Catechesis at Saint Michael
From the Pastor...
It’s hard to believe how quickly the summer can fly by. Before we know it, our young people will be heading back to school, and with that, comes the beginning of a new catechetical year.
I first want to commend everyone for their valiant efforts last year. I know how incredibly challenging an on-line version of learning, whether day school or religious education must have been. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. It is our full intent that our Generations of Faith program be in person beginning this September.
Over the next week or so, information packets will be mailed to everyone who was part of the program last year. If you have a child who will be new to the program, we ask that you contact the parish office so we can make sure we have everyone. I am very excited about being part of this model of religious education. Over the course of my time as a priest, I have experienced CCD and PSR, Catholic Schools, and even had some Catholic home school families. I am greatly looking forward to seeing how the Generations of Faith model increases the commitment to the journey of learning and living our faith, in all ages.
While this information may be most vital to families with children in grades K-8, I wanted everyone in the parish to be aware of the model of catechesis at work here at Saint Michael.
A few things to note for this year’s program:
 The most essential expression of our faith relationship with God and the community is full and active participation in the Sunday Mass. No religious education program takes the place of that obligation.
 Families with children in the program must make a commitment to the process. In baptism, parents promise to be the first and best teachers of their children in the practices of our faith. The Church is here to be an active partner in the process, but not to take the place of the parents.
 In addition to the monthly sessions, there will be family oriented activities to deepen an understanding of how to live our faith, not merely learn particular points of knowledge.
 For students preparing for sacraments (First Reconciliation, First Eucharist & Confirmation), there will be additional sacramental preparation sessions. The GOF sessions will follow the curriculum of the diocese and the themes of the sessions, while the sacramental preparation sessions (for students in GOF, Catholic School or Home School) will provide the necessary preparation for the celebration of the sacraments. Students desiring to receive these sacraments must have been part of religious formation for two years (ie. 1st and 2nd grade or 7th & 8th grade). This is a diocesan policy.
 While the desire is that all sacraments happen in the parish in which one is a member, we will continue to welcome non parishioners into our program. To do this, you must discuss the reasons with your parish pastor and have him sign a permission form. This would be the same policy for celebrating the sacraments in a parish other than your own.
Most of the above stated guidelines have already been in place, but may not have been enumerated as such. Our primary goal as a formation team is to provide the best possible environment for all of us, but especially our young people, to continue to grow in the ways of our faith, becoming active members of our parish family. I am grateful to our new Pastoral Minister of Catechesis, Marcy Fessler and our Pastoral Minister of Liturgy, RCIA & Youth Ministry, Maureen Hall, who, along with Deacon Tom Soich, have worked to develop the necessary structure for our catechetical endeavors. I look forward to meeting our catechists and families as we begin a new year – in person.
Thank you and God bless you all.
On the wings of an angel we rise,
Greetings Saint Michael Parishioners!
I am very excited to join you on this journey of lifelong faith formation through Generations of Faith. Registration forms have
been mailed out. If you did not receive one, call the parish office and we will get one out to you. Please return the forms before September 3 to allow me to get the proper number of supplies and food ready.
Reflecting upon the number of registrations to date as well as the availability of catechists we have determined that there will be two weekly sessions, Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening for Generations of Faith. We are eliminating the Tuesday evening session. We will be contacting those families who have already registered for Tuesday to assess which day fill fit better for their family.
Mask Mandate for Religious Education
On August 20, 2021, the Diocese of Youngstown put into effect a mask mandate for all students in our Catholic Schools. This
extends to all religious education programs, as well as other activities with youth in a parish setting or utilizing our parish facilities. As such, at this time, participants in Generations of Faith will need to wear masks. This mandate also extends to scouts and youth using any of our facilities. There are no exceptions.
Pastoral Minister for Catechesis