Catechetical Correspondence Program
Catechetical Correspondence Program at St Mary of the Visitation Parish seeks to provide parents with the tools to be the first teachers of the faith. It seeks to provide the young people of the parish with experiences of Church and help prepare them to receive the Sacraments and grow in their Catholic faith.
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Who is it for?
The Catechetical Correspondence Program is parent-child interactive, designed to assist families with children from Kindergarten through Grade Eight. There are also Enrichment Courses for High School students.
Children may be in public schools, may be home-schooled, or in Montessori or French Immersion, or for valid reasons are unable to attend Catholic Schools.
How does it work?
This home-school approach to faith development helps families grow together in their faith so that what is learned becomes what is lived in the family. Parents work closely with their children, and very often this quality time together becomes a wonderful opportunity for special bonding. For these reasons some parents of children in the Catholic Schools also register, and some adults, as well, are asking for programs to update their faith.
Guided by program selected by the Religious Education Office of the Diocese of Hamilton, and directed by a parish based a volunteer catechist, parents are asked to work with their children thru a series of home based lessons. These lessons each have an opportunity for their child to complete a series of questions which are returned to the parish and reviewed by our catechist who offers comments or suggestions.
The lessons are placed in the sacristy of the Church in a designated drop off and pick up location where each child has their own personal folder accessed only by the child, their family, our catechist and our pastor. All materials are dropped off and picked up on the Lord’s Day at Church.
Are there any group activities?
We hope to have a few opportunities for all of the families and children involved to participate in some group activities and celebrations. For example, having the children participate at one of our seasonal 9:30a.m. Children’s Mass or maybe a year end celebration for all involved. Details of these types of activities will unfold with time. We usually offer a few group sessions as part of preparation for Holy Communion and Confirmation; these are discussed by you with our catechist.
Is there a cost and how do I register?
Presently the registration fee is $40.00 per course. Families who register more than two children pay no more than $90.00. Ordinarily, payment of courses is made before material is sent out. A Registration Form must be completed and returned to our Pastor during one of the Lord’s Masses, he will then have our parish catechist contact you about picking up materials and beginning the process.
Upon completion, what is the next step?
When your child has completed a course, they receive a certificate from the parish. This is especially important for students preparing to receive First Reconciliation/First Eucharist or Confirmation as we insist that students complete their courses prior to the reception of these sacraments.
What exactly are the courses?
Students receive a text book and worksheets to guide them through the course for the year. Lessons can be completed in approximately eight months. Certificates are issued for courses satisfactorily completed.
GOD MADE THE WORLD – Kindergarten: Inspires five year olds to wonder and marvel at God's world. 26 chapters.
GOD LOVES US – Program One: Invites young believers into a personal encounter with God. 26 chapters.
JESUS SHARES GOD’S LIFE – Program Two: An excellent program to prepare for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. 26 chapters.
WE ARE THE CHURCH – Program Three: Emphasis is placed on the Holy Spirit and on the importance of Mass. 26 chapters.
GOD’S LAW GUIDES US – Program Four: Explores in depth the Beatitudes and Ten Commandments 26 chapters.
WE MEET JESUS IN THE SACRAMENTS – Program Five: The Sacraments are presented as signs in which Jesus meets with us. The seven Sacraments are developed in detail. 26 chapters.
WE ARE GODS PEOPLE – Program Six: Invites young believers into a deeper understanding of God's Word in the Bible. 26 chapters.
NEW TESTAMENT – Program Seven: Presents a course on Jesus Christ and His Disciples, 16 chapters
ENRICHMENT COURSES FOR HIGH SCHOOL : Sadlier's Faith and Witness Series : Liturgy and Worship, New Testament, Morality, Creed, Church History. 16 chapters.
Are there special programs during sacramental years; First Communion, Confirmation for example?
Yes, we provide special worksheets to guide them through this preparation. Certificates are issued for courses satisfactorily completed.
BAPTISM : The program Christian Initiation of Older Children is designed for a parent to help an unbaptized child of catechetical age become a full member of the church.
FIRST RECONCILIATION AND FIRST EUCHARIST : Program Two, " Jesus Shares God’s Life", is required. In addition, if your child has had little or no previous instruction we recommend Program One first. The Kindergarten Program is optional. Our Catholic Faith is a review of the faith and also a good preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist for junior grade students.
CONFIRMATION : Confirmed in the Spirit is a challenging but excellent program. It is recommended that, prior to the year of preparation for Confirmation, students will have completed Program Four, the Commandments, as well as Program Five, the Sacraments.
Our parish also offers various other activities during the Sacramental Years:
For more information on our Catechetical Correspondence Program contact Father Freitas.