Faith Formation

We are now accepting registrations for the 2021/2022 program year.

Please go to the link below and fill out the form to register.

Faith Formation is Life Long

Learning and growing in our faith, in our relationship with God, is a life-long endeavor. As children, we learn the facts (at least some of them) of our faith, and as adults, we live into the meaning of those facts. We don’t “graduate” at Confirmation with our faith set for the rest of our lives. We continue to grow and mature in our faith as we do in other areas of our lives.

Like any good relationship, our relationship with God continues to grow and deepen as we work at it and at times struggle with it. It is not automatic but it is very possible to “go deeper” with God and with our Catholic faith. “The definitive aim of [faith formation] is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ.” (NDC, #19B)

Faith Formation is Communal by Nature

From our very beginnings, our faith has been communal in nature. Our God comes to us not alone but rather as Trinity, as God in relationship, in community. Jesus gathered disciples around him and spread the faith through men and women. The early Christians gathered in houses to share stories of God, to share food, and to care for each other.

As human beings, we are created in God’s image, which means, at least in part, we are created to be in relationship with each other and with God. We learn our faith and build our relationships with God in community.

Our formation in the faith, both as adults and as children, is best done in community – with other believers. While there are times and circumstances which necessitate individual learning or homeschooling, whenever possible, we strongly encourage that we learn and celebrate our faith with others. Sacraments, especially, are social and communal by nature.

PROGRAMS

The Gathering: Seeds

This is our main program for Faith Formation this year. It will be held every other Sunday night and will be open to all who with to attend. From babys to adults.

This will be the central event for the Catechetical Year. This program will suffice the Religious Education Requirement for grades K-8th Grade, (however, we encourage you to sign up for online classes as well, as we have a great program this year, and your children will be able to learn about a much broader range of topics from our online courses). It will be held every other Sunday night from 5-7 PM starting off with a time of worship, that leads into a keynote introduction to the topic of the night, which will be broken up by K-2nd in their own classroom, 3rd-8th learning in the Gym and High School through Senior Citizens in the Auditorium. This will then lead to a small group time of discussion and application. And hopefully COVID cases will become less and less, and we will be able to do a time of Fellowship to cap off the night. These events are open to anyone in the Parish and throughout the community. There are no prerequisites to attend these events, they are open to all, and you are encouraged to invite your friends and family to come out and join our community. These events will take place at the Faith Formation Center on Davis Street and for now we will ask that you wear a mask and social distance when appropriate to keep those most vulnerable in our community safe.

WE WILL ALSO HAVE A NURSARY FOR THOSE THAT HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN AND WISH TO PARTICIPATE.

Sept. 19

The Creed:

Learn about the foundational statement of our faith.

Oct. 3

Prayer:

Learn about prayer and different ways to pray.

Oct. 17

Sacred Scripture:

Learn about Sacred Scripture and how it can benefit your life daily.

Oct. 31

Saints:

Learn about the Saints and why they are important to our spiritual growth.

Costume Contest to follow!

Nov. 14

Christian Charity:

Learn about the importance of charity and different ways to give.

Nov. 28

The Mass:

Learn about the Mass and why it is so important.

Dec. 12

Christmas Play:

Come join us for our Christmas play and hear about the true meaning of Christmas.

Jan. 2

Baptism:

Learn why we are baptized and ways we can renew our commitments to this sacrament.

Jan. 16

Sacred Tradition/Magisterium:

Learn about Sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the Church.

Jan. 30

Communion:

Dive deeper into your understanding of the Eucharist.

Feb. 13

Holy and Religious Orders:

Hear from one of our priests about the priesthood and other religious orders.

Feb. 27

Fasting:

Learn how fasting can bring you into fuller communion with the trinity.

Mar. 13

The Trinity:

Look into the mystery of the Triune God.

Mar. 27

Easter Play:

Join us for our Easter play and hear about the true sacrifice that Jesus paid for our sins.

Apr. 10

Anointing of the Sick:

Learn why we anoint the sick and how you may benefit from it one day.

Apr. 24

Mary:

Dive deeper into an understanding of who Mary is and how to have a healthy relationship with her.

May 8

Penance:

Learn about the importance of confession and the role it plays in our spiritual life.

May 22

Marriage:

Learn about the sacrament of marriage.

Jun. 5

Confirmation:

Celebrate Pentecost with us as we examine the role of confirmation in our faith journey.


