Family Faith Formation

 


Parents don’t need more, they need meaningful

Family Faith Formation is St. Brendan the Navigator’s faith formation program for students in grades K-8 who do not currently attend St. Brendan school.

It is a program for the whole family to do together that gives intentionality, structure, and routine to the conversations about the faith you already have at home, anchored by a monthly family session here at the parish.

Moving to our family-based processes for faith formation and sacrament preparation is based on the most current directives from the Church and the most up-to-date sociological and pedagogical research.

For us, this means that faith formation and sacrament preparation must support families in their journey of faith–fostering growth and maturity of faith through relationships instead of providing requirements to meet. Faith is not transactional, where we put in the money or registration form and thus the sacraments and spirituality are dispensed.  Our method must instead be relational, where your family is accompanied by the community of the Church as you move forward in grace towards greater faith. This must include the staff and clergy. Our priority is to provide whatever you need as you share your faith with others.

At Saint Brendan, our goal is to encourage and support conversations in the home between parents and children about faith. These are the key movements–in the family’s context, and with parents. We are not offering just resources to support this, but a whole method for engaging in and raising conversations about faith in the home. We want to help you have meaningful conversations about faith with you and your children.

Registration

If you would like to register for Faith Formation, please contact magra@stbrendans.net

Pathways

We are expanding our family faith formation program to accompany better and support each family where they are in their faith journey. This past year, we offered everyone the same resource and at-church family sessions. We also added additional content and meetings for those in a sacramental year. After hearing feedback from you, family faith formation at St. Brendan will begin to offer three different pathways for families.

Seek & Root

If you are new to family faith formation, you will join the Seek & Root pathway. These families meet on Monday night at church 10 times through the year – twice a month in September and October, and once a month November-April.

Seek provides four high-quality at-church sessions for the whole family. In these sessions, you will learn about the Gospel message and how to share it with your kids.

Root will teach you and your family about the statements of the Nicene Creed that we say at Mass each Sunday. This box includes six at-home family meetings and a parent study book. During this resource, we will have six at-church family sessions to help break open what you and your children have been learning at home in the parent series and family meetings.

Sacrament Preparation

Families returning to family faith formation and preparing one (or more!) of their children for a sacrament this year will meet on a Monday night five times through the year, in addition to sacramental celebrations. These family sessions run from October-March.

Mend will prepare families for a child’s first Reconciliation through 7 at-home family meetings and two at-church family sessions. Families will experience the love of Jesus as they talk together about the mending of relationships and the healing power of forgiveness.

Nourish will prepare families for a child’s first reception of the Holy Eucharist through 10 at-home family meetings and 3 at-church family sessions. The Nourish experience invites families to connect the beauty of the liturgy with their lived family experiences. This is encouraged through simple faith conversations, shared activities, and prayer. Preparation to receive the sacrament of
first Communion is a special time in the life of a family and provides a great opportunity to grow in faith together.

Zeal will prepare families for a child’s Confirmation through 7 at-home family meetings, 1 sponsor meeting, and 5 at-church family sessions. This resource focuses on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the missionary nature of Confirmation.

Continued Growth

Families returning to family faith formation that are not preparing any children for a sacrament are part of the continued growth pathway, which meets on a Sunday morning or evening, OR Monday night 8 times from September-April.

Quest is a resource focused on personal prayer. It follows the fourth section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and explains what prayer is, models of prayer in Scripture, and forms of prayer. The family activity with each meeting involves playing an ever-expanding board game that grows as you learn! This resource will pair with our parish year of prayer that runs through the end of 2023.

Witness is a resource focused on The Saints. The family meetings each include a recipe that you can use for an activity that is inspired by the Saint’s life or culture. This resource’s focus on meals and gathering around a table is perfect for our parish and national focus on the Eucharistic Revival.

Schedules

The Seek & Root Pathway will meet at church on the following Mondays from 6:30 pm-8 pm:

9/11, 9/25, 10/9. 10/23, 11/13, 12/11, 1/15, 2/12, 3/11, 4/15

The Sacrament Preparation Pathway will meet at church on the following Mondays from 6 pm-7:30 pm:

10/30, 11/27, 1/29, 2/26, 3/18

There is a Parent Information meeting on 9/24 OR 9/25 from 6:45 pm – 8 pm. Please attend one of these meetings.

4/22 is the Jesus Day retreat and practice for First Eucharist.

First Reconciliation is on 12/2

First Eucharist Masses are at the 5:30 pm vigil Mass and 8:45 am Mass on the weekends of 5/5, 5/12, and 5/19. You must RSVP for one of these Masses within the Sacrament registration form.

Confirmation is 4 pm or 7:30 pm on date April 26

The Continued Growth Pathway has three sessions to choose from – Sunday morning from 9:45-11:15 (K-5th grade), Sunday evening from 6:45-8:30 (6th-8th grade), or Monday evening from 6:30-8 (K-8th grade)

September 10 or 11, October 8 or 9, November 12 or 13, December 10 or 11, January 14 or 15, February 11 or 12, March 10 or 11, April 14 or 15

Middle School Small Groups

Students in grades 6-8 will meet in small groups 10 times throughout the year. The middle school small groups are a time to encounter faith and discuss it with peers, often those from the same school. Faith at this age comes more alive when experienced with others of the same age. These will meet on the below Sunday or Monday nights from 6:45-8.

Small Groups: October 1 or 2, October 15 or 16, November 5 or 6, November 19 or 20, December 3 or 4, January 21 or 22, February 4 or 5, February 18 or 19, March 3 or 4, April 7 or 8

The family meeting is an at-home faith experience with the entire family. The structure is a gathering ritual, opening prayer, check-in, experiential activity, teaching, and closing prayer. Each family meeting should take 20-40 minutes.

A family session is an at-church experience that follows the structure of a family meeting. A leader or leaders facilitate the session and model family-based faith formation. We believe families need an at-church component, even if most of the teaching is happening at home. Community is essential in the life of the Church and we want families to gather often to support one another. The premier weekly gathering is Sunday Mass. We pray that as families fall in love with Jesus and their community that they would hunger to live in a weekly communion available to them at the Mass.

Statistics show that for faith to “stick” it must be talked about and lived out with the people children love the most, their parents. We may only have them in faith formation for one or two years, but you will be in a relationship with them for a lifetime.

We determined you are our best investment for the faith development of your children. We sought a program that puts family at the center of the teaching. Parents are already overwhelmed, especially in this current reality, so we did not want to just send home one more thing to “do.” We wanted to give you a tool to create meaningful moments together that will help you develop Christian leaders. We all want to raise children that embody the values of Jesus. Children who are courageous, kind, humble, compassionate, and have strong character.

We are choosing programs to bring to that you conduct in your own homes with you as the leader. We provide everything you need as a box. It is interactive and very easy to implement. You present the material through short family meetings and you get to choose the best day and time for these to happen.

Parents, you have everything needed to share faith with your children! Your own life and the ways you have encountered God are your best teaching tool. Faith is a gift, a lens to see your life through, not a series of classes to “check off.” It applies to your everyday life. We hope you will experience this program in this way. We look forward to your feedback, and will use it to guide us in this new process.

Your family remains in our prayers as an essential part of our community!

Faith Formation certainly doesn’t end with Confirmation!

We are so proud of our high school youth ministry program, The Vine, which provides high school students the opportunity to encounter God and grow in their faith alongside their peers. We encourage your children to attend, especially on 2nd Sundays with the whole family!