Formal faith formation programs assist parishioners in their life long spiritual journey. Programs seek to provide age appropriate educational opportunities that engage in the development of the spiritual life, morality and the role of Christian service in the lives of faithful disciples as taught in the Roman Catholic tradition. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions please contact our office.
We hope you will consider participating in our programs and find them a source of inspiration and guidance.
Following are the various areas of formation that we currently provide at the parish.
Pre-school through Kindergarten
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
At the earliest age, pre-school through kindergarten, the program entitled the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is offered on the St. Alphonsus campus in the church basement at the same time elementary religious education takes place.
The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd originated in 1954 in Rome, inspired by the Montessori principles of education. This catechesis soon spread to diverse social environments and to many different countries and cultures.
The atrium is a special room that provides an environment that helps nourish the relationship between God and the child. The materials are prepared especially for young children (ages 4 & 5), including a child-size altar that they may set and a tabernacle. The atrium contains different areas, such as the articles of Baptism, dioramas depicting key events in the life of Jesus, the parables of Jesus, liturgical colors and calendar, geographical work with maps of the Holy Land, a prayer table around which the children sing and pray together, and more. Each week a new material is presented to the children and they are then allowed to work with the material for the remainder of class. The children develop a better understanding of the basics of our faith, providing a deeper foundation and appreciation for our liturgy now and in the future.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FOR GRADES 1-8 AND HIGH SCHOOL
This program provides basic instruction in the faith including scripture, prayer, sacraments and Christian lifestyle. The identical program is offered at both the St. Peter Campus and the St. Alphonsus Campus.
Elementary (Grades 1-6)
Our Elementary Program uses RCL-Benziger’s Faith First Legacy Edition parish program. This program received a First Place award for Best Educational Books from the Catholic Press Association. The program uses a spiral learning approach (every year on every grade level), with doctrinal lessons on all four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in-depth Scripture study chapters encouraging students to read the Bible and understand its meaning for today, and seasonal material for every week of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost connecting catechesis and the liturgical life of the parish. Online resources for children, parents, and catechists can be found at faithfirst.com.
In addition to the year-long programs offered for each grade, the students in second grade will have a special program preparing them to celebrate the sacraments of first reconciliation and first Eucharist.
Middle School (Grades 7-8)
Our Middle School Program uses Loyola Press’s Finding God parish program. This program offers catechists the materials needed to mentor young people’s faith formation within a climate of prayer. Soundly grounded in Scripture and Tradition, the content has been designed to offer meaningful faith experiences that are relevant to young people’s lives and to draw them into a closer, lifelong relationship with Jesus. The program features full content of the Catholic faith, an attention-grabbing format, culturally relevant material, and a flexible curriculum. Two CDs per grade provide dramatized Scripture stories, guided reflections, and instrumental music. Online resources for catechists and families can be found at www.findinggod.com.
Light of Christ High School religious education program includes the Confirmation program for all students beginning in ninth grade and concluding in the spring of their sophomore year with the celebration of the sacrament.
In addition to Confirmation, the program provides continuing instruction in the faith, social and service activities and opportunities for retreats.
Adult Faith Formation
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) formation sessions meet in the fall in the Parish Center in Deerfield at 9:00am (check the bulletin for schedule). The first few weeks are INFORMATIONAL. Anyone interested in finding out more about the Catholic Faith, please contact the office at 517.447.3500.
There are also seasonal adult faith programs that are scheduled during Lent and Advent.