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Saint Philomena Catechetical Center
Faith Formation Program
Saint Philomena's Faith Formation Center aids parents in being their child or children’s first teacher of the faith. The Catholic Catechism states:
“Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child's earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel.
Family catechesis (teaching) precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.”
We are grateful you have given your children the awareness and the importance of their faith. The Center supplements your teaching role by sharing our Catholic beliefs and fostering a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Our Lord through prayer and the Church. We also emphasize Jesus’ call to love our neighbor and work to bring forward God’s love in and for all.
The Faith Formation Center offers sessions specifically geared to children in the parish who are in the public school system’s grades 1 - 8. The Center also prepares all children of the parish for the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation.
We strongly believe that the family is the first and primary place where children learn about faith and God. Our role is to work with parents and families in developing and enriching their children's faith by:
*Developing their knowledge of the Catholic faith and its practices
*Assisting them in developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
*Providing the children with opportunities to develop a sense of stewardship and service to the Church and community
*Preparing the children for the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation.
The Impact of the Pandemic & Class Times
This year, within the pandemic, we have an eight-year program for Grades 1 through 8. Sessions begin in mid-October and end in early May. Sessions are currently all virtual for all students and families’ safety. This will be re-evaluated in January to determine if we can offer classes on the parish campus. For each child, you will choose one time for the virtual class as follows:
Grade 1: Choose Sunday morning 9am -10:15am or Monday 4pm-5:15pm
Grade 2: Choose Sunday morning 9am -10:15am or Tuesday 4pm-5:15pm
Grade 3: Choose Sunday morning 9am -10:15am or Monday 4pm-5:15pm
Grade 4: Choose Sunday morning 9am -10:15am only
Grade 5: Choose Sunday morning 9am -10:15am or Tuesday 4pm -5:15pm.
Grade 6: Choose Every Other Week on Sunday 10:45am-1:15pm including 12 noon Mass virtually Or Monday evening Every Week 7pm -8:30pm
Grade 7: Choose Every Week on Sunday 9am – 10:15am
Or Monday evening Every Week 7pm -8:30pm
Grade 8: Choose Every Other Week on Sunday 10:45am-1:15pm including 12 noon Mass virtually Or Monday evening Every Week 7pm -8:30pm
Faith Formation Registration Forms
The Role of Parents
Parents play a most important role in a child’s religious education. We encourage all families to pray together at home and help their children learn their prayers. Participating at Mass each week is an important faith experience for children and families. Participation at Mass demonstrates to your children the priority that their relationship with Jesus our Lord and our Catholic community of faith has in their lives.
We are grateful for our Catechists (teachers), who are all volunteer parishioners. They participate in training sessions and are asked to participate in the Archdiocesan Certification Program. All catechists have been screened by the Archdiocesan "Protect God's Children" program. Please let us know if you are interested in helping affect the faith lives of our children by helping in this beloved ministry.
Deacon Michael Wojcik
Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation and Director of Religious Education
Mrs. Karolyn Young
Our office is located in St Joseph's Hall and we can be reached by phone at 973-992-4466 or via email at email@example.com. The office is closed on Fridays and Saturdays. The Faith Formation office hours are:
Sunday - from 8:30 am to 10:30 am
Monday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. (Evening hours only while classes are in session)
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Other evening hours are available by appointment.
Basic understanding and preparation for receiving the sacraments requires a minimum of two years. The children are prepared for the sacraments of First Reconciliation (Confession), First Eucharist (Holy Communion) beginning with basic concepts in first grade. In the second grade we provide more specific preparation through classes, experiences, and family at home devotions and parish gatherings. First Reconciliation is usually celebrated in January or February and First Eucharist is usually celebrated during the Easter season, in April and/or May.
Preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation begins in the 7th grade and continues into the Fall of 9th grade. The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated in the Fall of 9th grade.
Please note that a minimum of two years of Faith Formation are required before a child can begin their sacramental preparation (1st and 2nd grades for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist and 7th and 8th grades for Confirmation). Parents are asked to participate in the preparation of their children for the sacraments by attending parent meetings, retreats and special days.
Sacrament of Reconciliation:
All children in grades 3 through 8 participate in a Reconciliation Service with individual confession during the seasons of Advent and Lent each year.
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matt 19:14