Holy Redeemer Faith Formation Schedules
Director of Lifelong Faith Formation: Aaron Giard / 978-462-2724 x 405 / [email protected]
Assistant to Lifelong Faith Formation: Melinda Burrell / 978-462-2724 x 420 / [email protected]
All volunteers need to fill out a CORI Form before assisting with children. Download the 2024 form here.
School Year 2023-2024
K-1st; 3rd- 8th Youth Faith Formation Overview
For 2nd Grade First Reconciliation/First Communion Prep, and 9th-10th Grade Confirmation Prep, please scroll down to "Sacramental Preparation"
Unfortunately, due to a lack of catechist volunteers and enrollment, parishioners of Holy Redeemer Parish (West Newbury and Merrimac) will need to attend faith formation at Immaculate Conception in Newburyport at this time. If there is enough interest and volunteers, this may be able to change.
K-1st; 3rd-8th Grade has Faith Formation every week, broken up between the in person sessions at church and at home sessions with parents/guardians.
In-Person Sessions, dates in BOLD below, will be held approximately every other weekend, beginning with the 9:00 AM Mass at Immaculate Conception in Newburyport and continuing from approx 10:00 AM until 11:15 AM in the IC Pastoral Center.
There will be three Family Festivals at IC celebrating the Liturgical Year (dates in GREEN below), in addition to the regular faith formation class sessions. Please treat these as just as important as regular in person sessions.
During At home weeks, in ITALICS below, kids and parents work on materials together at home:
- K-1st and 3rd-5th Grade will be using Pflaum Gospel Weeklies. Materials for the at-home weekend will be sent home after each in-person session. If your child is absent, materials will be put out for pick-up in the Pastoral Center lobby.
- 6th-8th Grade will be using "ROOTED: Theology of the Body" by Ruah Woods Press and some supplemental lessons. Materials for at-home weekends will be assigned by catechists and sent home with Common Place books after each in-person.
K-1st; 3rd-8th Grade Schedule
|2023 Dates||2024 Dates|
|Sept. 24th - In Person + Parent Meeting||Jan. 7th - At home|
|Oct. 1st - At home||Jan. 14th - In Person|
|Oct. 8th - In Person||Jan. 21st - At home|
|Oct. 15th - At home||Jan. 28th - In Person & Empowering God's Children Session|
|Oct. 22nd - In Person||Feb. 4th - At home|
|Oct. 29th - ALL SAINTS Festival||Feb. 11th - In Person|
|Nov. 5th - In Person||Feb. 18th - At home - February Break|
|Nov. 12th - At home||Feb. 25th - At home|
|Nov. 19th - In Person||Mar. 3rd - In Person|
|Nov. 26th - At home - Thanksgiving||Mar. 10th - At home|
|Dec. 3rd - In Person||Mar. 17th - In Person|
|Dec. 10th - ADVENT/CHRISTMAS Festival||Mar. 24th - HOLY WEEK Festival|
|Dec. 17th - In Person||Mar. 31st - At home - Easter Sunday|
|Dec. 24th - At home - Christmas Eve||Apr. 7th - In Person|
|Dec. 31st - At home - NYE||Apr. 14th - At home - April Break|
|Apr. 21st - In Person|
|Apr. 28th - At home|
|May 5th - Final In Person|
2nd Grade - First Reconciliation and First Communion Preparation Overview
Unfortunately, due to a lack of catechist volunteers and low enrollment, we are not offering faith formation classes at Holy Redeemer Parish churches this year. However, we will have a First Reconciliaiton Penance Service and a First Communion Mass at Holy Redeemer Parish churches.
Children preparing for First Reconciliation and First Communion will receive instruction every week (except certain holidays), broken up between at home sessions with parents/guardians and in person sessions.
In Person sessions will take place roughly every other Sunday (see schedule), beginning with the 9:00 AM Mass at Immaculate Conception in Newburyport and continuing from approx 10:00 AM until 11:15 AM in the IC Pastoral Center.
- Although Sundays are ideal given the connection to Sunday Mass/communal worship, some families cannot make Sunday mornings work due to sports and traveling schedules. For this reason, I am offering a Tuesday afternoon option 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM at IC Pastoral Center for 2nd grade only. These will always take place on the Tuesday immediately after the Sunday in person sessions outlined in BOLD on the schedule below.
- As we prepare your children for lifelong nourishment at the weekly Sunday Eucharistic Table, regular Mass attendance is essential. If you cannot attend the 9:00 AM Mass, please see our Collaborative Mass Schedule or other area parishes and consider attending at a different time (www.MassTimes.org is a great resource for finding Mass anywhere you travel). Without regular exposure to the Mass each week, where we encounter Jesus Christ in Word and Sacrament, children are often confused at what they are preparing for and unfamiliar with how to participate at Mass.
Given the importance of the year and the invaluable witness parents give to their children, there is an increased parent involvement:
- During At-home weeks (dates in ITALICS below), parents and children will work on each session at home in preparation for in-person sessions where the content will be reviewed and reenforced.
