About Our Program

Religious Education

 

 

Our Religious Education at St. Thomas is for all children attending public school.  Our program begins in grade one and each year builds upon previous years.  First Reconciliation and First Eucharist are celebrated in second grade and Confirmation is celebrated in the spring of the eighth grade year.  Sacramental preparation is a two year commitment.

 

Recognizing that the family is the primary educator in the faith, our program works with families to teach the children Catholic Doctrine and Faith Formation.  Weekly Mass attendance is required and attendance is closely monitored.  In addition to weekly classes there are various retreats and workshops throughout the year.

 

We are most grateful to our volunteers who generously share their time and talents with the children.

 

Registration for our 2016-2017 school year program has begun. Please see our "registration page" for more information.

 

Work Make-up Policy

 

If your child has missed a class please make sure that they have completed and turned in the missed chapter to their teacher. If you need the chapter sent to you please call or email Lisa @ 203-866-1189 or stthomas_lisa@sbcglobal.net. All work needs to be made up even if they were excused from class. 

 

Letters from Our Pastor

 

ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE R. C. CHURCH

November 19, 2014

 

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”(…)

                                                                                                                 St. John Paul II

Dear Parents;            

It is already mid November and Thanksgiving Celebrations are at the corner, therefore I want to wish you a very peaceful, safe, joyful and filled with family and friends Thanksgiving this year!

As our parish religious education and youth ministry programs continue allow me to share with you some of the thoughts and ideas and foremost accomplishments I am very grateful for. Many of you might remember the opening letter from the very beginning of our Catechetical Year, where we stressed that the faith we practice is our greatest gift; this gift must be nurtured and protected. St. Thomas is indeed very blessed to have good catechists ready to inspire and encourage your children. As you read in the very beginning of my letter, now Saint John Paul II use to stress so much a value of family life. Please allow me to be very frank with you; I believe that you as parents need to be involve and you need to engage your children in the matters of faith and religion. And I see that involvement, thanking God every Sunday after our Family Liturgies at 9AM, when I see more and more of you, joining your children in the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist. I want to thank you for your good example of being a role model for your children in the practice of our faith and sacramental life. On my part I need to make sure your children are learning continuously how to practice their faith, and therefore after the necessary personal changes to our program I would like to affirm you that great team of our catechists will continue to teach your children religion, using the curriculum we are now following. Each grade in addition to the weekly classes will go through a workshop on certain elements of our faith and traditions. Just this past weekend ( Nov 16 and Nov 18) our students from grades one to five participated in a workshop on St. Nicolas, as a part of preparation for Christmas. Our CONFIRMANDI ( Students, who were just confirmed by Bp. Caggiano over a month ago) were invited to join me and my guest speakers for a breakfast in the rectory, and many have taken that opportunity and came to share stories about our lives as Catholics in XXI century.  This weekend ( Nov 23 and Nov 25 ) our second graders will participate in First Penance workshop, where through games, craft activities and practice children will have the opportunity to understand the sacrament even better. Soon after I hope to see all second grade parents and children at our St. Thomas Church for the Sacrament of Penance your children will receive for the first time. In addition many of our students have the opportunity to join our Children Choir, especially now as we prepare the songs for our Christmas Celebrations. In addition to all good things that are happening in our Religious Education Program I have become an Interim D.R.E and will continue to lead our catechists and your children with our program until the end of an academic year. I am looking forward to visit all the classes, getting to now you and your children better, and along with our catechists to strengthen even more our program with on – line module and more online, interactive activities in the future.

Thanking you all for a great support and involvement in our Religious Ed Program, I can not miss the opportunity to ask you to consider becoming our catechist, or if not possible, to think about an hour or two that you can sacrifice and help us and the staff especially on the days of additional activities and lessons for our children. Please, contact me either by email or a phone if you have any questions, concerns or comments.  Once again, I am looking forward to speak with you, get to know you and help you and your children as much as I can to grow in our faith.

 

In Christ;

Fr. Mirek Stachurski

Pastor

ST. THOMAS THE APOSTLE R. C. CHURCH

November 19, 2014

 

 

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”(…)

                                                                                                                 St. John Paul II

 

Dear Catechists;

 

Before we reach the busy time of Advent with Thanksgiving Holiday just around the corner and all the Christmas Extravaganza, I would like to wish you and your families a very Christ – Filled Advent, peaceful and family oriented Thanksgiving Day Celebrations and a lot of joy, peace and patience in all the busy time of preparation for Christmas 2014!

 As our parish Religious Education Program and youth ministry programs continue allow me to share with you some of the thoughts and ideas and foremost accomplishments I am very grateful for.

St. Thomas is indeed very blessed to have you; a core group of dedicated catechists ready to inspire and encourage our children. On my part I need to make sure our children are learning continuously how to practice their faith, and therefore after the necessary personal changes to our program I would like to affirm you that with your help and ongoing dedication we will continue to teach our children religion, using the curriculum we are now following. Each grade in addition to the weekly classes will go through a workshop on certain elements of our faith and traditions. Just this past weekend ( Nov 16 and Nov 18) our students from grades one to five participated in a workshop on St. Nicolas, as a part of preparation for Christmas.

