MISSION AND GOALS
Our mission is:
• to support the religious education that occurs at home
• to foster enthusiasm for living the Catholic faith
• to give witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
· to encourage family participation in the life of the Church
Our goals are:
• to teach the Catholic faith
• to encourage a commitment to Jesus Christ
• to create a community spirit that inspires active participation in parish life
· to encourage prayer which leads to a deeper relationship with God
FIRST RECONCILIATION AND FIRST EUCHARIST
Children are usually in grade 2 when they receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. According to the regulations of the Diocese of Bridgeport, a child must attend classes in a catechetical program for at least two years prior to receiving a Sacrament. Therefore, a child must complete one full year of Religious Education classes either in a parish Religious Education Program or in a Catholic school before beginning immediate preparation for the reception of First Eucharist.
Children who have not met the Diocesan requirements will be placed in a class appropriate to his/her age. The following year the child will be placed in the First Eucharist Class. Children are required to attend classes regularly with no more than three (3) absences. First Eucharist Classes meet on Tuesdays, from 4:15-5:15pm
Students are in grade 9 when they celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation. Attendance in both grades 7 and 8 is required for students to enter the Confirmation Class. Students in Catholic Schools are the exception. Students who have not attended formal religious education classes for two or more years are required to attend the Bridges to faith class in addition to the regular grade 7 class.
Responsibilities of Parents
Ours is a rigorous program therefore parents must be aware of their responsibility as primary teachers of the Catholic faith. We, at St Mary, assist rather than replace the duty of parents to teach the faith to their children.
In order to promote the faith-filled growth of the child, parents are required to:
† Attend Mass weekly with the child and arrive on time
† Schedule all activities around Sunday Mass and class
† Pray daily with the child
† Attend all parent meetings and family activities
† Be familiar with the contents of this handbook and schedule
† Read the weekly bulletin to keep current with activities
† Assist the child with weekly assignments and make sure they are submitted
† Remind the child of student responsibilities
Responsibilities of Students
† Respect the sanctity (holiness) of the church
† Respect teachers and classmates
† Respect for property and the learning atmosphere
† Comply with the dress code, dress with dignity and appropriately for Mass
† Complete all assignments on time
Responsibilities of the Director
† Ensure a safe, prayerful place of learning for all students
† Ensure everyone is treated in a Christian manner; fairly and with compassion
† Ensure children are prepared to receive the sacraments
† Ensure the confidentiality of family files
† Ensure Catechists notify parents immediately of unacceptable behavior
Parents are required to attend all of the few meetings scheduled. Please see the calendar.
It is vital that parents participate in these meetings so that they are current with the activities in the classroom. Meetings assist parents with the faith education occurring at home.
We have found that parents who do not attend the sessions are unaware of requirements for reception of the sacraments and often miss important deadlines much to the detriment of the child's progress.
We cannot offer one on one make up meetings. We begin on time and rarely go over one hour. Please arrive on time so as not to miss any information.
Causes for Parent Conference or Dismissal
Children who continually disrupt the class by any the following but not limited to:
making jokes or rude or insulting remarks
demeaning others in any way
using vulgar language
inappropriately adding to the discussion
refusing to participate
will be dismissed if after a parent conference the behavior continues.
Children who hit anyone or physically bully anyone will be dismissed immediately.
("I was only kidding." is not accepted.)
Bullying is prohibited in all Faith Formation/Religious Education settings in the Diocese of Bridgeport. It must not be tolerated before, during and after Faith Formation classes. This includes any activity, meeting , rehearsal and liturgical celebration as well as any off site, sponsored activities.
Bullying and intimidation are actions that are contrary to the teaching of Jesus Christ. This behavior is against the fundamental tenet of “love your neighbor as yourself,” and destroys respect for the dignity of the student, undermines the Christian atmosphere of the Faith Formation sessions. Bullying deprives the student of a safe and caring learning environment.
Bullying is defined as any overt acts by a student or a group of students directed against another student with the intent to ridicule, humiliate or intimidate the other student while on parish grounds or at a parish sponsored activity where acts against are repeated against the same student over time. Bullying includes physical intimidation or assault, extortion, oral or written threats, teasing, putdowns, name calling, threatening looks, gestures or actions, cruel rumors, false accusations, and social isolation. The manner in which the bulling occurs includes written intimidation, text messages, inappropriate photos and social media postings.
1. Students may report acts of bullying anonymously to their teacher or the Director of Religious Education. Parents/guardians of students may make written reports of acts of bullying.
2. Any school or parish that receives an anonymous report from a student, or a written report by a parent/guardian shall investigate such report. Any student who retaliates against another for reporting bullying may be subject to the consequences listed below.
Upon learning about a bullying incident, the Director or his/her designee shall thoroughly investigate the circumstances. This investigation may include interviews with students, parents, and school or Catetechical staff, review of school records, and identification of parent and family issues.
Bullying incidents that demand dismissal from the Religious Education program shall be reported to the Pastor
If it is concluded that an act of bullying has occurred, the parents/guardians of the
student who committed such acts, and the parents/guardians of students against whom such acts were directed shall be notified. Consequences for students who bully others shall depend on the result of the investigation and may include a parent conference. Depending on the severity of the incident, or the series of incidents, the Director may also take appropriate steps to ensure student safety. These may include implementing a safety plan, separating and supervising the students involved, providing staff support for students when necessary, reporting incidents to law enforcement if appropriate, developing a supervision or dismissal from St. Mary Religious Education.