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
Welcome parents and students to an exciting year of PREP (CCD) 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 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 as well as a strong interactive and experiential lending module! These series provide a wonderful overview of our Catholic Christian Faith in a manner that is fun and increased learning retention!
We also offer PREPlay (child care) for children two-four years old during the Sunday morning Family Mass!
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 PREPlay children depart after. Abridge ‘Children’s Homily’ at the 9:00am 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.
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.
2018-2019 Saint Miriam PREP Class Schedule
9 – Parents meeting/Blessing of the school back packs
16 – PREP classes begin/All classes will meet together for first day as part of introductions/meet and greet
23 – Regularly scheduled class
30- Regularly scheduled class
7– St. Francis activity
14– Regularly scheduled class
21 – Regularly scheduled class
28– All saint’s/All soul’s activity/preparing luminaries for cemetery blessing
4 – Regularly scheduled class
11 – Regularly scheduled class
18 – Thanksgiving blessing activity for all classes
25 – No class/Thanksgiving break
2– Advent program- praying in color/choir practice
9– Advent program- praying in color/choir practice
16– Advent program- praying in color/PREP Christmas party
23– Advent program/choir practice
30 – No class
6 – Regularly scheduled class
13 – Regularly scheduled class
20 – Regularly scheduled class
27 – Regularly scheduled class
3– Souper Bowl Sunday and PREP fundraiser/St. Blaise Blessing activity
10– Regularly scheduled class
17 – Regularly scheduled class
24– Regularly scheduled class
3 – Lent program for all classes
10 – Lent program for all classes
17 – Lent program for all classes/ Instructive Eucharist
24 – Regularly scheduled class
31- Regular scheduled class
7 – Regular scheduled class
14 – Palm procession
21 – Easter Sunday/no class
28 – Earth Day project for all classes
5– May crowning and First Holy Communion
12– Regularly scheduled classes
19 – Final classes (return log sheets)—Bubble Sunday
26 – Ribbons on cemetery gates in honor of Memorial Day
2– Recognition Ceremony at the 9am Mass
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.
- 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)
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)
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)
In order to receive the sacrament of First Holy Communion, students must:
- Have been in PREP at Saint Miriam or another Catholic church for a minimum of two years (documentation required)
- Be at least 7 years old at the time of FHC
- Have achieved all applicable badges for advancement
- Have received First Reconciliation
- Have attended all required FHC preparation classes
- 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:
- Have been in PREP 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 achieved all applicable badges for advancement
- Have received First Reconciliation 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, service hours 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 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.