At Saint Christopher, we aim to make saints!
The primary goal of our Children’s Formation is to help parents raise saints who love Jesus Christ, His Church, and their neighbor. In short, we seek to support, equip, and encourage parents to help their children Meet Christ, Follow Christ, and Bear Christ. We do this in by focusing on 3 core values:
1. Equipping and Supporting Parents
We know that the greatest influence in a child’s life are his parents. The task of raising saints (while striving for holiness ourselves) can be daunting, and even the best Religious Education classes can only support the formation a child receives every day from her parents and family. Through our Emmaus program and Adult Formation, we equip and support parents in this task by helping them grow in holiness, providing a community of other parents for guidance and support, and by sharing tips and tricks for passing on the Catholic Faith in all areas of life.
2. Focusing on the Holy Mass and the Eucharist
Jesus, fully present in the Holy Eucharist, is the source and summit of our Faith – the place from which all blessings flow, and the final destination of our life. God knew how important the Mass would be for our journey in this life, and so He commands us to come to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. But we don’t merely want our children and their parents showing up when God expects us to (although we DO want that, as well!). We want each child and each parent to encounter Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, every Sunday. To do that, we focus on helping everyone understand why we do what we do at Mass, how to pray the Mass more deeply, and making our Masses welcoming and hospitable for all God’s children.
3. Providing top-notch Religious Education as a support to a child’s wider formation
Saint Christopher has long held a reputation for being one of the best Religious Education programs in the area. By utilizing excellent methods and textbooks (Ignatius Press’ Faith and Life series), our children are firmly grounded in the truths of our Catholic Faith. We also strive to serve the individual child and their place on the journey of faith. Because of that, we do not offer traditional “grade-level” classes for children. Instead, we offer 4 levels, each of which take place over 2 year cycles.
- Catechesis of the Good Shepherd – this program is for 3 and 4 year-olds and is rooted in Scripture, the Liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori.
- Foundations of Faith – This level is the foundation of Religious Education, where children focus on learning the basics of who God is, what the Bible teaches us, and how we relate to God and our neighbor. Because of its foundational quality, all children start at this level. In the middle of year 2, focus will shift towards preparing for the Sacrament of Confession.
- Signs of Grace – Children who complete both years of Foundations of Faith (or demonstrate their mastery of its concepts and goals) move into Signs of Grace, which focuses on the Sacraments, the most direct access we have to God’s grace in our lives. In year 1, children will prepare for and receive the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist (provided they meet the minimum canonical age of 7). In year 2, children will “look back” at the Sacraments in a new way, having now received these signs of grace.
- Salvation History – Children who complete both years of Signs of Grace (or demonstrate their mastery of its concepts and goals) move on to Salvation History, where they will focus on the whole story of the Bible. Salvation History tells our story of Faith, identifying Jesus as the culmination and fulfillment of all human history. Along the way, children will come to know the great figures of our past and how they can inspire and instruct us on how to follow Jesus as his disciples.
Registration is now open for Religious Education for the 2019-2020 school year! This year we will have online registration for all PreK-12 Religious Education Programs, including sacramental preparation. See the registration link and additional information below. Similar information can also be found in the registration packets that are available in...
This year at St. Christopher Parish we were excited to launch our Emmaus Day program, a time for the whole parish to come together to pray, socialize, and dive into our Catholic Faith. Now that our Emmaus Days are finished for the school year, our staff is taking a step...
Level I (3K – 4K preschoolers) The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach to the religious forma!on of children. It is rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. Children gather in an “atrium,” a room prepared for them, which contains...