Religious Education

Director: Mrs. Debbie Rosa
(209)-723-8888



First thru Eighth Grade


SACRAMENT PREPARATION MISSION STATEMENT 

The mission of the Religious Education Program of Our Lady of Mercy/St. Patrick’s Parish is to assist parents in the religious, moral, and spiritual formation of their children. Parents are the primary educators of their children, teaching by word and example. Our parish catechists support the parents and students by providing quality religious education in a nurturing, faith-filled environment. Through the cooperative effort of parents, catechists, and students, our children will grow in their love for God and knowledge of their Catholic faith, develop their God-given gifts and talents, and live as contributing, respectable citizens through their commitment to service as Catholic Christians; along with other acts of kindness projects. 


SAFE ENVIRONMENT POLICY 

In accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, each Diocese must establish a Safe Environment Program. This program requires each parish in the diocese to cooperate with parents, civil authorities, educators, and community organizations to provide education and training for children, youth, parents, ministers, educators and others about ways to create and maintain a safe environment for children. Diocese will also make clear to the Clergy and all members of the community the standards of conduct for clergy and other persons in positions of trust. 

In compliance with this Charter, Our Lady of Mercy/ St. Patrick’s Parish will require all adults who serve in a supervisory capacity with children to be fingerprinted and attend safe environment training for the Safe Environment Program, including Child Abuse Reporting Procedures. All staff and volunteers, including youth helpers, who serve in ministries with children will be required to sign a Code of Conduct for Adult/Child Interactions. Parents and children will be provided with information to promote Child Safety Awareness. 


SACRAMENT PREPARATION 

Following kindergarten, our elementary parish program consists of two consecutive years of religious formation in preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. 

This means that a child’s grade level in the public school system may or may not be the same level as his/her Catechism class. 

In January of their second year, students are prepared for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and have an opportunity to make their first confession at a Penance Service at St. Patrick’s Church. 


SHARING FAITH 

As parents, you are the primary educators of your children, teaching them by word and example. 

Family support and cooperation are essential to the religious formation of your children. 

Regular Mass attendance as a family and a genuine interest in your child’s progress serve as great sources of support and encouragement 

Sharing your own faith, assisting your child in learning required prayers, and discussing class sessions with your child will help to deepen their religious education experience and strengthen your church/family relationship. 


DISCIPLINE

The Pastor and Director will decide disciplinary action as each situation warrants. 

Serious offenses (e.g., violent acts, thefts, truancy, insubordination, etc.) will require a Parent/Director/conference before the child may return to class. Restitution will be required for damage to school/parish property. 


ATTENDANCE POLICY 

Catechism classes are held on Tuesday and Wednesday at Our Lady of Mercy School. Classes begin promptly at 4:15 p.m. Please see that your child/children arrives on time on his/her class day. 

All students must be picked up at 5:30 p.m. Students in first through third grade must be picked up by a parent or designated adult at the classroom. If an older sibling (4th grade and up) will be picking up a Student it needs to be brought to the Teacher’s attention by the Parent. Please  keep in mind, all of our Teachers are volunteers and We take the safety of your child seriously. 

If a child is not picked up on time, he/she will wait in the Religious Education office, Room 20 for a parent to come in for them. The office closes at 5:40 p.m. 

Regular attendance, (no more than three excused absences), is very important and strongly encouraged so that our students may receive the full benefit of their religious education time. Parent requests for dismissal from class for sports practices will be counted as an unexcused absence. Excessive tardiness will also contribute an absent. 

An excused absence is one for illness, medical needs or other valid emergencies where notification has been received in the Religious Education Office (723-8888) before class begins. 



GOALS AND OBJECTIVES


Goals

**To share the Gospel message, build community, and give service. 

**To share with each child a knowledge of the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

**To assist students in character development, emphasizing Catholic principles and Christian values. 

**To encourage students to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

**To nourish each child with the Word of God in Sacred Scripture, and to deepen his/her knowledge of the teachings, practices and traditions of the Catholic faith, as well as fostering respect for other religions. 


Objectives

**To provide a rich variety of faith experiences through a Christ-centered curriculum, liturgies and prayer services, in addition to regular Sunday Mass attendance. 

**To encourage community service through collection of food for the needy, participation in the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Project, and various outreach activities.



FIRST COMMUNION DRESS CODE & IMPORTANT INFORMATION 

  • Picture taking is allowed after Mass only.
  • Picture taking is NOT allowed during Mass.

Boys: White dress shirts 
Dark pants
Dress shoes 
Neck ties optional 


Girls: White dresses (short or long) 
 Veils, Flower combs, or wreaths with ribbons are acceptable, - not mandatory.
No Gloves White Shoes NO TENNIES

NO Mass books, Rosaries, or Scapulars in hands during Mass. 

In the spring of their second year, students are prepared to receive Holy Eucharist and have an opportunity to receive their First Holy Communion at a special First Communion Mass at St. Patrick’s Church. 



CHURCH – FAMILY COVENANT 

Realizing the importance of each child being properly prepared and well-disposed to encounter Christ in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive Him in the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist, it is essential that church and family form a partnership and define the role and responsibilities of each. 


The Church ~ Family Covenant 

This covenant states that the Church will prepare the child for the Sacraments by… 

Providing well-trained catechists.

Using a balanced curriculum approved by the Bishop.

Providing adult catechesis to help parents and sponsors grow in their own religious formation, supporting them as the primary educators of their children.



This covenant states that the Family will prepare the child for the sacraments by… 

Attending Mass regularly. Regular attendance at Mass is an indispensable part of the child’s readiness for the sacraments and the family’s preparation for the sacraments.

Attending and participating in the mandatory meetings.




CREATING A PLEASANT ENVIRONMENT 

We have developed some guidelines so that our time together will be a positive experience for the 
students, teachers, and the Our Lady of Mercy School staff who generously share facilities. 

Please review them with your children. 

DO:

*Come to class on time

*Be responsible, honest, and respectful of others..

*Take care of school property, Classroom supplies and textbooks.

*Participate appropriately in Class activities and discussions. 

*Keep safety and cleanliness in mind.

*Leave all money and valued items at home.

DO NOT: 

*Bring gum or any type of food to class

*Handle personal property found in the classroom.

*Damage school/parish property. 

*Bring toys, electronic Games, or personal items to class, including cell phones. 

*Engage in inappropriate behavior. 

*Ride bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, on school grounds.