Welcome to the Saint Lucy's Religious Education Program 2015-2016
Please take your time to read the whole document.
This Family Centered Catechesis Program of Saint Lucy's Church is designed to engage the whole family in religious education and spiritual formation. By involving the entire family in catechesis, there is an opportunity for faith to be a continuing journey to deepen one's relationship with God and our community, at all stages in life. By enrolling your children to our program the whole family is encouraged to attend 11:00 am Mass every Sunday. A schedule will be provided first day of Class.
The Catechesis team of volunteers sees its primary role as active participation in the universal mission of the Roman Catholic Church, taking seriously the Gospel and centralizing the “Kingdom of God” in all our relationships. We are committed to awakening in our students and their families an appreciation of the faith dimension of their lives, an understanding of the Faith Community both locally and globally, and a realization that service to the world community is an important part of the Gospel message.
The Saint Lucy's Catechesis Program is offered to all the families that are registered as Parishioners. Classes are held on Sunday 9:30-11:00 am. Parents will pick children up to go to mass at 11:00am. Program goes from September 2015 through May 2016.
Registration forms are available to all members of the parish after the 11:00 am Mass on Sundays during the Summer. You can also contact the Program Administrator, Omar Navarro at 973-803-4207 or at email@example.com. Registration forms will not be processed without a Birth Certificate, Baptismal Certificate, First Communion Certificate and fee.
The enrollment fee is $120.00 per child. There is an additional fee of $10.00 per child for the Mandatory Retreat. (Confirmation candidates only)
Our Catechesis Philosophy
We strive to provide a safe environment for learning and to bring quality religious education to each family by offering a curriculum that is made according to the needs of this parish.
Ultimately, we call our families to believe in God‘s love, to live it, and to spread it.
The following objectives flow from this philosophy:
1. Knowledge and practice of the Christian faith and the Catholic religion
2. Knowledge and practice of the meaning of the Liturgy and the sacraments
3. A missionary spirit that prepares the faithful to be present as Christians not just in church but also in our families and society.
4. To proclaim Jesus, His person, His words, His teachings
5. To proclaim the infinite love of God for each of us.
6. To provide the family with an opportunity to grow in personal prayer, and for participating in the spiritual life of the Parish.
7. To provide opportunities for the students and parents to be of service to others.
8. To aid in the development of self and responsible behavior.
9. To integrate faith and Christian living within the family by strongly encouraging participation in the parish mass, all our celebrations, feasts and parish community life.
10. To provide continuous religious education for parents and children.
Our Catechesis Goals for the Faith Formation of this Parish.
We will lead our parish in becoming a more hospitable and inclusive community by
· Publicizing opportunities for faith formation
· Exploring ways to be more welcoming to those who are marginalized
· Exploring ways to be more welcoming to those with disabilities
· Assessing the needs of our parishioners on a regular basis
We will facilitate the continuing conversion of parishioners by
· Creating and/or expanding small faith sharing groups
· Developing and promoting adult formation opportunities
· Encouraging personal witness by all parishioners
· Encouraging pastoral outreach ministry by all parishioners
We will link catechesis for children and youth with catechesis for adults by
· Seeking ways to be more family friendly in scheduling programs
· Providing resources to support and affirm family life as the center of faith
· Promoting opportunities for intergenerational faith formation
· Providing encouragement and resources to parents as they prepare their
children for the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Confirmation
Catechetical Program and Text
Each student is supplied with a textbook. Students are asked to write their names in their books and treat all class materials with care and respect. Lost books will have to be replaced at the student’s expense. Students are expected to bring to each class their text books, pencil or pen and a notebook that has to be only for Catechesis use and a Catholic Bible. Parents will be asked to sign it every month.
The goal of the program is to help the students and families grow in their faith as Catholics. A faith that is alive and growing is grounded in a deepening relationship with God. The program encompasses the mind, body and heart to engage in social action and service.
The Be my Disciples textbook is deeply rooted in Church Tradition. The Subcommittee on the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has found that this book is faithful to both the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the General Directory for Catechesis, remaining true to the Magisterium.
