CHRISTIAN FORMATION K – 5
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CHRISTIAN FORMATION K – 5
St. Nicholas Catholic Church provides a vibrant and exciting place for children of all ages to explore God and His teachings through our many youth programs, and our Christian Formation classes.
St. Nicholas ensures our youth are building meaningful friendships with parishioners, each other, and most importantly with Jesus Christ. We welcome all children to build their faith, stewardship and love of Jesus through our programs at St. Nicholas.
Ways we achieve this connection with children in grades K-5:
- Christian Formation classes for grades K – 5
- First Eucharist and First Reconciliation preparation
- Vacation Bible School each summer in August
Please contact Steve Branning at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Thank you!
At-Home Christian Formation
Before we start Christian Formation sessions at the parish in the middle of October, this page will help guide you with some ideas and activities on how you can create an encounter with our Lord at your home with your children. It is vital to your child’s growth in faith that he/she has an encounter with Jesus otherwise Christian Formation becomes just another thing we do on Sunday and to our children it is viewed as “school”. This encounter with our Lord begins at home with you, your role in forming your child in the faith is foundational! Look at this quote from the new Directory for Catechesis:
” The family is a proclamation of faith in that it is the natural place in which faith can be lived in a simple and spontaneous manner. It has an unique privilege: transmitting the Gospel by rooting it in the context of profound human values. On this human base, Christian initiation is more profound.: the awakening of the sense of God; the first steps in prayer; education of the moral conscience; formation in the Christian sense of human love, understood as a reflection of the love of God the Father, the Creator. It is, indeed, a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more ongoing and daily than structured into periods. ” (paragraph # 227, emphasis added)
The first experience of the Church for children comes from their parents and as you can see from the last line of the quote, faith is WITNESSED AND DAILY. The formation in the faith that you provide them at home is irreplaceable and the most natural place to start, and what we provide here at the church is deepened through programs that help the children learn more. The grace that comes from the Sacrament of your marriage gives you what you need for the Christian education of your children. So fear not, you will be given all that you need. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
For some ideas this week I think that it might be good to go deeper into some of the previous lessons we have covered. In particular, your understanding of the Mass, the Rosary, and prayer.
I found this article interesting and it might be helpful in considering that bringing the faith alive in the home is good for a relationship with Jesus and understanding of the faith, but also good for our health! https://teachingcatholickids.com/why-catholicism-is-good-for-your-health/?utm_campaign=TCK%202020-10-19&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua
Two of the items listed: prayer and ritual and we covered these last week and a couple of weeks ago with the Mass. After reading this brief article I think it might be good to reiterate the importance the Mass and prayer and make these two a daily focus of your conversations and practices with your children. Because if in fact the studies show it is good for our health then why would we be practicing these more than just once a week or sporadically.
In addition to prayer and ritual the focus of charity and community are equally as important when we are considering a balanced approach to our faith. More of those topics in the coming weeks.
Since the month of October is almost over, a good review question to ask you children is: October is known as the Month of __________? The answer is the Month of the Holy Rosary. For your own growth in this beautiful prayer look to Saint John Paul II (coincidently who’s Feast Day we just celebrated on October 22) and how he exemplified the fruits of the Rosary: 5 ways in which St. John Paul II embodied the Rosary
Next, look to this article for some more tips on praying the Rosary with your family. Try a new way to pray it if these past two weeks were not working well. Find a new time to pray it if it has not been a priority. Simplify it and start smaller if you were aiming to pray the whole rosary just pray a decade or two. Build some incentive into praying it. Give your children some responsibility in leading it. Tips for Praying the Rosary
So for the Mass review and continued growth and understanding I would like to suggest this great guide to explain again and ask questions for review to your children. A Walk Through the Mass
Lastly, for prayer I would recommend continuing the personal prayer exercise that was given last week and expanding on it. Make it a little longer (if they are ready), add more days (if you are not doing it daily), reflect with and share your experiences with your children if you are not doing so already.
Bonus! Looking ahead for next week we are going to talk about the Saint’s since next Sunday is All Saint’s Day. But as you know many people (maybe even you yourself) have been preoccupied with the elections that will take place on the 3rd. If you have not talked with your children about this now would be a good time to. You can talk to them about forming your conscience, the common good, and Catholic social teaching. Consider these few options to frame your discussions and activities around voting:
Election and Voting
The USCCB has 4 different lesson plans, pick one or do them all!: https://www.usccb.org/resources/elementary-lesson-plans-introduction
“This is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)