Our program takes a classical approach to Faith Formation where we dedicate ourselves to teaching our students the Pillars of the Faith. We want them to learn about what our Church teaches and why we choose to be Catholic. Our Catholic Faith holds the Truth, but it is up to us to learn what the Truth is!
At a child’s baptism, both parents and godparents make a promise to God, to their Catholic Community, and to their child, that they will raise their child Catholic. Parents, therefore, are a child’s first catechist. We look to aid in this endeavor as best we can, helping you fulfill your promise to teach them the Truth.
Accepted students: Pre – K (age 3) up to high school students
Class Time: 10:10 – 11:05 (In between Masses)
Location: Parish Center Classrooms
Schedule: We meet every Sunday, but break for holidays and most school recess. We follow the West Irondequoit Vacation Schedule
Tuition: Free (Donations accepted)
What can parents do during class time?
- Spend time with other families in the Parish Center at our Coffee Hour
- Spend some time in quiet prayer at our Adoration Chapel (attached to Parish Center)
- Take advantage of our convenient Confession opportunities after each Mass
- Drop off children
What are the Church’s expectations of families as they learn the Faith?
- 1st grade – Catholic School or Faith Formation Program required
- 2nd grade – If child was enrolled in Catholic School or Faith Formation program during 1st grade, student is eligible to attend our First Communion Class. If not, student will join our Pre – First Communion Class and will be eligible the following year.
- 3rd – 7th grade – Catholic School or Faith Formation Program required
- 8th grade – Begin prep for Confirmation through Faith Formation program. Attend one retreat
- 9th grade – Begin year two of Confirmation prep through Faith Formation program. Attend one retreat
- 10th – 12th grade – Participate in Faith Formation program or pursue individual interests within our Church to learn more about the Catholic Faith
We recognize life is stressful and full of commitments. In an age where organized sports have crept into our Sunday family time, it is difficult to carve out time for Faith Formation, we must realize that this obligation should rise above all others. We have, and will continue to work with families with different situations, and will do our best to make our program fit for everyone. We try to go forth, however, not thinking about the here and now, but of Eternity. Our decisions today, especially when talking about the education of our children, will impact their lives in ways we can’t possibly know.
If up to this point, for whatever reason, you feel your child does not know what they should know to this point, please take no shame in calling and talking to us about it! We have fielded MANY students with a wide variety of understandings of Catholicism and have developed individual programs to help those that have been away from the Church to creating programs for those that excel and need a more challenging curriculum. The first step is reaching out!
Those wanting their child to receive Holy Communion for the first time(typically during 2nd grade) must understand that their child must be enrolled in either a Faith Formation program or Catholic School during their 1st grade year to be eligible to begin classes.
During 2nd grade, students will first learn how to make a proper Confession, so as to have their soul in a proper state to receive Holy Communion. All of this is taught to students during the course. First Penance occurs during Lent, while First Communion is always the 1st Sunday in May.
Shortly after registering, parents must submit a copy of their child’s Baptismal Certificate to the Faith Formation Coordinator.
Confirmation program involves a two year commitment to weekly classes, typically beginning in the 8th grade. On top of that, the diocese requires each student to participate in one retreat per year of their program (so at least two before the conclusion of the 2 – year course). While students are free to attend any diocesan retreat, so long as they show proof of attendance, attached below is a sample of what one of our retreats has looked like in the past:
Retreat Theme: The Real Presence
- Talk 1 – What actually happens at Mass
- Break – Private prayer in the Adoration Chapel
- Talk 2 – Understanding the Adoration Chapel and ways we can adore
- Break – Confession
- Talk 3 – Miracles of the Eucharist
- Break – Rosary
- Talk 4 – How to defend the Real Presence