PRESCHOOL – FIRST GRADE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION ON SUNDAY AT 9 am or 11 am Mass

The program that we use for our youngest parishioners is called “Young Children and Worship.” It is a hands-on program with a structured classroom setting. We meet on Sunday mornings during either the 9 am or 11 am Masses and offer classes for 3-year olds, 4-year olds, Young 5 students, and kindergarten students. We also offer classes for first grade students during Masses and we use the “Faith First” curriculum. Please see “Fall Elementary Classes” for more information about our first grade program.

Class begins with social time/choices and children have the opportunity to work on life skills. Life skills include tracing, puzzles, lacing, sorting, mosaics, and other quiet activities.

Next, we share the story of the day. Stories are presented using wooden figures and other props and after the children listen to the story they have the opportunity to work with the story and re-tell it.

After the story is shared the children sit down for a feast and prayer. A special part of our program is to have parents join us during one or two classes throughout the year as our “special guest.” This gives parents the opportunity to see what our class offers and how it is structured. When parents are signed up to be our special guest they will be responsible for bringing our feast.

After our feast and prayer time the children spend some time working on an art project or another activity that relates to the story. Then they are sent on their way with a blessing to enjoy their Sunday.

Our program also teaches the children some of the special aspects of our Catholic identity; the Sign of the Cross, genuflection, and for the older students; Saint’s lessons and some of the words used in mass.

Our program begins the end of Sept/early October and classes continue through May. Classes meet every Sunday during the 9 am or 11 am mass, with the exception of the last Sunday of every month.  On the last Sunday of the month we encourage children and families to attend the Children’s Mass, which is offered at 11 am. We also offer a Wednesday night option for first graders if you would prefer to bring your child to mass with you on Sunday mornings. Wednesday night classes are from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm. See “Fall Elementary Classes” for more information about Wednesday night classes.

We need approximately 30 adults to make this program a success! If you would like more information about how you can help, or if you are interested in teaching a class please see the Catechist Interest Form.

We do have a nursery available during masses for children who are less than 3 years of age. For more information about our nursery contact Nicky Aiello at 269-327-5165 ext 134 or at naiello@stcatherinesiena.org. You can also check out the Family Life Ministry area for more information about the nursery.