Saint Miriam Parish PREP

(Parish Religious Education Programs)

Information and Expectations

“God commanded our ancestors to teach their children; so that the generation to come might know, that they too may rise and declare to their children that they should put their hope in God.”

– Psalm 78: 6

Introduction

Welcome to parents and students to an exciting year of PREP at Saint Miriam! We have many exciting lessons and activities planned for this upcoming year. We also have several changes to our program that will hopefully better prepare your children to learn about our faith as well as prepare them for a life of Christian service as they become lifelong disciples!

We offer several classes that form the core of our PREP Educational Programming and they include: Pre-K – Kindergarten, First – Second Grade, Third – Fourth Grade, Sixth – Seventh Grade, Eighth – Ninth Grade and Confirmation/Sacramental PREP. We also offer RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) along with a Youth Group too! New for this year we will be using the Faith and Life series by Ignatius Press. This series provides a wonderful overview of our Catholic Christian Faith.

We also offer PREPlay (child care) for children two-four years old during the Sunday morning Family Mass!

Essentials to Parish Life

There are many things that go into making a successful parish. The most important of these include spirituality, faith formation and education, liturgy, small groups, hospitality, stewardship, social ministry, and evangelization. We urge each parent/guardian and their children to find a home in these areas to support our life together.

2017-2018 Saint Miriam PREP Class Schedule

Click here to download or print the 2017-2018 schedule.

September

10 – Parents meeting/Blessing of the school back packs

17 – PREP classes begin/All classes will meet together for first day as part of introductions/meet and greet

24 – Regularly scheduled class

October

1 – Regularly scheduled class

4 – Benediction and Pizza with the Friars in the Friary

8 – Regularly scheduled class/St. Francis—collection for animal shelter donations

15 – All classes to meet for youth mass practice—Priest Instruction

22 – Youth Mass

29 – All classes will meet for St. Francis Joliet outdoor activity/outdoor Franciscan rosary

November

5 – Regularly scheduled class/all saint’s/all soul’s activity/preparing luminaries for cemetery blessing

12 – Regularly scheduled class

19 – Thanksgiving and blessing activity for all classes

26 – No class/Thanksgiving break

December

3– Advent program/choir practice

10– Advent program/choir practice

16– Advent program/PREP Christmas party

24– PREP Children’s Choir at Christmas Family Mass

31 – No class

January

7 – Regularly scheduled class

12 – Movie night and games for all classes

14 – Regularly scheduled class

21 – Regularly scheduled class

28 – Regularly scheduled class

February

4– Souper Bowl Sunday and PREP fundraiser/St. Blaise activity

11– Regularly scheduled class

14 – Ash Wednesday Mass and class followed by special Lenten program

18 – Lent group activity for all classes

25 – Lent group activity for all classes

March

4 – Lent group activity for all classes

11 – Regularly scheduled class

18 – Regularly scheduled class

25 – Regularly scheduled class

April

1 – No class—Easter Sunday/April fools activity

8 – Regularly scheduled class

15 – Regularly scheduled class

22 – Earth Day project for all classes

29 – Regularly scheduled class

May

6 – May crowning

13 – Regularly scheduled classes

20 – Final classes (return log sheets)—Bubble Sunday

27 – Ribbons on cemetery gates in honor of Memorial Day

June

3 – Recognition Ceremony at the 9am Mass

 

Times

All PREP students will attend the 9:00 AM mass with their families and teachers. After Communion, the children will join their teachers for class until 10:30 AM.

All PREPlay students will attend the 9:00 AM mass with their families and teachers.  After the homily, the children will join their teacher for class until 10:00 AM.

Classes

  • KidsLife (Infant-1 year old)
  • Toddler (2-3 years old)
  • Children’s House (4-5 years old)
  • Lower elementary & FHC PREP (6-9 years old)
  • Upper elementary (10-12 years old)
  • Middle school (13-14 years old)
  • High school & Confirmation PREP (15 and older)

Recognition

As a way of acknowledging the great things that our PREP students are doing, we will be issuing badges (similar to the boy and girl scouts) to recognize their accomplishments. Students will be able to earn the following badges:

  • Attendance badge (minimum 25 classes)
  • Service Work badge (completed required service hours)
  • Stewardship badge (missed no more than four weeks of giving)
  • Class Work/Homework badge (completed at least 80% of required assignments)
  • Family Participation badge (attended or sold tickets for at least one church event)
  • First Reconciliation badge
  • First Holy Communion badge
  • Catholic Social Teaching badge (received at least 5 hours of teaching on social justice)
  • Confirmation badge
  • Youth Group badge (for participating in 80% of youth group activities)
  • Youth Advisor badge (for those 18+ who assist our younger PREP children)

Advancement

In order to advance to the next PREP class, students will be required to meet certain goals. They will need to attain the following badges:

  • Attendance badge (minimum of 25 classes and 2 Thursday masses)
  • Service work badge (completed required service hours)
  • Stewardship badge (missed no more than four weeks of giving)
  • Class work/Homework badge (completed at least 80% of required assignments)
  • Family participation badge (attended or sold tickets for at least one church event)

Sacrament Requirements

In order to receive the sacrament of First Holy Communion, students must:

