Thank you the many parents who attended our January 28th and February 1st meetings about Faith Formation at St. Francis de Sales.  Click here to view the PowerPoint from the meetings.

The goal of our continued dialog is to see how and where the Holy Spirit is guiding our faith formation programs, but ultimately our development as disciples who desire to know, love, and serve the Lord by living the Gospel.  

In starting this process, our faith formation staff has prayerfully and through much discussion with catechists, staff, and various groups of the parish decided that we need to consolidate our current programs in order to best utilize our resources (volunteers, staff, and money) to allow us to better explore new ways of teaching our children and youth and equipping our parents as they raise disciples.  We've also seen the need to reconfigure how we understand our foundation and preparatory formation.  Foundational formation is ongoing and helps us better know, love, and serve the Lord using all the gifts God has given us.  Preparatory formation is confined to a specific period and primarily focused on preparing to receive and use the gifts of specific sacraments. 

We currently have three weekly programs (two of which are only for those preparing for sacraments) and one monthly family program.  Only one of these programs is offered in Spanish and then two have parent meetings which are offered in Spanish.  The other two programs are only offered in English.  We plan to consolidate these programs to only two programs - the monthly family program and one weekly program on Wednesdays.  We would offer both in English and Spanish to better meet the need of our parish. 

In order to help our children to have a well formed foundational formation and to better know the community, we will be implementing a requirement for children and youth to attend a foundational formation program the year prior and the year of participating in preparatory formation for a sacrament.  Catholic School children & youth would not need to attend a parish based program as they receive formation through the school; however, they would need to participate in the parish based preparatory formation as has been the practice to date.  

  • An example of the requirement would be that a first grader would participate in our Wednesday or Family Program and then again in second grade in order to prepare for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist while in second grade.  
  • Another example is that a seventh grader would participate in our Wednesday or Family Program and then again in eight grade in order to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  During the sacramental year, our children and youth would then have additional preparation that would include the family.  

One of the common themes in both of our vision meetings this past month was the need for parents to gather to discuss common challenges and blessings in raising children in the faith.  In the model we are looking at, we have the opportunity to offer more opportunities for our parents to gather to grow their faith and share their trials and successes as parents.  Another common theme was the need to better get to know one another.  We are looking to open each of our weekly sessions with prayer and song with both children and parents.  What better way to get to know one another than through prayer! 

There are many possibilities as we move forward and we very much want to be led by the Lord.  We ask that you continue to keep this process, our staff, volunteers, parents, and children and youth in prayer.  May we be open to following the Lord and his will.  Below is a prayer you may use.

PRAYER FOR THE NEW FAITH FORMATION PROGRAM

Jesus, you are the teacher for all peoples.

You have instructed us in the faith since you were a child.

Send your Holy Spirit to guide us now that we are about to embark on a totally new Faith Formation program for our St. Francis de Sales Parish community.

God the Father, we ask for your grace to help us all –families, catechists, volunteers, and our parish community— understand that the new Faith Formation program’s final mission is to create disciples who will know, love, and serve our Lord.  We also request that you listen to the prayers of our faith community for our youth and for this program.   

Most Holy Trinity, walk with us through this journey of faith and be our comfort in the challenges that we face ahead.

Amen

ORACIÓN PARA EL NUEVO PROGRAMA DE FORMACIÓN DE FE

Jesús, tu eres el maestro de todos los pueblos.

Tú nos has instruido en la fe desde que eras un niño.

Envía tu Espíritu Santo a que nos guie ahora que vamos a comenzar con un programa totalmente nuevo de Formación de Fe para nuestra comunidad parroquial de San Francisco de Sales.

Dios Padre, te pedimos que derrames tu gracia para ayudarnos a todos –las familias, catequistas, voluntarios, y a nuestra comunidad parroquial— entender que la misión final del nuevo programa de Formación de Fe es el crear discípulos que puedan conocer, amar, y servir a nuestro Señor.  Te pedimos también que escuches las oraciones de nuestra comunidad de fe para nuestros jóvenes y para este programa

Santísima Trinidad, acompáñanos en esta jornada de fe y se nuestro consuelo en los retos que enfrentaremos.

Ámen