The Religious Education Program of St. Kevin Catholic Church is designed for children who attend public schools or non-Catholic private schools to receive formation in the Catholic faith. The program runs with the school year, from September to May.
We have an annual enrollment of approximately 400 students who come to receive Religious Education in our Parish over three class days. Children, ranging from 1st grade all the way through high school, attend faith formation classes one day each week during the catechetical year.
In addition, our program assists children in the preparation for the celebration of the sacraments of initiation: Baptism (if unbaptized), Eucharist (First Communion), and Confirmation. Despite the pandemic, for the 2020-2021 Catechetical Year, we had close to 70 teens celebrate Confirmation, and close to 130 children celebrate First Communion.
The program is designed to provide continuing faith formation classes, with the curriculum for each grade-level year specifically focusing on a particular aspect of catechesis and our Catholic faith. Each year builds upon the previous one. For example. the fourth-grade year of continuing faith-formation class focuses study on the Ten Commandments, and the sixth-grade year focuses on the Bible (Scripture). At the conclusion of their Confirmation year in our program, students are encouraged to participate in the "Youth Group" to continue nurturing their faith and serving Christ through others. Students are also given the opportunity to serve as Catechist Aides in the program as a way of sharing their faith with others.
We emphasize greatly and highly that the Religious Education Program is not simply here for the celebration of the sacraments. The primary mission of the program is to provide continuing formation in the faith, with the sacraments as part of the formation process. Children are strongly encouraged to attend continuous faith formation classes from first through eighth grade. They are also given different opportunities to become involved in the life of the parish community by participating in one of our ministries specifically for our young people, such as Altar Servers, Music Ministry, and Youth Group.
While children receive faith formation in the program, we emphasize the fact that the PARENTS ARE THE FIRST CATECHISTS OF THEIR CHILDREN. Our program is meant to aid in this task that the parents agreed to fulfill at the time of their child's Baptism: to bring up their child in the faith. While the program and our catechists work to help our children to grow and to learn more about their faith, it is ultimately the primary role of the parent, as the first catechist, to guide their children in coming to know the faith. The program supplements this foundation in the faith and spirituality that the parent is called to provide.
While the Religious Education Program runs only until 8th grade, or until they receive the Sacrament of Confirmation, FAITH FORMATION IS A CONTINUOUS, LIFE-LONG PROCESS. As we continue to grow and develop, our Catholic faith also continues to grow and develop. Our faith is so rich that there is always something that we can come to know and learn. Our Catholic faith is nurtured through our active participation in the ministerial and sacramental life of the Church.
There are many ministries that serve the parishioners and community of St. Kevin, and we encourage all of our families to get involved by joining one of these ministries, whether it be Legion of Mary, Emmaus, or even serving as a catechist in our Religious Education Program (contact us for more information). There are so many ways we can become involved in the life of the Church and, at the same time, continue to grow in our relationship with Christ and with our brothers and sisters in Christ's name.
We hope and pray that all of the children and families in our Religious Education Program will always be guided by our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary as we all walk on our JOURNEY OF FAITH.