Children’s Faith Formation/PREP

Family Faith Formation for Everyone

 

For our returning PREP families this is a change but if you are new to our parish or program, then welcome!

Please read through this section to understand the “what” and the “why” of our Family Faith program.

  • All religious education for K-5th grade will now be the Family of Faith program.  There will be no Wednesday night PREP classes. No more rushing around on Wednesday nights. Your family can now make faith formation a normal part of your schedule at a time that works best for you – maybe Sunday nights to end the weekend, maybe over Friday night dinner, or maybe you keep Wednesday as a tradition!
  • The “lessons” are structured as discussions that you have as a family and activities that you do together. You will not be expected to sit and lecture to your children. The program is truly meant to give you a space to explore and grow in your faith as a family.
  • The goals of this program are to encourage and equip you to live and teach your children the Catholic Faith at home. You do not need an extensive knowledge of Theology to participate. I promise.
  • There will be a monthly meeting (probably a Zoom call for at least the start of year) for parents to provide you with all the info, support, and guidance you need to tackle the at-home lessons for that month. In the future, we will also have monthly community meetings to gather and grow in friendship.
  • The workbooks are amazing. Each family will get both a Parent Guide and a Student Activity Book. The Parent Guide has EVERYTHING you will need to manage the two lessons for the month. Yep just two per month. The Student Activity Book is filled with activities! You get to CHOOSE which activities best work for your family considering age, maturity, and interest of your children.

 

So, why the switch?

  • Well, the current health crisis was certainly a factor at this time. Based on input from the Archdiocese and thinking through the logistics of a shared space with the school, we saw no option that would allow us to safely, responsibly and confidently continue with in-person classroom instruction this year.
  • Our small pilot program last year was, for all intents and purposes, a success. We saw families grow in faith together and grow as a community. We heard about kids wanting to come back to our Sunday morning meetings. We also had the chance to work out some of the kinks so this year can run even more smoothly.
  • The Main Reason: Research tells us this is a better model for growing in faith. Studies have shown that parental involvement in the faith-life of their child is BY FAR the most important element in ensuring that a child develops into a practicing Christian. Faith Formation cannot be confined to a classroom or the church building.

I’m sure you have questions or will have questions. We will hopefully be planning a zoom call informational meeting some time in August to more fully explain the program and answer all your questions.

 

What do I do now?

  1. Send questions to our DRE, Alexandra LaMastra at alamastra@mdpparish.com. We will work to compile an FAQ and make sure you feel confident and supported in this new journey for our Parish. (Please be patient with us as we are still in the process of hiring a new DRE so we might not get back to you as quickly as normal)
  2. Join our MDP Religious Education Facebook page here. We will try to post more information and answer questions from time to time on there as well.
  3. Register (if you haven’t already)! Click here to fill out the online form.

We look forward to another great year of Religious Ed!

Coping with Uncertainty and Anxiety

This is an optional activity for all families.  It is a lesson on helping to cope with uncertainty and anxiety.  We present it to you as an additional resource as you help your children navigate these difficult times.

Parent Guide

Click here for the video on YouTube.

 

Mass Reflection

Even though we cannot celebrate Mass together, you can watch Live Streamed Mass on Sundays at 10:30am and Monday-Saturday at 8:00am on Facebook Live. (You don't need a Facebook account to watch.)  Use this Mass Reflection Page to help your children follow along and reflect on the Mass.

Notes from your teachers

Mrs. M (1B):  I miss you. I hope you are all well and staying safe. I am doing well. Deacon Greg and I continue to pray for you and your families.

Miss Kristina (1B):  Hi Friends, I miss seeing your happy faces every Wednesday. I wish we could still do crafts together-hoping next year I will be able to see you all again safely. I love you all. I will be keeping you and your families in my prayers. Parents, I just want to let you all know that your wiggly children, have brightened my life. I hope their confinement hasn’t made them any more rambunctious. Each of one of them is smart, funny, and adorable. You guys have a done a great job raising them. Keep up the good work. Miss Kristina

 

Assignments

Here are the remaining assignments and suggested timeline for our Level 1 friends.  Besides these lessons, keep practicing the Sign of the Cross, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Glory Be.

