Sunday Morning Elementary Program
A New Name
Our elementary religious education program for families with children in first through fifth grades is now called “Elementary Faith Formation.” Faith formation is more than catechesis; it is a way of life. The elementary program has been revised to empower parents not only to teach their faith to their family, but also to demonstrate how to live it in a loving relationship with Jesus through participating in the Mass, prayer, and reading Sacred Scripture.
A New Look: Away With the Classroom Model
The weekly sessions consist of group faith sharing and catechesis. The purpose is to build a community of children of differing ages and levels of understanding of our Catholic Christian faith in order to bring them closer to God in their thoughts and actions through group sharing. The gatherings take place after the 8:30 am Mass (at approximately 9:30). The children meet in the Parish Library. The sessions end at 10:35, just in time for those attending the 10:45 am Mass. Families are encouraged to attend Mass before or after the session as the Eucharist is the center of our Sunday celebration.
Community building activities such as the Advent Faith Fair, Christmas Party, Lenten Faith Fair and Vacation Bible School serve to broaden the children's faith formation beyond the Sunday morning program.
Faith Sharing at the Sunday Sessions
We welcome parents to volunteer at the Sunday morning sessions to achieve a better understanding of how the faith concepts they are developing in their children at home are realized in the interactive activities that take place in the group sessions. We need 2 parent volunteers for each session. Their main responsibility is to supervise the group during their activity or craft time (when they are not working with the leader). In order to assist at the group sessions the parents need to be in compliance with the Archdiocese of Portland's Child Protection Requirements. Click here for more information.
Faith Sharing at Home
The faith formation program requires parents and children to devote a minimum of one hour a week to home lessons, in addition to attendance at the weekly faith formation session. Each family decides upon and sets the day and time for the home lessons. The parents will be responsible for making sure the lesson has been completed. There are several ways to do that:
1. A parent can go through the lesson with the child.
2. The parent and child can work together to read and discuss the lesson. The child can complete the activity pages alone or with the parent.
3. The child can be responsible for reading the lesson and independently completing any work that needs to be done. The parent would then review the concepts in the lesson with the child.
4. The family can take a “faith sharing” approach, where the lesson is taught in a family setting, with each member contributing to the lesson. This works especially well with siblings at different grade levels, since the new textbooks use a spiraling approach to catechesis where each grade level focuses on the same concept with developmentally appropriate material.
Supply fees for the Elementary Faith Formation program are traditionally set to cover the cost of art supplies, teacher resources, etc. The supply fee this year is $50.00 per child. Tuition assistance is available.