Faith formation classes after first communion?


#1

My DD did her 1st communion last year and is continuing to take faith formation classes this year because it appears the expectation is that if the child doesn’t go to Catholic school that they go to these religious education classes all throughout their school years. For different reasons, I find this annoying (don’t feel like she’s getting much out of it, it interferes with bedtime, it’s a drive that is inconveniant since I don’t drive now that I’m pregnant due to dizzy spells and when I’m not pregnant I have other small children to tend to and taking them out at night sucks, and my husband works nights so he can’t do it so I’ve been having to inconvenience grandma to leave work early enough to get my DD there on time). SO my question is, is this even REQUIRED??? She’s going into 4th grade next school year and I don’t even know when they do confirmaton but I’m sure it isn’t any time soon - I understand that she’ll have to attend sacrament prep and faith formation for that, but if we can drop out of the classes for now I’m VERY interested in that option. Since I’m an adult convert, I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be and I tried googleing a little but can’t seem to find information other than most people don’t keep going after 1st communion, but I don’t really care what most people do I just want to know if it’s required and I’m hoping it’s not. Thanks in advance!


#2

Why don't you explain the situation to the religious ed director at your parish and ask for a copy of the materials so you can teach your daughter at home? Most books have a parent website for different resources, and I'm sure the director can point you in the right direction.


#3

And to answer your question....parents are considered the primary educators of their children by the Church, so you and your husband are most certainly the ones who should be teaching all of your children about their faith. A parish can put requirements on attendance for sacramental prep, but you aren't "required" to send your child to a mid-week religious ed class by any church law.


#4

I thought about teaching her the material myself because someone had suggested that to me but when i looked into it I found that it's strictly for homeschool parents, which we are not (wish I could homeschool her but her dad - my ex - is opposed) .... I don't know if they make any exceptions, I guess I could ask like you suggested.


#5

Yes, children should have regular religious education every year, not just before first communion and confirmation. Look at the terrible lack of knowledge most young Catholics today have of their faith. I understand how awkward night class attendance can be for some. There should be options for learning at home and/or transportation.


#6

I am guessing that whatever you read regarding homeschooling and religious education was only referring to parents who choose to provide Catholic education at home as opposed to a homeschooling with regards to academics. Just like you said,just tell your parish DRE that you intend to do your child's RE at home. Here's an example of a parish's guidelines regarding home school RE - stthomasofvillanova.org/uploads/1/3/8/7/13874367/home_school_religious_education_policy.pdf. Your parish and/or diocese might have a slightly different set of rules but as far as I know, you may choose to provide RE to your own children.

They may tell you to use whatever books the parish RE is using. If you like it, then that would be great. But if you prefer another curriculum, present it to them. If it is an approved text for RE, hopefully the parish will allow you to use it.

usccb.org/about/evangelization-and-catechesis/subcommittee-on-catechism/upload/Current-Conformity-List.pdf

You might also want to check these websites if you decide to home school for RE because with your current situation, these sources might help a bit - they are online versions of two programs that are approved by the USCCB.

mycatholicfaithdelivered.com/home.aspx?pagename=FaithAndLife

familycatechism.com/#0010100060101_+Sr._John_Vianney

Still, I can be wrong, so please check with your parish DRE.

Hope this helps!


#7

[quote="PaulfromIowa, post:5, topic:324192"]
Yes, children should have regular religious education every year, not just before first communion and confirmation. Look at the terrible lack of knowledge most young Catholics today have of their faith. I understand how awkward night class attendance can be for some. There should be options for learning at home and/or transportation.

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


#8

[quote="PaulfromIowa, post:5, topic:324192"]
Yes, children should have regular religious education every year, not just before first communion and confirmation. Look at the terrible lack of knowledge most young Catholics today have of their faith. I understand how awkward night class attendance can be for some. There should be options for learning at home and/or transportation.

[/quote]

I understand that religious education is a good thing and that people are lacking in knowledge - but trust me that isn't a problem for my little one. What I am asking though is are these classes somehow required (like is there some sin in not participating or is some church law being broken if a parent chooses not to provide a curriculum to educate their kids with???). I prefer to teach her my own way, without the curriculum, really. I sometimes use to substitute for the faith formation classes and I honestly was unimpressed with the text.


