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Religious Education -Middle School - Grades 6-7

Religious Education -  Middle School - Grades 6-7

2019 - 2020

Rev 080519

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Dramatic Changes for Elementary Religious Education

Revised Family Catechesis is on the way for 2019 - 2020.

Catechesis will be a blend of classroom and home catechesis. We will also focus on

 building a family faith centered community through whole family activities. 


After Mass July 20th and 21st, August 10th and 11th, and August 24th and 25th.


Jeannie Kennedy         Director of Religious Education         childrensministry@sjnpowhatan.org

 Middle School Christian Formation rev080519

Grades 6-7


Dear Parents, Grandparents and Guardians, 

 Our middle school religious formation format will change drastically this year.  We will be working on creating a dynamic family catechesis program that allows our 6th and 7th graders the opportunity to engage with each other but also learn in a family centered environment.  We hope this format will help parents better guide their children through the challenging issues our middle school children are facing. 

Pope Francis has directed that Catholics focus on Family Catechesis, including catechizing our children but also developing ongoing faith formation for parents. For a brief overview, read the FAQs below.  In our quest to develop a family community, elementary religious education; the middle school program; and NeuWaves will be coming together for community building activities. Working together, I believe we can create a dynamic, faith-filled family environment at St. John Neumann.


Jeannie Kennedy


Contact Information:

Jeannie Kennedy             Director of Religious Education               childrensministry@sjnpowhatan.org


 Middle School

Grades 6 and 7 will meet as one unit this year. Catechesis will be a blend of at home and classroom catechesis.  Middle school students will meet on Sunday mornings between Masses on a schedule opposite Grades 1-5, following the five units in our textbook, Finding God.  They will complete 3 units at home with their families and two units in the classroom at Church.  The middle school students will use the 7th Grade textbook in 2019-2020. 

The middle school program will also participate in family catechetical activities, along with our elementary school students.  Additionally, the middle school program will work with Elementary Religious Education and NeuWaves to create a dynamic, faith-filled family community at St. John Neumann. 


Family Catechesis Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Family Catechesis?

Family Catechesis is a response to the call to a “new evangelization” and a reemergence of the importance of faith formation for the entire Catholic family. Contemporary society presents great challenges to parents in raising our children.  Family catechesis can help parents navigate these challenges through faith and learning opportunities that help each family grow into their own “domestic church.” 

As families struggle with the pressures of our contemporary society, the Church urges parish leaders to offer a variety of faith sharing / learning opportunities that will help families grow into the “domestic church” we need them to be.


What is Family Catechesis?

According to the National Directory for Catechesis, “Family-centered catechetical programs are opportunities for parents to catechize their children directly, for spouses to catechize each other and for children to catechize one another and their parents.” National Directory for Catechesis #61.2


What is the goal of Family Catechesis?

The basic goal of Family Catechesis is to help parents grow in their own faith, so they are better able to pass it on to their children. Through a variety of opportunities, family catechesis can:

·       help families learn how to pray and to discuss their faith together

·       help parents better understand their role as primary catechists

·       bring families together in order to share and deepen their Catholic faith

·       strengthen the relationship between the family and the Church

·       establish ongoing Catholic faith practices within the family life

·       integrate the family into the parish community

        To help families navigate an often-questionable contemporary society

        To help families learn to incorporate and value service to others in their daily lives


When and Where?

Religious Education for Grades 6-7 will be held at Saint John Neumann on designated Sundays, opposite elementary aged religious education.  They will also use Finding God, based on a two-year rotation, beginning with the 7th Grade textbook.  Grades 6-7 will begin with at home sessions, alternating with classroom time based on each of the five units. 

Why this Location and Time?

This meeting time was discerned as best considering the many commitments of our youth and families outside of parish life during the week.  Limited space requires that middle school students meet at times different from the elementary students.

Why Christian Formation instead of Religious Education?

Religious Education is only part of Christian Formation, especially for tweens and younger teens. We understand they have different needs from elementary aged children and older teens. We know that families have hectic schedules and that our middle schoolers need to be able to relate to each other and a variety of adults. 

We will meet the needs of your youth through formation in eight key areas: Catechesis, Prayer and Worship, Evangelization, Leadership Development, Justice, Service, Pastoral Care and Advocacy. In order to provide a fruitful and fulfilling program for our middle schoolers, we need your input, help, and support. 


Our middle schoolers need the commitment and example of their parents if they are going to continue to practice their faith through High School and into adulthood.  All parents are asked to volunteer in some way. The Church teaches that parents are the primary teachers of their children. Our catechists need your help and support. Needs will vary from week to week. Please let us know of any special skills or talents you are willing to share. Additionally, all parents will need to be VIRTUS trained and complete a background check through the parish. 

Are we changing the Catechesis component of the program?

No, we will continue using the Finding God Grades 6-7 program from Loyola Press.  We will use this on a rotating schedule, beginning with the 7th Grade text in 2019-2020 and 6th Grade in 2020-2021.

Seventh and eighth graders face many important decisions—about school, interactions with family, friends, interests they want to pursue, and faith. Finding God Grades 6 and 7 reaches young people where they are in this critical stage of their lives and provides in-depth support for teachers, catechists, and their parents.

Here is the link to view the brochure:  http://issuu.com/loyolapress/docs/finding-god-7-8-brochure?e=1149037/2712180#

 What next?

 Make sure you are registered in the parish and fill out a youth registration form for your middle school youth.

 I have more questions.

Contact Jeannie Kennedy, Director of Religious Education, by phone at St. John Neumann, or email at childrensministry@sjnpowhatan.org