St Francis of Assisi

Catechists
Monday, 03 July 2017 00:00
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Catechist Co-ordinator:
Mrs Philomena Theseira
Email:
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The Sacramental Program at St Francis of Assisi Parish

The Program is called PREP – Parish Religious Education Program

The children ideally start classes in Year 2.  In Year 3 the children prepare and make their First Reconciliation.  In Year 4 they received the sacrament of First Eucharist.  Year 5 is Pre-Confirmation to help the children prepare for their Sacrament (this is a 2 year program) and Year 6 is when they receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

Classes take place on Tuesday afternoons between 4.30-5.30pm during school terms.   Registration for classes takes place at the start of the year on the Tuesday after the first week of school. (However registrations can take place at other times.)

Please read below, and for any further information, please contact our Catechist Co-ordinator, Philomena Theseira on  0417 936 757 or via email -  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Archbishop Timothy Costello officially launched the Sacramental Policy for school- aged children in 2016.  The Policy is called “A family focused, parish-based, school and Parish Religious Education Program (PREP) supported approach to the preparation and celebration of the sacraments”.

Our parish is fortunate to have a good team of Catechists who are trained to prepare children for the sacraments.  We also have a good relationship with the staff at Matthew Gibney Catholic Primary School, and work well together to implement this policy.  We also appreciate the support of our parish through prayer, practical assistance and the example of Christian life that our parishioners embody.

This model was designed at an Archdiocesan level in response to surveys and studies in 2005/2006 which identified a need to strengthen the connection between school, parish and families.  Parents were seeing Sacraments as the sole task of the Catholic school when in fact schools, parishes and parents have equal and valuable roles to play in Religious Education and faith formation.  Under the parish-based model, all children are seen as parish children as the parish is the heart of the local faith community.  The parish is where we come together each week to celebrate the Eucharist and at times for Sacraments to be received.  The whole parish has a responsibility to support all of its members as they develop in their faith.  When we are part of a Eucharistic celebration where Sacraments are received, then we reflect upon what that means to us.  It has more meaning if the community of God is present when a child is received into the Church during Baptism, or receives their First Eucharist, or are being Confirmed.  We not only witness our Sacrament candidates commit to their preparation during the Commitment masses, we also make our own commitment as a parish to support them through prayer.

What part does the parish play?

Evangelisation is the responsibility of every person of faith.  To be committed Christians, we need a personal relationship with God (prayer), a sense of belonging (community) and do works of justice (mission).  As parishioners, we show how we live out our faith in our everyday lives.  By welcoming our sacramental families, we show our support for them on their journey and invite them to belong to our community of faith.  By practising Christian virtues such as donating to the St Vincent de Paul or Caritas, we are demonstrating our faith in action or mission.  Participating in the weekly Eucharistic celebration develops our personal relationship with God as well as strengthening our communion with God and other people of faith.  The revised liturgical rites of the Church all emphasise the responsibility of the people of God in the preparation for the sacraments, which is why the celebration of the sacraments within a worshipping parish community is essential.  Within the parish we draw inspiration and faith is nurtured.

What is the role of the family?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches clearly that the parents have a role in nurturing the gift of the Catholic faith.  At Baptism, parents bring their children to be initiated into the church and promise to bring their children up in accordance with the Ten Commandments and to assist in educating them in the Catholic faith.  It is within the family that a child first learns about living a Christian life and they come to know God.  Without realising it we are modelling Christian values when we go about our daily lives, for example when we encourage children to say sorry and forgive, we are modelling reconciliation.  Later when children prepare for this sacrament, they already have some understanding of what it means to forgive and be forgiven.  Parents have a responsibility to pray with their children and bring their children to Mass each Sunday.  Our Sacrament Programmes reply upon the support of parents, but we also recognise that parents need our help and support.  We offer a parent/child workshop for children and their parents to attend to explore the sacraments and the language of faith.

What is the role of the Catholic school and the Parish Religious Education Program (PREP)?

The Catholic school and the Parish Religious Education Program have significant roles to play in Religious Education.  While we encourage parents to take a central role, we need a strong partnership between parish, families and school.  Catholic schools and PREP provide the initial preparation in knowledge and understanding of the Sacraments.  The Sacraments strengthen what began in Baptism as we continue our journey of faith.  The parents complement the good work carried out by the teachers and catechists when they share their faith and give children the opportunity to experience belonging to a faith community (parish).  For faith to flourish and grow, we need to build on the knowledge and understanding provided through religious education, wherever it may take place.  All three faith communities of family, parish and school/PREP are significant and that is why a strong and active partnership is essential for the success of the program.

 


 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 03 July 2017 06:25