Preschool to 6th Grade Religious Education
- Catechesis (knowledge of the faith)
- Apostolic Works – Service projects that help children learn about what needs there are in our community and how to respond to them
- Children’s Liturgy of the Word – which gives children an opportunity to encounter the scriptures at an age appropriate level
Since the beginning of religious education at Newman, parents have been the primary teachers of our children. In the late 60’s and early 70’s, parents taught various age groups in their homes on Wednesday nights. As the parish grew and the program began to operate out of the Newman Center, parents realized that those who wanted their children involved with religious education had to take responsibility for their instruction. The first religious education director was not hired until 1986. The staff member then, as now, served as a resource person and consultant. But the program remained a parent-led one and it still is!
A parent-led program is extremely valuable for three reasons:
- It models to children that religious education really is important to their parents
- Parents learn when teaching their children
- Parents get to know the families in their child’s grade
Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Grade Disciples
SEND meets at the Newman Center from 7:00 until 8:30 pm. The Newman Center’s connection to the SCSU campus means a group of young adults will help lead the junior high students, accompanied by seasoned catechists from Saint Mary’s and St. Augustine’s and with supervision from the Director of Faith Formation.
This program will focus on three elements: Prayer, Relationships, and Education.
One important part of forming Christians is developing a sense of the importance of service. For this reason, part of the education of the junior high disciples will be to attend service sites (such as Salvation Army, Benet Place etc. ) four times a year to learn more about what it means to serve the broader community from a Christian standpoint. Again, SEND is in need of your prayers and support as we attempt to engage our junior high youth at such a critical time in their lives!
The Sacrament is often an invitation for others to grow further as Disciples. Confirmation is the completion of the sacrament of Baptism.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
The RCIA journey begins in the fall of the year, culminates with celebrating the Sacraments of Welcome (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) on our most holiest night, the Easter Vigil, and continues on post-Easter with a period of mystagogia, a time of delving deeper into the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, reflecting together what a lifetime of faith as a disciple of Christ calls us to. Catholics believe that conversion to Jesus Christ is a lifelong and ongoing process. Each person on this journey is asked to think about a sponsor, someone they would like to have accompany them on this journey. The sponsor serves as a mentor, a person of faith, and must be a confirmed Catholic. Newman helps a person find a sponsor if one is needed.
This way of bringing adult believers into the Church, reinstated by Vatican II in the mid-sixties, is closest to what the earliest Church did in the first centuries of the Church. And that’s pretty exciting. The US Bishops say that RCIA is “renewing the life of the Church in the United States” and that it must continue to be a priority in our parishes.
Whether you were raised in a different faith tradition and are thinking of converting to Catholicism or grew up Catholic and simply missed the Sacrament of Confirmation, we’d like to tell you about our RCIA program.
Interested? Contact our Director of Parish Life and Campus Ministry by clicking on the “Register Online” link below!