Religious Education Programs
About the programs
St. Andrew the Apostle Religious Education program recognizes the family as the Domestic Church, offering parents opportunities and tools to share the richness of our Faith with their own children, including scheduled Family Sessions where parents are asked to attend with the students.
All children in our parish, both with typical needs and special needs, need to feel at home in this community because they are the treasure(s) of the church. That is why we offer a relational process of formation to “introduce children to the person at the heart of our faith, who desires not only well-informed students but lifelong disciples.”
This process is more than religious education; it is formation, where we strive to make discipleship tangible as key to transmitting the content of faith. This formation revolves along the following general outline.
- Building a sense of belonging to a community, the family of God.
- Introduction to more understanding of God through weekly classes on selected weeks throughout the year.
- Sacramental Preparation for 1st Reconciliation: 1st Reconciliation Service; participation for this sacrament must be a free response of faith.
- Sacramental Preparation for Confirmation & 1st Eucharist: Retreat before receiving the sacraments of Confirmation & 1st Eucharist.
- Ongoing faith formation: this happens immediately after completing the sacraments of initiation.
We, therefore, offer two major types of catechesis that attend to the different needs of our children.
- Typical Needs RE and Special Needs RE
Typical Needs RE
This is the standard program that many parishioners refer to when they talk about catechesis. The program is ‘christened’ “RE” and it is commonly understood to mean the general mode of offering catechesis in many catholic churches
Traditional RE (TRE)
Traditional RE is a program that provides religious formation opportunities for elementary school students. It takes place in a parish setting where instruction is based on the standard classroom arrangement, with the catechist taking the lead in imparting the faith and engaging the students in activities and assignments as found in the workbooks and activity books.
TRE sessions are offered for children in grade 1-5.
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (COGS)
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (COGS) is a program that provides religious formation opportunities for preschool - elementary school students. COGS is a Montessori based method of Religious Education which 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.
COGS Sessions are offered for children in Preschool-Grade 5.
Edge (Middle School RE)
Edge is a program provides religious formation opportunities for Middle School students. Within the context of faith, middle school 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 middle 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 ever going to see them again. But, at the same time, we as a church are going to give them the EDGE they need in life: Jesus Christ, the Sacraments, Sacred Scripture, the Teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, and a Catholic Community to love, nurture and challenge them.
EDGE Sessions are offered for children in Grade 6-8.
Life Teen (High School RE)
Life Teen is a program provides religious formation opportunities for High School Students in grades 9-12. 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.
Special Needs RE (SPED)
Special Needs RE is a program provides religious formation opportunities for students with special Needs. This is a special program that many parishioners refer to when they talk about catechesis. The program is ‘christened’ SPECIAL NEEDS and it is designed to instruct children with special needs such as Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome…the students can be placed in a classroom setting with an aide or receive one-on-one instruction depending on the needs of an individual child.
The program acts as a link to the typical needs RE as it provides class assistance with knowledge on how to understand, and journey with children in this category that are placed in the class setting with other students.