- For a look at the "Blessed" curriculum we will use from Dynamic Catholic, CLICK HERE for a preview of First Reconciliation Session 1 and the workbook in PDF.
- During in-persons sessions (dates in BOLD below), parents will meet in IC St. Louis Hall for hospitality, conversation, and intriguing videos while children meet upstairs.
Children are also expected to attend our three Family Festivals during the year that celebrate the Liturgical Year (dates in GREEN below) AND two additional First Communion Preparation Events: a Church Tour and Retreat (dates below).
2nd Grade Sacramental Preparation Schedule
|First Reconciliation Preparation||First Communion Preparation|
|Sept. 24th - Introductions + Parent Meeting||Jan. 7th - At home prep Session 1|
|Oct. 1st - At home prep Session 1||Jan. 14th - Session 1 - In Person|
|Oct. 8th - Session 1 - In Person||Jan. 21st - At home prep Session 2|
|Oct. 15th - At home prep Session 2||Jan. 28th - Session 2 - In Person & Empowering God's Children Session|
|Oct. 22nd - Session 2 - In Person||Feb. 4th - CHURCH TOUR + prep Session 3|
|Oct. 29th - ALL SAINTS Festival + prep Sess 3||Feb. 11th - Session 3 - In Person|
|Nov. 5th - Session 3 - In Person||Feb. 18th - At home - February Break|
|Nov. 12th - At home prep Session 4||Feb. 25th - At home prep Session 4|
|Nov. 19th - Session 4 - In Person||Mar. 3rd - Session 4 #1 - In Person|
|Nov. 26th - At home prep Session 5||Mar. 10th - NO at home prep|
|Dec. 3rd - Session 5 - In Person||Mar. 17th - Session 4 #2 In Person|
|Dec. 10th - ADVENT/CHRISTMAS Festival + prep Session 6||Mar. 24th - HOLY WEEK Festival|
|Dec. 17th - Session 6 - In Person||Mar. 31st - At home prep Session 5|
|Dec. 24th - No Prep - Christmas Eve||Apr. 7th - Session 5 - In Person|
|Dec. 31st - No Prep - NYE||Apr. 14th - At home prep Session 6|
|Jan. 5th - First Reconciliation Service @ Nativity||Apr. 21st - Session 6 - In Person|
|Jan. 6th - First Reconciliation Service @ IC||Apr. 28th - First Communion RETREAT|
|Rehearsals - TBD (Weeknight before Mass)|
|First Communion Masses - TBD (May Weekends)|
9th-10th Grade - Confirmation Preparation Overview
Preparation is offered, traditionally in our community, for teens during their freshman and sophomore years.*
- Candidates most often receive the Sacrament in the fall of their Junior year.
There are 23 meetings, 90 minutes long each, spaced out over the two years.
- IC Parish Year 1 & 2 (Pastoral Center, Newburyport): Sundays, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- HR Parish Year 1 & 2 (Nativity Church Hall, Merrimac): Sundays, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
- Candidates are asked to complete 24 hours of community service over the course of the two years.
- After Year 2 sessions are complete and before receiving the Sacrament, candidates will be asked to write a brief letter to the bishop, choose a Confirmation saint name, and provide the name of their sponsor.
- There will be a Day-long Retreat in the weeks immediately prior to Confirmation.
* The traditional timing is completely flexible given the candidate’s readiness. Many begin preparation during sophomore or even junior year if other years were too busy or they were simply not ready. While it is important that no one feels pressured against their will or beliefs, we remind teens that the two years of preparation is itself a time to discern whether you’re ready.
9th-10th Grade Sacramental Preparation Schedule
|9th Grade/Year 1||10th Grade/Year 2|
|Oct. 22nd - Parent + Teen||Oct. 1st|
|Nov. 12th||Oct. 15th|
|Dec. 10th||Nov. 5th|
|Jan. 14th||Nov. 19th|
|Feb 11th||Dec. 3rd|
|Mar. 17th||Dec. 17th|
|Apr. 7th||Jan. 7th|
|Apr. 28th||Jan. 21st|
|May 19th||Feb. 4th|
|Retreat: Fall 2024 (Date TBD)|
|Confirmation: Fall 2024 (Date TBD)|
An important note about the commitment and process: Preparation for Sacraments is not merely a matter of learning some things about God and His Church and what Jesus and the Holy Spirit have done and continue to do. This is a time of encounter with God in the context of the community of faith, the parish, and one’s peers. We want candidates to grow in their relationship with the Living God through communal worship and service, as well as personal prayer. This is why it is important to make it to all the sessions, to commit to Sunday Mass attendance, to engage in service to the poor, and also why sessions are spaced over two years rather than just during a week in the summer. A gradual unfolding of the mystery revealed in Jesus Christ and at work in our world through the Holy Spirit is our aim throughout the two years.