Parent and guardians are the primary teachers of their children, including faith formation, the basis of which takes place in the home and at weekly Mass. The religious education of a child provides an opportunity for parents to re-educate and update themselves in the practice of the faith. We encourage parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to participate in the Adult Learning Sessions of the Family Centered Catechesis Program. It is our hope that these sessions will acquaint the parents with authentic Church teachings pertinent to a deeper appreciation of the Catholic Faith.
Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion is covered when children are 7-10 years old. Preparation for Confirmation is taught while they are 11-15 years old. Class attendance is mandatory during the preparation cycle. Children enrolled in Saint Lucy's Catechesis program will only be allowed to miss three classes, same as their parents. They are only allowed to miss three masses.
Children who have not been Baptized or have not received Communion may enroll in Confirmation classes and will have the opportunity to receive these sacraments during the Holy Saturday mass in Lent.
Sponsor Requirements and Responsibilities
A Confirmation Sponsor represents the Christian Community into which the candidate is further initiated through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
· A sponsor must be baptized, confirmed, and be presently practicing his/her faith.
A sponsor must be sufficiently mature as a Catholic and a Christian role
(16 years old or older)
· Baptismal sponsors may act as Confirmation Sponsors and are encouraged to do so.
· A sponsor may be either male or female for any candidate.
· A sponsor may be a priest, nun, or religious brother.
· A sponsor should be reasonably informed on current Church teachings.
· Assist in the preparation for the sacrament by helping the candidate integrate the teachings of Jesus into his/her daily living.
· Encourage the candidate by growing in a faith relationship.
· Accompany the candidate to special liturgies and any pertinent programs.
· Assist in determining the candidate’s readiness for the sacrament.
· Accompany the candidate and present him/her to the Minister of Confirmation.
· Help the confirmed person fulfill his/her baptismal promises faithfully under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
· A sponsor will be required to attend the days of rehearsals before Confirmation
Student Learning Sessions
Students attend regular grade level classes. Classes will be held in "Saint Lucy's School. Sessions begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Food will not be permitted (unless Catechist allows it) in the classrooms.
It should be noted that assignments are sent home every week: a written assignment, a reading assignment, or a project. Each child should complete the work during the week. Homework reinforces what was taught in class.
Adult Learning Sessions
Adults meet in Francesco Hall (Rectory basement) every Monday at 6:30 p.m.
Children must be on time. Regular attendance is essential for meaningful learning. All absences must be reported to Omar before class time on the day of absence. For missed assignments, please contact your child's catechist to review material covered in your child's absence. It is imperative that all students keep up with class work. Please be aware that a child cannot miss more than three sessions. Illness will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Absences in excess of three may require your child to repeat the Program. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian and students to obtain any necessary make-up work that has been missed due to an absence.
Habitual tardiness is not acceptable.
Tardiness in excess of 10 minutes beyond the start of classes will be recorded as an absence.
Students who are enrolled in our program must regularly attend the 11:00 am mass. Parents are required to attend mass also.
Liturgy feeds the faith and enables students to better understand what they are learning. Sunday Mass readings will be discussed in class and Gospel messages reinforced. Mass Attendance is especially important in preparation for receiving the sacraments. Avoidance of this responsibility seriously undercuts the training of religious education.
Mass attendance is recorded each week and checked regularly. Signed envelopes should be placed in the regular collection baskets at the weekly Offertory. You will have to provide: Catechist's name and child's name. This is something all registered parishioners do in every parish.
Dismissal will be from Saint Lucy's School on at 10:50 a.m. And after mass at 12:00 p.m.
If a child must be dismissed early due to an emergency or sickness, a parent or guardian must check with the Rectory before removing the child from the Fusco Hall. Any student who needs to be dismissed prior to the end of a class session must have a reasonable excuse in writing signed by a parent or guardian that must be hand delivered to the Administrator, who will confirm the dismissal time and date with the catechist and the parent. For early pick-up, parents are advised to approach Omar in the Rectory and he will escort you to your child’s classroom.
For both Communion and Confirmation groups the first days of classes we will be given out the Program-Calendar. It is really important that you follow it with your children and family and participate of the celebrations marked on there. Some of the most important requirements is to attend and participate during the mass, be on time for class, Mandatory Rehearsals and Retreat for Confirmation students.
