2020 – 2021 FAITH FORMATION
All CCD parents in the greater Marshfield area should have received a notice that we will be offering a new version of Faith Formation in the greater Marshfield area (the three town parishes plus Bakersville) this fall. This will take the place of what is known as CCD (Confraternity of Catholic Doctrine). CCD is a faith formation program begun in the 1500’s in Europe to educate children in the Christian faith, especially in order to prepare them for the sacraments of Reconciliation, the Eucharist and Confirmation. This program has served the interests of the Church very well for many years, but in some aspects it has lost some of its effectiveness.
Preparing children for the sacraments remains a central aspect of the new Family Faith Formation program, and encourages individual families to become more involved in the faith formation of the children. Rather than treating religious education as another ‘class the kids take’, this new approach is based on the lectionary cycle, offering an opportunity to deepen our relationship with God that then is reinforced through the Sunday readings and Gospel. This helps connect families more closely with the Mass, integrating it into their lives. The basic grade level prayers are taught as well, as these are central to our faith lives, and benchmarks of expectations will be set for each grade level.
We will gather as a group only once a month, with monthly programs given to each family to complete before we meet again. The parents will be free to break these down in a schedule that works best for the individual family, whether it is praying and studying together once a week for the 3 weeks until meeting in person again or they may occasionally decide to do 2 or 3 lessons in one sitting if that works best in a particular month. Another advantage of this is the older kids can help with the younger kid’s lessons, as they will all be looking at the same Gospel and readings each week. A critical addition to the program this year is the parents or guardian (at least one, but all are invited and encouraged) will be required to attend with their children for the monthly gathering. The evening will begin with a family meal in the basement of O L P church, and then the students will move to their respective classrooms while the parents remain at the church for a presentation by one of the parish priests and occasional special speaker brought in for them.
Another change will be the greater Marshfield parishes will work together to offer Faith Formation in order to take advantage of facilities, staff and other resources. We are discussing adding RCIA to this plan as well, allowing us to speak with a unified voice in faith formation, whether it is adult formation or preparation for the sacraments.
Fr. Keith Kitzhaber has agreed to be the point pastor for our Family Faith Formation, with David Alcott serving as the coordinator. We also have a compliment of staff leading various grade levels who will be working with the volunteer teachers. We are very grateful to all of our volunteer teachers over the years, and are still in need of their assistance and leadership. If you might have an interest in helping, please contact David Alcott for more information.
We realize that this is a change in what has been done in faith formation over the years. However, with all the external expectations COVID has forced upon us in other areas, we believe this will be a good fit in this regards as well. The pastors of the Marshfield area Catholic churches hope and pray our families will be open to this new opportunity to deepen the faith in the lives of their children, and also help form stronger family units for future generations.
May God watch over and bless you and you families,