Children’s Faith Formation
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.
9:15am 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 9:45am.
11:15 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 11:45am.
12:45pm 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 1:15pm.
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.
2018-19 Tuition Schedule
Sunday Formation tuition is $150.00 per family regardless of the number of children in the family. Families may not be combined
First Reconciliation (Confession): $15 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: $50.00 (payable in the second year of preparation)