Making Disciples

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From
Our Pastor

Links to Faith Formation Registration and more information are below the letter from Fr. Rob. 

You have until September 7th to register for the year!

My dear friends in Christ, 

With apologies for the lateness of this registration, I wanted to share some thoughts as we move into our first full year following the pandemic. While we are not out of the woods yet, we are moving forward and, I believe, are able to open up fully once again. As you may know, our Director of Faith Formation, Erin Breeden, left this past Spring. Matthew Hassaine, who has served as our Youth Minister and directed Faith Formation for middle school and high school, will now also lead our primary and elementary school classes as well.  He will be assisted by Amanda Douglas who is already in charge of the formation of our youngest children in the Nursery and our Disciples in Training program. Even as we search for a new Director of Faith Formation, I am confident and excited to begin this year’s classes. 

 

Our commitment has always been for all members of our community to encounter Jesus Christ. This is not merely learning about doctrine or Church teaching but recognizing a God Who is present and active in your child’s life. In fact, we are, as Pope Francis says often, actively seeking to form disciples. Very simply, a disciple is a follower of Christ who leads by following Christ’s example. Simple to say, yet so difficult to live out. There are many challenges to becoming disciples, to building a life of faith for our ourselves and even more for our young people, so many competitors for our time and effort. 

We seek in our faith formation sessions to provide a platform for your child to encounter Christ, to learn what it means to know Christ, to follow Him and to serve others. There are three necessary elements in this: prayer (forming a relationship with Jesus); service (forming a relationship with others); and Church teaching (forming a relationship with the faith community).  Each of these elements come in stages and need to be developed over time as your child grows and matures. 

One of the most common requests we get, though, is to help parents in unpacking and in sharing the Faith with their kids. To that end, we have also actively sought to provide resources that will help you as parent also build a platform for faith formation outside of our sessions. We seek to help you bring elements of faith into the home, school, sports, and activities. We want to offer resources to help you help your children encounter Christ, to learn not only what the Church teaches but why, and to be cognizant of the essential need to serve others, most especially the poor. 

This is why we partner with Orange, a Christian curriculum series based on helping children in an age-appropriate way to encounter Christ by creating a better classroom experience for children and young adults. It’s called orange because it seeks to combine the Light of Christ found in the Church (Yellow) with the heart of the family and the home (Red). Combining the limited time of formation in our sessions with the expanded but often challenging of faith formation in the home. Orange concentrates what it means to encounter Jesus and to live out one’s faith in service to others. This is an essential ground for creating a disciple, for forming a Christian but was little touched on in the other formation programs we examined and studied. Orange uses videos, Scripture, activities, and group discussions to help present in different ways and from different perspectives ways what it means to have and to live faith. Each group (elementary, middle, and high school) learns at a different pace and using different resources, but all the levels are teaching the same basic material precisely to help families with children at different levels have a common discussion where each can participate in some way.  

A huge added value to the Orange program and curriculum was the great resources for parents. These resources provide a summary of the child’s formation session to help parents understand the goal and method for each session.  More than that, though, there were resources for parents to serve as conversation starters, reflection questions for both children and parents, life examples, etc., all to help parents unpack with their children what was presented in the formation session. These resources are provided weekly via email directly to parents and include links and references to other resources. 

As good as Orange is, though, it cannot capture the richness of our Catholic faith and traditions. So many share so fondly with me their memories of learning about the Mass, the saints, the Stations of the Cross. All of these practices add to what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and provide us with the means to encounter Christ as Catholics. To that end, I am excited that half of our sessions will be teaching these Catholic Traditions, again in a way that is exciting and engaging. In these sessions, we seek to give both an experience of the Catholic traditions and the essential teachings that ground them. Each will be an informal introduction to what we believe as Catholics and ground the activities of so many of our devotions and traditions. I will be present for these sessions, and I am so eager to be an active part of this formation.  

The Orange series on encountering Christ and on serving others complements well the addition and integration of our expressly Catholic traditions and teachings. Both help to ground our formation of strong Catholic disciples solidly on knowing and serving Jesus Christ amid today’s many challenges. This is an active process, though, and we work hard to create an environment that allows each session to be a step forward in the process. A large part of the formation comes with each one helping the other and group discussion is essential. Necessarily this involves the regular, constant attendance of each child. I ask you, I urge you to make it a priority for your child to attend each and every session.  We have limited the actual number of sessions by increasing the time of each session so that these are not as burdensome on families with so many other obligations. It is our hope that you can appreciate the efforts we are taking to reach out and improve and make exciting both the content and the methods of our formation session. Even more, it is our hope that in appreciating the value of what we offer, you can make attendance a priority amid so many other things on your calendar. 

Again, I apologize for taking so long to get this registration out to you. If you have any questions or problems, please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Hassaine by email at mhassaine@hfccmd.org at (301) 473-4800x114 or myself by email at pastor@hfccmd.org or by phone at (301)473-4800x111.

 

I remain,

 

Yours in Christ, 

 

 

(Rev. Msgr.) Robert J. Jaskot 

Pastor 

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Faith Formation Registration

Registration for 2022 - 2023 Faith Formation for grades K - 5, grades 6 -8, and grades 9-12 is now open!  You only need to fill out the registration form once for the entire school year. Please note however that the Liability Form  for all Faith Formation Participants will be needed again in 2023. Please also note there are separate registrations required for sacramental preparation. See below for more info on who should register for Sacramental Preparation. See below for information specific to grades K-5. Spring 2023 Faith Formation dates are TBA, but will likely run from February to May of 2023.

 

If you're unable to register online, or need a scholarship, please contact Matthew Hassaine, coordinator of Faith Formation.  

 

If you have any questions, please contact Matthew! Click the links below to get started!

K-12 Faith Formation Registration

1st Reconciliation and 1st Holy Communion Registration

Confirmation Preparation Registration

2022 Liability Form

FALL SCHEDULE

Sacramental Preparation

Children in or beginning 2nd grade and up are invited to begin preparation for 1st Reconciliation and 1st Holy Communion. Our first parent-child workshop for 1st Reconciliation and Holy Communion will be: Tuesday, October 25th from 6:30-7:30 PM. We will meet 4 times for Reconciliation and 4 times for Holy Communion, and families will use videos and an activity book to prepare the children at home. You can view the preparation materials here.

Teens in or beginning 10th grade and up are invited to begin preparation for Confirmation. Our first Confirmation Preparation session will be: Wednesday, November 16th from 7 - 8:30 PM. Parents are asked to attend the first meeting as well. 

 

Archbishop Lori asks that prior to beginning sacramental preparation, children should have completed at least one year of a faith formation program.

 

Sacraments can be received even if past the "usual" period, and we will work with you and your family to prepare you or your child for Baptism, 1st Reconciliation and Eucharist, or Confirmation! 

 

Please contact Matthew Hassaine, coordinator of Sacramental Preparation with any questions!

Grades K-5

Parents of children in grades K-5, please note that we're going to be having lunch in the classroom! Please pack your child something to eat for lunch during our regular sessions! 

Please also keep in mind that our K-5 Faith Formation program uses the KidCheck system to check the kids in and out. If you aren't already signed up, you can go here to get started. 

About the Program

In our K-12 Faith Formation program, we partner with Orange curriculum specialists to make Church matter! Our goal is to get what we do as a community and what families do in the home to sync up and help create a vibrant, strong, every day faith in our young people. You can read more about this approach here and here on the Orange website.