Religious Education

Register for 2019-2020 Religious Education Classes Today! →


2019/2020 Parent Meeting

Wednesday, September 18th at 6:30pm in the parish center

Wednesday Night Adoration

With the onset of the Religious Education program, adoration will be available to you every
Wednesday night starting September 18! The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in the
church from 6:30 to 7:45pm for everyone who wishes to come before the Lord to pray and
adore Him.
Each week we need at least two people to commit to being present before our Lord so that
He is not exposed and unattended. To sign up for a week, call or email Lindsey Wilbur:
lwilbur@spparnell.org, (616) 691-8541 ext. 41


Dear Parents,

As the Director of Youth Faith Formation, I and our wonderful team of catechists are here to help you cultivate your child’s relationship with Christ through the understanding and practice of our Catholic Faith. The faith formation program here at Saint Patrick is education that will support you in forming your children in the Faith.

Our Religious Education Program is open to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Classes meet from the third week of September through the fourth week of May.  Your family can choose between class offerings on either Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 7:45 pm, or Sunday mornings from 9:00 to 10:15 am. The Sunday class time enables your family to attend whichever of the two Sunday Masses your family prefers (8am or 10:30am).

This year, the kindergarten through seventh grade classes will follow the Faith and Life textbooks by Ignatius Press, with accompanying workbooks that students may take home. The eighth grade class will prepare for confirmation with Ascension Press’s Chosen program.  In addition to classroom lessons, each of the appropriate grade levels will have one class period designated for the sacrament of reconciliation in the church.

Our Wednesday classes this year will conclude with Eucharistic adoration in the church.  The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed on the church altar for the duration of the Wednesday night class period for parents who wish to spend the time with our Lord in silent prayer.  The students will join in adoration for the final fifteen minutes of their class, and from there, parents can collect their children to go home.

Fr. Tom, our team of catechists, and myself, are looking forward to this year of faith formation and all that Christ has to offer your family through this time with Him each week.   God has many graces waiting for you!

To register, please click on the link below.  The medical treatment and media forms are included in the registration submission.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me by either phone or email:

(616)691-8541 ext. 41

lwilbur@spparnell.org.

God Bless,

Lindsey Wilbur

Director of Youth Faith Formation


CLASS INFORMATION

  • Kindergarten

    Image of God is structured in weekly activities that guide kindergarteners through the discovery of their creation in God’s own image.  The program incorporates Bible stories, “Concepts of Faith”, and at-home activities that give young children a foundation for further education of the Catholic Faith.
  • 1st Grade


    Our Heavenly Father introduces first graders to the Trinity with emphasis on the life of Jesus, the plan of salvation, and your child’s part in the plan. The book acquaints children with Mary, angels and saints, and teaches children basic prayers.
  • 2nd Grade

    Jesus Our Life prepares second graders for the first reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion, with the law of God and salvation history as a background. The lessons emphasizes God’s mercy and love, covers the Ten Commandments, Creation and Redemption.

    First Reconciliation Saturday, March 7th at 10am

    All family members of the first reconciliation students are welcomed and encouraged to join!

    First Communion Sunday, May 3rd at 1pm

    Rehearsal for First Communion Mass will take place during your child’s religious education
    class the week prior. Professional photos will be offered in the parish center after First Communion Mass on May 3rd.

    Commemorative plate painting, Saturday March 28, 11am – 12pm

    Please email lwilbur@spparnell.org to sign up, providing your child’s name and whether he/she is in the Sunday, Wednesday, or St. Patrick School class. Plate cost
    is approximately $12

    Your child’s first reconciliation

    Understanding reconciliation

    To best understand reconciliation, it is helpful to view it in context of Holy Communion.
    Reconciliation is a preparatory step for receiving Holy Communion, so this year as your child
    prepares to receive Christ in Holy Communion for the first time, the first step he/she must take is
    to receive forgiveness of his/her sins in the sacrament of reconciliation, and learn to practice this
    sacrament as he/she continues forward in his/her faith life.

    Reconciliation is the regular practice that prepares us to receive Christ’s Body and Blood–that is to say, our salvation–in the Mass.

    How does reconciliation prepare us for Holy Communion? The fruit of reconciliation is
    absolution from our sins, a grace which only God Himself can provide. Along with that
    grace, reconciliation serves us with the fruits of:

    Conversion: since we return to God the Father from whom we’ve strayed by sin.

    Penance: since we take an action to atone for our sins.

    Confession: by disclosing our sins to a priest we confess–acknowledge and praise–God’s
    holiness and mercy toward us.

    Forgiveness: since by the priest’s absolution God grants us pardon and peace.

    Reconciliation: by God’s love, in this sacrament we are reconciled to Him, called to live in
    accord with His mercy, and reconcile ourselves to our brother.

    Your role in your child’s reconciliation Your child learns best from you. As Catholics, it is our
    fundamental belief in Holy Communion for which atoning for our sins and receiving God’s
    forgiveness is necessary, and while receiving reconciliation in the company of his peers is
    certainly a positive influence on your child, understanding that this faith transcends the religious
    education classroom, is something he learns from you.

    Your practice of the faith is your child’s primary example.

  • 3rd Grade

    Our Life with Jesus teaches third graders the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Faith by means of Sacred Scripture and the Catholic catechism.
  • 4th Grade

    Jesus Our Guide teaches fourth graders God’s plan to save his people from sin, how we participate in that plan, and the many ways God helps us in our pilgrimage on earth to Heaven through his word, his law, and his Church.
  • 5th Grade

    Credo: I Believe is a thorough study of the articles of the Creed as the basic belief of our Catholic faith.  The book places special emphasis on understanding the definitions of words we read in the Gospels, hear from the prophets, and recite in Church prayers.
  • 6th Grade

    Following Christ is a blueprint for a life of love: the law of God, especially in the Ten Commandments, and the presence of Jesus in the Holy Mass. Students discover the interaction between God’s law and the gift of His grace to help us fulfill His law.
  • 7th Grade

    Life of Grace gives students an understanding of grace as our link with God and His gift to bring us to Himself and eternal life. The book places emphasis on the transmission of grace through the seven sacraments and on God’s gift of revelation of himself through the prophets, His Incarnation, and the Church.  Students also discover the role of grace in developing the virtues.
  • 8th Grade

    Chosen focuses on the practical realities of life in the Church as it prepares eighth graders for full acceptance of the Catholic Faith in the sacrament of confirmation.  Chosen utilizes videos and an accompanying workbook to teach students what it means to be Catholic and how to carry out the Faith in their lives.