Life Long Learning
The parish communities of St. Patrick’s and St. Thomas Aquinas understand that faith formation is a lifelong journey.
Faith Formation is personal but also communal. We seek to develop tools and provide opportunities that engage persons individually and collectively.
We pray that the experience of belonging to our faith communities enrich your walk with Jesus Christ, ever increasing your love of God and love of neighbor.
Faith Formation for Children
Our children’s faith formation begins with kindergarten and goes on until their tenth grade of high school. Our Sunday School runs from 10:40-11:30 on Sunday mornings during the normal school year. The goal of this program is to give our young ones a firm background in their Catholic faith and to prepare them for receiving the Sacraments of the Church, particularly First Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation.
Students must begin at least in first grade in order to prepare for receiving First Communion in the spring of second grade. Students must also begin Confirmation classes in ninth grade to receive that sacrament in the spring of tenth grade.
Sunday School Program
Sunday School runs from September to May from 10:40-11:30 at Saint Patrick’s. Please contact the Rectory for more information. Below, our scope and sequence for the program can be found.
Kindergarten: God’s Love and His Gifts
First Grade: Sunday Worship and Church Community
Second Grade: Forgiveness and Eucharist
Third Grade: Church (as One, Holy, Catholic, & Apostolic)
Fourth Grade: Living as God and What the Church Teaches
Fifth Grade: Sacraments
Sixth Grade: Old Testament
Seventh Grade: Jesus Teaches Us How to Live and His Passion, Death, & Resurrection
Eighth Grade: The Church’s Beginning
Ninth Grade: Morality, Service, and Church
Tenth Grade: Confirmation
To enroll your child please call or text the faith formation office at 607-797-3304 or email our Director of Faith Formation at Jeanne@sta-sp.org.
Vacation Bible School 2022
We are happy to announce that Totus Tuus will be offered in 2022!
Our Lady of Sorrows, Vestal, July 10th – 15th, 2022
Children going into 1st – 6th grade are invited to attend the Day Program at Totus Tuus held Monday – Friday 9am – 3pm. The Day program combines solid teaching in the Catholic faith with fun activities to create a joyful and engaging program.
Youth heading into 7th – 12th grade are invited to attend the Evening Program at Totus Tuus held Sunday – Thursday 7:00pm – 9pm. Fun games, faith testimonies, small group discussion, short lessons, prayer and fellowship make these evening fly by but with meaning.
To register, go to: www.olsvest.org; use code: 209
Vacation Bible School at St. James! July 25-29, 2022, 9:00am-noon.
Go off-road for a MONUMENTAL adventure in the colorful and sunbaked trails of the Southwest!
For more information, please contact Renee Davis at (607)729-6147.
Children entering grades K-5 are invited to participate.
Children entering grades 6 and up are invited to volunteer.
Our Rites of Christian Initiation for Children program is offered to those children who did not receive the Sacraments in typical sequence and timing. We welcome all into our Church, especially the young. This program will offer training and background prior to the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation). Please contact St. Patrick’s Church: (607)722-1060, or St. Thomas Aquinas Church: (607)797-4015.
CSBC – Catholic Schools of Broome County: Faith. Family. Academic Excellence.
We invite all parishioners to consider enrolling their children in the preK-12 programs in Broome County. The three elementary schools (All Saints: Endicott; St. James: Johnson City; and St. John’s: Binghamton) accept students until sixth grade. Seton Catholic Central on Binghamton’s Westside offers classes to grades 7 – 12.
The Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Syracuse carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, bearing witness while proclaiming the Gospel message. Together with families and parishes, our schools provide an education rooted in the Gospel that is “living, conscious and active” including values and ideals that are in accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. To learn more about Catholic education in Broome County, visit https://broomecatholicschools.org/.
The Catholic Schools of Broome County welcomes you to consider your child’s academic career a success story waiting to be written. Consider the possibilities and potential waiting to be realized atone of Broome County’s four Catholic schools. The Catholic Schools of Broome County welcome qualified students without regard to race, gender, national or ethnic origin or religion. Contact Director of Admissions & Enrollment Mr. John Kiereck email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 607-748-7423 Ext. 3.
