The Mission of Faith Formation is Life Long Catechesis. We are always in the process of learning about our faith and our God. Thus our Religious Education program is designed to assist parents, as the first and foremost teachers of the Faith, in bringing their children into full membership in the community. We view the formation of faith and conscience as a lifelong process that continues in the heart and home long after formal religion classes end. We encourage families to journey together toward a deeper relationship with God, and ask them to call on us to assist them on the journey.
We ask that families making use of Religious Education programs at St. Barnabas be registered in the Parish.
The Bishop of Trenton requires all persons desiring reception of Sacraments to have two consecutive years of preparation, and other classes in remote preparation, in order to receive. This means that in order for a child to receive Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Confirmation, he or she must attend First Grade through at least Eighth to be eligible to receive the Sacraments.
Just as in any school system, children need to attend each grade consecutively in order to receive their sacraments. Our Diocese does not allow skipping grades. Also, the Diocese requires at least twenty-nine class hours per year at each grade level to insure adequate time for instruction, therefore, any child who misses a significant number of classes may be retained in the grade, and/or sacramental reception may be delayed.
There is a fee for use of the programs for Religious Education. However, no one will be denied entry due to financial reasons.
Registration will take place at various times in the months of June, July, and August. A flyer announcing dates is sent home with the students at the year-end of the school year. The dates will also be announced in the bulletin, on our Church screens and on St. Barnabas' Facebook page.
All new students must provide a copy of a valid Baptismal Certificate at the time of registration. Transfer students must also have proof of attendance from their former program (transfer form/letter, or latest Catholic School Report Card) and communion certificate, if applicable.
There are no registrations taken during September. Late registrations will begin in October.
As members of Saint Barnabas Parish our love extends to all persons. This love calls us to proclaim the Kingdom of God in a special way to the children and families that our program embraces. The Church clearly teaches that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the source and summit of all we do, thus there is a strong empasis on and connection to Sunday Mass in all our classes. Please see the section below about Whole Community Catechesis, the Question of the Week and Mass Journals.
Reverence for persons motivates us to create an environment which promotes the development of a community of faith. Inspired by this reverence and supported by faith, we work with others in search of what is true, meaningful, and just.
Within our learning environment, we teach a curriculum, which emphasizes the values of the Gospel; we foster a spirit, which encourages daily prayer, Mass attendance and an appreciation for the Liturgy. Parents are most welcome to join their children during class time. We will be offering Adult Catechesis throughout the year. Since parents are the FIRST teachers in the way of the faith, we strongly encourage parents to attend and enjoy these sessions and assemblies. There will also be Parish Retreats offered throughout the year which are designed and given by fellow parishioners to enhance our relationship with Christ and one another. More information about these retreats will be forthcoming.
We believe our program leads all persons involved to a deeper conversion to the Gospel message, to love and commitment to the Church, and to active participation in the transformation of our world.
1. To provide opportunities to pray together, to participate at Mass and provide Whole Community Catechesis. (see the end of this section for more on Whole Community Catechesis and Mass Journals)
2. To foster sensitivity to the human needs of one another.
3. To develop a sense of parish community.
4. To teach Catholic faith to all students through doctrine.
5. To model gospel values in our contact with teachers, children, and parents.
6. To directly involve the parents in the Catholic formation of their children through special programs.
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM
Our program is gradual and continuous. It begins with Grade 1 and continues throughout life, thus we are now calling it "LIFELONG CATECHESIS.".
The Catechists are registered members of St. Barnabas Parish who have volunteered their time and talents to help in the religious education of the children of the parish. They are enthusiastic and dedicated to the work of the Church. (New teachers and workers are always needed. Should you wish to be a teacher, aide, etc., please call the office).
Our Whole Family/Whole Community Catechesis. This optional model of Religious Education is geared for the entire family. Since 2005, St. Barnabas has offered this model of Religious Education/Formation for the whole family. Families come together once a month for two hours. The first half hour is food and fellowship (at no extra cost) with prayer time together reflecting on the Sunday Gospel and readings. The children then go to their age appropriate classrooms while the parents stay for their own talk on the same subject that the children are learning about. Whole Family monthly sessions are now being offered throughout the week including Sundays. They fill up early, so we encourage you to register early.
PROGRAM SCHEDULE- All Classes meet twice each Month
Sundays: Whole Family Catechesis grades 1-6, 10:00 to 12:00am; 1:30 to 3:30p.m.
Mondays: Whole Family Catechesis grades 1-6, 5:00 to 7:00pm
Tuesdays: Whole Family Catechesis grades 1-6, 5:00 to 7:00pm
Wednesdays & Thursdays: Traditional classes grades 1-6, 6:00-7:30pm
Registration in the parish is required before admission to St. Barnabas Religious Education program.
First time registrants are asked to bring a copy of their baptismal certificate at the time of registration. This is required even if the child was baptized at St. Barnabas.
There are several times for registration June - August: Times will be published in the Church Bulletin, on Church screens and St. Barnabas Facebook page)
Note: While there is space for every child, if you wish to make sure your child will attend on a certain afternoon or night, you must register in early June.
At the time of registration, there is a fee of $60 for one child, $110 for two, $150 for three or more is charged at the time of registration. This provides for the text books and other materials needed for classes. However, because we are a Stewardship Community, the religious education program is mainly subsidized from Parish funds. Inability to meet payment should not deter anyone from being enrolled in our Religious Education Program. Grants, scholarships and adjustments can always be arranged. Fee payment may be made in installments according to your family's financial situation. If any problems exist, please contact the Religious Education office.
Since our total program comprises about 27 sessions, students missing an excessive amount of classes may be required to repeat the class the following year. Should a problem rise concerning absences (sickness, family problems, death in family) we ask that you contact the Religious Education Office immediately. If a child does miss a class, please send a note to the Catechist at the next class. An excused absence is recorded for students who participate in the local schools program to Stokes State Forest and for the Christmas concert programs. These two activities comprise at least fifty per cent of students registered in certain classes.
Punctuality is vital. Habitual lateness takes time away from other students. Students are asked to be in their classrooms five minutes before class is scheduled to begin.
LEAVING CLASS PRIOR TO DISMISSAL:
If a child must leave class early, the parent or person picking up the child must come inside Father Rucki Hall and speak to the Session Supervisor or the Classroom Teacher. No child will be allowed to leave the building to wait outside.
The dismissal procedure would be enhanced if parents arranged a designated place to meet their child outside the building. We suggest you have your child remain in front of the building and use the traffic circle to pick up your child.
We wish to avoid having children darting in and out between parked cars, please be careful in the parking lot!
If the school districts are off because of bad weather or send students home early, it is likely we will not have classes that evening. Announcements for weather closings will be made through New Jersey Storm Watch local Stations and are also posted on St. Barnabas Facebook page.
TEXTBOOKS and ASSIGNMENTS:
The books in our program are recommended by the Office of Religious Education for the diocese. The cost is included in the fee. Students are expected to come to class each week with their book and their home assignments completed. Parents are asked to help the Catechist by reviewing the Question of the Week with their child; and by ensuring the student takes proper care of his/her textbook. Other supplies, such as crayons, scissors, drawing paper are provided for the class.
If you move within the Parish, you must update your parish census either online or fill in a paper census form.
If you move out of the Parish, please register immediately with your new Parish. A Letter of Transfer will be sent by the Religious Education Office to the New Parish upon your request.