Religious Education Grades 1-8

Overview

St. Philip the Apostle Church holds Religious Education (RE) classes for children from age 4 (Preschool) through Grade 12. However, regular attendance is mandatory for children in Grade 1 through the Sacrament of Confirmation who attend public or other Christian (non-Catholic) schools from. However, we invite and encourage our confirmed young people to continue to attend our high school classes, and we also welcome children in Preschool and Kindergarten to join a Pre/K class. We follow diocesan curriculum and guidelines and use a diocesan-approved textbook for Grades 1-8. Our Preschool/Kindergarten class uses various resources, but also follows diocesan curriculum guidelines. The high school class addresses contemporary topics and uses as its main text The Catholic Youth Bible and also refers to Catholic Youth Update and a variety of Internet resources while also following diocesan curriculum guidelines.

Catechists and Assistants

St. Philip the Apostle Church is blessed to have a volunteer staff of dedicated men and women teaching our children and youth. In addition, many of our classes also have at least one adult or youth classroom aide. These volunteers make our program one of the best around as far as teaching content and being living examples of faith in action. Our teachers and aides have all completed clearances according to diocesan norms for those who work with children and youth in the diocese.

Class Times

Religious Education classes are offered for Preschool-Grade 8 for children and youth who attend public or non-Catholic private schools. For those in Grades 1-8, classes are mandatory.

RE classes typically run from mid-September through early May. Grades Pre/K through Grade 8 are offered on Sunday mornings three times per month from 8:15-9:20AM. However, students in Grades 4-8 have the option of attending class on Sunday evenings from 6:00-8:00PM twice a month. Class schedules are sent in August to all parishioners who receive envelopes for weekly giving. Schedules are also available in the lobby for those who do not use envelopes. In addition, a tentative class schedule for next year is sent home with students at the end of the current RE year.

Registration

Families complete a registration form for each child on entering our religious education program. The bottom of the form lists our tuition charge per child and per family. We ask for this fee to help cover basic costs of running our RE Program: textbook coasts, as well as other kinds of learning materials used to make classes interesting and hands-on.Tuition is due by the third class date. All checks may be made to St. Philip the Apostle Church. Please pay in the RE Office and receive a receipt for your payment. On the first and last day of class, we have a Prayer Service and we invite and encourage parents to attend. Sometimes, classroom teachers also invite parents for special classes or activities. Please be as involved as possible in our RE Program.

Sacramental Preparation

If your child is in the years before and of sacrament preparation, we require satisfactory class attendance. Youth in Grade 7 and children in Grade 1 may not miss more than 5Sunday morning classes if they want to be confirmed in Grade 8 and celebrate Penance and First Eucharist in Grade 2. During sacramental years, youth in Grade 8 and children in Grade 2 may not miss more than three classes. If youth attend Sunday night classes,no more than two classes may be missed in Grade 8 and no more than 3 in Grade 7!Parent meetings for sacramental preparation are held, and parents must attend these meetings. We also require youth who are to be confirmed to attend the Confirmation Parent Meeting which is typically held in the spring for Gr. 7 youth and their parents.Retreats are required for sacramental preparation years, too. There is a Penance Retreat for children preparing for First Penance and a Eucharist Retreat for First Eucharist Preparation. Youth to be confirmed participate in an overnight retreat held at Gretna Glen about one month prior to Confirmation. Also, in addition to the Confirmation Retreat,those to be confirmed have other requirements: weekly Mass attendance (bulletins must be signed by the priest presiding at Mass); 25 service hours; a saint report for their chosen Confirmation name; and a final interview with the pastor or DRE to determine the candidate’s readiness and desire to celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation.

Vacation Bible School

We offer Vacation Bible School for a week each summer. We always need adults and older youth to help plan and run the VBS. These volunteers must also complete diocesan clearances to teach and help with VBS. Dates and theme for VBS are announced by the last RE class at the latest. Watch the parish bulletin for additional information about VBS and other important RE events. Please contact Christine Miller regarding registrations, questions, or volunteering.

Mass and Prayer

I hope this brief overview helps familiarize you with our RE Program and how we function and what we offer your child. We always stress the importance and requirement of Sunday Mass, so know that, while our RE class times make it easy for you to drop your child off to class as you go to Mass, our expectation is that you do not do this, but that you drop your child off and then return to take him/her to Mass…or go to Mass as a family before the class if you prefer going to Mass earlier. Also, above all the rules and requirements and expectations, the most important thing we stress is your child’s relationship with God. That relationship will sustain him/her and support him/her much longer than we have your child in our care. Be sure to pray with your child and be a model of loving forgiveness and kindness, and we will do the same!God bless you and know that I am here to assist you and your family in your living out your Catholic faith. May you find here a community of faith, hope, and love, and one which serves you as together we serve others in the name of Jesus.

God bless you.

Christine M. Miller, DRE.