Our CONFIRMANDI ( Students, who were just confirmed by Bp. Caggiano over a month ago) were invited to join me and my guest speakers for a breakfast in the rectory, and many have taken that opportunity and came to share stories about our lives as Catholics in XXI century.  

This weekend ( Nov 23 and Nov 25 ) our second graders will participate in First Penance workshop, where through games, craft activities and practice children will have the opportunity to understand the sacrament even better. I hope you will enjoy this event yourself, as it will help us all to be better prepared for the Sacrament of Penance of our Second Graders on December 13, 2014. Then, right after Christmas we will continue on more immediate preparation especially with our Sacramental Grades for our First Eucharist in the month May and the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Fall of 2015.

 In addition many of our students have the opportunity to join our Children Choir, especially now as we prepare the songs for our Christmas Celebrations, becoming our Altar Servers ( grades 4 and up) and hopefully joining our youth group as continuation of our journey of faith. To make sure that an ongoing progress is ensured with our students learning the faith,  I have become an Interim D.R.E and will continue to lead you and our children with our program until the end of an academic year. I am looking forward to visit all the classes, getting to now you and your students better, and alongside with you to strengthen even more our program with on – line module and more online, interactive activities in the future. I would like to invite you to think about an evening when we can get together as a group, and over a nice dinner discuss anything you would see necessary, to even better serve our children. I am thinking that we can plan it for the time right after the New Year, in the beginning of January of 2015 and in that Christmas Season share the bread and ideas about our challenges, joys and hopes for the future of Rel. Ed. at St. Thomas.

 Mrs. Lisa Castorina, our Administrative Assistant will follow up with you on the exact date and time but I hope and pray we will be able to get together for a nice evening of fellowship and discussion. 

Thanking you all for a great support and involvement in our Religious Ed Program, I think of the past year, and of the things and people I am grateful for; you are the people on my Prayer List of Thanksgiving. I can not thank you enough for all you do here at St. Thomas. I promise to pray for you daily, but especially as I say our parish Thanksgiving Day Mass at 8AM on November 27, 2014, I embrace you all with my prayers and love offering my Mass for you and your families. Once again, I am looking forward to speak with you, get to know you and help you and our children as much as I can to grow in our faith.

 

In Christ; Fr. Mirek Stachurski; Pastor

 

Opening Statement

 

As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”(…)

                                                                                                                 St. John Paul II

Dear Parents and Catechists,

             The school year begins shortly, and so does our parish religious education and youth ministry programs. As a new pastor of St. Thomas The Apostle Parish I take this opportunity to address you before the year begins. First and foremost I wish to thank you for entrusting us to teach your child the Catholic faith. Our faith is our greatest gift; this gift must be nurtured and protected. Here at St. Thomas we are so blessed to have good catechists ready to inspire and encourage your child. Yet, even most experienced, our catechists will need the support of the parents. Parents need to be aware, interested and engaged in the CCD program. We will try to keep you informed via letters, emails, our new parish website, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, phone calls and text messages about all and around activities coming this school year to St. Thomas Parish. As you read in the very beginning of my letter, now Saint John Paul II use to stress so much a value of family life. Please allow me to be very frank with you; I believe that you as parents need to be involve and you need to engage your children in the matters of faith and religion. There are few very easy ways to do it. Let me offer you some examples;

Simple prayers at home are truly powerful. Take a few seconds each day to pray! If you can pray as a family, God will smile. The Church teaches us that Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation are required. Children need the Eucharist. They need to see their classmates at Mass. A child learns priorities from their parents. The catechists and I are here to help you. I cannot promise you that your son or daughter will be smart, handsome, well-liked, rich, and successful. I can promise you that prayer works. And as you want your child to become a professional in whatever career they will pursue, I would like to help you to make sure that your child becomes a professional Catholic Christian. Our Diocese wants CCD programs to get more structured; this is a nationwide trend. This will require a little more work from our catechists, but at the same time it will give everyone more direction. I hope as early as October we will sponsor a workshop for our catechists that will help them to develop even more attractive ways to teach about our faith and Jesus Christ. I myself will be teaching our 8th Grade and Confirmation Preparation, and I will offer several classes to other grades. Our parochial vicar, Fr. Rogerio Perri also will be involved with Religious Education Program. This year, in Advent and Lent your children will have an opportunity to go to the sacrament of reconciliation. An online part of our parish web page will also serve as a tool of education, coordination and assessment for you and for me. I am so excited about our new catechetical year, I hope and pray you are too. 
As a priest, when I see a young child pray, I am moved. Parents, thank you for helping us grow spiritually.

 

Fr. Mirek Stachurski

Pastor