Family Faith Formation Overview
FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION VISIT: Family Faith Formation Registration
Family Faith Formation (F3) refers to the program offered to families with children in Elementary and Middle School, including those seeking First Holy Communion.
FAMILY FAITH FORMATION CALENDARS
Our first F3 Session of the year (our first gathering when we begin the year) will be Tuesday, October 5 or Wednesday, October 6* (depending on your choice of day).
* Note: this start date is a change from the original Sept dates due to late registrations.
FAMILY FAITH FORMATION VISION
Philosophy (Why We Do It This Way)
We first learn about God and live according to God’s teachings in our family:
“Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other forms of instruction in the faith. Parents have the mission of teaching their children to pray and to discover their vocation as children of God. The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 2226)
Faith is not an academic subject. Faith is a relationship, a series of relationships in fact: with God, with family, with community. As a parish, we provide families a place to gather, a story to learn, a prayer life to grow, a set of teachings to embrace, and Sacraments to celebrate Jesus alive and real in our lives. As a Faith Formation Department, we offer this program as the best way to meet these responsibilities (as described above in Purposes of Family Faith Formation).
Scope (Who Is This For)
The full Family Faith Formation (F3) Program offers growth in faith to all families with children in grades 1-8. For those children who have not received First Holy Communion, the Sacrament Preparation process in the Diocese of Venice takes two years. Thus, a family with children in need of Sacraments participates for two years, with First Holy Communion usually happening in May of the second year. For any family wanting to continue to grow in faith together, they are welcome to continue participating with us until their youngest child enters grade 9.
Other Faith Formation Programs for Children
These programs are not described in detail here because they involve the sacramental preparation of older youth and are administered outside the Family Faith Formation program run on weeknights as described here.
Confirmation: Confirmation Program for Children who have received Eucharist and are in Grades 9+
Click here for more information about our Confirmation program.
Initiation: Sacrament Program for Baptized Children in Grades 8+ in need of Communion
RCIA-Y (Rite of Christian Initiation adapted for Youth): Initiation Program for Unbaptized Children in Grades 8+
If you have children in these circumstances (qualifying for Initiation or RCIA-Y), email [email protected]) for more information on these programs.
Family-based (How This Works)
Our Family Faith Formation program is family-based. In other words, it does NOT involve a classroom. Thus, we enroll families into the program, not children.
OPTION 1: F3 at Church (Tuesdays OR Wednesdays)
Twice a month, families attend Sessions in the Church, most months on the first and third weeks of each month. In the first session, parents gather for a lesson while the children are separated into age appropriate groups and led through a lesson by catechists. Everyone learns about the same thing at the same time so all can share their experiences and growth together after the session. In the second session, the families stay together and complete the second lesson of the month as a family, also in the Church.
OPTION 2: F3 at Home
For families who prefer not to (or are not able to) attend the Church Sessions, they can register for F3 at Home. For these families, the parents will attend a monthly online teleconference (likely a Zoom meeting) for their lesson. They will then be expected to lead their children through the two monthly lessons at home. After completing each one, the family will go online and complete a digital form describing what they did and answering some questions about their experiences.
Our Bishop (of the Diocese of Venice in Florida) has determined that all preparation for the reception of Sacraments by youth be a two-year process. Thus, if your child has yet to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion he or she will need to complete a full year of F3 and then in the second year be invited to participate in our Blessed Program. More information about that can be found here (link coming soon).
While all our catechesis is performed in English (by Diocesan rule) we recognize the fact that many of our families are bilingual, with parents or guardians speaking and reading primarily Spanish while the children speak and read English. To better include Spanish-speaking parents and guardians in their children’s faith formation process we have chosen a program available in both English or Spanish. If a family wishes to receive the materials in Spanish, they can indicate that desire in their registration.
Program Calendar: October to May
Church Session Day: Tuesday OR Wednesday (two times a month)
Church Session Time: 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
PARTICIPATION: 50/50 Pledge
We, the parish leaders of St. Andrew Parish, make the following promises to your family:
(1) We will offer a quality Faith Formation program that is approved by the local bishop and faithful to Church teaching.
(2) We will provide the necessary training for the catechists to carry out their work in our parish.
(3) We will provide opportunities for your family to deepen your Catholic faith by participating in parish life.
(4) Our staff and catechists will live out the Gospel values that our church teaches so we are appropriate models of the faith for the children.
Our family promises the following to the best of our ability:
(1) We will attend and actively participate, as a family, in Sunday Mass on a regular basis.
(2) We will attend Sessions, make up any missed sessions (only 2 absences allowed), and support our child(ren)'s faith at home.
(3) We will participate fully and respect the time and efforts of catechists, volunteers and staff. We will also communicate any special needs or circumstances that may affect our child's participation.
We ask that all families agree to this 50/50 Pledge in their registration.
The ministry of Family Faith Formation could not exist without the dedicated team of volunteers who generously give of their time, talents, and love every week. More important than any expertise, certification, education, or preparation, we want volunteers who love Jesus, pray and attend Mass, enjoy children, and try to live the best they can. In other words, if you attempt to live a good Catholic life, you qualify! The rest, we can teach you. If you would spend some time thinking about and (more importantly) praying about the following roles in our program, we’d appreciate it.
More information coming soon!
In order to work with children in a church in the Diocese of Venice, all adult volunteers must pay for and undergo a criminal background check as well as attend a two-hour Safe Environment Training class. For more information, contact the Faith Formation Office.
Back to Family Faith Formation Main Page
Or if you need the Family Faith Formation Registration