  1. Recommend Completion by April 14:
    1. Read Chapter 9 in your book
    2. Parent Guide for helping with Chapter 9: Chapter 9 Parent Support
    3. Printable Activity Sheet: Activity Sheet
    4. Click here to complete the end-of-lesson assessment.
  2. Recommend Completion by April 28:
    1. Read Chapter 10 in your book
    2. Parent Guide for helping with Chapter 10: Chapter 10 Parent Support
    3. Printable Activity Sheet: Activity Sheet
    4. Click here to complete the end-of-lesson assessment.
  3. Recommend Completion by end of May:
    1. Movie Review!  Watch Brother Francis The Rosary: A Special Way to Pray (24 mins). Then fill out your movie review by filling out this Google Form.  To watch the movie, you'll need a Formed Account.  This a fantastic library of Catholic resources for the whole family. Our Parish pays for a subscription so that all members can access these fantastic resources. You can access this on a computer or by downloading the app to a tablet or phone. You must first create an account if you don’t already have one but remember it's totally free for you! Our Parish Code = JXJBBM

Notes from your teachers

Miss Katie (2A): Please let your children know that I am thinking of them and missing them! Hope everyone is doing well and is healthy. I know this has been difficult for our family and am sure you are experiencing similar difficulties. They are all excellent at doing prayer circle since we did that at the beginning of each class, perhaps an activity that they'd enjoy doing-you can do anywhere, even outside!

Mrs. Mehalick (2B): God bless you and your families and keep you all healthy. It has been an honor to be your child’s second grade PREP teacher this year, and I have loved working with and getting to know each child!

Miss Aimee (2B): I miss you and hope you are enjoying this time with your families. Praying that you all stay safe and healthy. 

Assignments

Here are the remaining assignments and suggested timeline for our Level 2 friends. 

  1. Recommend Completion by April 14:
    1. Read Chapters 5 and 6 in your book
    2. Parent Guide for helping with Chapter 5: Chapter 5 Parent Guide
    3. Parent Guide for helping with Chapter 6: Chapter 6 Parent Guide
    4. Click here to complete the Chapter 5 end-of-lesson assessment.
    5. Click here to complete the Chapter 6 end-of-lesson assessment.
  2. Recommend Completion by April 28:
    1. Read Chapter 7 in your book.
    2. Parent Guide for helping with Chapter 7: Chapter 7 Parent Guide
    3. Click here to complete the Chapter 7 end-of-lesson assessment.

If you haven't already done so, please click here to sign up for one of the alternative First Communion Dates.

Notes from your teachers

Mrs. Harmon (3A):  Hi 3A! I just want to let you know that I am thinking of you and praying for you during this time. I miss seeing each of you! Although we are not able to meet in person, we are still united in our faith. Let’s keep each other in our prayers during this Holy Week, and onward. Peace be with you, Mrs. Harmon

Mrs. Krouse (3C): Hi guys!  I miss all of you, but hope you are staying home, safe and healthy right now.  Missing out on fun events, sports & friends is tough, but I truly think God is giving us this time as a gift to rediscover how wonderful our families really are and to remind us how important it is to spend time with our family.  Things are very different now and there are lots of changes, but one thing never changes:  God.  He is there for you always.  Parents, when we prayed in class and asked the kids for special intentions they were so good at thinking of things to pray for.  Please encourage them to continue to talk to God, perhaps sitting around the living room for family prayer and each offering intentions. May God bless you and your family!

Mrs. Bevenour and Mrs. Ritter (4B): Well, 4B it appears God really does want us to "Go Fishing"! Please know that during this time away from each other we (your favorite PREP teachers) miss you terribly. We are praying for you and pulling from the gifts of faith, joy, and laughter you have given us to help us through till we can see you again. In the meantime, let's practice what we learned and GO FISHING for more disciple members for our club! Let's lead by example and trust in God, talk to Jesus, follow the commandments, practice works of mercy, and have a BE-attitude! Please know you and your loved ones are in our prayers!

Mr. Mazzilli (Level 5): Hello, 5A! I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe. Hang in there guys as we get through this! There's a fun activity for you at the bottom of this page, if you'd like to try it.

Assignments

Levels 3, 4, and 5 will not be using textbook lessons, but rather a series of at-home, parent-led instruction and activities, as found below.

  1. Recommended Completion by April 14
    1. We Celebrate Holy Week Parent Guide: Holy Week
    2. Palm Sunday Coloring Page: Coloring Page
    3. Word Search: Word Search
    4. Maze: Maze
    5. End-of-Lesson Assessment for Students. (Each student should complete this individually.)
  2. Recommended Completion by April 28
    1. Student handout for Easter: Student Handout
    2. Parent Guide for Easter: Parent Guide
    3. End-of-Lesson Assessment for Students. (Each student should complete this individually.)
  3. Recommended Completion by end of May
    • Movie Review!  Choose one of the movies below and watch it on the weekend (preferably with your family so you can talk about it together!) Then fill out your movie review by filling out this Google Form.  To watch the movie, you'll need a Formed Account.  This a fantastic library of Catholic resources for the whole family. Our Parish pays for a subscription so that all members can access these fantastic resources. You can access this on a computer or by downloading the app to a tablet or phone. You must first create an account if you don’t already have one but remember it's totally free for you! Our Parish Code = JXJBBM

 

Extra Fun for Level 5--Bible Scavenger Hunt!