#9

[quote="mrs_katekista, post:6, topic:324192"]
I am guessing that whatever you read regarding homeschooling and religious education was only referring to parents who choose to provide Catholic education at home as opposed to a homeschooling with regards to academics. Just like you said,just tell your parish DRE that you intend to do your child's RE at home. Here's an example of a parish's guidelines regarding home school RE - stthomasofvillanova.org/uploads/1/3/8/7/13874367/home_school_religious_education_policy.pdf. Your parish and/or diocese might have a slightly different set of rules but as far as I know, you may choose to provide RE to your own children.

They may tell you to use whatever books the parish RE is using. If you like it, then that would be great. But if you prefer another curriculum, present it to them. If it is an approved text for RE, hopefully the parish will allow you to use it.

usccb.org/about/evangelization-and-catechesis/subcommittee-on-catechism/upload/Current-Conformity-List.pdf

You might also want to check these websites if you decide to home school for RE because with your current situation, these sources might help a bit - they are online versions of two programs that are approved by the USCCB.

mycatholicfaithdelivered.com/home.aspx?pagename=FaithAndLife

familycatechism.com/#0010100060101_+Sr._John_Vianney

Still, I can be wrong, so please check with your parish DRE.

Hope this helps!

[/quote]

Thanks, I'll look into it. I'm not inclined towards a curriculum though - are these strictly required? I'm pretty sure people have been passing on the faith for centuries without curriculums...so I figure I could handle it too, KWIM?


#10

Please don't take this the wrong way, but as a DRE I get a lot of requests to homeschool for religion. I get all kinds of excuses why and all kinds of promises that they will do the work. What I have discovered is that a majority do nothing. They don't take their kids to church, they don't do the lessons, and when we do end of the year evaluations their kids haven't learned much. I have to be accountable to the pastor that homeschool kids are on par with those who come to class. So I am now severely cutting back on homeschool.I know there are some who do a great job but if I let one homeschool the others say I am not being fair if I don' let them homeschool too. The DRE might be in the same situation as I am.


#11

Are you referring to general faith formation or the sacramental prep classes? Unless someone tells me that there is some sort of sin or rule breaking going on by not participating in the years that don’t include sacramental prep I’m pretty sure I’m not registering her for next year. They use the We Believe curriculum and I think it just sucks. My DD is a voracious reader and I’m way better off giving her interesting books on saints and reading right out of the Bible and the catechism than the boring “everyone love eachother” stuff she brings home from her class. Even the kids that attend there bug me and I don’t care for her to associate with them (boys and girls holding hands, wacky hair styles, curse words, chatting away during the liturgy, etc) so I don’t see a benefit for her other than actually getting to visit the church an extra time a week and getting to know some cool adults.


#12

[quote="D0UBTFIRE, post:11, topic:324192"]
Are you referring to general faith formation or the sacramental prep classes? Unless someone tells me that there is some sort of sin or rule breaking going on by not participating in the years that don't include sacramental prep

[/quote]

What we can tell you is make an appointment and talk to your pastor, and your bishop if necessary, and discuss your options.

Yes, there is an expectation that children receive faith formation every year, not just the years that they receive sacraments. What form that faith formation takes, and who does the teaching, should be discussed with your pastor. You should be able to do at-home faith formation, but I suggest you have a plan that is more structured than random books on saints and such. The Faith and Life series by Ignatius Press is a good option.


#13

[quote="D0UBTFIRE, post:9, topic:324192"]
Thanks, I'll look into it. I'm not inclined towards a curriculum though - are these strictly required? I'm pretty sure people have been passing on the faith for centuries without curriculums...so I figure I could handle it too, KWIM?

[/quote]

Strictly required, I really do not know the answer to that.

I **think **if you feel you can do it without using a specific curriculum, your DRE would probably want to know how you'd go about teaching your child. They want to make sure that your child will be receiving proper instruction - not because they doubt you - but because (I think) it is part of their responsibility. I can be wrong. :o

I teach my children a separate Religion course at home, in addition to our parish RE. We have used, Faith and Life, Who Am I, Seton, YouCat, and a few different translations of the Holy Bible. We'll start using the Didache Series for my 12 yo next year. These textbooks really help me in expounding the topics, giving examples, and connecting them to virtues, saints, Bible stories, etc. that fit each of my child's understanding (12, 6, 3 yo).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Bible will be the best sources to teach our faith. The books approved for use in RE are supposed to be in conformance with the CCC, written in different levels for the child.

