Generations of Faith
As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s grace. 1 Peter 4:10
Religious Education for Public School Families
One of the most important things we do as parents is to help our children develop a relationship with their God. At St. Matthew we support families in that endeavor through our Generations of Faith program. Generations is open to everyone in the parish community but is especially important to our families using public education. It’s a time and place for us to support each other and together learn about our God and our Church. Special age level breakouts allow us to explore our faith in a manner that fits where we are at life, whether it be elementary, middle school, high school or adult.
As we look ahead to the start of a new school year we invite families new and old to sign up for this year’s program.
What is Generations of Faith?
Generations of Faith is our parish catechetical program that utilizes a whole family, all ages approach to formation. A special focus is given to families utilizing public schools but all families and all ages are invited to participate. Age appropriate breakouts included with full group prayer and catechetical activities.
Volunteers - We Need You! There are many volunteer opportunities within the Generations of Faith program.
There are two ways to register your family:
- Pick up a Registration Packet in the gathering space or parish office.
- Register Online!
Completed forms can be returned to the St. Matt's parish office along with payment (semester or year). Checks can be made payable to St. Matthew Religious Education. Questions? Contact Meg Batchelor ([email protected]) or Mike Westenberg ([email protected]) at the St. Matthew parish office 435-6811.
Generations of Faith FAQs
Why is Generations two sessions per month?
- Meeting weekly is difficult when trying to include whole families in the program, and meeting only once per month didn’t give us continuity between sessions.
- A twice-monthly format allows us to build community more effectively and allows a deeper connection to the parish, especially for our children.
- A twice-monthly format allows us to introduce material in the first session and then deepen and reinforce learning in the second.
- Two sessions a month allows us the opportunity to use a hybrid approach of teaching more from the Bible, utilizing the lectionary readings from Mass, as well as incorporating more doctrine and learning from our tradition.
- A twice monthly session allows us to better support parents in passing on their faith to their children.
Why whole families?
Whole families are part of the whole community catechesis approach. Numerous studies have shown conclusively that whole family catechesis is much more effective in nurturing the faith of children and youth while supporting parents in developing households of faith. In using whole families in a whole community format, all ages learn the same material, but in a way that is accessible to that age group. With parents and adults present, what has been learned is brought home as a shared experience for further discussion.
You said “whole family”……what ages?
Our program includes sessions for those in Kindergarten and older. We also provide on-site child care for those who are younger.
You said “whole family”……what if we can’t all come?
We understand that in real life perhaps not everyone can come – know that everyone who can come is welcome. We also know that on given nights parents might be tied up with work or other commitments; hopefully at those times friends, neighbors or other family can “adopt” the children so they are still able to come.
What if my spouse isn’t Catholic? Can he/she come?
Of course! Your whole family is welcome, and in situations where the parents are different denominations or faiths and the children are being catechized Catholic, its good for the non-Catholic parent to understand what we are teaching our children. We want to support you in your situation.
What if my family isn’t a “traditional” model?
Your family is your family. How you define it is how we accept it. We are here to support you in your journey to deepen your relationship and your family’s relationship with Christ and the Church.
How long do sessions last?
The Wednesday sessions will have the following schedule:
- 5:15 – 5:50 Dinner, come when you can
- 6:00 – 7:35 Learning session
So what does a typical session look like?
Participants arrive and check in/register in the Gathering Space. Volunteers at the registration table welcome you, let you know any special information you need to know prior to the session, and direct you to the meal. The meal for the session is held in the school basement. During the meal we will do a group prayer of blessing and invite conversation with those around you with some starter questions; we’ll also do reminders regarding the time and place the lesson will begin. The start of the lesson is usually a “whole group” time including an opening prayer and introduction of the focus for the session. At that point we dismiss into age groups and go to our designated areas with our leaders. The rest of the time is spent learning together with others in our general age groups. At the end of the lesson time all groups reconvene in the Gathering Space so parents can collect their children and materials, we can say our good-byes, and it’s homeward bound!
We want our child to make their First Communion. Will they be prepared for that during GOF sessions?
We have special programs that focus on the preparation for First Communion or First Reconciliation. The expectation is that families are regular participants in our GOF program, but each sacrament has its own special process for preparation.
How does the fee work? Do we only pay for the sessions we attend?
The participation fee is not broken down by individual months or sessions. Fees go to support the overall program, much like the way I have to pay my YMCA fees whether I use the facilities that month or not.
Do we pay extra for the meals?
The program fee does not cover meal expenses. We offer the meals to promote building community and developing relationships among participants (breaking bread together) as well as to make it easier for people to attend at that time. We always have a donation basket out for contributions for the meals. In terms of donations for the meals, we try to keep our costs low so that if we receive around $2 per person we can come close to covering our expenses. Also, we try to recruit “meal sponsors” – businesses, families or individuals who contribute financially to offset our food cost for a given month.
Can we skip the food and just come for the lessons?
The short answer is yes. We offer the meals to promote building community and developing relationships among participants (breaking bread together) as well as to make it easier for people to attend at that time. But if that does not work for you or your family, you can come just for the lessons.
Cancellation Policy: If Green Bay Public schools cancel evening activities and/or school for the day then Generations will also be cancelled. A 2-hour delay in the morning will not cancel Generations.