As we prepare for the start of the 2020-2021 Faith Formation year, we are aware of the many changes that are needed to ensure everyone is safe amidst COVID-19. However, we are still committed in providing quality Faith Formation to all our families. While things will look much different than they have in the past, we will do everything we can to help ensure we all continue to grow in faith.
We know parents are burdened with having to make difficult decisions for their children’s education plans, and everyone is trying to imagine what an average school day will be like. For these reasons, we have decided to postpone the beginning of our faith formation year to October, allowing us all to get into a new rhythm of life.
When our 2020-2021 faith formation year does begin, we will offer a hybrid program, with the option of being totally online, if our state or local government requires it. In the next few weeks a detailed mailing and registration information will be sent to all our registered families, but at this time we wanted to provide you with an outline of our plan for the coming year:
The year will be gear around four themes. For each theme we will provide an “at-home ritual” for each family. These simple resources will help families continue their growth at home with small actions, prayers, rituals, etc.
· We will offer four gatherings for Mass and family faith formation for groups of five to ten families (perhaps those already in learning pods). These small groups of families would gather once in October, December, February and April for Mass (Mass would be open to just the families in that group) and then move to the parish hall for a time of family faith formation. To keep everyone safe, each family will sit at their own table and will use material and supplies for their family only.
Each of the four themes will be supported by videos and other material (worksheets, crafts, etc) for each grade-level to be done at home. We recognize that parents may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of additional teaching, so we are trying to make this part of life a little more manageable by providing everything that will be needed.
In the late-winter or early spring, provided we are allowed to gather, we will offer a half-day retreat for each grade-level. With proper social-distancing, we’ll pray and play together at an age-appropriate level.
We will also offer additional optional gatherings via Zoom, for social interaction throughout the school year. These will not be teaching, but opportunities to be together virtually for some fun.
· In late fall we will have parent overview meetings (including a virtual gathering) where we will provide the full schedule and answer questions.
· A properly socially-distanced retreat for those in preparation for First Penance and First Eucharist will be offered in late January.
· Preparation for First Penance will take place in February and March and will involve a mix of six videos and Zoom gatherings with additional written material provided. The Sacrament of First Penance will be celebrated in late March.
· Preparation for First Eucharist will take place from late March though mid May and will involve a mix of six videos and Zoom gatherings with additional written material provided. The Sacrament of First Eucharist will take place in mid May.
· Parent-overview meetings (including a virtual gathering) will take place in mid-September
· A properly socially-distanced Confirmation kickoff will take place in the fall.
· Formation for both first and second year students will take place through a series of 16 video lessons and reflection questions. A journal will be provided to each student along with specific prompts.
· Students will be asked to participate in ongoing dialogue with their sponsor throughout the year.
· A retreat day will take place in spring for both year one and two students.
· Second year Confirmation students will have additional preparation just prior to the celebration of Confirmation in the spring.
· Bi-weekly Zoom gatherings which will involve a game, some time to check with each person, a chance to talk about and reflect on our faith, and a moment of prayer.
· Additional gatherings throughout the school year, some hopefully in person (i.e. camp fire, Christmas Caroling, etc.), and some to be done remotely (video watch party and discussion, and other reflection and discussion opportunities) to provide an opportunity for social interaction or service or prayer and reflection.
Dawn Burdick firstname.lastname@example.org or call 607-288-2476