Faith Formation

“…each member has ‘his own special gift,’ as Saint Paul teaches. Although this ‘gift’ is a personal vocation and form of participation in the Church’s saving work, it also serves others, builds the Church and the fraternal communities in this various spheres of human life on earth.” ~Blessed John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis (Redeemer of Man)

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Monday nights from 6:15-7:30 p.m. (Traditional Classroom, grades 1-8)
Catechist: Catechists provide instruction and formation of the Catholic Faith for children grades 1-8 who do not attend St. Thomas the Apostle School. Catechists are expected to spend at least an hour per week preparing for class sessions, as well as participating in various Catechist Formation and Diocesan Certification opportunities throughout the year. Diocesan requirements for VIRTUS training and a background check are a must.

Catechist Aide: Volunteer Classroom Aides/Helpers provide assistance for catechists during class time for our Monday night Religious Education program. Assistance would include: preparing the environment for weekly classes, clean up and classroom management. Diocesan requirements for VIRTUS training and a background check are a must.

CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Monday nights, 6:15-7:30 p.m. (Atria, grades P3-6)
Catechist: Catechists for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program provide religious formation for children grades P-3 through 6th. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program is a Montessori based method to religious education and formation of children which takes place in a specially prepared environment called the “atrium”. The unique approach of catechesis for this program requires that catechists be specifically trained and certified. Diocesan requirements for VIRTUS training and a background check are a must.

Catechist Aides: Provides assistance for catechists during the weekly formation sessions. Assistance would include: preparing the environment for weekly classes, clean up and classroom management. Diocesan requirements for VIRTUS training and a background check are a must.

Monday Night Religious Education and Formation – Parent Volunteer Form

SUNDAY SCHOOL
Catechists: Sunday School catechists share Bible stories (typically one from the Sunday readings), prayer and an art activity with our young children, ages 3, 4, and 5 years old. Sunday School meets during the 9:00 a.m. Mass, from mid-September up to the first Sunday of May. Catechists are asked to be in their classrooms at least 20 minutes before classes begin. Additional time is spent preparing for each week’s lesson. Initial training is given in late August/early September. Catechists are also expected to participate in various Catechist Formation and Diocesan Certification opportunities throughout the year. Diocesan requirements for VIRTUS training and a background check are a must.

Catechist Aides: Provides assistance for catechists during the weekly Sunday School sessions. Assistance would include: preparing the environment for weekly classes, clean up and classroom management. Diocesan requirements for VIRTUS training and a background check are a must.

RCIA CATECHIST
Catechists assist individuals on an initiation journey towards becoming Catholic. Catechists meet with our candidates and catechumens to share the faith, pray the Scriptures, and study the Biblical message, all sharing the Catholic tradition and their own stories of faith. We are looking to build our Team! Your gifts and talents to share with others on this journey are important and beneficial to those going through the RCIA process to have dialogue with a variety of Catechists. Please consider this invitation.

Catechists for Inquiry/Precatechumenate sessions are held twice a month with a rotation of catechists once every four to six weeks. Each session is an hour and a half in length. Catechists for the Catechumenate team facilitate weekly Sunday morning sessions for an hour and a half. Rotation cycle is typically once every four to six weeks as well. Training is ongoing, and committed catechists are afforded opportunities for institute experiences of the National Forum on the Catechumenate. Catechists are also expected to participate in various Catechist Formation and Diocesan Certification opportunities throughout the year,

RCIA SPONSOR
The role of a sponsor is to accompany individuals who are preparing to become Catholic. These individuals represent the parish community of Saint Thomas the Apostle as they introduce our candidates and catechumens to the Catholic way of life. The time commitment of a sponsor varies depending on the journey of each companion. The commitment of time may extend for several months or well over a year. Sponsors are asked to be present with the candidate/catechumen for continued reflection and discussion of the Word after Sunday Mass. Sponsors are also encouraged to maintain consistent contact with their companion through their journey of formation.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a week-long, morning only, adventure each summer which brings the Bible alive for youth ages 4 years old through 12 years old/in 6th grade. Activities include: Bible discussions, crafts, drama, games, snacks, and song. Many adult volunteers are needed through the week (9 a.m. – 12: noon) to make VBS a success. VBS is usually scheduled for the last week in June. The VBS Leadership Team coordinates the actual organization of the week beginning in January of the program year. The Leaders follow prepared lesson plans, receive ongoing guidance from the directors, and both directors and volunteer leaders are expected to participate in various Catechist Formation and Diocesan Certification opportunities throughout the year. Diocesan requirements for VIRTUS training and a background check are a must.

YOUTH MINISTRY
Core Team Members- Adult men or women, at least 19 years of age, who are interested in helping us plan nights for the middle or high school youth. This can be in many capacities and involves a once a month planning session and Sunday night youth group involvement. We are in need of a variety of helpers with leading talks, small group leadership, game planning, and service project coordination.

Youth Leaders- Guys or gals in their junior or senior year of high school looking to lead small group discussions or activities for the youth group. These teens help choose themes for events and are assistants to the Core Team Members.

Hospitality Member- Coordinates snack on youth group nights with setting and cleaning up snack. These members can also coordinate what we have for our fellowship time within budget or with donation of items