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Archives Crown Point, Moriah revamp Faith Formation

November 22, 2023

By Darcy Fargo

After the program was scaled back during the pandemic, the religious education program at the Catholic Communities of Crown Point and Moriah is growing and changing.

Maria Velsini assumed the role of parish director of Religious Education earlier this fall. During the pandemic, the parish’s program was reduced to focus only on the sacramental preparation levels – first Communion and confirmation. One of Velsini’s first jobs was to provide instruction for students between those sacraments.

“As it was, students would do first Communion and not show up again until it was time for confirmation,” she said. “We wanted to do something for that group we weren’t reaching.”

To address the needs with limited volunteers, the parish created a three-level religious education program.

“The first level is first and second graders preparing for first Communion,” Velsini explained. “The second level is continuing faith formation. That group has made their first Communion, but they aren’t old enough for the Confirmation program. It’s third, fourth and fifth graders. The third level is confirmation preparation, and that’s grade six and up.”

The confirmation program is a three-year program. The first year focuses on the fundamentals of the faith, while the second and third year focus more specifically on confirmation.

Having the new continuing faith formation level has been a gift to the parish, Velsini noted.

“They’re a very enthusiastic group and very curious group,” she said. “Out of that group, we’ve had a couple become altar servers.”

With each level of the program including multiple grades, Velsini said it was important to the parish to find a catechetical program that would appeal to multiple ages. Working with Father Al Hauser, pastor of the parish, and Anita Soltero, diocesan assistant director of Faith Formation in the Eastern Region, Gospel Weeklies were chosen to provide education. Each lesson presented connects to that week’s readings and Gospel.

“They have class Sunday morning, and go to Mass right after,” Velsini said. “We’re hoping it helps them make connections and helps them have a better understanding of what they’re hearing at Mass.”

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