Faith Formation Director: Mrs Lynn Fein 631-821-0550 email@example.com
With the never ending hope that all we catechize develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, growing closer to the Lord and to one another, Saint Mark's Parish offers the following opportunities for life long catechesis:
The birth of a child is one of the most joyous of life's occasions and our parish extends our congratulations to the families. Taking care of a child's spiritual growth is one of the parents' primary responsibilities and Baptism often paves the way. We celebrate the sacrament of Baptism on the third Saturday of the month at 1PM. Parents are encouraged to make arrangements to attend one of our Baptism preparation sessions while expecting their child, or shortly after the birth of their child. Parents will also be able to select the month for their child's Baptism. We are blessed to have volunteers who assist with both the preparation and at our celebrations of the sacrament. If parents have any concerns or questions, prior to our preparation session, they are welcome to contact the Faith Formation Office.
Children and Teens
Our parish Faith Formation invites parents to partner with us as we engage the children in learning about our beloved Catholic faith. As parents present their children for the sacrament of Baptism, they express a willingness to raise their children in our faith. Of course, continually forming ourselves in the faith is a vital part of our call as baptized Catholics. Formal classes begin as a child enters first grade in school, preparing over two years to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Children then continue with Levels 3 through 8 continuing to grow in knowledge and practice of our faith and preparing to receive the sacrament of Confirmation in the fall of ninth grade. Throughout each level the parents involvement continues by sharing faith at home with their children, making celebration of Sunday Eucharist a priority, and discussing applications of our faith to daily life with other parents at regularly scheduled meetings. Weekly classes are held for children in Levels 1 through 8 from September through May, with choices of days and times for parents to select from. Registration for the upcoming year always takes place in June. However, families are welcome to present their children at any time. Parents of children with special needs, and those whose children may be delayed in starting formation are invited to call the office to discuss the various options.
Many opportunities exist for our youth to remain involved in the life of our parish including volunteering to assist at weekly classes, at our Liturgy of the Word for children, and at our annual Vacation Bible School. Participation in other parish ministries is also possible. A weekly chance to gather with other young people is offered on Monday evenings in our parish center from 7 to 8:30 during which time small groups discuss issues related to our faith. All involved come together to pray, engage in service opportunities, connect to Diocesan events, and socialize. Volunteer opportunities exist for any adults wishing to become a Leader of our small groupings.
Vacation Bible School
Each summer in July our parish offers a Vacation Bible School for children from ages 3 through 12. Sharing Bible stories, songs crafts, snacks, and games makes for an exciting week that parents and grandparents so greatly appreciate. Many teens volunteer thrir time during this week, sharing their enthusiasm for their faith with the younger children.
Those who assist in passing on our faith to the children and teens realize they have been called forth by the Lord to play a very special role in his kingdom. Our Catechists have a deep faith witnessed by daily or weekly participation at Eucharist, and so greatly desire to pass the faith on to those they minister to. Their enthusiasm is quite visible as they so lovingly and patiently bring the children and teens into a closer relationship with Jesus. Anyone who believes they have such a calling and desire to commit to this essential ministry is invited to call or visit the Faith Formation Office to discuss the possibility. Volunteers are also always needed to assist with classes, or during arrival and dismissal time.
Liturgy of the Word for Children
Each Sunday at our 9:30 Mass any children present are called forth to participate in the Liturgy of the Word for children. The girls and boys enter the parish center to listen to the day's readings and to engage in a discussion about how the readings invite us into a closer relationship with the Lord and one another. Our teens' assistance is always welcomed.