The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly brought about many changes to how we approach our daily lives. Prior to this we did not know exactly what ‘social distancing’ was, we never imagined not seeing faces because of facemasks, and I am sure you never imagined your children NOT learning in a classroom environment regularly. We empathize with you as you continue to adjust to daily life.
While many schools are not returning to classroom learning (at least right away), St. Matthew is tirelessly working on a plan to be able to bring children to our classrooms on Sunday’s beginning this fall for our Sunday Children’s Faith Formation classes! It will certainly look different (details to be released mid-September) but we will be trying to accomplish having children gathered safely for our traditional 40-minute session each Sunday. This is of course dependent on many factors.
Firstly, we will always comply with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the directives of our bishop in all matters of safety. We also acknowledge that many of our catechists are of an age where they may not feel comfortable being in a classroom environment. Perhaps we need more parents to rise to the challenge of sharing their faith with our children. None of this happens without our teachers (catechists)!
We, of course, are considering alternative platforms of leading our Sunday classes. The company name ZOOM has entered our everyday language. I envision this platform to serve our purposes if needed. While our goal is classroom teaching this year, I am willing to speak with parents regarding this option if they feel it is the only way their children could return this year and continue their journey to Christ and His Church.
In the last several months as we have been working on scheduling First Holy Communions and Confirmation, we are amazed at how patient you, our parish families, have been with me through the process!! we ask for your continued patience and flexibility as we plan this coming year. We know that together, we can make this time a period of great spiritual growth for all our children!
Below is a link to our enrollment information. You will see that we have a process that will allow you to enroll your child in their classes and you will not need to come into the office to do so. This is, of course, for everyone’s safety. This year we will require an email of a parent to complete every enrollment. Our planned parent meeting before the year begins may very well be via Zoom rather than in person. We will probably need to make greater use of electronic communication (traditional email and our myParishApp) than ever this year, as we will not be able to answer questions on Sunday’s as we traditionally do. So many things will be different….but keeping focused on Jesus will make it all possible!
If you have any questions regarding the 2020-2021 formation year, please email CFF@stmatthewchurch.org and either Carmen or I will answer your questions.
Continued blessings on your family,
Children’s Faith Formation
In the event of severe weather, St. Matthew will communicate to families of our Children’s Faith Formation program in many ways including local television and radio as well as the internet. The most effective way to monitor emergency closing situation is by clicking on the link below for up to date information.
You may also choose to sign up for E-mail notification on this website so in the event that Faith Formation classes/activities are cancelled, you would automatically receive a message.
St. Matthew Parish has adopted a formation program designed for today’s busy families and one that will help families to keep holy the Lord’s Day. All general faith formation will take place on Sunday in our St. Matthew School. Families will have the choice between three sessions taking into consideration what Mass the family participates in. The Sunday Formation sessions are 30 minutes in length and run from mid-September through late April.
This is a Lectionary based catechetical approach and is based on grade level. We can accommodate every grade level at any of the three sessions. Preparation for celebrating sacraments is in addition to Sunday Formation. All students seeking to celebrate Confession, First Communion, and/or Confirmation must be enrolled in our Sunday Formation Program.
9:10am Session – families may either participate in the 8am Mass and then have the children attend their formation class or attend their formation class first and then, as a family, participate in the 10am Mass. This session ends at 9:50am.
11:10 Session – the timing of this session allows families the opportunity to participate in the 10am Mass and then have their children attend their faith formation class or have their children attend their faith formation class first and then, as a family, participate in the 12 noon Mass. This session ends at 11:50am.
12:40pm Session – Families choosing to have their children attend this session must have the intention to participate in the 1:30pm Mass in Español. This session ends at 1:20pm.
Sacramental Preparation – children seeking to celebrate sacraments must be in their second year of Sunday Formation. Good attendance for Sunday Formation classes is a requirement to be enrolled for sacramental preparation classes. At the time of enrollment we will review with each family the sacramental needs of each child and enroll them in the appropriate classes.
Reconciliation (Confession) Classes – are typically two 1.5 hour sessions on two Saturdays in December. The children’s First Reconciliation will be scheduled in January.
Communion (Eucharist) Classes – are typically scheduled in February and are on four Saturday mornings. Each class is 1.5 hours.
Confirmation Classes – Students preparing for Confirmation will attend seven Confirmation classes which are held on Wednesday evenings and are 1.5 hours each. These classes are typically scheduled during March & April. Candidates for Confirmation are also required to participate in a Confirmation Retreat and to demonstrate their ‘Love of Neighbor’ by completing service projects.
Enrollment in Parish Faith Formation Programs
While we recommend that each child begin their journey in our catechetical program, St. Matthew recognizes the role of the parents as the primary teachers of faith (from the Rite of Baptism)for their children. While it is traditional for a child to begin their journey to their First Reconciliation and First Communion in first grade and complete their preparation in second grade, and then continue in their formation towards Confirmation in eighth grade, we realize this is not always the case. In the event children are enrolled in our program ‘out of sequence’, we have to assume that the parents have been teaching their children their prayers and other Church teachings. Below is a document of what each child should know by grade level. These are the minimum expectations we have for each student at the time of enrollment.
Due to enrollment concerns, the following procedures must be respected to assure effective registration. Please understand that each child must be enrolled every year they are involved with our parish faith formation classes.
