Religious Education & Youth Ministry
Raising children in today’s world can be complex and at times confusing. Studies have shown that children who regularly participate in their religious community tend to be better behaved and psychologically healthier than other children. This participation contributes substantially to the formation of personal moral criteria and sound moral judgment.
The journey through both our Religious Education and Youth Ministry programs help our youth learn and mature beginning in first grade all the way through high school
graduation. Our youth who follow the full journey learn our faith and psychologically mature into responsible Catholic adults.
Our programs are designed to not only educate our youth about the Catholic faith but also provide a boost to family life. It helps our youth embrace a life of positive self-identify, family cohesiveness, acceptance, generosity and responsibility as they grow to become young Catholic adults.
The programs are also a social support network for our parents and children. We foster an important environment where parents learn to relate to their children but also how their kids develop in response. At St. Patrick we work hard to inspire our youth and parents with sacred meaning and moral significance. We encourage our families and their children to participate in the entire catalog of our Religious Education and Youth Ministry programs beginning with PREP all the way through Life Teen.
Grade 1 - 5
At St. Patrick we are committed to enriching our youth’s lives through the power of Christ. Our Religious Education Programs begin with PREP (Patrick’s Religious Education Program) for elementary students grades 1 – 5.
We recognize that parents are the primary educators of their children. The Catholic home is where faith is first learned and practiced. We seek to support your efforts to pass on our faith with classes and materials that meet Archdiocesan requirements. We strive to create a partnership of parents, catechists, and parish community to foster the growth of the seeds of faith that have been planted in our children.
Our PREP students are taught a structured curriculum along with activities that concentrate on the basics of our Catholic faith. Our 2nd graders are prepared for and receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion. For those students in grades 3, 4 and 5 we also offer a Summer Intensive Program where they gain a full year of course credit in a 2-week fun and upbeat summer session.
Grade 6 - 7
Grades 6 - 8 make up our middle school IMPACT Religious Education Program. It has
been over two thousand years since Jesus lived and we know that no one before or
since has had such an IMPACT on the world. The power of faith is awesome, but for it to
live and grow it must IMPACT your own life and the lives of those you touch.
Students complete 15 units of credit in at least three of five areas of study. Students
make their selections from the IMPACT course catalog, which is available beginning
in August each year. Classes are held on Mondays, September through November
from 4:30pm - 5:45pm and Tuesdays, January through February from
4:30pm - 5:45pm (2018-2019 schedule may differ due to the construction in the O'Gara Center). We offer a summer IMPACT Boot Camp for those students who
wish to fulfill course work during the summer months. IMPACT utilizes a curriculum that prepares our students for their Confirmation experience in grade 8 and 9.
We encourage our middle school students, grades 6 - 8, to participate in our EDGE Youth Ministry program that meets for 45 minutes from 5:45pm – 6:30pm immediately following their IMPACT Religious Education class on Mondays or Tuesdays.
EDGE is a fun, safe refuge for our middle school youth as they are faced with the tough
realities of growing-up and are in the process of moving from being family-centered to
friend-centered. During this time their peers gain greater influence in their lives and
parental authority is called into question. As they shift socially they are also
experiencing tremendous changes emotionally and intellectually. As they wade through all the complexities during this time of life, they have real questions and need real answers.
EDGE is geared specifically to these middle school years so they can socialize, have fun and be with friends in their Catholic community while they formulate answers about their faith and life. EDGE is geared to the physical, psychological, cognitive, relational, and spiritual maturation of our middle school youth.
In Grade 9 our students embark on their journey to the Sacrament of Christian Initiation or Confirmation. This beautiful step is a commitment to continue to grow the teen’s relationship with God through the Church, trusting in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When receiving the Sacrament, the Holy Spirit comes upon us to strengthen the grace received at Baptism to give you the Seven Gifts that will guide you along our life’s journey. As is written in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.
It is our joy to journey with our candidates as they prepare to receive the Sacrament, and
as they continue to live their Catholic faith afterward. We utilize Chosen, which is
a modern and exciting Confirmation program geared for today’s teens. Candidates
generally meet every other Thursday beginning in 8th grade and are Confirmed in 9th grade.
Once our students are Confirmed, and are now young adults in our church, they are welcome to pursue becoming a Eucharistic Minister, join our Parish Council, Men’s and Women’s Groups, become ushers or lectors, or assist in mentoring our youth in PREP, IMPACT or EDGE.
Our 9th – 12th grade students are invited and encouraged to participate in our Life Teen High School Youth Ministry Program. Like all teenagers, the teens of St. Patrick face many pressures and difficult social choices. Depression, drugs, shattered relationships, anxiety and materialism are facts of life for today’s high school teens. Life Teen provides sanctuary, hope, and acceptance for teens at a time in their lives when these positive elements can seem in short supply. Our Life Teen program is a place to hang out together, laugh, eat, pray, and come to a deeper relationship with each other and Christ.
Life Teen seeks to integrate Catholic teachings into our everyday lives. We reflect how our faith impacts friendships, decisions, and tough stuff – like peer
pressure, grades, and social pressures. Teens experience this sharing in an atmosphere of
caring and acceptance from their peers and the adult leaders who are there to assist them in their journey. Our teens are given the opportunity to become an integral part of the parish through service, outreach, and social gatherings. We meet
on Sunday evenings September through May from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.
We have events that allow teens to leave familiar surroundings and routines to devote special energy to developing a better relationship with themselves, others, and especially with Jesus Christ. Throughout the year, there are many opportunities for meaningful Christian service throughout the parish and the community. The hightlight being our extremely popular annual summer mission trip which is always a lot of fun for our teens.
Our goal at St. Patrick is to foster the educational, spiritual and personal growth of our children and teenagers. We help to prepare them for a faith-based life in a welcoming and engaging way.
We encourage all of our youth to complete the full journey in all our Religious Education and Youth Ministry programs. Beginning in 1st grade our community is here to guide our children and young adults to lead their lives through Christ in an atmosphere of forgiveness, kindness, love and sacrifice.
Please contact our Religious Education and Youth Ministry team for more information.
Director of Religious Education
Mary Kaye Green
Religious Education Assistant