This is an optional but highly recommended activity for our Level 5 friends.

Hello, 5A!  I hope everyone is doing well and staying safe.  Hang on to those Lectio Divina payer sheets.  It is up to you if you want to continue doing them after you have done three.  As we continue to do our Prep Lessons from home, I have another Bible Scavenger Hunt for you.  As you remember, in our last class we formed teams and did our best to get through a pretty fun Bible Scavenger hunt.  And the victory was sweet.  I don't have a prize for you, but maybe your parents can help with that. Fill out the Google form with your answers.  Time yourself and once finished, write your time on the sheet and put in your folder.  Hang in there as we get through this.  Stay Safe and see you soon.  Mr. Mazzilli.   Click here for the Scavenger Hunt!

Hi, Everyone!  Moving IGNITE from our small groups to an at-home format hasn't been easy, because we want to make sure we're doing stuff that works for you and keeps following the theme of what we've been doing all year.  We don't want this to be boring work, but rather something that helps YOU find faith in the real world, and not just in a textbook.  So, after a lot of thinking and brainstorming, we've come up with some activities for you to do at home to finish out the year.  Don't be afraid to call or e-mail us if you have questions or need help.  And don't forget to pray for each other.  We're praying for you!  -- Mrs. McCabe and Mrs. Quillen

 

IMPORTANT! Read this document first!

 

Did you read that document?  Good. If not, go back and read it.  Really.  That document helps explain what follows in the documents below.

Ideas for at-home activities are be found in the following documents.

Have fun!  We can't wait to see how creative you are with some of these.

Assignments

Level 2

  • Follow the assignments on the Level 2 tab for the traditional PREP program.

Levels 3-5

  • Finish the lessons in your textbook by the end of June.

Welcome Parents and Children to our At-Home First Holy Communion Mini-Retreat!

This retreat has been designed for you to do many of the activities we would have shared together on April 18th and a few different ones to help you continue to prepare for your First Holy Communion! I wish we could have enjoyed the day together, but I pray it will still be special for you to do this as a family.

A retreat is a time to step aside from normal activities and routines and focus on God and our faith. This retreat is a time to spend together and to think about the sacrament you will soon be celebrating for the first time!

Completing the Retreat--Three Activities

There are three activities to complete before June 10.

Activity 1:  The SECRET of the Eucharist

Activity 2: Brother Francis Video

  • Watch Brother Francis The Bread of Life.
    • Visit FORMED.
      • If you don't have an account yet, you'll want to set one up. It's Free!  Use Parish Code JXJBBM to set up your account.
    • Watch Brother Francis The Bread of Life (run time is 28 mins). You can find it under Movies -> Kids -> Brother Francis.
  • After you have watched the movie, click here to answer a few questions.

Activity 3: The Eucharist--How it's Made and How to Receive

  • Click here for the activity.  There are two short videos (total time is about 15 minutes) and a few review questions.  That's all there is to it!

Other Activities/Resources

If you’re looking for something more to help your child prepare for their First Holy Communion, below are some activities you can do as a family. These are not required, but just additional support.

We Give Thanks

The word "Eucharist" means "Thanksgiving."  Here is some reading material on how to express your gratitude for the blessings you have received as a family.  (1) Activity Overview  (2) Family Gratitude Worksheet

Jesus in the Eucharist Craft

Click here for a fun arts and crafts project you can help your child do.  Remember, this is optional, so if crafts are not your thing, it's okay.  :-)

Mass Reflection

Even though we cannot celebrate Mass together, you can watch Live Streamed Mass on Sundays at 10:00am and Monday-Saturday at 8:00am on Facebook Live. (You don't need a Facebook account to watch.)  Use this Mass Reflection Page to help your child follow along and reflect on the Mass. (This activity is actually great for all ages!)

 

It's time to register for next year!  We've been wanting to make an online registration and tuition payment available for a while now, but we had trouble finding a good way to do it.  Well, this pandemic has forced us to finally figure out a way to make it happen.  (Some good is coming from all of this after all...) 

Step 1:  Fill out this registration form.

Step 2:  Click here to make your tuition payment online through our Parish Giving platform.  

That's it!  Hope you find this helpful and easy-to-use.