For the protection of the students, parents/guardians are not allowed free access to the classrooms.
If a student becomes ill or has an accident during class time, he/she will be escorted to meet his/her parent/guardian in the rectory.
Parent/guardian meetings may be scheduled as needed to keep the parents informed about changes in policies. Families involved in sacramental preparation will be notified of meetings held by the CCD staff.
All important notices pertinent to our program are communicated through the Saint Lucy’s parish bulletin, our website, as well as with flyers sent home with the students. Please, ask your child if he/she received any information weekly to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.
If your telephone, emergency or cell phone number changes during the school year, please notify your catechist who will let the administrator know of the change.
In case of an emergency closing, catechists will be notified and they, assisted by Class Parents, will make every effort to call and/or email each student. It also will be posted in our website.
Student Code of Behavior
Students are asked to be presentable when they come to class and dress according to the place they are coming to. They should be mindful that classes often go into the church so modest and appropriate dress is expected.
Students are not allowed to bring in any items, books, iPods, headphones, portable games or schoolwork that does not pertain to the religious education program. Any and all items will be confiscated and a meeting with the student’s parents/guardian will be arranged with the administration to discuss proper recourse. Cell phones are allowed for emergency use only but they have to be turned off during class. Text-messaging is prohibited. Repeated offenses may result in a student’s expulsion. If you need to call your child for an emergency please call the rectory.
Care and respect is required for use of Saint Lucy’s Church classrooms. Catechists will remind the children that the rooms are shared with other students. Desks and their contents must not be disturbed or defaced, and the classrooms must be left neat and orderly.
We need to live and embody the Christian values that we learn. Therefore, all students are expected to be courteous to catechists, staff and other students. Any conduct unbefitting a young Catholic Christian will be reported to parents.
We expect our children to contribute to an atmosphere of Christian concern for others. If a problem arises, a form entitled “Points for Parental Concern” will be given to the parent. A parent’s signature is required. After signing, it is expected there will be a follow up with either a phone call or a conference with the parents. It is best to correct a problem immediately to ensure a pleasant religion class where learning, love of God, respect for self, and respect for others exist.
Student Code of Behavior
Parents/guardians should review the following with students:
1. Students must conform to the attendance policy as stated in the handbook (it will be given in our first meeting).
2. Students are expected to show respect for all persons in words and actions.
3. Students must comply with the classroom rules set by their catechists.
4. Students must not cause physical harm to themselves or to another.
5. Students must not destroy, deface or remove any property from the classroom, desks or the building.
6. Students are responsible for completing all homework assignments to the best of their ability and according to the time schedule provided.
7. Students must respect the seating chart that the catechist sets up.
8. Students are expected to come to class on time, prepared with textbooks, Catholic Bible, notebooks (only one for religious ed), pen and or pencil.
9. Students are expected to comply with all rules and regulations listed in the handbook.
Deliberate disregard of the policy may lead to:
1. Reprimand by catechist
2. Parent notification
3. Parent conference
4. Dismissal from the program
Program Protection Policies
Child Abuse Policy
If a catechist or administrator suspects a child has been abused, New Jersey Statutes require that the Division of Youth & Family Services be notified immediately.
For the safety and welfare of our students, while classes are in session and immediately before/after class, no unauthorized people may be in the catechesis building. Under no circumstances may any unauthorized person go to a classroom or be in the class area when classes are in session.
Our catechists are committed to their faith and have a strong desire to share it with our students. The team of catechist are volunteers from our parish.
We are proud to mention that the Catechists in Saint Lucy are bilingual, and they have different levels of formation:
Monthly Gatherings of Formation 2011-2015
The biggest congress of Catechesis in the world in Los Angeles California.
We are always in need of help from special people who are willing to share their time and talents. If you would like to volunteer to assist us with the Religious Education Program, please email the Administrator, Omar at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-803-4207
For Catechesis purposes (CCD, Religious Ed) only:
Phone number: 973 803 42007
Please, do not email or call different addresses or phone numbers
Thank you for your interest in being part of Saint Lucy's Church.
Secretary of Pastoral Work