At OLMC, we take your family’s faith formation seriously. We’re excited to partner with you to provide for the religious education and sacramental preparation of your children!
Faith Formation to fit your family’s needs
Our Lady of Mount Carmel - in line with the Church’s perennial teaching - advocates for the rights and responsibilities of parents in shaping their children’s formation in the Faith. From the Declaration on Christian Education, we read:
Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators (GE, 3).
One of the ways we engage parents as the primary and principal educators of their children is to offer them suitable options for their family’s religious education. Our two current tracks are summarized here:
Grades 1 through Confirmation
Sunday classes before and after 9am Mass
25 half-hour sessions per year
Structured learning environment
Developmentally-appropriate, current curriculum
Child fee: $75/$120/$150 (max) before June 30. Additional $20 per child after June 30.
Family Faith Formation
Grades 1 through Confirmation
Family support for faith learning
Three parent meetings per year
Flexible, to meet family schedules
Encourages faith conversations at home
Please reach out to us for inquiries and/or registration.
When do children receive Confirmation?
OLMC is moving Confirmation to 8th grade:
2018-19: We hope to confirm all 9th- and 10th-grade students.
2019-20: We hope to confirm all 8th- and 9th-grade students.
2020-21 and beyond: All 8th-grade (and older) students will be eligible to receive Confirmation.
When can children receive First Holy Communion?
Children at OLMC can receive First Holy Communion when they a. have reached the use of reason (usually around the age of seven), and b. are properly prepared. The relevant paragraphs from the Code of Canon Law (CIC 913-14) are reproduced below.
In our classroom-catechesis option, 2nd-grade students prepare for First Holy Communion. The year-long program incorporates all the elements of preparation for First Holy Communion, including preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The children in classroom catechesis often receive First Holy Communion around the same time (although this is not a requirement), usually the first weekend of May.
Our at-home option for First Holy Communion has more built-in flexibility than the classroom option. Here, when the child has met the benchmarks of age and preparation, parents meet with the pastor to determine a time for reception of First Holy Communion. This can happen at any parish Mass throughout the year.
The administration of the Most Holy Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the body of Christ with faith and devotion (CIC, 913 §1).
It is primarily the duty of parents and those who take the place of parents, as well as the duty of pastors, to take care that children who have reached the use of reason are prepared properly and, after they have made sacramental confession, are refreshed with this divine food as soon as possible. It is for the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children who have not attained the use of reason or whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach Holy Communion (CIC, 914).
Who can register for religious education?
Both options for religious education are open to registered parishioners of OLMC.
For answers to other questions, please contact us using the form below.
Inquiry and Contact Form
Church teaching on Catechesis
FROM THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
2688 The catechesis of children, young people, and adults aims at teaching them to meditate on The Word of God in personal prayer, practicing it in liturgical prayer, and internalizing it at all times in order to bear fruit in a new life. Catechesis is also a time for the discernment and education of popular piety. The memorization of basic prayers offers an essential support to the life of prayer, but it is important to help learners savor their meaning.
1656 In our own time, in a world often alien and even hostile to faith, believing families are of primary importance as centers of living, radiant faith. For this reason the Second Vatican Council, using an ancient expression, calls the family the Ecclesia domestica. It is in the bosom of the family that parents are “by word and example… the first heralds of the faith with regard to their children. They should encourage them in the vocation which is proper to each child, fostering with special care any religious vocation.”
1657 It is here that the father of the family, the mother, children, and all members of the family exercise the priesthood of the baptized in a privileged way “by the reception of the sacraments, prayer and thanksgiving, the witness of a holy life, and self-denial and active charity.” Thus the home is the first school of Christian life and “a school for human enrichment.” Here one learns endurance and the joy of work, fraternal love, generous - even repeated - forgiveness, and above all divine worship in prayer and the offering of one's life.
FROM THE DECLARATION ON CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
Since parents have given children their life, they are bound by the most serious obligation to educate their offspring and therefore must be recognized as the primary and principal educators. This role in education is so important that only with difficulty can it be supplied where it is lacking. Parents are the ones who must create a family atmosphere animated by love and respect for God and man, in which the well-rounded personal and social education of children is fostered. Hence the family is the first school of the social virtues that every society needs. It is particularly in the Christian family, enriched by the grace and office of the sacrament of matrimony, that children should be taught from their early years to have a knowledge of God according to the faith received in Baptism, to worship Him, and to love their neighbor. Here, too, they find their first experience of a wholesome human society and of the Church. Finally, it is through the family that they are gradually led to a companionship with their fellowmen and with the people of God. Let parents, then, recognize the inestimable importance a truly Christian family has for the life and progress of God's own people.
Finally, in a special way, the duty of educating belongs to the Church, not merely because she must be recognized as a human society capable of educating, but especially because she has the responsibility of announcing the way of salvation to all men, of communicating the life of Christ to those who believe, and, in her unfailing solicitude, of assisting men to be able to come to the fullness of this life. The Church is bound as a mother to give to these children of hers an education by which their whole life can be imbued with the spirit of Christ and at the same time do all she can to promote for all peoples the complete perfection of the human person, the good of earthly society and the building of a world that is more human.
FROM CATECHESIS IN OUR TIME
The Church has always considered catechesis one of her primary tasks, for, before Christ ascended to His Father after His resurrection, He gave the apostles a final command - to make disciples of all nations and to teach them to observe all that He had commanded. He thus entrusted them with the mission and power to proclaim to humanity what they had heard, what they had seen with their eyes, what they had looked upon and touched with their hands, concerning the Word of Life. He also entrusted them with the mission and power to explain with authority what He had taught them, His words and actions, His signs and commandments. And He gave them the Spirit to fulfill this mission.