Faith Formation at St. Norbert and Our Lady of the Brook
About the program
We are committed to providing Faith Formation programing that nurtures the faith development of parents and children alike. We offer programming for students in K through 8th grades and provide regular communication with parents about what the children are learning in their faith formation classes. We also encourage parents to get involved in our many ministries at St. Norbert/OLB.
As parents, you and other members of your family play an important role in helping form and prepare your children for living our Catholic faith. It is important that you attend Sunday Mass as a family and to pray with your children every day. An active prayer and faith life is a practice—it requires movement, action and repetition to notice the benefits.
A simple way to teach your kids some of our common Catholic prayers and begin a practice of praying with your children is to pray at bedtime. Download the Nightly Prayer guide (found below) for reference.
Our Programming for the 2021-22 Academic Year
Family Faith Connection Pilot
New this year, our Family Faith Connection program is for families who want to learn, grow and pray together as an alternative to our K-6 twice monthly faith formation classes. The program combines group meetings for parents on one Sunday morning each month with grade-specific instruction by catechists for the children. Parents would then guide their children through simple faith formation sessions at home during the other weeks. The K-6 Gospel Weeklies curriculum is used for this model as well.
Who can participate?
Any family members who would like a shared faith experience… parents, children, grandparents, stepparents, aunts, uncles. All are welcome. Children preparing for Confirmation (grades 7 and 8) must also attend the Sunday night Edge program or be enrolled in the online Chosen program. Some 8th graders may assist as aides to the children’s catechists as part of their Confirmation service hours.
What if I don’t feel prepared to teach my child?
The program is designed for parents just like you. You will learn together with your child as you use the home session plans created just for this purpose and attend our Sunday morning gatherings.
K-6 Faith Formation Program
Our K-6th grade program uses the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies curriculum that combines a complete doctrinal catechesis with the liturgical life of the Church. The content of the program flows from each Sunday’s Gospel and students learn their faith within the rhythms and seasons of the liturgical year. Every lesson goes home to involve parents (who hear the same Gospel on Sunday) making it easier for you to discuss topics with your children.
Classes are held twice a month on Sunday mornings after the 9:30 Mass (10:45 a.m. – 12 noon) and on Tuesday evenings (4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.). We try to avoid scheduling classes over school breaks and long weekends, resulting in a few back-to-back weekly sessions especially in the springtime.
Second Grade First Communion and First Reconciliation
The preparation for First Communion and First Reconciliation is an exciting time for your children. They will finally get to sit at the big table and receive the Eucharist along with the members of their family and friends. During the academic year they will learn about the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and how Jesus nourishes us in the sacrament. Likewise, they will learn about their responsibility of keeping their hearts open to the love of Jesus and how the sacrament of Reconciliation helps that. We will use a combination of resources for the sacramental preparation: Blest Are We text book and Blessed First Reconciliation & First Communion videos.
Traditionally, these sacraments are received during a child’s second grade year. For those students in 3rd grade and higher who missed preparation due to Covid restrictions or other reasons, we will gladly work with you to catch your children up. We normally want children to participate in faith formation the year prior but we will wave that requirement this year.
As mentioned above, a simple way to teach your kids some of our common Catholic prayers and begin a practice of praying with your children is to pray at bedtime. Download the Nightly Prayer guide (found below) for reference.
Edge Confirmation Program for 7th and 8th grades
Our 7th and 8th grade Confirmation program uses two curricula from Lifeteen: Edge and Purpose. These programs are designed especially for middle school students to help them discover who they are created to be, to learn about the teachings of the Catholic Church, and to consider Jesus’ invitation to accept his love and grace and become his disciples.
The curriculum addresses 3 big questions:
Each Edge Night, the students will gather in small groups to hear and reflect on the Sunday’s scriptures, listen to a lesson on what the Catholic Church teaches and a message that encourages the youth to think about the role of faith, prayer and belief in Jesus in their daily lives. The sessions end with contemplative and sung prayer. The programming takes place in the church basement, as well as the church.
Valerie Romano, seminarian Robert Lamorena and Margaret Pasquesi will lead the students in their lessons and contemplative and sung prayer. Volunteer small group facilitators lead discussions with the students and encourage them to think about and apply the night’s lesson to their daily lives.
Edge Nights begin with Mass at 5 p.m., pizza dinner after Mass and program at 6:30. The night ends at 8 p.m.
Confirmation is a two year program. In order to be confirmed in the 8th grade, a student must have been enrolled in a Catholic Faith Formation program or a Catholic school in the 7th grade. If your child missed the 7th grade instruction last year, we will enroll them in the online Chosen program and give specific chapters your child must do in order to be eligible for Confirmation in the 8th grade.
Online and Study-at-Home Programs
For those families who have concerns about in-person classes or are seeking an at home study for faith formation, 2nd grade sacramental preparation or 7th/8th grade Confirmation, we do have options. You will be able to select your preference on the registration form, and then JoEllen will contact you to discuss the options. If you opt for this method, the price of tuition remains the same.
If you have questions about any of our programming, please feel free to contact JoEllen directly.
Important Dates to Remember
All Faith Formation dates will be added to the calendar soon.