August 13, 2021
Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome to Faith Formation!
We are all very excited to be starting Faith Formation back in person once again! Physically meeting with the student and families is so important as we gather to teach and learn the faith. This year, we are planning somewhat of a hybrid program. We will mainly gather in person, except for one Wednesday a month when we will meet by Zoom. As always, our main objective along with yours is to help our children get to heaven. So, as we learn our Catholic Faith, we also want to think and focus on the family as well.
Last year we started something new. As we taught online through Zoom we also had a great opportunity to teach students as well as guide the parents as they help teach the faith. Therefore, the catechists along with the priests will again work more closely with parents to be the best educators of the faith. The resource we will be using again this year is the “A Family of Faith” book series. Last year’s book I focused on the Creed and this year in book II we will focus on the Sacraments. It is not intended for any particular class year or grade but for the entire family. Therefore, our classes will not be in a 1st, 2nd, etc. grade level but for a family along with other families in one room. There will be activities and/or projects (with different age levels for students) to help reinforce what is being taught in that week’s lesson. Each week, lessons will begin in the classroom with work to be completed at home along with the family/parents, which will be reviewed in class at during the next week’s session. What better way to learn the faith, than as a family?
As we move forward with this “A Family of Faith” program, we highly suggest that you make it a point to attend Mass. Mass is truly the first part of catechesis for us to teach as a Church, for parents to guide their children in the practice of the faith, and for students to learn and practice the rich traditions of our Catholic Faith. We are obligated as Catholic Christians to lead by example just as Jesus himself, in obedience to the Jewish faith, attended temple or synagogue each week. Yes, Our Lord often withdrew by himself to pray, yet he also spent time in communal prayer each week. This should be an indication to us of the importance of gathering for Mass weekly. Jesus’ life as a faithful Jew is quite an example for us to look at to know what we need to do as well.
The second part of our catechesis will be a presentation each week on what was and will be covered by the families/parents at home. These presentations are to help you as you educate your child in the faith. They will be presented by Fr. Tyler and Fr. Michael, along with other guest presenters, and held at the same time as the Family Faith Formation sessions. You will want to be present so that you are ready to help your student as they learn their faith. However, if you would like to join your student in the classroom instead of attending the presentations, you are welcome to do so. Any parent who would like to sit in on their student’s weekly class (even if it is only on one occasion) will have to fill out the ICHAT form for a background check, as well as complete VIRTUS – an hour-long, online child protection program that is required by our diocese for anyone who will be with children. Parents are not allowed to attend classroom sessions unless these are both completed.
In addition to Faith Formation, as is with All Saints Catholic School students, those who wish for their child to receive sacraments will also be part of the three year sacramental preparation process. The information on these parent and family sessions will be forthcoming.
On September 15 we will begin our Faith Formation year at St. John the Baptist Church of All Saints Parish. Because we are expecting parents to do some of the teaching at home, and we know that many students need to be in bed early, we are cutting class time down. Classes will begin at 6:00 pm and we will join together for prayer at 7:00 pm. At the first week’s session, the “A Family of Faith” books will be distributed to the parents in the church. The student books will also be distributed in the classrooms at this session.
In order to be ready for Faith Formation we will need you to fill out the registration form. You can go to the link https://alpenacatholics.org/faith-formation/grades-k-5/faith-formation-k-5-registration-form/ or to our webpage, alpenacatholics.org and go to Evangelization/Grades K-5/Faith Formation K-5 Registration Form and register so that we are prepared for each student/family (registration is at the bottom of this page). The registration fee is $35 for one student or $50 for a family. If you are in need of a scholarship we do have those available. Please call me to request a scholarship.
When you fill out the registration form in order for this to work, please supply an email address that is visited frequently. It is also important that you sign up for Flocknote by going to alpenacatholic.flocknote.com. I will be communicating by email but mainly through Flocknote. If you do not sign up for Flocknote yourself, when I receive the registration form I will sign you up so that you will receive the messages. You can decide if you want to receive Flocknote messages by email or by text if I sign you up it may be both.
You have the option to pay the registration fee online, however, if you do pay online please make sure you put the first and last name of each student in the “note” section. If you choose to send a check to the parish office or drop it in the collection on the weekend, please make sure you put the names of each student on a note so that I know who has paid.
If you would like to do all Faith Formation from home and have a zoom class similar to last year, please email me. We will try to offer this to anyone who is in need of this service.
We are so looking forward to working with you and your family. Please register as soon as possible.
More details will follow in the coming weeks.
God bless you, In cooperation with,
Jackie Benson Fr. Tyler Bischoff, Parochial Administrator
Catechetical Leader Fr. Michael Lingaur, Parochial Vicar