  1. Have been in PREP at Saint Miriam or another Catholic church for a minimum of two years (documentation required)
  2. Be at least 7 years old at the time of FHC
  3. Have achieved all applicable badges for advancement
  4. Have received First Reconciliation
  5. Have attended all required FHC preparation classes
  6. Be in good standing in terms of attendance, service hours and class work/homework during the year of FHC

In order to receive the sacrament of Confirmation, students must:

  1. Have been in PREP at Saint Miriam or another Catholic church for a minimum of five years (documentation required)
  2. Be at least 15 years old at the time of Confirmation
  3. Have achieved all applicable badges for advancement
  4. Have received First Reconciliation and FHC
  5. Have attended all required Confirmation preparation classes
  6. Have attended a class on Social Justice/Catholic Social Teaching
  7. Participate at a Commitment Mass with parents and sponsor(s)
  8. Be in good standing in terms of attendance, service hours and class work/homework during the year of Confirmation

Expectations

While we believe we offer a wonderful program at Saint Miriam, we understand that we cannot possibly accomplish in just above 45 minutes what you can accomplish within your family home. As parents, Godparents, and guardians, you are the primary religious educators of your children and are ultimately responsible for their spiritual growth and development. It is expected that each family become actively involved in the Saint Miriam PREP Program and Parish in order to model a living, conscious, and active Christian faith and to reinforce the values and attitudes for living that faith. With that, we have set forth the following expectations for each child and family enrolled in PREP classes:

  • Weekly attendance at mass is required for all PREP students and is essential for those receiving a sacrament in the spring. This includes attending mass during the summer, making an effort to attend church functions that build community and support our work and life together and attending sacraments/activities of others in our church community(even when your child is not involved)! There are approximately 30 classes in a school year. If a child has more than two unexcused absences from class or mass, a parent/guardian must meet with the pastor and the Director of Parish Education to discuss the reason(s) for absence and come up with a plan for more consistent attendance. If a child has more than four unexcused absences, he/she will not receive an attendance badge. It is the parents/guardians responsibility to contact the Director at least one day prior to an expected absence or as soon as it is known that your child will be absent. Excessive absences and lack of participation may prevent your child from progressing to the next level and/or from receiving a sacrament. In addition to attending mass on Sundays, each family is required to attend two (2) Thursday masses and Rosary during the school year. There will be a sign-in sheet available to document your attendance.
  • As mentioned above, it is the family that is most responsible for the religious education of their child(ren). Therefore, each week there will be a take-home assignment that each child and their family should complete together. This might include, but is not limited to, an activity from that week’s chapter, learning a new prayer, doing a service project, reading the Bible or making a craft. Parents/guardians will sign-off that the activity or assignment was completed and ensure that any needed materials are brought in for class the following Sunday.
  • Stewardship and care for the parish financially and through time and talent is essential and expected. All PREP students and their families must be registered members of the parish and signed up to give electronically on a weekly or monthly basis. All PREP fees must be paid prior to the start of the school year. All children will receive giving envelopes that they will contribute during mass. Their contribution need not be a lot as the amount is not as important as the lesson being taught; God loves a cheerful giver. All children are expected to give each week. They will receive their stewardship badge for doing so. While there is not a specific donation amount necessary to achieve this badge, they may not miss more than four weeks.
  • All PREP students will be required to perform some form of “service work” to the church and community. At least half of the required hours will be done at church and the other half will be performed in the child’s home, school, and/or community. At the first class, the children will be provided with a log sheet to record the service that they perform. Depending on the grade, the amount of service required will vary:
    • KidsLife (Infant-1 year old) – 0 hours
    • Toddler (2-3 years old) – 0 hours
    • Children’s House (3-5 years old) – 5 hours
    • Lower elementary & FHC PREP (6-9 years old) – 7 hours
    • Upper elementary (10-12 years old) – 10 hours
    • Middle school (13-14 years old) – 15 hours
    • High school & Confirmation PREP (15 and older) – 20 hours

Examples of service to the church might include: serving mass as an acolyte, reading at mass as a lector, helping to clean the church, helping with the gardening or assisting on Sunday morning in the Saint Miriam Café. Examples of service to the community might include: doing chores at home, helping out a neighbor, mentoring a younger child or sibling, or helping out with a charity. These are just a few examples and there are many other options that would be acceptable. Please see the director of education or the pastor with any questions.

In addition to the service hours, each child will need to write a few sentences about each service activity that they perform. This can be done on loose-leaf paper or in a composition book and it can be hand written or typed. They should think about the following when writing: how did my service help others; how did you feel before, during and after the service; why did you feel this service activity was important? These responses will be turned in with the service hour log sheet in May.

  • Support for our various activities, fundraiser events, and annual concert and silent auction is also expected. The parish places a lot of hard work and effort behind these very few events and it really does take a community to make them successful. Therefore, please make every effort to (1) sell tickets, (2) attend the events, (3) help with set up and/or clean up after such events. We expect that every PREP family will purchase and/or sell a minimum of 4 tickets annually. These tickets will be mailed to you, or brought home well in advance of each event, by your child(ren). You are responsible for the value of these tickets as part of your PREP fee.