Just my :twocents:

Hope this helps! :)


#14

[quote="D0UBTFIRE, post:8, topic:324192"]
I understand that religious education is a good thing and that people are lacking in knowledge - but trust me that isn't a problem for my little one. What I am asking though is are these classes somehow required (like is there some sin in not participating or is some church law being broken if a parent chooses not to provide a curriculum to educate their kids with???). I prefer to teach her my own way, without the curriculum, really. I sometimes use to substitute for the faith formation classes and I honestly was unimpressed with the text.

[/quote]

No it is not a sin. There is nothing wrong with not registering your child for class.

Our parish uses an awful text. I consider it barely Catholic. I chose to use Faith and Life.

Of course when it came time for sacramental prep, I didn't have a choice. We had to go with the watered down curriculum. What a waste.

And after my son made his sacrament, I pulled him back out of class.

Remember, this is church, not the government. Although they might like you to register your child, you are under no obligation to do so.


#15

[quote="Joannm, post:10, topic:324192"]
Please don't take this the wrong way, but as a DRE I get a lot of requests to homeschool for religion. I get all kinds of excuses why and all kinds of promises that they will do the work. What I have discovered is that a majority do nothing. They don't take their kids to church, they don't do the lessons, and when we do end of the year evaluations their kids haven't learned much. I have to be accountable to the pastor that homeschool kids are on par with those who come to class. So I am now severely cutting back on homeschool.I know there are some who do a great job but if I let one homeschool the others say I am not being fair if I don' let them homeschool too. The DRE might be in the same situation as I am.

[/quote]

So what, exactly, do you do if someone doesn't register their child?

Obviously if it is a sacramental year, the pastor could threaten to withhold the sacrament.

But what if it is, lets say, 4th grade? What are your steps to ensure that parents enroll their children in your program? And then of course, ensure that those children attend?

Or even what do you do if someone says, "sorry, no?"


#16

[quote="D0UBTFIRE, post:8, topic:324192"]
I understand that religious education is a good thing and that people are lacking in knowledge - but trust me that isn't a problem for my little one. What I am asking though is are these classes somehow required (like is there some sin in not participating or is some church law being broken if a parent chooses not to provide a curriculum to educate their kids with???). I prefer to teach her my own way, without the curriculum, really. I sometimes use to substitute for the faith formation classes and I honestly was unimpressed with the text.

[/quote]

It's not just "knowledge", it's education. The acutal requirement is that Catholic parents provide a Catholic **education **for thier children. A Catholic education includes lots of things that families do together but is more systematic. It can be provided by Catholic schools, parish CCE/CCD programs or parent-taught (homeschool) programs. If you choose to use a parent-taught program, you aren't breaking any Church law but be prepared to provide proof when it comes time to enroll her for Confirmation prep. It will be more challenging (but not impossible) to do that if you aren't using a curriculum.


#17

I wish Catholic parishes commonly (not only occasionally or exceptionally) had well-known education programs with good resources for all ages.


#18

Gee, I’d be happy if my parish had RE classes. Since Catholic schools were abolished, our parish has nothing but sacramental preparation.


#19

Continuing Catholic education is endless.

I think "faith formation" never stops. We continue to learn through adult Bible studies, discussion groups, and so forth. Here I am at an advanced age, still learning about our Catholic heritage, Bible, liturgy, and many other areas.


#20

[quote="maryjk, post:15, topic:324192"]
So what, exactly, do you do if someone doesn't register their child?

Obviously if it is a sacramental year, the pastor could threaten to withhold the sacrament.

But what if it is, lets say, 4th grade? What are your steps to ensure that parents enroll their children in your program? And then of course, ensure that those children attend?

Or even what do you do if someone says, "sorry, no?"

[/quote]

There is nothing we can do if a parent decides not to enroll their child in the program. However when it comes time to register for Confirmation prepm, which is a two year program, if they have not attended in the previous years after First Communion they are put in a catch up class, meaning that they receive Confirmation not in the year they were supposed to but the following year. There are always exceptions but we test the child before admitting them into Confirmation prep if the parents insist that their child has been well prepared at home.


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