Religious Education - Family Faith Formation
Children's/Family Faith Formation
Welcome to an exciting year of Faith Formation for your family!
Our "Discover!:Finding Faith in Life" program is provided so that families who have children that do not attend Catholic Schools can attend faith formation classes. However, it is open to ANY family of the parish or school that desires to enrich their family's faith life and dive deeper into God's Word.
Our Program Goals
The goals of the Family Faith Formation at St. Bernard are for both children and their families to experience:
- Ongoing conversion to Jesus Christ and a deepening friendship with Jesus
- Full participation in the life of the Catholic Church
- To foster community among the students, their families and the parish community.
Grades K – 5 children use the Discover!Finding Faith in LIfe curriculum by St. Mary's Press. Discover! Finding Faith in Life is a Bible based program in which children dive into Bible stories, connect them with Catholicism, and are called into action to live out the faith every week! Discover! uses the "Catholic Children's Bible" as it's primary "textbook" and supplements with age appropriate worksheets, activities and much more
Grades 6-8 youth. Our 6th grade students will use a program called Encounter which will give them a complete overview of the Bible. They will also use the Breakthrough Bible as well as various middle school based programs to engage youth at an age appropriate level. Our 7th and 8th grade students will use the "Connect" prgram from St. Mary Press and "Breakthrough Bible" as well as various middle school based programs to engage youth at an age appropriate level.
The Bible is the heartbeat of our program. Every child, in every grade, in the program will need their own Bible. This Bible will be the child's to keep and take home. The cost of the program is based on whether the child already has the specific Bible required.
These Bibles not only contain the scriptures they also have key classroom "lessons” built into them which are used during class time.
Our opening day kick off will be held on September 10, 2023. The full calendar can be printed here.
Classes are held 2 times monthly on Sundays, primarily every other week (the schedule can vary when working around holidays and months that have 5 Sundays) from September to early May. Class will start promptly at 9:45 am and end at 10:45 am.
Grade 2 children who are already baptized Catholic will prepare for the celebration of First Reconciliation in the first half of the school year and will prepare for the Celebration of First Eucharist the second half of the year. Separate and additional family gatherings will be required for those seeking these Sacraments.
Grade 7 youth (and any 8th grade youth that still need the Sacrament) who are already baptized and have celebrated First Reconcilation and First Eucharist will prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Each family who has a child entering grade 7 will be asked to attend a special meeting to recieve all information.
We welcome children to our program regardless of their Sacramental status. Families with children who need to catch up on missed sacraments should contact Mrs. Marlow in the parish office, 239-5178 ext. 2203 or scroll down to find out more about our bridges program and/or tailoring the process/program to their family’s need.
Attendance Guidelines and St. Bernard Sports Program Eligibility
We recognize that life can sometimes present situations that prevent you from regular attendance in our Faith Formation Program. Because we already meet less often than most traditional parish programs, we ask for our families to commit to attending all classes. If situations arise and you need some guidance or assistance in continuing in our program, please notify our program director or the pastor so that we can work on arranging alternate plans for your family’s faith formation.
Families enrolled and participating in our program are also eligible to have their children participate in the various St. Bernard Sports opportunities offered. Regular attendance is required to certify your child's eligibility. Please review the Guidelines Page found here.
Program fees are for the year and are based on whether the child has the Bible needed.
- $35 per child – Bible included as well as all program materials and supplies (this would be for all new children to the program, any child who needs a replacement bible, or any child moving up to 6th grade.
- $25 per child – NO bible included. Fee covers all program materials and supplies (this is for returning students who already have the appropriate Bible)
No child or family would ever be turned away should a fee cause a hardship to the family. Scholarships and/or reduced fee options can be provided with a quick and confiidential call to Cyndi Marlow in the parish office at 239-5178 ext 2203..
If you have any questions not answered above, feel free to contact Cyndi Marlow in the parish office.
SIGN UP FOR SCHOOL YEAR 2023-24 HERE.
Be sure to join our Family Formation Facebook Group! Click the image below to be directed to our page.
The single most important place that your child will learn about their faith is in the home. The role of the parent in this process is vital.
The Catholic Church considers parents to be the chief catechists for their children: “Parents above others are obliged to form their children by word and example in faith and in the practice of Christian life; sponsors and those who take the place of parents are bound by an equal obligation.” Code of Canon Law 774-2. When your child was baptized you took upon yourself the responsibility of teaching them to love and practice the faith. The following is an excerpt from the Rite of Baptism of an Infant:
Priest or Deacon says: "You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the Faith. It will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God's commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?"
Parents say: "We do"
What does this mean for your family? No church program can ever replace parents in the carrying out of their responsibility in forming the faith of their children. It is essential to the child's growth and development in the Catholic faith, that the parents live the life of faith in the home. The effectiveness of the catechetical process radically depends upon this.
As a FAMILY, you have a treasure that surpasses all human expectations. That treasure is waiting to be discovered in your own home.
As a CATHOLIC, you possess a treasured heritage that can transform your life into an experience of peace and joy. That treasure, too, is waiting to be discovered in your home!
As a PARENT, (if you embrace your faith and practice it) you have a treasure to share with your children. That treasure is also waiting to be discovered in your home.
May we assist you in that journey.
St. Bernard "Bridges" Program
Are you a Catholic parent that has a child that is 3rd grade or above that has missed out on their First Sacraments? Sometimes things happen in families - all kinds of events and conditions that result in our children missing out on Religious Education and/or the celebration of Sacraments. We understand there are many reasons why and we wish to provide the opportunity for catching your child up and to welcome you home to your faith.
Our Bridges program is a family program designed to initiate baptized Catholic children 3rd grade and older who have somehow missed out on any first Sacraments and to help guide the family back to the Catholic faith and sacramental life. Children must be enrolled in our school or if they attend a public school, they must be enrolled and attend our Family Faith Formation sessions.
The process of our Bridges program recognizes that parents are the first and primary teachers of their children. No matter how hard the Church may try, if children are to truly accept the gift of Catholic Faith, the parents must hand on that faith. Our program is designed to allow us to help you, the parent, “Keep the faith” and “hand on” the faith to your children.
If your child is over the age of 7 and is not yet baptized, or is baptized in another Christian Faith tradition the Roman Catholic Church teaches that children over the age of reason (about the age 7) are considered adults and the church requires a period of instruction to prepare children for initiation into the Catholic faith. This process is called the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA) and is a journey that is modified for a child. You can read more about the OCIA here.
If you are interested in participating in the Bridges program, you are asked to contact Cyndi in the parish office. At the end of the process, the child will receive the Sacraments they are missing (Baptism, Reconciliation and First Eucharist – as needed) as well as Confirmation.