Youth Ministry for Teens
The parish communities of St. Patrick’s and St. Thomas Aquinas understand how important it is to capture the hearts and minds of our youth with the Truth. The goal of our Youth Ministry is to lead teens closer to Christ by offering opportunities to encounter, learn of and follow the path of discipleship.
See below for our annual events.
Love Your Neighbor
A fun part of Youth Ministry are our mission activities to love our neighbor. Seasonally, we provide opportunities to engage in service to the community. Some of the opportunities include: A fundraiser for the Showers of Hope, making sandwiches for the back door bagged lunch distribution, helping out at the Holy Name Chicken Barbecue, serving at a funeral luncheon, or visiting a shut in and bringing them a flower from the parish – we all have an opportunity to engage and bring hope and the love of Christ to others. Let Karen @sta-sp.org know you are open to ‘love your neighbor.’
“Christ Life equips Catholics for the essential work of evangelization so that all people might personally encounter Jesus Christ and be transformed into His missionary disciples. Christ Life is a relational process to make missionary disciples by helping people Discover, Follow, and Share Jesus Christ. ”
Christ Life is a processes offering three series of information and spiritual enrichment sessions around Discovering Christ, Following Christ and Sharing Christ. Dates for the next offering cycle have yet to be determined. Please call St. Thomas Aquinas at 607-797-4015 or email at email@example.com with interest in any future offerings. Thank you.
Our Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults program is offered to those 18 and older who did not receive the Sacraments in typical sequence or who are seeking to join our Catholic faith. We welcome all into our Church.
What are the steps of RCIA?
“Prior to beginning the RCIA process, an individual comes to some knowledge of Jesus Christ, considers his or her relationship with Jesus Christ and is usually attracted in some way to the Catholic Church. This period is known as the Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate. For some, this process involves a long period of searching; for others, a shorter time. Often, contact with people of faith and a personal faith experience lead people to inquire about the Catholic Church. After a conversation with a priest, or RCIA director, the person, known as an “inquirer,” may seek acceptance into the Order of Catechumens, through the Rite of Acceptance. During this Rite, the inquirer stands amidst the parish community and states that he or she wants to become a baptized member of the Catholic Church. The parish assembly affirms this desire and the inquirer becomes a “catechumen.”
The period of the catechumenate can last for as long as several years or for a shorter time. It depends on how the person is growing in faith, what questions they encounter along the way, and how God leads them on this journey. During this time, the catechumens consider what God is saying to them in the Scriptures, what changes in their life they need to make to respond to God’s inspiration, and what Baptism in the Catholic Church means. When a catechumen and the priest and the parish team working with him or her believes the person is ready to make a faith commitment to Jesus in the Catholic Church, the next step is the request for baptism and the celebration of the Rite of Election. Even before the catechumens are baptized, they have a special relationship to the Church.
The Rite of Election includes the enrollment of names of all those seeking baptism at the coming Easter Vigil. Typically, on the first Sunday of Lent, the catechumens, their sponsors and families gather at the cathedral church. The catechumens publicly express their desire for baptism to the diocesan bishop. Their names are recorded in a book and they are called “the elect.”
The days of Lent are the final period of purification and enlightenment leading up to the Easter Vigil. Lent is a period of preparation marked by prayer, study, and spiritual direction for the elect, and prayers for them by the parish communities. The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation takes place during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday when the catechumen receives the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. Now the person is fully initiated into the Catholic Church.
After the person is initiated, formation and education continue in the period of the post baptismal catechesis, which is called “mystagogy.” This period continues at least until Pentecost. During the period the newly baptized members reflect on their experiences at the Easter Vigil and continue to learn more about the Scriptures, the Sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. In addition they reflect on how they will serve Christ and help in the Church’s mission and outreach activities.
What is meant when people refer to men and women coming into “full communion with the Church?
Coming into full communion with the Catholic Church describes the process for entrance into the Catholic Church for men and women who are baptized Christians but not Roman Catholics. These individuals make a profession of faith but are not baptized again. To prepare for this reception, the people, who are called “candidates,” usually participate in a formation program to help them understand and experience the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. Some preparation may be with catechumens preparing for baptism, but the preparation for candidates is different since they have already been baptized and committed to Jesus Christ, and many have also been active members of other Christian communities.”
(Source: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
Please contact the Rectory for more information. For St. Patrick’s call 607-722-1060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For St. Thomas Aquinas call 607-797-4015 or email at email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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