The Religious Education Program at Church of the Holy Family and St. Columba Church is designed to serve the needs of every member of our parishes. The program is composed of the following:
- Catholic Religious Education (CRE) for Kindergarten through Confirmation
- Adult Education Opportunities
- Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) for new members
Our religious education serves a vital part of our parish family’s well being, for our spiritual growth and for our continued development in our faith.
The largest effort of the School of Religion for our children of the parish is to provide them with a classroom Faith Formation Program. This is a supplement to regular Mass attendance and religious education provided by families.
We service over 400 students, scheduled into approximately 40 weekly classes, with over 80 adult volunteer teachers. Classes begin in September and end mid May. The instructional program for Kindergarten is the Loyola Press "God Loves Us", Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7is the Sadlier "We Believe” series which is based on a spiral curriculum focusing on the "Six Tasks of the Catechises” (Pray, Learn, Celebrate, Share, Choose, and Live). Grades 8 and 9 use the Chosen Confirmation Preparation, as well as other related resources.
Our Program consists of:
The KINDERGARTEN program is a home-schooled program. Parents are provided with handbooks and teacher aids. See "Home Schooling Alternative” below for more details.
GRADES 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 – classes are scheduled Sunday mornings and evenings, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. These classes meet for an hour every week (per CRE Calendar) and have approximately 12 students with two volunteer teachers in each classroom.
The FIRST EUCHARIST PROGRAM for our 2nd grade students incorporates the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. It is a classroom-based program, Loyola Press "God's Gift Reconciliation" and "God's Gift Eucharist" with the addition of sacramentally related workshops and Children’s Lenten Stations of the Cross. First Reconciliation is received on specific scheduled dates during Lent and First Eucharist liturgies are customarily the beginning of May each year.
The CONFIRMATION PROGRAM for 8th and 9th graders is a two-year instruction period. YEAR 1 (Grade 8) is a year of Formation and YEAR 2 (Grade 9) is their Discernment year. It is a classroom-based program highlighted by large group meetings and an over-night retreat. Grades 8 and 9 meet for an hour each week. The Sacrament of Confirmation is customarily conferred in May of each year.
HOME SCHOOLING ALTERNATIVE:
Home schooling by the student’s parents is an alternative to our traditional classroom instruction for children from grades 1 - 7 (with the exception of 2nd grade). This program is coordinated by the DRE and requires the following:
- Parents must register students for the home school program.
- Parents must follow the grade level appropriate curriculum, which will be available along with the grade level books.
- Parents must attend CRE meetings, when applicable.
- Students must attend CRE meetings/retreats, when applicable.
- Students must complete all testing/assessment and may be subject to review.
Note: Students attending sacramental preparation classes (2nd grade, 8th and 9th grades) may NOT be home schooled. These students must attend formal classes to prepare for receiving the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation.
ADULT EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES:
Adults are urged to continually grow and develop in their faith. Periodically speakers are scheduled to engage us all in current events and faith related issues. Bible studies are held throughout the year and requests are encouraged for days and evenings of reflection or topics of interest. Watch for announcements in the weekly bulletin for adult education opportunities throughout the year.
RCIA - (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) As Father Michael states, "Church should be a place where you can ask questions, seek answers, experience authentic relationships, and embrace the fact that you matter. Regardless of your past or your faith tradition, we welcome you to come as you are and to give church and God another try”. This is what RCIA is, the place where you can come together with friends who are seeking and discerning their faith journey and have the desire to join our Catholic faith.