YFF Mission, Goals and Policies

Mission

The mission of Faith Formation is Life Long Catechesis.  We are always in the process of learning about our faith and our God.  Thus our Religious Education program is designed to assist parents, as the first and foremost teachers of the Faith, in bringing their children into full membership in the community.  We view the formation of faith and conscious as a lifelong process that continues in the heart and home long after formal religion classes end.  We encourage families to journey together toward a deeper relationship with God, and ask them to call on us to assist them on the journey.

Goals & Objectives

  • To provide opportunities to pray together, to participate in Mass, and provide Whole Community Catechesis.
  • To foster sensitivity to the human needs of one another.
  • To develop a sense of parish community.
  • To teach Catholic faith to all students through doctrine.
  • To model gospel values in our contact with teachers, children, and parents.
  • To directly involve parents in the Catholic formation of their children through special programs.

Religious Education Program

Our program is gradual and continuous.  It begins with first grade and continues throughout life, thus we call it, Lifelong Catechesis.

There is a fee for use of the programs for Religious Education; however, no one will be denied entry due to financial reasons.

Religious Education Assessment Test ~ The Diocese requires that a Religious Education Assessment Test will be given to all Eighth Year Catechumens.  Results are utilized by the Diocese to determine how well students are processing information taught in their parishes.

Policies & Procedures

Catechist Requirements ~ Our Catechists are faith-filled volunteers who combine a love for the Church, God, and children with a sincere desire to serve in order to witness God’s love to the world.

Our Catechists and all volunteers who work with children are required to submit to a criminal background check and have it on record in the Diocese’s legal office.  In addition to the background search, all Catechists must also participate in a Child Protection Program which will also be on record in the Diocese’s legal office.

Absence ~ Students missing classes are required to make up any missed sessions with their parents prior to the next class session.

Lateness Punctuality is vital.  Habitual lateness takes time away from other students.  Students are asked to be in their classrooms at least five minutes before class is scheduled to begin.

Leaving Class Prior to Dismissal ~ If a child must leave class early, the parent or person picking up the child must come inside and speak to the Catechist or Coordinator of Religious Education.  No child will be allowed to leave the building to wait outside.

Dismissal ~ Children grades 1-8 will be dismissed at 8:00 pm to their parent/guardian or approved designee as indicated on the YFF Registration Form.  Catechists will be advised as to who can pick up your child(ren).

Drop-off/Pick-up Policy ~ Children shall not be dropped off for YFF classes before 6:45 pm.  We do not have on-site childcare available and some Catechists do not arrive before 6:45 pm.  As a courtesy to our Catechists, we appreciate your cooperation in adhering to this policy.

As adopted in February 2007, the St. Bernard/St. Ignatius YFF Program requires that the parents/guardians listed on the YFF Registration Form pick up their child(ren) (First through Fourth year YFF)  from their classrooms.  The purpose of this policy is to protect your child(ren) and is not intended to be an inconvenience to you.

Children in Fifth through Eight year YFF are reminded to remain in the Parish Hall/YFF area while waiting on their transportation to arrive.  Because of the high traffic while parents are loading/unloading their children and playing in the parking lot, we ask that children refrain from playing in the parking lot.

You also completed a list of individuals who you approved to pick up your child(ren) from YFF class.  If you need to update the list, please contact the Coordinator of Religious Education so we can do that at once.  Legally, we cannot release your child(ren) to anyone other than those listed on the form, nor can we allow them to walk home unescorted.

Cancellations ~ If the school district is closed due to inclement weather or send students home early, we will not have classes that evening.  In the event that the weather becomes inclement after the school day ends, the Coordinator of Religious Education and the Pastor will make the determination regarding YFF classes for that evening.  Catechists will be notified immediately following the decision and asked to notify their students.  YFF classes will follow the USD #327 School Calendar.  We will not have classes during Thanksgiving Break, Christmas Break, or Spring Break.

Disciplinary ~ Catechists will handle disciplinary issues as they arise and on the lowest level possible; however, that is not always possible.  If a student has inappropriate behavior, the Pastor and Coordinator of Religious Education will become involved in the disciplinary process and the student’s parents will be notified.

Cell Phones ~ We have implemented a cell phone policy in effort for less disruption during class time.  Students are asked to turn their cell phones OFF during class and place them in a basket for safekeeping.  At the end of class, students may retrieve their cell phone from the basket and turn it ON again.

First Penance/First Eucharist Class Requirements

Second year YFF is a fabulous time of growth and spirituality for your child and yourself.  Parents are required o attend two meetings – one pertaining to First Penance and the other regarding First Eucharist.  These meetings are intended to involve the parents on a higher level in their child’s religious growth and understanding of the special sacraments they are going to experience during this year.

A special First Penance ceremony is conducted for your child and you, too, are encouraged to take part in the holy sacrament.  The baking of the communion bread for First Eucharist service is a highlight for the children and parents are encouraged to attend as well.  On the morning of First Eucharist, the parents and children are required to attend a rehearsal for the ceremony.  We ask that at least one parent is present so everyone knows what is expected during the service.

Clothing is an important part of the First Eucharist ceremony.  We ask that all boys wear a white, button-up shirt, dark slacks, and dress shoes (tie optional).  Girls are asked to wear a white dress and dress shoes (veil optional).

All children participating in First Eucharist are asked to provide a toy donation for the poor at the First Eucharist Celebration.  We want the children to understand that an important part of life is giving to others.  The toys are collected in a basket at First Eucharist and later donated to less fortunate children.

Required Prayers

In effort to help you teach your children the required prayers for YFF, we are providing every child with a copy of The Catholic Devotional.  Required prayers are listed on the chart below by grade level.

1st Grade

Sign of the Cross
Prayer Before Meals
Our Father

2nd Grade

Hail Mary
Glory Be
Act of Contrition

3rd Grade

Apostles’ Creed
Ten Commandments

4th Grade
Mysteries of the Rosary
Rosary

5th Grade

Hail Holy Queen
Memorare

6th Grade

Stations of the Cross
Rosary

7th Grade

Beatitudes
Corporal Works of Mercy
Spiritual Works of Mercy
Nicene Creed

8th Grade

Seven Sacraments
Holy Days of Obligation (USA)
Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit (see below)
Seven Sacraments
Baptism
Eucharist (Communion)
Reconciliation (Penance)
Confirmation
Marriage
Holy Orders
Anointing of the Sick

7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Wisdom
Understanding
Counsel
Knowledge
Piety
Fear of the Lord
Fortitude (Courage)

Holy Days of Obligation

January 1        Feast of Mary, Mother of
                       God Ascension Thursday         
                       (during Lent)
August 15       Assumption Feast Day (When not falling on Saturday or Monday)
November 1    All Saints Day (When not falling on Saturday or Monday)
December 8    Immaculate Conception
December 25  Christmas Day