Religious Education Partnership With Parents
St. Raymond Religious Education Program is a ministry that is an integral part of the mission of the faith community of St. Raymond de Penafort in the Archdiocese of Chicago. As members of the family of Christ, we respect and nurture, encourage and model our faith in the religious formation of our children and young people. We live in the hope, that with our values imprinted on their young hearts, they will serve the Mission of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world they will inherit one day. We seek to accomplish this by focusing on the child, the family and the Church community.
We (the Religious Education Department) believe that each person is a unique child of God. The child is therefore offered an engaging, solid and practical curriculum, utilizing new practices in learning theory, age-appropriate prayer experiences, and numerous opportunities to express faith through service activities. We also provide the child with creative experiences so she/he has the knowledge, language, and skills necessary to live as a faith filled and active disciple of Jesus.
We believe that, as the children experience the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the teachings of our Church, they will come to be aware of the very real ways that the risen Christ is living and acting in them and through others. While participating in the sacramental life of the church, especially the Eucharist, the children will experience the support of the whole faith community.
Our challenge and goal is to creatively and conscientiously try to balance the pillars of Christian formation: content, community, prayer, service and fun.
The Religious Education Department will also support parents by:
- offering suggestions on how the ordinary activities & interactions of daily family living are sacramental moments that point to God,
- providing family-friendly activities in the textbook, in the parish bulletin and on the internet,
- suggesting family-based prayer and activities during Advent, Christmas, Lent & Easter,
- offering opportunities for family fun (parish and Religious Education Advisory Commission social events).
The family, the domestic church, is essential to the spiritual formation of the child. If it doesn’t happen in the family, it is much more difficult for it to happen elsewhere.
The parent’s role in their child’s faith development is to
- Make regular Sunday worship a family priority and commitment in family life,
- Pray with their child each day, especially at meals and bed-time,
- Grow in their own faith by attending parish adult formation sessions,
- Be personally involved in Religious Education through volunteering
- R.E. Advisory Commission, or volunteer when needed. There are several opportunities throughout the year to join in the many social parish activities that are offered .
Whole Parish Responsibilities
The Religious Education Program is an integral part of the larger parish. St. Raymond’s responsibility is to provide a warm and nurturing environment in which children continue to grow spiritually as they share in the liturgical and sacramental life of this faith community. The R.E. Department invites faith-filled parishioners, who are living out of their deepening love of God and their understanding of the Catholic faith, to answer the call to become a catechist. As catechists, parishioners share their experiences and model to the child so he/she becomes confident to participate in the Church’s mission to proclaim, celebrate, and serve the coming of God’s reign in the world.
We are dedicated to create a safe environment from which the children emerge with a positive image of God, themselves, and the world. We want all children to experience that God loves them deeply and truly. We are firmly committed to protecting God’s children. Therefore, every adult working with the children will submit to a criminal background check and subsequent training by a diocesan program called VIRTUS.
God’s grace propels and strengthens us as we answer God’s call to raise faith-filled children. We need to support and sustain each other in this world. This is both a blessing and a challenge for each of us. Let us embrace the opportunity!