We at St. Isidore Church believe that religious education formation is a total parish experience and a lifelong process involving not just the children of the parish. Everyone, including children, teens, parents, families, friends, catechists, the pastor and the parish staff makes up our community of faith. We need opportunities to grow in faith throughout our entire life. As a community we learn and grow together. We share with one another our love for Jesus Christ and announce the good news of God’s saving grace. Parents of our REF children are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the parish for their own continuing Catholic Christian education and spiritual growth.
Ideally a child’s parents are the first teachers of the faith. From the moment of their Baptism the child becomes a member of the Church, and the parents promise to raise their child in the Catholic faith. The godparents and the entire parish community promise to help the parents carry out this awesome duty. One’s relationship with Jesus Christ should serve to influence one’s entire life so that the gospel message is a natural part of your family’s daily existence.
Christian discipleship is not something that only takes place on Sunday mornings and your child’s religious education formation is not the sole responsibility of the Catechist. The faith is taught through word and example. Prayer should be an important part of every Catholic Christian family. Social justice and moral living should be a natural choice for the family living as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Our Catechists work hard to share their faith with your children. They have been chosen because of their love for Jesus Christ and their gift of being able to pass on that love to others. The teachings of the Catholic Church are skillfully woven into the life lessons gleaned from the Bible. The Catechists are meant to partner with the parents as teachers of the faith. The Catechist cannot be expected to be the sole Christian teachers of the faith. One hour of religious education cannot compare to the influence of a Catholic Christian home. It takes an entire community to raise up disciples for Jesus Christ. The parents influence is the most important part of a child’s Christian education and spiritual development.
GOALS OF THE REF PROGRAM
Our Pastor, Father Duaine Pamment, our Director of Faith Formation, Sister Katherine Collard, IHM and our Catechists are all involved with the religious education formation program (REF). Our goal is to provide an atmosphere wherein your children can grow in their relationship with Jesus and with others. We provide spiritual opportunities that will instruct your children in Catholic teachings and traditions. Each group is appropriately designed to meet the intellectual and spiritual needs of each child. Every child is treated with the dignity and respect that they are entitled to as a child of God. In this environment everyone is treated with kindness and patience so that every child may reach their full potential and come to recognize and appreciate their God-given gifts and talents. Our ultimate function and goal is to raise up disciples for Jesus Christ.
The L.A.M.B.S., RAINBOWS and MUSTARD SEEDS use a lectionary-based curriculum provided by Pflaum Publishers that conforms to the Catechism by the Subcommittee on the Catechism of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It follows the Scripture readings used during each Sunday’s Mass. There are special sections for Advent, Lent and other special feast days throughout the church year.
The BUTTERFLIES, in preparation for First Eucharist and First Reconciliation use the series entitled “Growing Up Catholic” published by the Pastoral Planning Company. This material is faithful to the teachings of the Church and also speaks with a clear voice to the families and young people of today’s culture and world. The unique method of “Growing Up Catholic” has its sole focus on coaching parents to form their own children.
The DOVES, who are preparing for Confirmation use “Decision Point” published by The Dynamic Catholic Institute. This program series uses a number of short films, a workbook and meaningful decisions to engage young Catholics in a dynamic conversation about Catholicism, which will hopefully lead to a lifetime commitment.
The SOJOURNERS, our Youth Group will be exploring a number of mediums as together they look at their Catholic faith and discover what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century.
For all of the REF children there will be a special emphasis on learning about the Bible and understanding and memorizing Scripture.
All of our material initiates children into the community of faith and challenges them to become disciples of Jesus Christ. It leads children and parents to grow in their love for Jesus, to accept the demands of discipleship and to decide each day to choose life in Christ as committed members of the Catholic Church.