Children and Families Faith Formation News — November 19, 2017
There are no regular sessions this weekend for Elementary Faith Formation. This is the Family to Family Service Weekend where our Faith Formation Families are reaching out to other families to share the gifts that God has given. To start the effort, our generous parishioners provided Gift Cards or meals to all 21 families of Mendez Exceptional Center, a school for children with severe developmental disabilities whose families are also facing exceptional financial stress. The opportunity for them to have what most of us take utterly for granted is a blessing that they could only hope for until our good people made this possible. Truly, this is an instance of disciples responding to God’s call to love thy neighbor!
Enjoy your weekend with your family, getting ready for true spirit of Thanksgiving!
We DO NOT have class on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Nov 27th. On the other hand, the Giving Tree will make its appearance in Church on the 25th and 26th, decorated with the beautifully colored cards made by our Faith Formation children, parents and grandparents. There is just something so beautiful, completely Christian, about three generations of our families working together to make something beautiful solely for the benefit of someone less fortunate than themselves!
Let your child experience Advent and Christmas from a kid’s point of view “Let’s Get Ready For Jesus”! In this fun mini-VBS event for children ages pre-K to 5th Grade, we explore how we can really be ready for Christmas! In stories, crafts, movie and song, they will learn that Jesus is the Reason for the Season! The event will start and end in the Social Hall, and includes pizza for dinner. It will run from 6:00pm until 9:00pm on December 2nd. Reservations are required since we are limited to 50 children. Please contact Millie Flores at email@example.com or 813-468-1312 for reservation information.
We DO have classes on Dec 3 so we can celebrate the beginning of Advent together and share the stories of the Family Service Projects, including our experiences helping at Metropolitan Ministries, St. Vincent de Paul, family outreach to the Mendez Exceptional Center and helping at Animal Based Charities.
There may still be a few places left for assisting at Metropolitan Ministries Sunday, Nov 19th and Wednesday morning —Nov 22. Remember, you need to sign up in advance on the Metro Min website
See the joy on the families that helped previously and join us again! God bless you all!
Deacon Ben, Phone: 813-839-5337 ext. 206, Email
Let’s Get Ready for Jesus, Saturday, December 2, 2017, 6 PM to 9 PM
Let your child experience Advent and Christmas from a kid’s point of view! In this fun mini-VBS type event for children ages pre-K to 5th Grade, we explore how we can really be ready for Christmas! In story, crafts, movie, games and song, they will learn that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!
The event will start and end in the Social Hall. It will run from 6:00pm until 9:00pm. A pizza dinner is included. There is no fee although you are asked to make a small donation to cover the expenses for food and craft projects. Please share the information with your friends who may not have children enrolled in our Faith Formation programs. (This is a great time for parents to get away for a quiet dinner or shopping).
Reservations are required since we are limited to 50 children. Please RSVP by completing the Registration form below and e-mailing it back to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call Millie Flores at 813-468-1312 for reservation information. We do need a few more adult leaders, high school group leaders and middle school assistants. Please let us know if you can volunteer.
May God bless you,
Monica, Carlos, Deacon Ben and the LGRFJ Team at St. Patrick Catholic Church
About our Children & Families Faith Formation Program
Looking for Sunday school or CCD classes or Religious Education? You have found them!
We are a family-friendly, multi-generational, faith formation program known as Children and Families Faith Formation. At St. Patrick, we teach children about the Catholic faith in a unique format that involves all generations. Our faith formation program includes about 25 classroom lessons and several special events held during the school year. Essentially all of the classroom lessons and events are designed for the child and parent. Families with children with special needs appreciate our unique format and small class sizes. Sometimes we have classes and activities
where the family works together. Often we separate and the children go to a classroom with a catechist while the adults go to a different room for a unique program, Coffee with the Clergy, where adults are offered their own formation opportunities. At the end of class, the children reunite with parents and present a Show and Tell of what they have learned that day. We average three meetings a month beginning in mid-September and ending before the end of May. More information is available on our Children and Families Faith Formation webpage or our parish calendar.
