Families Forming Disciples, our program for Grades 1 - 8        2022-2023 Calendar

This Fall we will launch a collaborative Family Faith Formation Program among the six parishes in the city of La Crosse; Blessed Sacrament, Cathedral, Holy Trinity, Mary, Mother of the Church, Roncalli Newman, and St. James the Less.

So, what is Family Faith Formation and why are we shifting to this model? For years, directors of religious education programs have been restating what the Catholic Church teaches that, parents are the primary educators of their children in the matters of faith and morals. We as a church need to do a better job of supporting parents in this role. A "drop off" classroom model does not provide parents the tools and resources they need to fulfill the role of primary educator. A family faith formation model empowers families to, together, deepen their relationship with God, live and learn their faith, share their faith stories, and strengthen their relationships within their families. The classroom model was developed at a different time and in a different cultural context-religious belief and self-identification were default positions supported by the social norms. Now we are surrounded by a culture in which choosing to believe is more and more a revolutionary act. The option of belief needs to be made real by family and community relationships that offer examples of true Christian discipleship.

So, what does this new collaborative program look like? We will be using a family faith formation program from the Archdiocese of Atlanta, GA called Families Forming Disciples (FFD). Families with children in grades 1st-8th from all six of the collaborating parishes will participate in this program for their faith formation this year. When families register for this program they will choose which day/time they will attend the bi-monthly in-person sessions, either:
● Wednesdays from 5:45pm-6:45pm at Mary, Mother of the Church, or
● Sundays from 10:10am-11:10am at Blessed Sacrament.

These meetings will provide both parents and children simultaneously with education about the faith as well as an opportunity to discuss and share with other families in their small groups their own thoughts, experiences and questions about the faith topic. Families will also be assigned an At Home Mission which is a task they will complete the following week as a family in their home. When they gather again in person again they will share about how the At Home Mission went as well as conclude with any further learning or discussion about the monthly topic. Additional preparation will be done for our 2nd graders preparing to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time. High school youth will still attend a separate faith formation program on Wednesday nights from 7:00pm-8:30pm at Blessed Sacrament that also includes members from all six parishes. They of course are also welcome to attend FFD with their families.

Registration materials and schedules were sent in early August to all families who participated in Religious Education classes in the past. If you did not receive this mailing, have questions about the program, or are simply interested in being involved please contact the Director of Faith Formation, Kristin Johnson, at kjohnson@mmoclacrosse.org 608-784-5483 Ext. 4.

Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist

Preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist usually occurs during a child's second grade year.  Participation in grade one classes is expected to set a foundation for learning about these sacraments.  Participation in parent meetings is also required.  Typically, First Reconciliation is observed during the Advent Season and First Eucharist is celebrated during the Easter Season. Christine Kainz coordinates this program.


Diocese of La Crosse Guidelines for Reporting Instances of Child Abuse

The Diocese of La Crosse, through its policies and procedures, seeks to provide a prompt, appropriate and compassionate response to reporters of sexual abuse of a child by any diocesan agent (bishop, priest, deacon, employee, religious, vendor or volunteer). Anyone wishing to make a report of an allegation of sexual abuse should send that report to Ms. Teresa Brown, Complaint Intake Agent, at the Diocese of La Crosse, P.O. Box 4004, La Crosse, WI 54602-4004. Alternatively, you can contact Ms. Brown at 608.791.0179 or intakeagent@diolc.org. The reporting form is available through the Diocese of La Crosse Office of Safe Environment or on the diocesan website at: diolc.org/safeenvironment/reporting. Individuals are also encouraged to take their reports directly to civil authorities. Copies of the diocesan policy are available through your local parish and on the diocesan website. If you have any questions about the Diocese of La Crosse and the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, please contact Teresa Brown, Diocese of La Crosse, at 608.791.2679; or tbrown@diolc.org.

Updated 26 August 2022