Religious Education (grades K-8)

Elementary Religious Education Classes will be held a hybrid of online and in person meetings. Classes will be held online with monthly in person meetings to re-enforce key topics.

We will be using a new program from Sophia Institue Press called Spirit of Truth.

For more information on the program check out this link.


First Confession & Communion (Second Grade)

Sacrament Classes will also be a hybrid, with most of the work being done online with some refresher and practice sessions along the way.

We will be using Sophia Institute Materials for this program as well. If you are in second grade, the online course will prepare you to receive the sacraments, if you are not in second grade we will be using another resource from Sophia Institute ontop of your other religious education materials to prepare you to receive the sacraments.

Below are parents’ guides to First Confession and First Communion.

Parent Guide First Confession
Parent Guide First Communion


RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children)

We will be holding classes for children who have missed their sacraments when they were intended, or who are new to the Catholic Faith, as they begin the process of becoming fully initiated members of the Catholic Church. Because, each situation is unique, feel free to sign up and we will contact you with the best plan of action for your child.


Confirmation (Grades 8-9)

 Sacrament Classes will be a hybrid course as well with monthy online sessions as well as FIATs and Retreats througbout the year. If you are enrolled in confirmation you will be contacted with this information as it gets scheduled.

This year we will be going through a program named, Called to Mercy by St. Mary’s Press, more information here.

There will be a confirmation and sponsor course that will go hand in hand with periodic meetings with confirmands and sponsors.

Below is a parents’ guide to Confirmation.

Parent Guide for Confirmation


Youth Ministry (Grades 10-12)

We are looking into the possibility of starting a youth program, if you are interested please sign up for the youth group on the registration form and if we get enough participants interested we will look into the options for starting a class.


Young Adult (18-35)

If you are interested in joining an online study this fall, please feel free to join in our Adult Formation class, if there are enough Young Adults who sign up, we can look into creating a Young Adults only class. See below for more details on the course.


Adult Formation

We will have courses throughout the year for adults who are interested in diving deeper into their faith.

For more information on this study email [email protected]


Sacramental Preparation for Adults

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
For anyone who wishes to become Catholic. The RCIA is also for anyone who was baptized Catholic but not raised in the faith and did not celebrate the sacraments of Confirmation or Communion, or for a person who was raised in a different faith and is considering becoming a Catholic.

Adult Confirmation
For those Catholics who have received First Communion but have not been confirmed.

SACRAMENTS

Baptism 

The Sacrament of Baptism is the first sacrament that a person celebrates and the first of three sacraments referred to as “the sacraments of initiation”. Through baptism, a person begins a new life with Christ, becoming a child of God and a Christian. It is the first step in a life in which one strives to become more and more like Christ. Baptism symbolizes and brings about a union with Christ’s death and resurrection. Baptism also creates a bond of unity that links all those who have been baptized. 

The ordinary minister of baptism is a priest or deacon. Baptism requires the pouring of water and the pronouncement of the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” 

Baptism for Infants and Children (younger than seven) 

The Church baptizes young children based on the desire, in faith, of their parents or legal guardians. Because children younger than seven do not yet have the ability to understand the meaning of baptism, and its rights and responsibilities, their parents are responsible for 

  • Desiring baptism
  • Promising to teach them about God and raise them as active members of the Catholic Church
  • Completing a specific preparation for baptism

Baptismal preparation: Parents are the first and most important teachers of their children in the faith. Our responsibility as a parish community is to support your efforts with a preparation program that is meaningful and helpful to you. The steps are as follows:

  • Call the parish office (607) 733-3484 to fill out Baptismal Information Sheet
  • Attend a Baptismal Class. Class is required if not attended in the last five years.
  • Baptism will be scheduled during Mass or privately after Mass at the parents’ choice, pending
    the availability of priest/deacon. 

Baptismal Preparation Class dates on posted in the parish bulletin; usually once a month in the Faith Formation Building.

Godparent requirements:
A person may have two Godparents. At least one Godparent must meet the following requirements: 

  • At least 16 years old
  • Fully-initiated Catholic (has celebrated Baptism, Confirmation and Communion)
  • Practices their Catholic faith

A baptized non-Catholic Christian may serve as a Christian witness in place of one of the Godparents.

