Family Formation (preschool through grade 5)

Family Formation is a family-based catechetical program that helps families grow in the transforming love of God by understanding and living the Catholic Faith. Family Formation combines monthly Classroom Lessons with weekly Home Lessons.

The Classroom Lessons are typically held the first Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7pm.

Faith Formation 2022-23 Registration*

*Families can complete one registration for all students participating in Faith Formation programs (Family Formation, Preparation for First Reconciliation & First Communion, Preparation for Confirmation and Youth Ministry).

Program notes

  • Preschool children must be 3 years old and potty-trained by Sept 15, 2022.
  • Students registered for Family Formation after Sept 5 are not guaranteed a spot in the monthly classroom session. However, families will receive online classroom adaptations to complete at home.

Contact the Faith Formation Office at: 515-440-1030, for more information.


Helpful Links

Tentative Calendar for 2022-23

Faith Formation Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Registration

FACTS (For Faith Formation Payment)

FACTS Instructions (PDF)


Why Family Formation?

A careful reading through the documents of the Catholic Church quickly reveals the Church’s great expectations for the family.

“Parents are the primary educators in the faith.” (General Directory for Catechesis 255)

“Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith.” (Catechism 2226)

The right and duty of parents to give education is essential … original and primary … and it is irreplaceable and incapable of being entirely delegated to others.” (Familiaris Consortio, 36)

The Church recognizes the limitations in attempting to catechize children if their parents are not involved in the process. By evangelizing parents to realize what the Church is asking of them, and giving them support and encouragement in their mission, we are answering the Church’s call.

In a nutshell, this is what Family Formation accomplishes. Adult catechesis teaches and encourages parents and allows them to have the “know-how” to share the beauty of the Catholic Faith and bring their children to Jesus.


What is Family Formation?

A tried and true teaching resource, Family Formation is designed for parishes and families with children in preschool through grade 5. Family Formation promotes parents as the primary educators of their children in the Catholic Faith. The curriculum was developed over many years by regular parents. The lessons transmit solid Catholic teaching and bring the Faith to life within the family.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Written by parents for use in families
  • Flexible and time friendly
  • Follows the three-year liturgical cycle
  • Driven by Sacred Scripture
  • Faithful to the teaching of the Magisterium
  • References the Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Approved curriculum for parish faith formation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Main Components

  1. Students in grades PK-5 meet in classes once a month, divided by grade level, where trained catechists present the lessons.
  2. At the same time, parents gather as a separate group where they are catechized, encouraged, and equipped to share the monthly lessons with their children in the home.
  3. Separate tracks are in place for sacramental preparation. All parish families with children receiving First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion preparation will participate in Family Formation.
  4. Catechist training is held once a month.

What Family Formation is not

Family Formation does not replace other parish catechetical programs such as Catechesis of the Good Shephard, Youth Ministry, or Confirmation sacramental preparation. Those programs will continue to be offered in addition to Family Formation with the same passion: to make Jesus known!


How Classroom Lessons Work

Families gather together in the parish once a month (typically the first Wednesday of the month, 5:30-7:00pm). Using the lessons provided, trained catechists teach the children in grade-level classrooms while parents attend an adult teaching on the same topic.

Parents are then provided all the Home Lesson materials needed for the rest of the month to teach the Faith to their family.

Through this time together as a parish, families are supported not only by parish staff, but by other families who are also undertaking the same task of raising their children in the Faith.


How Home Lessons Work

At the heart of Family Formation is the home. Weekly Home Lessons provide the backbone for children’s spiritual formation and cover all the major principles of the Catholic Faith.

By devoting approximately one hour per week throughout the school year, fully incorporating the Catholic Faith will soon become a way of life for families.

Lessons include hands-on activities for the whole family, memory verses, audios, stories, games, and booklets to aid families in developing traditions that integrate the liturgical seasons of the Church.


Fees

The fee for Family Formation is $150 per family. This fee covers the cost of materials for the home lessons. If paying the registration fee presents a hardship for your family, you can complete the Fee Assistance Form.

Fees will be invoiced via your FACTS account by October 18. If you do not have a St. Francis FACTS account, please review FACTS Instructions (PDF) for the steps to set one up prior to invoicing.


Volunteers

Many volunteers are needed to help Faith Formation programming run smoothly. Adult Catechists receive free Faith Formation (Family Formation, CGS, and Youth Ministry) tuition for their children. Teen volunteers receive service hours. Please view the list of Volunteer Roles Needed.

If you are interested in sharing your time and talents with our youth, please complete the volunteer registration or contact the Faith Formation Office at 515-440-1030.