingo Night

February

7 FFA – Week 13
14 No FFA – Ash Wednesday
21 FFA – Week 14
28 FFA – Week 15

March

7 FFA – Week 16
14 FFA – Week 17

21 FFA – Week 18
28 No FFA – Holy Week

April

4 No FFA – spring break
11 FFA – Week 19
18 FFA – Week 20
21 First Eucharist Retreat
25 FFA – Week 21
28/29 First Eucharist Celebrations

May

2 FFA – Week 22
9 Table Prayer
19/20 Registration for fall

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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