Faith Formation for Children and Adults
Opportunities for worship and religious education are an integral part of parish life at the Church of St. Matthew.
Classes for Faith Formation (Religious Education) are available to public school students in grades K to 10. These classes help children learn about and grow in their Catholic faith. They also help children and families prepare for the sacraments of First Communion, First Reconciliation, and Confirmation. Faith Formation classes are held on Wednesday evenings from late September through early May. Registration for classes is open from August to October.
Community of Saints (COS) Regional Catholic School students are welcome to join St Matthew sacrament preparation programs. Catholic school parents complete a separate registration form for sacrament preparation through St Matthew. Confirmation candidates (COS students in 8th grade) sign up between August and November. COS children in grades 2 and up who want to prepare for First Communion and First Reconciliation sign up between August and December. Usually a St Matthew volunteer is at the school on parent paperwork night and back to school night and can take registrations in person on those evenings.
Baptism: See Faith and Learning -> Baptism for information on this sacrament and for the Baptism registration form that can be downloaded, completed, and emailed to the parish administrative assistant. Baptisms are not scheduled until all the needed forms are submitted to the parish administrative assistant.
First Communion: Families with children in 2nd grade and up who attend public school may register their child to be prepared for this sacrament. First Communion preparation occurs during the Wednesday evening Faith Formation classes; class is from 6:30 to 7:40. First Communion is usually celebrated at select weekend Masses following Easter Sunday and before Pentecost.
First Penance/Reconciliation: Before children receive First Communion, they receive First Reconciliation. Families with children in 2nd grade and up may register to prepare for this sacrament. Preparation occurs during the Wednesday evening Faith Formation classes. Students will receive this sacrament in a ceremony that includes the family and takes place either during Advent or Lent.
Confirmation: Students in grades 8, 9, 10, and 11 who attend public school and would like to be confirmed must be registered for Faith Formation. Weekly Wednesday evening Faith Formation classes are held from 6:45 to 7:50 PM in the Parish Center from late September through April. Students then participate in the Confirmation ceremony, usually held at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults & Children (RCIA and RCIC): This is the process of formation and initiation for children 7 years of age and older who have not been baptized, and for adults who have not been baptized who wish to enter full communion with the Catholic Church. Those interested in learning more and seeking a class schedule are invited to contact the parish administrator or administrative assistant.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word
Children’s Liturgy of the Word is a school-year faith formation program for children ages 3 to 7. We use the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies Seeds curriculum (www.pflaumweeklies.com/seeds/). Young children who attend the Sunday Mass with their family are invited to the chapel during Mass to hear the Gospel and do crafts and activities related to the Gospel, led by a catechist. They are returned to the main church shortly after the homily.
Also, St. Matthew’s provides learning packets for children ages 3 to 7 at the Saturday and Sunday weekend Masses. The Children’s Liturgy of the Word learning packets are on a shelf in the back of church near the hymnals. Children may take the packets home with them.