Several sessions of our faith formation program are inter-generational, where parents & children participate together in special service events to benefit the homeless, the ill, the homebound, or those whose needs cry for help. These events let learning extend into the hands of the children and parents so that the idea of helping others becomes a present reality. We need volunteers for set-up, food, decorations, and craft/activity tables at our inter-generational events and to distribute the food or gifts to the homeless, homebound, and nursing home patients. This is a whole community learning experience where all ages take part.
Three Areas Where You Can Help
Catechists and Catechist Aides are called by God to openly share their faith in the classroom with the children. Their first purpose is not to merely inform the students, but to feed them spiritually, to shape them as loving persons, and to form them into true disciples of our Lord. This is not your average job description!
Administrative Assistants make the program run smoothly, helping with inventory, ordering books and supplies, registering students, entering attendance, making copies, opening and closing classrooms, preparing for events, posting bulletin and website notices, offering joyful welcomes, etc.
Supporting Parents prepare healthy snacks for the children in the classrooms. In every classroom, when the child arrives, there will be a table set with drinks, snacks, napkins, a candle, and Bible so that the class begins with sharing and thanking God for His goodness.
Safe Environment Program
St. Patrick Catholic Church supports the Diocese of Saint Petersburg Safe Environment Program. Anyone entrusted with the care, responsibility, and/or supervision of children and youth is required to complete a background check based on electronic fingerprinting and successfully complete a three-hour Safe Environment Program (SEP) training course performed by the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
Each year, the parents and children in our faith formation classes from K through 12th grade will be offered information on creating a safe environment for themselves and their families. The information taught will be age-appropriate. Parents will have an opportunity to review the teaching materials beforehand and choose for their families/children to participate or decline participation.
First Reconciliation & First Holy Communion
During the preparation for Sacraments, the parents and children often study together. The sacramental programs for both First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion are six to eight weeks long with a family retreat at the beginning and end of the program. The retreats are special times of closeness and spiritual development for both child and parent.
Our Confirmation program is a two-year process, beginning in the 7th grade and continuing into the 8th grade. New for the 7th grade pre-Confirmation year is the highly acclaimed series “Decision Point” by Matthew Kelly. The 8th grade sacramental year utilizes the inspiring series, “Chosen,” by Chris Stefanik of Franciscan University. The 8th grade retreat will be held in the spring at the Bethany Center. The Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated by the bishop after Easter.
RCIA for Families
Sometimes, for any number of reasons, one, two, or even all the children in a family may not have received their sacraments at the same time as their peers. We welcome those parents and families who decide to bring their children to the church to participate in the sacraments given to us by Jesus Christ. We gather the families together and address each of the needs presented. Through a flexible program, we assist in preparing the family for any or all of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation. Last year, we had ten families with 16 children who completed their Sacraments through this program derived from the USCCB’s “RCIA adapted for Children.”
Additional Dependent Form 2017 (if needed – to accompany the form above)
Please click the link/s above and turn the form/s in by one of the following options;
- Drop off the form or mail it to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church Parish Office, 4518 South Manhattan Ave.Tampa, FL 33611. The Parish Office is open Monday through Friday 9am-4pm.
- Email the form directly to Deacon Ben Hooks
Please click the links below to learn more about other various Sacramental Preparation Programs and Youth Faith Formation Ministries
QUESTIONS? PLEASE CALL US!
St. Patrick Catholic Church Parish Office, 813-839-5337
Deacon Ben Hooks, Faith Formation, 813-839-5337 Ext. 206, email@example.com
Carlos Flores, Middle School Youth Ministry, 813-892-5473, firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica Erickson, High School Youth Ministry, 813-839-5337 Ext. 304, email@example.com
Dr. Joseph Brown, RCIA, Parish Office: 813-839-5337, firstname.lastname@example.org