We take great pride in our adult formation program here at St. Bernard. We provide many opportunities at different times of the year, incorporating the liturgical season and the gift of learning about our faith. Our formation program includes:
Jesus Christ invites us to enter into a life-changing relationship with Him. When we grow in a relationship with someone, we share stories and things about us with the other person. In the very same way, Christ wants so very much to share His love, the gift of the Sacraments and the beauty of His Church with believers. Our commitment to grow in the faith by learning more about the Church and her teachings will help us establish a relationship with Christ that will grow and flourish as we open our hearts to the treasury of faith and knowledge that the Church provides for us.
Liturgy of the Word for Children
In times past, before the Scriptures were written down, many of the Church's traditions were passed down orally - by word of mouth. These stories were told to generations who told them to future generations. There is a great beauty in the art of listening to God's word spoken in Sacred Scripture, and acting upon it. Each weekend at the 10:00am Mass, children from four years of age until second grade are invited to listen to God's word, and then respond to it through interaction with their catechists. Activity and prayer are integral parts of the program to help children not only hear God's word, but to understand it and live it.
Liturgy of the Word for children is available each Sunday during the 10:00am Mass for children through second grade. The pastor invites the children forward for a special blessing, and they process out with their catechists. The children return during the Profession of Faith.
Third Weekend Homilies with Fr. Michael
Fr. Michael loves kids!! On the third weekend of the month, during the 10:00am Mass, September - May, he invites all children age 5 and older forward, and the Sunday homily is geared toward them. Many parishioners comment that they like those homilies better than the regular one! :) This is a wonderful opportunity for children to embrace the Word of God in a setting that's both kid-friendly and engaging!
Partnering with Parents to Create Faith-Filled Children for the Future!
Many people feel as though the Church is charged with the primary responsibility of educating children in the practices of the faith. When parents bring their children for baptism, the priest says to them during the administration of the Sacrament, "You are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practices of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up according to the law of Christ and His Church." The Church states very clearly that parents are the primary educators in the faith they teach to their children. A parish religious education program provides a place in which children explore more deeply the teachings of Christ and His Church that are taught and practiced in the home. We are proud to be partners with parents!
Generations of Faith: Core Lesson
There are two popular methods of religious education in the parish setting. The traditional model places students in the classroom with a catechist. Parents are encouraged to participate in the adult formation program to complement their child's learning.
The other model, which we adopt here at St. Bernard, is the Generations of Faith model. We call it "Core Lesson". In this model, parents and children learn about their faith together, as a family unit. This model follows more closely the method in which the faith is passed down and learned in the home.
Core Lesson sessions are held on the first Sunday of each month, with a recess during the months of January and February. The sessions are geared toward everyone in the parish. Family catechesis takes place for those who come together as a family. For those who are single, an adult formation session is held in conjunction with each family session. The session follows this format:
Kidz Club is an opportunity for children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade to engage the Church and her teachings in a fun and inviting way! Activities include songs, crafts, role playing and other methods to help the scriptures come alive for children.
The Disciples 4Ever group is our parish youth group for those students in grade six and beyond. The group has regular study of Sacred Scripture and other engaging lessons which help young people at this particular age range to understand their relationship to the Church. The group also focuses on preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.