Our Children’s Faith Formation begins at age three and continues through grade and high school. We call the first part GIFT (Growing in Faith Together) for preschool to 6th grade, and then they move into our junior high and high school youth group programs for 7th-12th grades.
GIFT begins at age three with a Montessori-based learning community. Engaged with the materials and immersed in the environment, children “grow in God’s love” and awe and wonder at the works of Creation. This awareness prepares their hearts for the experiences of ritual and liturgy. Formation continues in kindergarten through six using content from Loyola Press and a lectionary-based model that uses the Sunday Gospel story. Our experienced catechists carefully design experiential lessons, including media, storytelling, and engaging activities to draw children into a lived experience of their faith.
Children’s Faith Formation continues with our youth ministry program, open to children in grades seven through twelve. Our youth ministry program is divided into the junior high youth group for grades seven and eight and the high school youth group for grades nine through twelve. Children in both groups can discuss their faith with their peers at weekly gatherings, deepen their faith with yearly retreats, and live their faith by participating in service opportunities. Our Youth Ministry interns from Xavier University run this program under the supervision of the Director of Youth Ministry.
Throughout these programs, our youth develop an understanding of what it means to identify and live as a disciple of Jesus Christ and to be in a relationship with him. Our children learn to pray the daily Examen and other Ignatian forms of prayer. Children and their families are invited to participate in the many ongoing opportunities for works of mercy, service, and justice that are organized by our social mission team.
At significant milestones throughout these years, our children prepare for and celebrate the Sacraments of First Communion, First Reconciliation, and Confirmation. You can learn more about celebrating the sacraments at Bellarmine Chapel here.