Faith Formation & Spirituality (FFS) Program
The parish is the proper place for catechetical and missionary activities, and all souls living within the bounds of the parish are the unique spiritual responsibility of the pastor. It is the parish to which families, especially those with children (typical needs and special needs), look for their catechetical formation.
All children in our parish with typical and special needs need to feel at home in this community because they are the treasure(s) of the church. Therefore, we offer engaging Faith Formation & Spirituality programs to "introduce children to the person at the heart of our faith, who desires well-informed students and lifelong disciples."
Faith formation & Spirituality goes beyond religious education. We go further than giving students information about Jesus; we invest in making Faith part of them and teach them the value of having a relationship with Jesus; that personal encounter that everyone needs to have to own up to their Faith.
We intend to have a vibrant Faith Formation ministry that is seamless from 3-year-old all the way through old age that invests in our parish where everyone always feels at home where they belong, which is in keeping with our FFS motto: "We all Belong to Christ."
Environment and Scope
Children have a powerful role to play in our parish because they are the leaders of today at their different levels, and the leaders of tomorrow as they grow to be committed Catholics. In an atmosphere of welcoming, caring, and sharing, this natural extension seeks to provide children a safe, quiet, joyful and religious environment where the children (3-yr-olds to 8th grade) of St. Andrew the Apostle establish a relationship with God and can be great young parishioners.
Children have a powerful role to play in our liturgical environment because they are the leaders of today at their different levels, and the leaders of tomorrow as they grow to be committed Catholics. To accomplish this, children need to be personally engaged in the liturgical activities of parish life.
In the upbringing of children in the Church a special difficulty arises from the fact that liturgical celebrations cannot fully exercise their inherent pedagogical force upon children. This is especially problematic with the Eucharist. Furthermore, the circumstances in which many children grow up today are not supportive of their spiritual development. Finally, most parents scarcely fulfill the obligations they accepted at the Baptism of their children to bring them up as faithful Christians.
Therefore, early engagement of children in parish life can counteract these challenges by developing an internal sense of commitment and an active participation as they grow. The participation and engagement of children in the parish life will aid the parents in their primary role as educators of their children. It will also assist in the enrichment of the faith life of the parents.
We, thus, have 3 strategic goals to guide our kiddos in a more meaningful parish life.
- Eucharistic Community: Christ commands that we "let the children come to Him" (Matt 19:14), and He chooses to use them as the example of how we are enter the Kingdom of Heaven. To respond to Christ's request in our parish, children need to be personally engaged in parish life. We shall continue to enhance a vibrant Eucharistic Community where children together with their families have a genuine love for the eucharist.
- Faith Formation: To have a vibrant Faith Formation ministry that is seamless from Preschool all the way through old age that invests in our parish where everyone always feels at home where they belong, which is in keeping with our FFS motto: "We all Belong to Christ."
- Participation in the Liturgy: Expand youth participation in the various ministries provided by the parish. These include altar serving, ushering, hospitality, video projections, music, and sound ministry, among others. Start a Child Lector Ministry that will engage kiddos to actively participate in Mass as lectors and help transition them as youth lectors and finally as adult lectors
To have a vibrant Faith Formation ministry that is seamless from Pre-Kindergarten all the way through old age that invests in our parish where everyone always feels at home where they belong, which is in keeping with our FFS motto: "We all Belong to Christ."
Model for the parish - "We are a Roman Catholic Community committed to the mission of Jesus Christ; dedicated to the formation of disciples who use their gifts to fulfill His mission."
Develop and execute a ten-year plan to build a strong, capable, and reverend pool of actively engaged children volunteers (3-year-old to 8th grade) through recognition of talent and intentional invitation. Maintain a pipeline of children ready to assume the role of active volunteering at the parish as they grow, develop and mature.
As always, we hope to combine faith and fun and have the kids continue their faith journey through building and maintaining their faith communities. The main focus of this school year, and every year at Infiniti, is to ensure that our students always feel at home where they belong. Therefore, there will be more activities to involve parents and build the parents' communities as well.
This formation revolves around the following general outline.
- Initial faith formation: Building a sense of belonging to the family of God.
- Initial faith formation: Sacrament Preparation for 1st Reconciliation
- Initial faith formation: Sacrament Preparation for Confirmation & First Eucharist.
- Ongoing faith formation: this happens immediately after completing the sacraments of initiation and is lifelong.
We, therefore, offer two major types of catechesis that address the diverse needs of our children.
- Typical Needs Faith Formation & Spirituality Catechesis
- Special Needs Faith Formation & Spirituality Catechesis
About Special Needs
The Special Needs program provides Faith Formation opportunities for students with Special Needs. The program is designed to instruct children with special needs such as Autism, ADHD, and Down syndrome. The students can be placed in a classroom setting with an aide or receive one-on-one instruction depending on an individual child's needs.
Purpose and Scope
In an atmosphere of welcoming, caring and sharing, this position seeks to provide a safe, quiet, joyful, religious environment where the children with Special Needs (kindergarten to 18 years old) of St. Andrew the Apostle establish a relationship with God and can work according to their own pace and ability.
