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RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Students who start their CCD journey this Fall, parents, please bring a copy of the child's baptismal certificate.  If your child was baptized at St Francis or St Joseph, let us know and we can provide the certificate. The reason for the need of a baptismal certificate is the following: when a person received the Sacrament of Baptism in a Catholic Church, a record of this baptism is kept there.  When this same person receives First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Marriage or Holy Orders in another Catholic Church, that Church will send back to the place of Baptism this information, where it is then recorded there.  Without the Baptismal certificate, we would not know if the person is baptized, or baptized in a Catholic Church or a Christian denomination, or where to send the information of a Sacrament received.

Another thought to ponder: a Catholic is not fully initiated into the faith until all THREE Sacraments of Initiation were received (Baptism, First Holy Communion, Confirmation).  

In order to get married, a Catholic has to be fully initiated.  If this is not done, there is a preparation for these Sacraments; this can take up to two years.  The same holds true for Holy Orders or the Religious Life.

CCD Schedule
2023-24

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The parents are the first and foremost teachers of their children.  GOD will ask for an account on how you taught your children with words and by example.  We here at the Church are only helpers to the parents - but it is the parents themselves that have this obligation imposed upon them.

When your child was baptized, this is what you were asked - and you responded with YES.  GOD will hold you to this promise...

“Parents and godparents, you have asked to have your child baptized, in doing so you are accepting the responsibility of bringing him/her up in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to teach him/ her to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking? --Rite of Baptism.

... AND YOU SAID "YES!"

Fees for the 2023-2024 school year

1 child – $40.00

2 children - $70.00

3 children or more - $100.00

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Circle of Grace

the Diocese requires that each parish takes some time to talk about the dignity of the human person.  This is not a sex education class, rather a making children aware of the dignity and beauty of a human person.  This class will happen this Fall - in case you rather not have your child addend, here is an opt-out form:

OPT OUT FORM

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DIOCESAN STANDARDS FOR LEARNING

These standards are by grades.

When you go to the Diocesan web page

please scroll down to the grade your child is in.

These standards are quite comprehensive.

It is the duty of the parents to teach the children their prayers.

During CCD - we help YOU as first and foremost teachers.  If you do not practice your faith,

our teaching here at church will bear no fruit!

Prayers that your child needs to know

From the Diocesan Curriculum

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Most children who are baptized are too young to fully understand the gift of faith they are receiving. It is the parents and godparents who are passing on their own faith to their child. This is why it is important that the child be brought up to understand and appreciate the amazing gift they have received at baptism. Parents and godparents make a solemn promise to do this as part of the baptismal ritual. This promise should be fulfilled in many ways:

 

Bring your child to church.

It is important to begin bringing your child to church, especially to Mass each weekend. Even at a very young age, a child begins to pick up the environment of faith and will experience the great love of God at Mass. Many parents feel uncomfortable bringing their young children to Mass, because they may make a lot of noise. Don’t worry, Fr. Matt can preach through anything!

 

Teach your child to pray.

Times for simple prayer each day help a child to develop a relationship with God and the habit of conversing with God. A few memorized prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be) or prayers in the child’s own words for loved ones or for special needs can be an effective way to pray in the morning or at bedtime. Saying grace, thanking God for your food at mealtime, is also recommended. Special practices can mark the different seasons of the Church year, such as lighting an Advent wreath, setting up a Christmas manger scene in your living room, or “giving up” something for Lent.

 

Teach your child what we believe as Catholics.

Introducing your child to the beauty of our Catholic faith can be done at a young age and helps your child’s spiritual development. There are many children’s books which describe bible stories, lives of the saints, what happens at Mass, at a level appropriate for your child. If you need a refresher as parents on what our Catholic faith is all about, Gate of Heaven Parish offers many opportunities for adult faith formation, including Discovering Christ, a basic introduction to who Jesus is and what we believe as Catholics, bible studies, and various opportunities for men, women, couples, and young adults.

 

Make sure your marriage is blessed in the Church.

The loving, lifelong, and committed relationship of marriage is at the foundation of any family. A strong marriage provides both spouses and children the firm foundation on which to flourish as individuals and grow in love. Marriage between a baptized man and a baptized woman has the added dignity of being a sacrament, a sign of God’s total, eternal, and faithful love for us. We believe it is important, if you are not married or were married outside the church, to have your marriage blessed in the church. Marriage and family life is always a challenge, but God is ready to help us with his strength and love. Fr. Matt would be glad to help you through the process of getting your marriage blessed.

 

Complete your child’s initiation in the faith.

Baptism is the first step to initiating your child in the faith. When your child is of school age, be sure to enroll them in religious education classes at the parish, so that they can be prepared for First Communion in the second grade and later Confirmation in the tenth grade.

 

Live your faith at home!!!

This is really the most important thing you can do to live up to your baptismal responsibility at parents. While going to Church and attending religious education classes are important, the reality is that you are the primary educators of your child in the ways of the faith. The parish is here to assist you in any way we can, but we can only assist, we cannot replace your role as parents. Remember your primary responsibility in life is to get your spouse and children to heaven!

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