WELCOME to our St. Gabriel ‘s Religious Education/Faith Formation program! You may have noticed that we’ve begun using the term “Faith Formation” rather than “Religious Ed.”, because this more accurately speaks to our program goals. We are not merely trying to instill knowledge, facts, and history of our Faith - although these are important - the larger goal is to help your child learn about and fall in love with Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! We hope for your precious young person(s) to make a personal, heartfelt choice to become a lifelong DISCIPLE of Jesus! Our Lord wants everyone to be HAPPY on earth and eternally with Him in Heaven. Following Jesus’ way of LOVE as true DISCIPLES will make the world a better place, and maximize love and happiness for EVERYONE!
When a Catholic couple marries, they promise to raise their children in our Catholic Faith as a sacred duty. PARENTS ARE THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT TEACHERS OF THEIR CHILDREN. Studies show that the greatest predictor of whether a child will continue to practice his/her faith as an adult is the faith commitment of the parents! So….assuming you want your children to have a strong faith, which will help them through the difficulties of life, and lead them to eternal life in Heaven, YOUR practice of the faith is VERYimportant. You are giving good example to your children, as well as growing in your own faith, by attending weekly Mass, going to Reconciliation, praying together, speaking about your faith at home, and if possible, volunteering for service in your community and/or parish.
Our Faith Formation program is meant to support parents in the Catholic education of their children. Our program is continuing to evolve. As of this school year, I am the Coordinator of lessons and activities for Grades 1 through 5. Jean Czerniak is our Director of Youth, and is the Coordinator for Grades 6 through 10. Our Office Manager, Sandy Bloom, supports the programs for all grades, and is an essential voice of wisdom and experience in our office. Anna Updike is the new (youthful) assistant to Jean for youth programs.
Our volunteer teachers for Grades 1 through 5 spend many hours planning lessons, organizing craft projects, devising little classroom plays and games, and planning other activities to engage the students. We are so grateful for them! We support our home schooling parents by offering guidance in use of the textbooks, conducting sacramental orientation meetings, and our ongoing availability to answer any questions or concerns. Most resources that are available for our classroom teachers are also available for use by home schooling families, (DVDs, storybooks, etc.) Just ask us if we can help you!
In 2017, Father Walter requested that we implement the EDGE program for Grades 6, 7 and 8, LIFETEEN for Grade 9, and a new Grade 10 Confirmation Preparation program. These programs for the higher grades are nontraditional, with goals of presenting Catholic teaching in ways that youth can understand, and building community among the young people. We are very proud of Jean Czerniak and her core team members for their dedication to bringing these programs to life in our parish! For home schooling parents of students in Grades 6 through 9, helpful resources are available in our office.
All of our staff, volunteer teachers, and core members are required by the Diocese to have ongoing Virtus “Protecting God’s Children” training, as well as criminal background checks. St. Gabriel’s is hard at work to ensure the safety of your children and young people.
If you ever have any questions or concerns, you are always welcome to call, or stop by our office during our office hours. THANK YOU for the Faith foundation you have already given to your children, and may God bless you for continuing to educate your children in our treasured Catholic Faith!