The most fulfilling aspects of our lives are often the relationships we have, are they not? How much joy and peace can be found in the eyes of our Beloved? What purpose and promise in holding and beholding our children. Yet, we are all called to something even more joyful, more peaceful, with even more promise and purpose, because we are each and every one of us called to a very real and intimate relationship with a very real and living God. Pope Benedict XVI stated in his encyclical Deus Caritas est that, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction”. Our faith doesn’t make sense a part from relationship. It is all about relationship. This is exciting, this is the good news of Jesus Christ. This is Breakthrough!
Leading Youth to Christ through Encounter
And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32-34)
K-2nd Grade- Sheepfold
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19: 13-14)
Our youngest students learn the basics of our Catholic Faith and three foundation truths: 1) God Made Me, 2) God Loves ME, and 3) Jesus Wants to be My Friend Forever. Students in grade 2 begin the formation process to encounter the Source of Summit of our faith, Holy Eucharist. With the reception of First Penance and Holy Eucharist they are ready to begin a new journey of spiritual growth.
3rd-5th Grade- Ascend
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. (Matthew 17:1)
Having received their First Holy Eucharist students in grades 3-5 begin to Ascend the mountain of faith toward full initiation in the Catholic Church. Students continue to build their understanding of church teaching, and forming relationships with Jesus and others. These years will focus on the life of the catholic i.e. liturgical year, catholic prayers, saints, virtue
6th-8th Grade- EDGE Youth Ministry
I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me. (Philippians 4:13)
Middle School Students reach the summit and make a personal decision for Christ. This is the time for intense formation for full initiation into the Catholic Church at the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation. During this somewhat confusing time for students, much time will focus on identity as a disciple of Christ and what it looks like to live as his disciple. 8th grade year is the start of the intense formation period for confirmation.
9th-12th Grade- EMMAUS Youth Ministry
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
High School Students, having been fully initiated through Confirmation at the end of their 9th grade year, begin to spread their wings of faith and live their lives as intentional disciples of Jesus Christ. High school students move into deeper discussions on what it means to follow Christ, holiness, the issues of the day, and the church vocations.
Our goals are simple:
1) Encounter the awesome love of God and to be transformed by that love!
2) Engage with the teachings of our faith and the rich spiritual traditions of our Catholic Faith as the support for our lifelong journey of faith! .
3) Witness our faith to others!
Catechetical materials used are approved by the Diocese of Rochester and demonstrated to be effective throughout the United States.