Child Faith Formation & Sacrament Preparation

WELCOME! Thank you for enrolling your child at St. Gabriel the Archangel for faith formation. Your child’s formation in the Faith is the most important gift you will ever give your child. Their faith formation should continue throughout their school years and be a consistent priority of family life. At St. Gabriel the Archangel we are pleased to be able to offer children as young as 3-years old an encounter with the God who loves them and calls them by name,

“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Matthew 19:14

Registration

Registration for the 2024-2025 Faith Formation Year will open in June 2024.

Is your child over the age of 7 and desiring to be baptized?

Children who have reached the age of reason (7-12 years) are required to receive formation in the faith prior to being baptized. Please contact Kira Mello at childfaith@stgacc.org if your child is between the age of 7-12 years old and would like to receive the sacrament of Baptism.

Youth who have reached the age of reason (12-18 years) are required to receive formation in the faith prior to being baptized. Please contact Erik Ochoa at youth@stgacc.org if your child is over the age of 12 and would like to receive the sacrament of Baptism. Click HERE.

Is your child under the age of 7 and in need of Baptism? Click HERE.

Fees

First & Second Child: $125 per child due Sep 1, 2024 OR $12.50 per month for ten months (Aug-May).

*Third Child: $75 per child due Sep 1, 2024 OR $7.50 per month for ten months (Aug-May).

*If you have more than two children enrolled in any Child Faith Formation offerings the tuition for the 3rd (or more) child/children is reduced to $75.

MAKE ONLINE PAYMENT HERE

Child Faith Formation: 3 years old - 5th grade

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

St. Gabriel parish offers Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for our children ages 3 -12 yrs. Based upon the two pillars of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Liturgy, and on the Montessori principles of human development and respect for the dignity of every soul, CGS was developed in Rome in 1954 by a Catholic Hebrew Scripture scholar, Sofia Cavaletti, in collaboration with Gianna Gobbi, a Catholic Montessori educator. Dr. Cavaletti’s bookThe Religious Potential of the Child received the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur.

It took these two women over 25 years to develop what is now known worldwide as the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a method of faith formation for the youngest in the kingdom of God. Today the gift of this rich and beautiful method of formation which they have given the Church has grown and spread to over 65 countries throughout the world and is approved as the preferred method of formation in many Catholic dioceses and religious orders such as the Missionaries of Charity, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, and more. CGS has been endorsed by our own Bishop Emeritus Thomas J. Olmsted.

Children in CGS receive formation in a specially prepared environment called an atrium (plural: atria). The atrium is a sacred, “hands on” retreat-like space where catechists and children hear, ponder, pray, and celebrate the most essential mysteries of our faith as revealed in Sacred Scripture and Liturgy.

Each CGS catechist has received a minimum of 100 hours of formation and specific training in the methodology. Materials are carefully prepared by the catechists to meet the need of the child’s inherent longing for a relationship with God and to help them enter more deeply into that relationship “by myself.” The materials are designed to inform and foster curiosity about their Catholic faith and God’s wonderful salvific plan. Learn more about CGS.

Levels

  • CGS Level One: 3 yrs old – Kindergarten
  • CGS Level Two: 1st grade – 3rd grade (Level Two includes Sacrament Formation)
  • CGS Level Three: 4th and 5th grade (Level Three includes Sacrament Formation)

Formation sessions begin the week of September 15, 2024 and continue through May 15, 2025. Please see calendar for more details.

Level One Sessions (days/times)

  • Tuesdays 4:15-5:45pm
  • Wednesdays 9:30-10:45am
  • Thursdays 4:15-5:45pm

Level Two Sessions (days/times)

  • Tuesdays 4:15-5:45pm
  • Tuesdays 6:00-7:30pm
  • Thursdays 4:15-5:45pm
  • Thursdays 6:00-7:30pm

Level Three Sessions (days/times)

  • Tuesdays 4:15-5:45pm
  • Thursdays 4:15-5:45pm

1st Reconciliation (Confession): 7-12 years old

Families are encouraged to enroll their children for sacrament formation at the beginning of 1st grade. To begin preparation for 1st Reconciliation your child/ren must have completed a minimum of one full year of formation through the parish immediately prior to the year of preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Children are prepared for the sacrament of Reconciliation through Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (Level 2 and/or Level 3).

Readiness to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation would include having reached the ‘age of reason.’ Normally a child is somewhere between 7-8 years of age when they reach the ‘age of reason.’

1st Reconciliation Prep: (Sacrament Eligibility)

  • Children preparing for their 1st Reconciliation should be enrolled in CGS Level Two or CGS Level Three.
  • Parents should expect to attend 4 parent/child small group meditations with their child in the year they will receive the Sacrament.
  • 1st Reconciliation (Confession) Preparation has the following additional fee: $50 1st Reconciliation meditations fee due Feb 25, 2025 (one-time fee)

Confirmation/1st Holy Eucharist (Communion): 8-12 years old

In the Diocese of Phoenix Confirmation and 1st Eucharist are received together.

The Diocese of Phoenix has Restored Order of the Sacraments of Initiation

Sacramental readiness is determined on an individual basis. To qualify to begin preparation for Confirmation and/or 1st Holy Eucharist, your child/ren must have completed a minimum of two years if sacrament formation at St. Gabriel’s. Children must have already completed a minimum of one year of sacrament formation through at the parish immediately prior to the year of preparation for the Sacraments of Confirmation/1st Holy Eucharist. Children are prepared for the sacraments of Confirmation and 1st Holy Eucharist through Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level Two and/or Level Three.

Confirmation/1st Holy Eucharist Prep: (Sacrament Eligibility)

  • Confirmation/1st Holy Eucharist prep includes a retreat weekend in the spring. One parent should expect to attend this mandatory retreat with their child.
  • Parents with a child enrolled in Confirmation/1st Holy Eucharist preparation should expect to participate in the adult formation opportunity as required by the Pastor.
  • The Confirmation/1st Holy Eucharist Retreat has the following additional fee: $50 (one-time fee) due February 23, 2025.

Mystagogy - Post-Sacrament Faith Formation: 9-12 years old

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Level 3

4th or 5th graders who are preparing to complete their Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, 1st Holy Eucharist) or have already received all their Sacraments of Initiation continue their faith formation through Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Level 3.

Level 3 focuses on the plan of God to join all people together. The child focuses on God’s generosity and the responsibilities that accompany His gifts. They are posed the question, “What is my place in the Kingdom of God?” This older child is now ready to prayerfully begin Scripture typology in depth and to become intimately familiar with the prayers of the Roman Missal. In Level 3 the child is ready to enter more intentionally into cultivating a life of virtue.

Teens (6th grade – High School) shall continue their faith formation through the Youth Ministry program. For more information please contact Erik Ochoa at youth@stgacc.net.