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Religious Education Grades 1-6

Religious Education Grades 1– 6

2018 - 2019

Rev 063018

Dear Parents,

Grade 1 – 6 Religious Education  changes in many ways this year. While the content remains largely intact, the method of delivery is new and dramatic. Following the direction of Pope Francis, we will begin implementing Family Catechesis. For a brief overview, read the FAQs below. Working together, I believe we can take a giant step forward in catechizing our children with the added benefit of ongoing faith formation for parents.

Remember to check Christian Formation on the web site www.sjnpowhatan.org for more information as the program unfolds.

May the Holy Spirit guide our steps as we travel new paths in our journey towards Finding God.

Deacon Ed

Trending Now:

Dramatic Changes for Elementary Religious Education

Family Catechesis is on the way for 2018 - 2019.

Most Catechesis will be in the home.

Registration and  Required Program Introduction Dates-

August 18th or August 25th after 5 PM Mass:

August 19th or August 26th, 9:45, Fr Val Hall


Jeannie Kennedy         Cordinator of Elementary Educacion         jeannie0717@hotmail.com

Deacon ed Schmidt        Director of Christian Formation              deacon.ed.sjn@gmail.com

 Family Catechesis Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Family Catechesis?

This is an important question. A question many Catholic leaders are responding to all over the country and even around the world. In response to the call to a “new evangelization”, the Church has rediscovered the importance of faith formation for the entire Catholic family. 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 and mission of Family Catechesis in Parish Religious Education?

Family Catechesis’ basic goal and mission is to help families be the “domestic church” that is needed for the building up of the Kingdom of God. In offering a variety of learning and faith sharing opportunities, family catechesis can, in particular:

·       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

What are the benefits of Family Catechesis?

Family Catechesis can offer many benefits, in particular:

·       Involves the whole family in congregational life and learning, building up the faith of the whole family.

·       Provides a way to teach, model, and demonstrate family faith practices.

·       Provides the resources for families to live Christian practices at home.

·       Eases the transfer of learning to the home because the whole family experiences the learning and practices together.

·       Builds up the confidence and ability of parents to share faith and values with their children by providing parent education, resources, support, and encouragement.

If we want children to become lifelong Catholics and members of the church we have to start now by involving the whole family in the life of the church.

 I have more questions.

Attend the Prgram Introduction gatherings listed above!!!

Get in touch with me, Deacon Ed Schmidt by calling SJN and asking for me or leaving a message in my voicemail if I am not there, or emailing to deacon.ed.sjn@gmail.com 


When and Where?

Religious Education for Grades 1 -will be held here at Saint John Neumann on designated Sundays between Masses. Most catechesis will take place at home. On designated Sunday gathering dates, parents and children TOGETHER will meet in Fr Val Hall at 9:40. Dismissal will be in time for 11 AM Mass.

We are not planning to have a Kindergarten because of too few classrooms.

 Why this  Location and Time ?

This schedule makes it easier for parents to meet their dual obligation of providing religious education of their children and celebrating  “the source and summit” of our Catholic life – the Mass, with their children. All children will have the opportunity to attend Mass with their families and be prepared to talk about their class as well as the readings and the homily on the trip home or at the Sunday meal.

 What will the adults do?

On designated Sundays, parents will remain in FR Val Hall to preview the coming month’s home sessions


All parents are asked to volunteer in some way. The Church teaches that parents are the primary teachers of their children. Volunteering to support the program is the least we can do for those giving their time and talent as catechists. Needs vary with different grades. Your child’s catechist will tell you the best way to help.

 Are we changing programs?

No. We are changing HOW we do RE but NOT what we teach. This year we will again use the Finding God series published by Loyola Press. For details on the program, please go to www.findinggod.org. Take a minute to register and you will be amazed at all the resources available to you in addition to an overview of the program.

There are many reasons for staying with Finding God: First, the lesson plans are complete and thorough allowing the catechists to focus on presenting the lesson rather than preparing the lesson. More importantly, the content is complete. Every lesson includes a theme, scripture references, catechism references, catholic social teaching themes, vocabulary, the story of a saint and basic prayers.

 Is there a Student Book?

Yes, there is a student book which will go home after class with the student and be used for the home sessions in conjunction with all the parent resources we wil supply.

 Are there tests?

There is an online session review which the student will complete and which will be automatically emailed to SLN with a click of a button.

  What if I miss a class?

We realize that it may be necessary to miss a class for personal reasons. Because there will be only seven sessions at SJN where children and catechists will meet and all material for the home sessions will be previewed at those meetings, it is critical you set those dates aside and plan to attend.

 What if I will miss many classes?

There are situations such as child custody issues that will prevent full participation in the program. Please schedule an appointment with Deacon Ed to discuss how we can help you assure that your child will grow in their faith.

 What about Home School?

There is a Home School option. Registration in the program is required to receive credit for the year. For home school, it is highly recommended the parents purchase a Catechist Guide. Cost of the guide is $55.95 in addition to registration. The parents will be responsible to prepare and administer the assessments every five weeks. This will be difficult if not impossible without the guide. It will be the parents’ responsibility to give the completed assessments to Deacon Ed. In accordance with diocesan directives, there is no Home School option for Sacramental Preparation.

 What about First Reconciliation/Eucharist and Confirmation?

These programs require completing the basic youth registration form in addition to other requirements. Check the link for Sacramental Preparation for additional details and separate documents on First Reconciliation/Eucharist and Confirmation.

 What next?

Make sure you are registered in the parish and that your children are registered in all appropriate programs.

 What will happen on the first day of classes?

For the meetings held at SJN, go with your children to Fr Val Hall.   After a brief join session, children will go to a classroom with their catechist. After the parent session,  please pick up your child at the classroom, sign them out and be sure they have their take-home materials, coats etc. Dropping off and picking up of children in the parking lot is not an option.

 I have more questions.

Get in touch with me, Deacon Ed Schmidt by calling SJN and asking for me or leaving a message in my voicemail if I am not there, or emailing to deacon.ed.sjn@gmail.com