- All families must be registered parishioners.
- Photocopies of Baptismal and Eucharist certificates (if applicable) are required. No child is allowed to begin classes until this requirement is fulfilled or granted an extension by the director.
- If transferring from another parish, a letter stating the status of your child’s catechetical formation is necessary.
- Families that have moved into the area during the school year will be given individual consideration.
- Tuition and all other fees are expected to be paid in full at the time of Enrollment. This allows us to maintain an affordable program.
For families currently enrolled in the program, the procedure is as follows.
- Enrollment information for the upcoming year will be available in mid-May. This will include the enrollment period,
- Tuition and all other fees are expected to be paid in full at the time of Enrollment.
- Parents (or legal guardians) must complete the enrollment form.
- Parents are expected to attend a parent meeting scheduled just before classes begin.
Enrollment for the upcoming catechetical year closes on September 15th. Enrollment after September 1st will incur a late enrollment fee.
The tuition and other fees cover a portion of the program expenditures. The parish subsidizes the remaining costs. Revenues are applied toward facility usage, the cost of classroom materials (including textbooks where applicable), and the formation of the catechists.
All families are expected to pay the tuition and other fees. However, no child will be denied religious education due to financial difficulties. Families should contact the Faith Formation Office (630-469-5178) in these matters. A $25 late enrollment fee will be applied to all enrollments after September 1st.
2019-20 Tuition Schedule
Sunday Formation tuition is $175.00 per family regardless of the number of children in the family. Families may not be combined
First Reconciliation (Confession): $20 per student (payable in the second year of preparation)
*Note: students entering the program in grade 6 or higher will prepare for their First Reconciliation during their first year of formation
First Communion: $40.00 (payable in the second year of preparation)
Confirmation: $75.00 (payable in the second year of preparation)
La pandemia de COVID-19 ciertamente ha provocado muchos cambios en la forma en que abordamos nuestra vida cotidiana. Antes de esto, no sabíamos exactamente qué era el “distanciamiento social”, nunca imaginamos no ver caras debido a las máscaras faciales, y estoy seguro de que nunca imaginó que sus hijos NO aprendían en un ambiente de clase regularmente. Empatizamos con usted a medida que continúa adaptándose a la vida diaria.
Si bien muchas escuelas no están volviendo al aprendizaje en el aula (al menos de inmediato), ¡San Mateo está trabajando incansablemente en un plan para poder traer a los niños a nuestras aulas los dias domingos este otoño comienza nuestras clases dominicales de Formación de Fe para Niños! Ciertamente se verá diferente (los detalles se darán a conocer a mediados de septiembre), pero intentaremos lograr que los niños se reúnan de manera segura para nuestra tradicional sesión de 40 minutos cada domingo. Por supuesto, esto depende de muchos factores.
En primer lugar, siempre cumpliremos con el Departamento de Salud Pública de Illinois y las directivas de nuestro obispo en todos los asuntos de seguridad. También reconocemos que muchos de nuestros catequistas son de una edad en la que pueden no sentirse cómodos en un ambiente de clase. Quizás necesitamos más padres para enfrentar el desafío de compartir su fe con nuestros hijos. ¡Nada de esto sucede sin nuestros maestros (catequistas)! Nosotros, por supuesto, estamos considerando plataformas alternativas para dirigir nuestras clases dominicales. El nombre de la empresa ZOOM ha entrado en nuestro idioma cotidiano. Imagino esta plataforma para cumplir nuestros propósitos si es necesario. Si bien nuestro objetivo es la enseñanza en el aula este año, estoy dispuesto a hablar con los padres sobre esta opción si creen que es la única forma en que sus hijos podrían regresar este año y continuar su viaje con Cristo y su Iglesia.
En los últimos meses, mientras trabajamos en la programación de las Primeras Comuniones y la Confirmación, ¡estamos asombrados de lo paciente que ustedes, nuestras familias parroquiales, han sido conmigo durante el proceso! Le pedimos su paciencia y flexibilidad continua a medida que planificamos el próximo año. ¡Sabemos que juntos podemos hacer de esta época un período de gran crecimiento espiritual para todos nuestros hijos! A continuación hay un enlace a nuestra información de inscripción. Verá que tenemos un proceso que le permitirá inscribir a su hijo en sus clases y no necesitará venir a la oficina para hacerlo. Esto es, por supuesto, para la seguridad de todos. Este año necesitaremos un correo electrónico de un padre para completar cada inscripción. Nuestra reunión de padres planificada antes de que comience el año bien puede ser a través de Zoom en lugar de en persona. Probablemente tendremos que hacer un mayor uso de la comunicación electrónica (correo electrónico tradicional y nuestra myParishApp) que nunca este año, ya que no podremos responder preguntas los domingos como lo hacemos tradicionalmente. ¡Muchas cosas serán diferentes … pero concentrarse en Jesús lo hará posible!
Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre el año de formación 2020-2021, envíe un correo electrónico a CFF@stmatthewchurch.org y Carmen o yo responderemos sus preguntas.
Bendiciones continuas para tu familia,
Don’t forget to check out what many people are calling the “Catholic Netflix!”
Formed® has cartoons & more for kids, movies for the family, great stuff for teens and much, much more!
Click here for more information → Formed!
Here is a link to a good resource to pray the Stations of the Cross at home this lent!