Baptism for Adults and Children (seven years and up_)

Recognizing their right and ability to take an active role in considering and preparing for this life- changing step, the Church provides a special process called The Rite of Christian initiation of Adults

(RCIA) for anyone, seven years old or older, who wishes to be baptized Catholic. The RCIA is also for anyone who was baptized Catholic but not raised in the faith and did not celebrate the sacraments of Confirmation or Eucharist/Communion, or for a person who was raised in a different faith and is considering becoming a Catholic. 

The RCIA consists of gatherings over a number of months that provide an education and immersion experience in the Catholic faith. There are separate groups for adults and children. 

The RCIA is divided into four stages and the stages are marked by rituals of blessing and commitment. The stages are intended to overlap and be open-ended, based on the needs of the participant. 

The Period of Inquiry (initial questions and reflection) 
Rite of Welcome 

The Period of the Catechumen (from a Greek word meaning “teaching”, a period of instruction) 
Rite of Election 

The Period of Enlightenment (a particularly reflective and spiritual time of preparation) 
Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation (usually at the Easter Vigil)

The Period of Mystagogy (from a Greek word meaning “mystery”; more instruction and reflection about involvement in the community) 

For more information, please call the parish office at (607) 733-3484. You will be connected to the correct staff person to answer your questions. 

Eucharist / Holy Communion

The Sacrament of Eucharist (Mass and Holy Communion) is one of the three sacraments of initiation that make a person a full member of the Catholic Church. (The other two are Baptism and Confirmation). We Catholics believe that, in Eucharist, bread and wine are changed by God into the Body and Blood of Christ. We receive the real Body/Blood of Christ in Holy Communion so that, together, we may become the Body of Christ in the world.

Following Jesus’ instruction at the Last Supper to “do this in memory of Me”, Catholics gather together, weekly, around the altar to be nourished and strengthened with God’s Word and with the Body and Blood of Christ. We believe that this holy sacrifice and meal is the source of the faith that enables us to live as Jesus taught us to live, and the summit – our most important act of Catholic worship which celebrates and creates Christian unity.

The word “eucharist” comes from the Greek word for “thanksgiving”. We give God thanks for the gift of Jesus. The word “Mass” comes from the Latin word that means “sent”. Strengthened by the Eucharist, we are sent into the world to do Christ’s work.

The parish provides preparation for children and adults who would like to share Holy Communion for the first time. Preparation is a two-year process with general preparation in the faith during the first year and specific preparation in the second year. Typically, children receive Communion in the second grade but it can be anytime from the age of 7 on. The child should have made their First Penance/Confession prior to beginning these classes. Specific information about the classes and preparation is available by calling the Faith Formation Office at (607) 733-3484.

For adults, call the parish office and you will be put in touch with the proper staff person. 

Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is one of the three sacraments of initiation through which a person becomes a full member of the Catholic Church (the other two are Baptism and Eucharist/Communion). Confirmation completes the sacramental grace of baptism. It is a celebration of the presence of the Holy Spirit with us, and a confirming of the spiritual gifts given to us at baptism by the Holy Spirit.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel (right judgment), fortitude (courage), piety (reverence), and fear of the Lord (wonder and awe).

Confirmation is usually celebrated sometime after the age of seven years old, typically in 9th or 10th grade, and is usually conferred by a Bishop within a celebration of Mass.

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation is a two-year program. Call the office for more information.

Penance / Reconciliation / Confession

The Sacrament of Penance is one of two sacraments in which the Lord continues His healing ministry. The other is the Anointing of the Sick. Reconciliation is a celebration of God forgiving love as witnessed by Christ in the Gospels. As Christians, we are called to live a life of ongoing renewal, constantly striving to grow in our ability to love both God and our neighbor in the way that Jesus has taught us to love. When our human selfishness gets the better of us (sin), we need to turn to God with sorrow for our failure to love, and we need to hear God’s words of forgiveness, to know that God always forgives us. That is what happens in the Sacrament of penance. We are given a fresh start; we become signs of reconciliation and healing for others.

At times, this sacrament is referred to as the Sacrament of Penance, or the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or as Confession. All three titles refer to the same sacrament and each emphasizes a different aspect of what occurs in the sacrament.

The Sacrament of Penance is celebrated at a number of our churches on a regular basis or by appointment. Please check the home page of our website or call our parish office at (607) 733-3484 for the most current schedule.

The parish provides preparation for children and adults who would like to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. Preparation is a two-year process with general preparation in the faith during the first year and specific preparation in the second year. Typically, children receive the sacrament of Reconciliation in the second grade but it can be anytime from the age of 7 on. The child must celebrate their First Penance/Confession prior to preparing for First Holy Communion. Specific information about the classes and preparation (for children and adults) is available by calling the Faith Formation Office at (607) 733-3484.

