The handing on of our beliefs and values is a joint responsibility of the family and parish. The importance of the family cannot be emphasized enough as the primary teacher and facilitator of the faith. A religious education program enhances, supports and enlivens participation in the faith.
St. Matthews is moving towards a type of religious education that emphasizes the primary importance of the family role in handing on the faith. The upcoming 2019-2020 year will be a move to regular class meeting on Sundays following 9:30am Mass and alternating with the child completing an assignment at home under the direction of their parents. Essentially, regular classes would be held in the Parish Center every other Sunday from September thru March. Sacramental preparation would remain the same. Special meetings are required of parents and children within the calendar year.
Each catechist has a page on the PREP tab at the Saint Matthew website where assignments would be posted to be completed for the next in class session. Parents would be provided a password to access these assignments and would be able to complete them with their children at a convenient time for the family. Even if a regular class is missed an assignment will be posted to be completed. The assignments are to be turned into the catechist at each class session and marked as completed.
Families will also be required to attend three events in the Parish as well as consistently attend Mass on the weekends. A list of options is found under requirements. Flexibility and Creativity must be a strong component in completing this and is seen as an opportunity rather than a demand to engage the family as a unit in living out the faith.
“A family that plays and prays together, stays together” is our motto.
Each student is to attend regular class session in the Parish Center.
Regular class sessions begin at 10:25 am and end 11:25 am. Arrival and Dismissal procedures remain the same. Drop off on Harry Street. Parents (authorized pick up) must enter building and sign out as the children are dismissed. (Walkers must have an authorization form on file).
Each student is to hand into the catechist the assignment posted on the alternating Sundays designated on the calendar Family Assignment.
If three assignments are missing in a calendar year, the student will not be permitted to move to the next level, which will affect receiving a sacrament. A grace period to complete the work is at the discretion of the Coordinator of Religious Education.
A student may miss a regular class session and hand in what was covered in that lesson which will be counted as completed.
Sacrament Policy remains the same.
Archdiocesan regulation stipulates that a child must be in religious education for at least two consecutive years to qualify for the reception of that sacrament. (e.g. First and Second grade to receive First Penance and Holy Communion in Second grade. 6th and 7th or 7th and 8th to receive Confirmation in 7th or 8th grade).
Students out of level or older receive at the discretion of the Pastor.
St. Matthews celebrates First Penance and First Holy Communion every year. Confirmation every other year.
Event attendance options:
Thanksgiving Mass (participating in the presentation of Grace counts as a family assignment and an event)
Advent Tree Lighting ( same double count as Thanksgiving)
Family attendance at the celebration of a Sacrament. ( Baptism, Funeral, Eucharist, Anniversary Mass or Prayer service) (send in a picture or have students write up a few sentences about the experience.)
Going to Confession ( have student write up a comment on the experience, but not to include their sins).
Attend Mass in another church bring in a bulletin or a picture of you there.
Attend a sacred concert or visit a shrine. ( Bring a program or brochure)
Ash Wednesday Mass
Holy Thursday and or Good Friday
Community service event. Document with flyer, picture, written report from student. Several families can be apart of this.
Stations of the Cross (Friday evenings during Lent:Youth Group leads the Friday before Holy Week)
Rosary ( Monday evenings during October)
Holy Day liturgy ( All Saints Nov. 1, Immaculate Conception Dec. 8th, Solemnity of Mary Jan 1, Assumption of Blessed Mother August 15, Ascension Thursday, 40 days after Easter- date moves)
Selecting a date and mass to bring the gifts up at the Offertory
Event attendance must be accompanied with some form of documentation. Simple examples are listed with the options. Non-compliance could jeopardize student moving to the next level.
Currently we are working on a way to use your phone or electronic device to document attendance rather than use a sign in sheet in the back of church…A parent portal has been suggested. Any ideas are welcome.
Families can suggest an option which can be proposed to Coordinator and Pastor for approval.