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Cookeville, TN

CHILDREN'S FAITH FORMATION

STA_Mark(WhiteCircle)

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION CLASSES FOR CHILDREN
KINDERGARDEN TO 8TH GRADE

Our Religious Education program is designed for children of our parishioners in Kindergarten through 8 th grade and those young people who are preparing for sacraments. Classes for K-4 th grade and those preparing for First Reconciliation and First Communion meet on Sunday mornings from 9:15-10:15 am. Those students preparing for Confirmation and our 5 th -8 th grade students meet on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8 pm. Classes are held in our education building, Aquinas Hall.

SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION

As is the policy in much of the United States, we believe that receiving the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation is important enough to warrant years of preparation. Here at St. Thomas, it is a 2-year process. Generally speaking, students may receive First Reconciliation during the winter of the Sac Prep year 2 classes and First Communion at the end of that year. Confirmation normally takes place in the springtime of 8th grade, assuming the student attended RE class in the preceding year.

FIRST RECONCILIATION

Reconciliation is a beautiful sacrament that brings us closer to Christ through the forgiveness of our sins. It should be received before First Communion. Our First Reconciliation program focuses on a family-oriented approach to preparing the student through catechesis, the Gospel, and discipleship.

Requirements for First Reconciliation preparation:

  • Successful completion of Sac Prep 1 or one year of formal RE classes.
  • Baptized Catholic who will reach the age of reason (typically 7 yrs. old) before receiving the sacrament.
  • Copy of student’s Baptismal Certificate.
  • Parent(s) / Guardian(s) must be registered and actively participating members of St. Thomas Aquinas Church.

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION

In the Eucharist, we enter into the mystery that Jesus loves us so much that he offers his actual presence to us in this blessed sacrament. Our First Communion program focuses on a family-oriented approach to preparing the student through catechesis, the Gospel, and discipleship.

Requirements for First Holy Communion:

  • Successful completion of Sac Prep 1 or one year of formal RE classes.
  • Student should have received their First Reconciliation before they start preparing for First Communion.
  • Baptized Catholic who will reach the age of reason (typically 7 yrs. old) before receiving the sacrament.
  • Copy of student’s Baptismal Certificate.
  • Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must be registered and actively participating members of St. Thomas Aquinas
    Church.

CONFIRMATION

When someone receives the Sacrament of Confirmation, they receive the Gifts of the Holy Spirit through the imposition of hands and anointing with oil by the bishop. It brings one into deeper communion with the Church.

Requirements for Confirmation:

  • Successful completion of Confirmation Prep 1.
  • Baptized Catholic who is at least 13 yrs. old before receiving the sacrament.
  • Copy of student’s Baptismal Certificate that has been obtained within 6 months of receiving the sacrament.
  • Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must be registered and actively participating members of St. Thomas Aquinas
    Church.
  • Participation in all preparation activities including weekly classes, ministry apprenticeship, and weekend retreat.

HOW TO BECOME CATHOLIC

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them;
for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:14

Catechesis is different from an academic course, which seeks to impart knowledge about a given subject. While a catechist certainly teaches and the student catechized certainly learns, the goal of catechesis is to bring about a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. The end result of effective catechesis is not a classroom full of smart students, but a community full of disciples. That is the aim of our program. Our curriculum is designed to help our students develop ways of understanding and living their Catholic faith that will serve them throughout life.

It is very important to us that our students are safe. In an increasingly complicated society of which we are a part, it has become necessary to meet certain requirements for those parishioners that will have regular contact with minors here at our parish, namely having them complete Safe Environment Training and a background check.

We ask that families do their part in keeping our children safe as well. Please be careful when driving around the church grounds. All our students must be dropped off and picked up by a parent on the sidewalk right in front of Aquinas Hall. We will not allow children to meet you in the parking lot or elsewhere on church grounds. We will not knowingly leave a child alone or unattended. Please, do not drop off your child more than 15 minutes early or expect them (and an adult) to wait more than 15 minutes after class ends.

 

OCIA ADAPTED FOR CHILDREN

Children age 7 and older who need to receive the sacrament of Baptism will be placed in a special class that will prepare them to receive the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist. Parents should contact the DRE for further information.

TOTUS TUUS - SUMMER CATECHETICAL PROGRAM

Totus Tuus is a uniquely Catholic summer program in its approach and curriculum, this is a one-week program similar to Vacation Bible School. It offers our parish children going into 1st grade – high school. Totus Tuus is a fun and energetic opportunity to learn about the Good News of Jesus Christ by engaging in skits, crafts, games, singing, Mass, and discussion.

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