ST. John the Baptist weekly classes

Weekly Classes for Children and Youth

There are many wonderful opportunities for children and youth, families and adults, to grow in their Catholic Faith and their personal relationship with God.  We offer different methods of formation to best serve each child and teen based on where they are in their development.


Pre-K / 1st-3rd Grade
For our youngest disciples, we offer Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level 1 for 3 year olds-Kindergarten, and Level 2 for our 1st-3rd graders. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is an approach rooted in Bible, the Liturgy of the Church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori.  Children gather in the 'Atrium', a room prepared just for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials they will use to help them absorb the most essential proclamations of our Catholic Faith.  It is a sensorially rich experience for our littlest followers of Christ, that gives them the opportunity to grow in love and knowledge of God through our Christian tradition. Times, dates, and descriptions of each sessions can be found below.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Level 1 for ages 3-6 (Preschool, Kindergarten)
Meet Time: 4:15pm-5:45pm on Wednesdays
Place: Room 1 in the school
Registration: Click HERE
Curriculum: Children in Level I spend time enjoying and nurturing a relationship with the Good Shepherd. They are deeply affected by the boundless love of the shepherd for His sheep, as described in Scriptures. They learn that He knows His sheep, calls them by name, searches for a lost sheep, and celebrates the found sheep. Materials and presentations on the life of Christ and His teachings help to make the great mystery of who God is more understandable for the child.
Class Size: 12 maximum
Fees*: Parishioners—$150; Non-Parishioner—$200

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) Level 2 for Grades 1st, 2nd, and 3rd
Meet Time:
 4:15pm-5:45pm and 6:30pm-8:00pm on Wednesdays
Place: Room 2 in the school
Registration: Click HERE
Curriculum: Children in the Level II atrium come to know that God is working from Creation, through redemption, toward Parousia when God’s love will be all in all. God calls us to participate in this plan. Jesus shows us the way to live together in peace and joy as we abide in him through the Eucharist and Baptism. Level II focuses on the Parable of the True Vine, to help children understand their connectedness to each other in Christ, “the Vine.”
Class Size: 15 maximum
Fees*: Parishioners—$150; Non-Parishioner—$200


4th-5th Grade
Lux Sit: 'let there be light'. These words are the first we hear God speak in Scripture. Our hope is that throughout the two years in Lux Sit, our 4th and 5th grade parishioners will see this light that transcends all.
Meet Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm on Wednesdays
Place: Room 8 in the school
Registration: Click HERE
Curriculum: St. John’s 4th and 5th graders walk through the story of our Salvation – how God chose to save and redeem us. Starting with Genesis and the Creation of the world, and ending with Revelation and our role in the Kingdom of heaven, students will be creating a timeline. They will see how they fit into God’s story, and have an essential role to play. Throughout the year, service projects, Saints, the liturgical year, and more will be tied in.
Class Size: 15
Fees*: Parishioners—$150; Non-Parishioner—$200


6th-8th Grade
Middle School faith formation is offered to our 6th-8th graders.  This curriculum is a youth ministry format to engage the hearts and minds of middle schoolers.  Check out this website for more information about the programs used in our curriculum.
Meet Time: 6:30pm-8:00pm on Wednesdays
Place: Room 8 in the school
Registration: Click HERE
Curriculum: Edge and FORMED
Class Size: 25, with smaller group discussions
Fees*: Parishioners—$150; Non-Parishioner—$200


First Sacraments & Confirmation
The universal Church along with our local ordinary has requested that all sacramental preparations be completed within the parish community. With this directive in mind and in an attempt to keep the integrity and character of each sacrament intact, we ask families for some concrete ways in which the community can tangibly see our hearts, our homes, and our children being sufficiently disposed to begin sacramental preparations at St. John the Baptist Catholic Parish. There are a few things that must be in place before a child can enter sacramental preparations at St. John’s:

  • Regular participation in the Sacramental life of the Church (ie., Sunday Liturgy and Holy Days of Obligation and Reconciliation)
  • Ongoing formation and catechesis sort. (ie., enrollment  in a Catholic School, enrollment in a Faith Formation program, or home-schooled curriculum)
  • For anyone who has not had an opportunity for ongoing formation of any sort, an individual formation plan will be created.

The above is considered remote preparation for sacraments and during the year or years leading up to the reception of a sacrament, there are more immediate preparations that we ask children and families to be involved in through their home parish(es).

  • First, register your child for the sacramental preparation program at your home parish
  • Second, at St. John's there will be an application process.  This process will be explained at parent meetings in the fall of each school year.
  • Third, there will be required prayer opportunities, retreats, gift of self-service opportunities, and educational experiences and materials to help each child prepare their hearts for reception of the sacrament being prepared for.  These sessions will be specific to each sacrament and handed out in preparation packets at the parent meeting in the fall of each year.

Confirmation
Confirmation preparation usually begins in the fall of 9th grade and continues through the 10th grade with the reception of the sacrament in the spring of candidate’s 10th grade year. Confirmation Preparation is (on average) twice a month on Wednesday evenings. Candidates meet in a small group to go through the Ascension Press Chosen program. This program engages the hearts of our youth to become lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ, and advocates for His Church. For more information on Chosen, click HERE. Along with Chosen, candidates are prepared through Gift of Self Hours (service), Hours of Encounter (prayer), a retreat, meetings with their sponsors, and follow up conversations with their parents.
Confirmation Registration: Click HERE

For more information, please contact Taylor Gruber by clicking HERE.

First Reconciliation & First Communion
Children usually receive First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion in second grade. It is a home based catechetical program, where parents and children learn together. To prepare the children to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation & First Communion, we use Family Formation Home Lessons, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (or their Catholic school), and two retreat days. We want to equip you in every way we can to be the primary educators of your children in the faith. The Family Formation lessons do just that. In Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, children will learn and talk about our response to God’s Covenant with us. And finally, the retreats are aimed at giving each child the time and the space to go deeper in their relationship with the Good Shepherd.
First Reconciliation & First Communion Registration: Click HERE

For more information, please contact Taylor Gruber by clicking HERE.


​Parent Small Groups
We will be forming small groups of parents who are wanting to grow together in their faith. Groups will meet at the same time that children come on Wednesdaynights. This is a great way to get to know other adults in the same phase of life as you, while learning more about the beauty of our Catholic faith. The series we will be offering this fall is Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained. Please let us know if you are interested as you sign your children up HERE. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Taylor Gruber by clicking HERE.


Adult Formation
Each year, we offer morning and evening bible study sessions. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy a spirit of community with fellow parishioners while enriching your faith life. Beginning on September 26th, we will be starting a bible study on St. Peter, titled "Evangelization & The Acts of the Apostles." If you have questions or would like more information, please contact parishioner Sue Jensen at (952)474-2304, or Taylor Gruber by clicking HERE.


*Financial hardship should never be a barrier for families to participate in our programming.  Scholarships are available.  Please contact Taylor Gruber for assistance at by clicking HERE.


Contact:
Taylor Gruber
Director of Faith Formation
952.474.8868, ext. 207
tgruber@stjohns-excelsior.org

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