Elementary

As a Parish community, we are here to support parents in the spiritual formation of their children. In all of our Discipleship Formation programs, adults and children are guided to progress through the missionary discipleship pathway, called “Four.” Each person, no matter what their age, should desire to grow in their relationship with Jesus and BECOME more like him, as a response to his great love for us.  At this stage of formation, children in Kindergarten through Grade 5 who attend public or a non-Catholic private school, discover that they are a part of God’s loving family and that they play a vital role as members of our Parish family.

2020-2021 School Year

Belong | Children develop friendships and participate in activities, from home, or via Zoom, which is centered on Christ.

Elementary Discipleship Formation (Seekers, Gr. K-2) and (Crusaders, 3-5) are being taught by their parents at home.  Using digital or a paper text, all will journey through the topics of God, Jesus, The Church, The Sacraments, and Morality, at the appropriate cognitive stages of understanding.  Parents are provided an “At Home Edition”, which is a “teacher’s guide” written especially for parents.   Interactive Session Reviews and service activities are suggested so families have the opportunities and guidance to not only learn about their faith, but live their faith in their daily lives. 

A grade level catechist, as well as the Director of Religious Education, is always available for guidance and support, and to offer ways of actively participating, virtually, or in person, in the life of the Parish.

A Parent Orientation was offered, via Zoom, at the beginning of October to help all parents to get acquainted with the changes for a year.  A recording of that meeting is available for all parents new to our program, who wish to be involved later in the year.  Families are always invited to join us.  It is never too late to register!

Vacation Bible School is open to all parishioners and our wider community!  VBS 2020 was in July, was recorded virtually, and placed on our OLPH website once a week for families to enjoy.  Be on the lookout for news about our 2021 Vacation Bible School, “Treasured”, coming in February 2021.

Believe | Keeping eyes set on Jesus, Seekers (K-2) and Crusaders (3-5) encounter the Lord with their peers in Elementary Discipleship Formation gatherings, via Zoom. This time includes prayer and discussion all to fall in love with Christ and receive his grace through the Sacraments. As this relationship grows stronger, the families will desire to love, think, and act as Jesus did.

Children’s Liturgies: Mark your calendars, and come to our Children’s Liturgies, on the second Sunday of each month, October – May, at the 9:00 am Mass, either in person or virtually. This Mass gives the whole family a chance to encounter the Lord together.  An age-appropriate homily is offered for children, and for parents, who wish to learn how to engage their children in discussions of the faith.

Become | By the 3rd grade, children have developed a friendship with Jesus and are ready to live as disciples of Christ.  Since “we cannot give what we don’t have,” parents will meet via Zoom, to pray with other parents and enjoy a speaker to enrich their spiritual growth and move through their own pathway. The loving and nurturing guidance that parents provide for their children, throughout their lives, encourages an authentic relationship with Jesus, and children can grow as the children that God created. From this ongoing parent/parish partnership, all move through the FOUR PATHWAY, to become the missionary disciples of the Church.

Beyond | Seekers (Gr. K-2) and Crusaders (Gr. 3-5) explore how the world can be blessed through them by participating in special service projects offered during Elementary Discipleship Formation.  Parents are encouraged to bring their children to Mass each week, in person or virtually, for the nourishment of God’s grace through his Word and Eucharist. If there are any specific areas of service that you would like to explore, please let us know.

For further information on Elementary Discipleship Formation, please contact Judy Gruel, our Director, at jgruel@archbalt.org or call 410-747-4334.