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Family Formation (preschool through grade 6)

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.

Online registration for 2021-2022 is closed as we prepare the online registration for 2022-2023. Please contact Lisa Schmidt the Faith Formation Office at 515-440-1030 to discuss Faith Formation needs.

On May 12, 2021 the Faith Formation staff shared the plan for 2021-22, answered questions, and listened to concerns. Watch the replay at the link below.

Come and See Replay

Helpful Links

Schedule for Families

Schedule for Catechists

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 6. 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. Family Formation replaces the weekly Wednesday evening elementary classes.

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-6 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. 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.


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 or request to set up a payment plan.

Payment will be applied to your family’s account after October 12 through the parish’s FACTS payment system. If you do not have a SFA FACTS account, please review FACTS Instructions (PDF) for the steps to set one up.

For more information, contact Lisa Schmidt, Director of Faith Formation at 515-440-1030.