Saint Miriam Parish Children’s Faith Formation (CFF)
Dear Saint Miriam Faith Formation Families,
We know the last few years has been challenging time for many of us, your family, and for our church, too, but it is time to come home to in-person learning and community.
We found ourselves closed due to the pandemic for almost 15 months, save two weeks. We reopened in April last year, but many still were reluctant to return. While we understood the hesitation, the parish won’t survive without you, AND we are the first and primary faith teachers of our children! Your being part of us, and your children, are our future at Saint Miriam!
We also tried virtual learning opportunities, but we found – while it was a good band-aid – it wasn’t the same as being part of an experiential learning program. Last year Monsignor Jim called it a time of ‘being different’, and we thought it would be okay before the year end. While we are still dealing with the effects of the changing pandemic/endemic, we have proven our ability to worship and educate safely!
This is why we wanted to update you regarding our upcoming 2022 – 2023 Children’s Faith Formation (CFF) year. We are returning to in-person CFF starting September 18th 2022 with a new and enhanced learning program, plus some new faces, too! So, this year, we return to full in-person classes and learning!
For in-person learning, we will offer both Children’s Faith Formation and Sacramental Preparation for First Penance, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation! We will also bring back CFF, Jr., this year for families who would like to participate in Mass and have their child/ren cared for! These are all very exciting!
All faith formation in-person classes weekly will be done in our lower U-Classrooms with safe distancing policies as warranted by the policies of the County if things change. Each classroom being used is sanitized daily by our cleaning staff to ensure all of our safety.
Finally, experts predicted the end of church worship and the end of our reliance on God’s love and providence. We disagreed and are well on our way to proving us right! A life without God is a life without hope. Parents are the primary faith teachers of their children. We pray you won’t fail them at this critical time in our history as we return to an endemic stage and return home to Saint Miriam! As you contemplate, ask yourself: “What will our children do when we are gone and they are left without us and with no faith or God?”
Please use the following links below to register your child/ren for this fall term so we can order material and plan accordingly. The total cost for the program, options and materials included, is a mere $200 per child, plus $25 to help defray materials and packaging. (Additional siblings are only $125, and we will include materials for them, too!) The Sacramental Fee will also be the same as previous years at $50 to include sacramental materials and needed supplies, as well as extra instruction by our teachers as well as gifts at the conferring Mass.
Have a blessed remaining days of Summer and look forward to seeing you all in the fall starting Sunday, September 18th with a wonderful introduction!
Your Saint Miriam CFF Team
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
Welcome parents and students to an exciting year of Children’s Faith Formation (CFF) at Saint Miriam! We have many exciting lessons and activities planned for this upcoming year. We also have adapted changes to our program that will 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 CFF Educational Programming and they include: Pre-K – Kindergarten, First – Second Grade, Third – Fourth Grade, Sixth – Seventh Grade, Eighth – Ninth Grade and Confirmation/Sacramental Formation. We also offer RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) and will soon build a new Youth Group too! We will use a strong interactive and experiential learning module as our core program! These series provide a wonderful overview of our Catholic Christian Faith in a manner that is fun and increased learning retention!
We also offer CFF, Jr. (child care) for children two-four years old during the Sunday morning Family Mass who are not enrolled in the learning CFF modules. However, please register for all programs to allow us to ensure adequate staffing and safety.
All of our educators and chaperones are federally and state cleared and adhere to our child safety protocols. Learn more at our school site here.
Our Onsite Program
At Saint Miriam, we combine experiential and didactic compacts in order to make learning interactive and fun for every student. In this manner, they are enriched with the values of what makes us truly Catholic, as well as hearts that are determinatively social justice orientated, as we ‘care for our neighbors as ourselves.’ In order to accomplish this curriculum focus, along with a teaching calendar that is ongoing from September through June, we require a high degree of attendance in order to allow every student the experience of interaction and learned. We teach more than just rote prayers, it is about community and bringing in our Franciscan ethos to help God ‘rebuild his Church’!
Our CFF, Jr. children may attend daycare classes and allow parents to remain in the Family Mass at 9:30am. The CFF children will depart after an abridged ‘Children’s Homily’ at the 9:30am Family Mass, while our older students remain at Mass until after the Eucharist! In this way, our programs are tailored for students by age grouping that allows for increased learning and growth.
Please note that CFF, Jr. is for children who have been registered through our CFF program only to allow for planning!
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.
All CFF Formation students will attend the 9:30 AM Family Mass with their families and teachers. After Communion, the children will join their teachers for faith formation classes until 10:45 AM.
In order to receive the sacrament of First Holy Communion, students must:
- Have been in Children’s Faith Formation at Saint Miriam or another Catholic Church for a minimum of two years (documentation required.)
- Have attended all required CFF and First Holy Communion (FHC) Preparation Classes.
- Be in good standing in terms of attendance and class work/homework during the year of FHC
In order to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, students must:
- Have been in CFF at Saint Miriam or another Catholic Church for a minimum of five years (documentation required.)
- Be at least 15 years old at the time of Confirmation
- Have received First Reconciliation/Penance and FHC
- Have attended all required Confirmation Preparation Classes
- Have attended a class on Social Justice/Catholic Social Teaching
- Participate at a Commitment Mass with parents and sponsor(s)
- Be in good standing in terms of attendance and class work/homework during the year of Confirmation
While we believe we offer a wonderful program at Saint Miriam, we understand that we cannot possibly accomplish in just above 60 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 Children Faith Formation 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 Faith Formation classes:
Weekly attendance at mass is required for all 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. It is the parent/guardian 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.
As mentioned above, it is the family that is most responsible for the religious education of their child(ren). 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 Faith Formation students and their families must be registered members of the parish and signed up to give electronically on a weekly or monthly basis. All 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.
All 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.
* 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.
Children’s Faith Formation Calendar
2022-23 Children’s Faith Formation Calendar
Sept 18– Orientation
Sept 25– First Day of Class; Prep Play and in-person faith formation/ Blessing of Students and School Year
Oct 2– Saint Francis Activity
Oct 9– Regularly scheduled class
Oct 16– Regularly scheduled class
Oct 23– Regularly scheduled class
Oct 30– All Saint/All Souls Activity and Preparing Luminaries
Nov 6– Regularly Scheduled Class
Nov 13– Regularly Scheduled Class
Nov 20– Thankfulness Program
Nov 27– Thanksgiving Break
Dec 4– Advent Program
Dec 11– Advent Program
Dec 18– Christmas Pageant
Dec 25– Christmas (no class)
Jan 1– Regularly Scheduled Class
Jan 8– Regularly Scheduled Class
Jan 15– Regularly Scheduled Class
Jan 22– Regularly Scheduled Class
Jan 29– Regularly Scheduled Class
Feb 5– Super-bowl Fund-raiser
Feb 12– Regularly Scheduled Class
Feb 19– Lent Program / First Holy Communion Instruction
Feb 26– Lent Program/ First Holy Communion Instruction
Mar 5– Lent Program/ First Holy Communion Instruction
Mar 12– Lent Program/ First Holy Communion Instruction
Mar 19– Lent Program / First Holy Communion Instruction
Mar 26– Faith Formation and Palm Procession
April 2– Easter Egg Hunt
April 9– Easter (no class)
April 16– Regular Scheduled Class
April 23– Regular Scheduled Class
April 30 – Regular Scheduled Class
May 7– May Crowning
May 14– First Holy Communion
May 21– Mary Week
May 28– Ribbon Ceremony and Memorial Day Blessing at Cemetery Gates