Adults are needed in the classroom! Training is provided. Safe Environment Training is required and available at St. Andrew for new volunteers or online if renewing. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
3-year-olds to 5th Grade
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is a Montessori-based program that provides Faith Formation opportunities for 3-year-olds to 1st-grade students. It creates a "hands-
on" environment called an "atrium" in which children can hear, think about, and celebrate the important Mysteries of the Catholic Faith as made known in Liturgy and Scripture.
Class times: Tuesdays & Wednesdays (5:00-6:30pm)
- 3-year-olds to Pre-K (9:30-11:00am, 5:00-6:30pm)
- Grade 1
Sacrament Preparation is a program that provides Faith Formation opportunities for2nd to 12th-grade students. The instruction is based on the standard classroom arrangement, with the catechist taking the lead in imparting the Faith, engaging the students in activities, and preparing them to receive the sacraments they need.
- Baptized Children joining FFS for the first time in Grade 2 are still considered "On Track" as that's when the Sacrament preps start; (In the ideal world, they should join FFS at 3 year old)
- Unbaptized Children joining FFS for the first time in Grade 2 are still considered On Track as that when the sacramental preps start; (In the ideal world, they should be baptized as infants). They are to sign up for the Wednesday class.
- Unbaptized Children joining FFS for the first time in Grade 3-5 are considered Off Track and are to sign up for the Wednesday class.
- Parents of children moving from other dioceses and/or parishes in the middle of their sacramental Preparation are required to set up a meeting with Faith Formation office at email@example.com before enrolling for the class.
The sacrament preparation is a two-year program:
- Year 1: Reconciliation
- Year 2: Confirmation & First Eucharist
Class times: Tuesdays & Wednesdays (5:00-6:30pm)
- Grade 2 First Reconciliation
- Grade 3 Confirmation & First Eucharist
- Grade 4/5 Off Track Year I (First Reconciliation) – Tuesday only
- Grade 4/5 Off Track Year II (Confirmation & First Eucharist) – Wed only
- Grade 6 – 8 Sacrament Prep – Wed only
The Journey is a program that provides Faith Formation opportunities for 4th and 5th grade students who have completed their sacraments of initiation. In addition, the program is designed to engage further those who have already received their sacraments of initiation and are continuing their "Journey of Faith" as newly confirmed. Students are connected to our community and Faith through videos, music, meditations, interactive games and more.
Class times: Tuesdays & Wednesdays (5:00-6:30pm)
Edge is a program that provides Faith Formation opportunities for 6th to 8th students. Within the context of Faith, these youth are moving from a child-like spirituality to one that will hopefully reach its pinnacle, through the work of EDGE, into an adult faith commitment to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Community.
The name "EDGE" recognizes that the school youth are on the EDGE in their life, and if we as a church don't do something about it, they're going to fall off the EDGE, and we are never going to see them again. But, at the same time, we as a church will give them the EDGE they need in life: Jesus Christ, the Sacraments, Sacred Scripture, the Teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, and a community to love nurture and challenge them.
Life Teen is a program that provides Faith Formation opportunities for 9th to 12th School Students. The goal of Life Teen is to create an environment to lead teens into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. It speaks to teens on all levels: emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual.
The Life Nights falls under one of three categories: catechetical, issue, or social. The primary objective is to encourage teens to realize a deeper relationship with Christ and to challenge them to live their faith as they carry out their daily lives. Teens experience this sharing in an atmosphere of love and acceptance from their peers and the adult leaders who are there to assist them in their journey.
Children's Liturgy of the Word
The Liturgy of the Word with Children is...
- Is a ritual for the proclamation of God’s Word with Children appropriate to their understanding.
- Is a moment of salvation in which the living God communicates life to God’s children and in which they respond with awe, praise, thanksgiving and petition.
- Is liturgy and is not Sunday School. Activity sheets can be useful as take-home material for family follow-up, but they are not appropriate to be used during a liturgical celebration.
- Is time to hear God’s Word at an appropriate level.
- Is an opportunity to hear the Gospel message and consider how to practice it in life.
It is offered for kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade, during the 9:00am and 11:00am Masses. The Sunday Readings are presented to the children and an age-appropriate discussion about the Gospel follows.
Sessions: Sundays during the 9:00am and 11:00am Masses from August to May during school season.
*We will not be hosting Children’s Masses during the summer.
Summer program is a dynamic, fun parish catechetical camp for 3-yr-old to 5th grade kids. It is a week filled with biblical teaching, worship, and building deeper relationships with their friends and leaders. The parish ministers come up with annual themes that they use to engage the participants in and always tie it with the catholic faith. Simply put, summer program is a FFS program with a “laid back” approach as kids play and do more activities. The children spend longer hours per day, an approximate of 3 to 4 hours per day for 5 consecutive days.
We have two main programs we use:
Vacation Bible School (VBS): This is run by parish volunteers.
TOTUS TUUS (Totally Yours) is a dynamic, fun parish catechetical camp for 1st-12th grade children & teens. The witness of the teachers – their youthfulness, prayerfulness, energy and fun – makes them especially effective in ministering to children and teens. VBS has many structural similarities, as both offer catechesis to children (1st-6th grade) during a week-long program. However, Totus Tuus is run by missionaries from our diocese, rather than parish volunteers.