Youth Faith Formation
Mother Teresa Faith Formation 2020-21
Though we are still scheduling first sacraments for the students in the 2019-20 classes, we are already planning for next year.
Next year’s classes will involve a more robust distance learning component. For the elementary students, we will use the Pflaum Weeklies curriculum. Pflaum weeklies look very much like the old ‘Weekly Readers’ that many used in elementary school. They are based on the Sunday readings, allowing many grades to interact with the same materials. The idea is to have family conversations about faith without families having to run distinct classes with each child. In addition, we will have parent support sessions where you can share your experiences, get some new ideas and pray about how to best go forward.
Middle school students are looking to be more independent from their families. While middle school parents need to be involved in the formation of their students, we also want to provide a place where the students can interact with peers and other adults to hear the Catholic perspective told in many different ways. Students will meet primarily in Sunday evening Zoom sessions throughout the year.
So what’s the next step? We continue to hope that we will be able to offer some in person gatherings. To this end I am waiting until Mid-July (by which time we hopefully will have a better sense of what the school district will do) to begin registration. The direction for first sacrament preparation (small in person classes vs small online classes) also depends on communications with the school district. In the new year I will need catechists and parent helpers to mentor other parents and call families throughout the year so no one feels they have to do this alone. I realize some may be discouraged that we will not return to traditional classes in the fall, but I am looking forward to building a new solution where we will still do this together as a community.
If you are not currently enrolled in the faith formation program, but would like to be included in emails for registration please sign up here. I welcome all comments and questions! Please contact Jennifer Gurecki at mtcc.faith.formation at gmail.com (email@example.com).
Ongoing Programs Spring/Summer 2020
- Wednesday Evening Prayer Zoom
Join the MTCM Community for fellowship and prayer at 5:30 p.m.
Register here: https://bit.ly/MTCM_We_Pray
- Sunday Youth Zoom
Youth are invited for fellowship and prayer twice monthly from 7:30 to 9 p.m. throughout the summer. The scheduled dates are June 7, 21, July 12, 26, August 9, 23.
Register here: https://bit.ly/MTCM_Youth_Zoom
- The website is updated with resources for Prayers and Meditations.
Sacramental Preparation Guidelines
Sacramental preparation (First Reconciliation, First Communion, Confirmation) requires some of this formal, church-based instruction. The standard for instruction is two years formal faith formation and a specialized sacramental program before children are eligible for the Sacrament.
Typically, children in the U. S. receive First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion in second grade. That means they need to go to first and second grade faith formation (or Catholic School) and receive instruction on the sacrament. This is done through workshops and take-home workbooks in the home parish, not at school.
Some families choose to hold off on Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. We welcome these students. If a second grader who has not completed first grade faith formation comes to us, we generally enroll them in first grade and they travel forward with a slightly younger group until they complete First Holy Communion (in their second-grade year). They can then skip a grade and enter the fourth grade in faith formation the following fall.
Older children go through a process called Intermediate Sacramental Prep. A fifth grader with no previous Faith Formation would attend a standard fifth grade class. In sixth grade they would attend a standard sixth grade class. But there would be a take-home book for Reconciliation and First Holy Communion and approximately six workshops (Sunday mornings) throughout the year to do a little additional catechesis typically done in the classroom.
This describes a typical scenario. In truth decisions are made together with the parents to best accommodate the needs of the children.
Confirmation preparation rules are similar to the rules for Reconciliation and Eucharist. In the Diocese of Raleigh students are typically confirmed in the spring of ninth grade or the fall of tenth grade.
The actual Confirmation date is decided by the diocese based on the bishop’s schedule. Some smaller parishes are asked to combine their Confirmation ceremony with larger parishes. We anticipate confirming our students in the spring (April/May) but we will not know until the diocese releases the schedule. Two years of formal faith formation are required before Confirmation along with a sacramental program. The formal preparation years are typically eighth and ninth grade and Confirmation prep largely happens in the ninth-grade year. Through Confirmation youth are invited to take an adult role in the church.
The preparation for Confirmation requires more individual responsibility on the part of the youth than does the preparation for Reconciliation or First Eucharist. Sometimes youth are not ready for this in eight and ninth grade and they are welcome to join the process later in high school as well.
We believe that all sacraments will take place at Mother Teresa in the coming year. In the past families have been able to request to have their First Communions at St. Michael’s. We are now separate communities and we will not be honoring those requests in the 2018-19 school year. If you would like to have your First Communion at St. Michael’s please register in their Faith Formation program.
If you have additional questions about faith formation registration or would like to volunteer please email Jennifer Gurecki
First Communion/First Reconciliation
First Reconciliation and First Communion are typically celebrated in 2nd grade. The diocese requires two years of Faith Formation before the celebration of first sacraments. This can either be in a Catholic school or in a faith formation program.
Registration in Mother Teresa’s Faith Formation program is required to be able to receive sacraments at Mother Teresa Mission. Registration typically takes place between June and July, but you should feel free to contact us at any time if you have questions. Please email the coordinator at MTCCFaithFormation@gmail.com or call the main office for more details.
Confirmation is typically celebrated in the spring of 9th grade or the fall of 10th grade. The diocese requires two years of Faith Formation before the celebration of first sacraments, this can either be in a Catholic school or in a faith formation program. Sacraments take place in a youth’s home parish, so registration in Mother Teresa’s Faith Formation program is required to receive sacraments at Mother Teresa. Registration typically takes place between May and August, but you should feel free to contact us at any time if you have questions. Please email the coordinator at MTCCFaithFormation@gmail.com or call the main office for more details.