WELCOME to our St. Gabriel ‘s Religious Education/Faith Formation program! We now prefer 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 and 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 OWN practice of the faith is very IMPORTANT. You are giving a 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 9 and 10. Anna Updike is the assistant to Jean, and is the Coordinator for Grades 6 through 8.
For this 2021-2022 school year, classes for Grades 2 and 3 are in person only. Grades 1, 4, and 5 will have the options for in person or home-school. Father Patryk Sobczyk will conduct 3 extra sacramental classes in preparation for those children making their First Reconciliation and First Communion. These will be in person classes.
EDGE is our program for Grades 6, 7 and 8. Grades 9 and 10 complete 2 years of Confirmation preparation (as per diocesan requirements), with LIFETEEN for Grade 9, and a more intensive Confirmation prep for Grade 10. 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 8, helpful resources are available on our website and through 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 and reference checks. We are proud that 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 at 716-688-2070 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!