Anointing of the Sick

The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is a sign of Christ’s healing presence in the world. Anyone, regardless of age, whose health is seriously impaired or threatened, may be anointed. Contrary to the experience of many older Catholics, this sacrament is not only for those in immediate danger of death, but for anyone whose illness is more than mild or passing, or whose physical, spiritual or emotional health causes them serious worry or anxiety.

This sacrament makes present the healing, restoring power of Jesus at a time when we are at our lowest and most vulnerable. We gain strength to bear suffering with patience and dignity. We are reminded that, whatever we face, Jesus walks with us and with those we love.

Anointing of the Sick may be arranged by calling the office during office hours at 607-733-3484. After hours, emergency numbers are available on the message. It is most appropriate for family members and friends to gather with their loved one when the priest comes for anointing, as the priest represents the entire community that prays to God for their loved one in need of healing.

A communal celebration of the sacrament takes place at special Masses throughout the year.

“Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up…”

James 5:14, 15a

Matrimony

The Sacrament of Matrimony (or Christian Marriage) like all of the sacraments, is a visible expression of God’s ongoing presence in the world and an example of the king of love God has for each of us. In Christian Marriage, a husband and wife form a covenant of committed, unconditional, and caring love and they invite Christ to be a partner with them in that covenant.

The unconditional nature of a covenant is different from that of a contract which requires that certain conditions be met by each partner in order for the contract to be valid. The Church teaches that the Sacrament of Matrimony mirrors God’s covenant of love with his people. “God’s love for us is unconditional, eternal, exclusive, and faithful, in good times and bad, in sickness and health.”

Christian Marriage is considered uniquely life-giving. A husband and wife share the privilege of procreating new life. And the surprises and trials of marriage provide countless opportunities to grown in holiness.

Steps for Marriage Preparation

If you are interested in getting married please call the office so you can set up an appointment to meet with the priest/deacon to introduce yourself, start the paperwork, set the date, sign-up for Pre-Cana, or Fully Engaged and obtain materials for planning the actual wedding ceremony.

Pre-Cana

Pre-Cana is a one-day session presented during the year at the Faith Formation Building. Topics covered: the theology of marriage, spirituality, communication, marriage and family, sacramentality, intimacy, and the Marriage Rite. Guest couples give presentations followed by time for small group discussions.

Holy Orders

The Sacrament of Holy Orders is known as a “Sacrament of Service to the Community”. By Baptism, all the members of the Church share in the priesthood of Christ. Additionally, some men are called to serve the community as deacons, priests, and bishops.

Deacons

Deacons have been around in the Church from almost the very beginning – see Acts 6:1-7. The essence of diaconal work is captured in its name: “Deacon” comes from the Greek “Diakonia”, which means “service”. So does that mean a deacon is a servant? Yes, that’s precisely what it means! Deacons do all kinds of things, but at the core, every deacon is a servant.

This servant role is worked out in a variety of ways. Deacons serve in hospitals, hospices, and jails; in soup kitchens and half-way houses; and in many other areas. They exercise their role in the liturgy and formal proclamation of the gospel. Weddings, Baptisms, wake services, preaching, benediction services – these are all part of the work of the deacon. They follow the corporal works of mercy and the liturgical acts as two aspects of service that inform each other.

Typically, a deacon will operate on a part-time basis, earning his livelihood in a secular profession. But as Pope John Paul II pointed out, there is no such thing as a “part-time deacon”. A deacon, by virtue of his ordination, is a servant on a 24/7 basis, even when he is engaged in a part-time assignment.

Information on the formation process to become a deacon is on the Diocese of Rochester website.

Priests

By virtue of our Baptism, all Christians are part of a common priesthood of believers. We are all called to participate in Christ’s mission. Through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, bishops and priests are given a special role in carrying out this mission. They exercise a ministerial priesthood. Deacons also receive a special grace through ordination and are called to assist the ministry of bishops and priests (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], nos. 1547, 1554). Pope Benedict XVI writes, “The priest is above all a servant of others” (Sacramentum Caritatis [Sacrament of Charity], no. 23). In gathering the community, modeling Christ’s love for the poor, presiding at Eucharist, and evangelizing social realities, ordained ministers help Christians imitate Christ’s mission of love and justice.