Children's Faith Formation


Saint Thomas Aquinas offers religious education classes for parish children from Kindergarten (5 years old) through 8th grade. Classes are conducted weekly from mid-September through early May on Sundays from 9:30-10:45 am. Volunteer catechists provide students with a thorough presentation of Catholic teaching, beliefs, and practices. Registration begins in mid-August and is possible all year long. 

Please find registration information here.  

 We desire to meet the needs of every student enrolled. For families with children who are older and who have not yet received formal religious instruction, classes can be organized according to the needs of the students each year, with instruction on the fundamentals of our faith and specific sacramental preparation. Generally, our curriculum is structured as follows:   

Grades K-1
Classes will provide an introduction to the Holy Trinity through presentations on God the Father, the life of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God’s plan of salvation and our part in that plan. The children will become acquainted with Mary, angels, and the saints. Students also begin learning basic Catholic prayers. The overall aim is to introduce children to the Church’s faith regarding the Triune God, the life of Jesus, the work of the Holy Spirit, and the life of prayer, with a special emphasis on growing to know, love, and trust God.
Grade 2
Classes will prepare the children for the first reception of the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion, with the law of God and salvation history as background. The lessons will emphasize God’s mercy and love. Throughout the year, they will learn about the Story of Creation, the Covenant with Moses, the Ten Commandments, Redemption, Forgiveness of Sins, and the Holy Mass. The overall aim is to prepare the second-grade student for the sacraments and to help them appreciate God’s love for them shown in these two sacraments. Students will learn how to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the order of the Mass, and basic Catholic prayers. In addition to attendance at CCD, second grade students who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Reconcilation and First Holy Communion attend two Pray & Play Days; parents of these students participate in two parent meetings (four total) prior to each sacrament.
Grades 3-4
Classes will provide teaching on God’s plan of salvation, from creation to the Incarnation and Redemption to the birth of the Church at Pentecost and our life in the Church. There will be a special emphasis on the importance of Confession, Communion and the Mass. The aim is to show the third and fourth grade students that they belong to God’s chosen people and that the child’s family is an important part of God’s family, the Church. Also, to encourage prayer and love for God’s law.
Grades 5-6
Classes will provide teaching about God’s plan to save his people from sin (Salvation History), how we participate in that plan, and the many ways God helps us in our pilgrimage on earth to Heaven through his word, his law, and his Church. Further, the students will acquire a solid knowledge of God and his Church through the understanding of the Creed we profess. The aim is to bring the students to an understanding of their purpose and goal in life, and to see God’s plan in history and society to lead us all to Heaven, our true, eternal home.
Grades 7-8
Classes will call the young people to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. We will teach the students what we, as Catholics, believe, how we worship in personal and liturgical prayer, and how to live a life of service to God. It is our aim that the students understand and experience the importance of Jesus Christ in daily life. An emphasis will be placed on the topics of the Sacraments, with a particular focus on the theology of the Sacrament of Confirmation. We will also study the topic of vocation and Saint John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Confirmation for the young people at Saint Thomas Aquinas takes place in the 8th grade. Formation for the sacrament consists of catechetical instruction and spiritual formation. Catechetical instruction takes place by way of the classroom experience. For students enrolled in Bishop Fenwick, this instruction and formation takes place within their 8th grade religion class. The NET Confirmation Retreat exists to supplement the classroom experience by inviting the teens into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through a dynamic retreat experience that provides in depth spiritual formation. In addition to attendance at CCD, young people who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation participate in a service project of their choosing and attend a retreat. Parents of these students participate in two parent meetings prior to the sacrament.
Why should your child attend CCD?

CCD can be valuable in helping you fulfill the commitment that you made at your child’s baptism “of training them in the practice of the faith.” CCD is not a replacement of Mass for children of school age; rather, it is a supplement to the religious education received at home, especially in instances where children attend public school or are home schooled.

Why should your child attend Mass?

All children are expected to attend weekly Sunday Mass.  As Catholics, Mass is the most important part of our week. Going to weekly Sunday Mass is more important than any sport, activity or CCD class itself.  At Mass, we gather as a community to worship God, we are forgiven of minor sins, we hear God’s Word, and most importantly we receive Christ in the Eucharist. Each week, we attend Mass to receive the gift of God’s grace to be able to live a faith-filled Christian life throughout the week. Students learn of the importance of Mass and worshipping God throughout the year in CCD classes; Mass needs to be a part of their weekly lives in order for this instruction to make sense.  

Care to be involved even more?

Nothing is more important than the example that you as a parent give to your children and the faith that you share with them. We would love to have you share your faith in a larger sense by volunteering as a catechist, aide, or hall monitor in our CCD program. No previous experience is necessary; we will provide you with all the materials and guidance you need to be successful.  Please call the parish office for further information.