May 19: Fifth Sunday of Easter
"As I have loved you, so you also should love one another." - Jn 13:34
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Faith Formation

Adult Faith Formation
The Adult Education Committee works in collaboration with St. Agnes Parish in Reading. It strives to serve the Adult Faith Formation needs of the parish. The committee arranges and organizes approximately 10 evenings of programs each year. These programs are usually presented by an outside speaker. There is normally an opportunity for discussion in these programs. The Adult Education programs focus on Knowledge of the Faith, (doctrine, teachings, Scripture), Liturgical Life, (worship, Sacraments); Moral Formation (morality, justice, lifestyles); Prayer; and Communal Life.

Contact: 781-944-0330 or

Baptism Preparation

Couples who have had their children Baptized are invited to share their Faith with parents and godparents of babies about to be baptized. They attend the Baptism Preparation class held on the second Sunday of the month and assist with the Baptisms which are held on the third Sunday of the month.

Contact: Fr. Colarusso or Deacon Neil Sumner 781-944-0330
or or

Confirmation Religious Education

Confirmation Religious Education is a two year program to help prepare for the sacrament of Confirmation. The program teaches the candidates on how Christianity is part of your daily life. The classes meet about twice a month on Sundays from 12pm-2pm. The candidates are expected to attend Mass regularly, actively participate at class, complete 2 community service activities, 2 parish service activities, attend a soup kitchen, attend a retreat each year, write a letter to the pastor, interview with their facilitator, and strive to understand and embrace the doctrines, morality, sacraments and the rituals of the Catholic Church.

Confirmation I sessions will have a speaker that talks about the given topic and then we break into small groups to share our faith. As a facilitator you will lead the small group in a discussion on the given topic. Materials will be given to the teacher to help lead the discussion. Teachers are also responsible for attendance of class and Mass, calling candidates to remind them about class, tracking the completion of service projects, interviewing students before they are confirmed, and taking their class into St. John’s soup kitchen.

Confirmation II is direct preparation for the sacrament. The students use the book “Confirmed in the Spirit”. The classes include a large group activity and lessons in the classroom. As a facilitator you will teach the chapter lesson with the guidance of the teacher manual. Teachers are also responsible for attendance of class and Mass, calling candidates to remind them about class, tracking the completion of service projects, interviewing students before they are confirmed, and taking their class into St. John’s soup kitchen.  Confirmation candidates will be Confirmed in the Spring following the two year program.

For more information see the Confirmation Program page.

Contact: Jo-Ann Rossi 781-944-0330

Elementary Religious Education

On the Elementary Level of our Religious Education Program we have over 400 terrific children who are journeying with approximately 80 wonderful catechists, assistants, hallway monitors, etc.! Classes meet on our Parish property on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 3:00 – 5:30 PM for Grades 1, 3, 4, 5 and on Saturday mornings from 9:00- 10:15 for our First Communion Program and a few varied classes for elementary level students who cannot possibly attend the weekday classes.

Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, use the Sadlier series of textbooks in their class settings with many additional handouts and lesson plans, workbooks, etc. provided by the Program’s Coordinator. Students in Grade 2 work with a Reconciliation Booklet and the Silver Burdett & Ginn series of “We Celebrate the Eucharist”. Jesus’ message of compassion and service is stressed throughout all grade levels as each individual class adopts a service project where the children and their families reach out and serve those less fortunate than themselves as they physically do something to help out in a community or beyond in an outreach effort. We feel that this in an important component of their Religious Ed experience as they learn about the need and responsibility to be socially just people who are called to serve and share. Large group sessions of Church Seasons, secular themes with a tie in to Christian themes, Workshops, Stations of the Cross, etc. are led for each grade level by the program’s coordinator, and/or the grade level’s Lead teacher.

The 2nd graders meet weekly on our Parish Campus as they prepare to receive the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist. There are 4 Parent meetings on the 2nd grade level of the program which all Parents must attend as an important piece of their children’s religious education experience. The children come together in a large group setting for a Reconciliation and Eucharist workshop and a Liturgy workshop during their Religious Ed year. First Communions are celebrated in late April and early May.

We have also added a parish “Personal Safety Program” to our curriculum in a joined effort to keep our children safe and protected at all times. Anyone who has any dealings with the young people must have completed a “Protecting God’s Children” training session, filled out a CORI form and provided us with character references. We also conduct Personal Safety Training in Grades 1 – 5 focusing on the fact that our God created us all to be happy and safe from all harm. A professional pediatric nurse leads this program.

In order to provide the best opportunities for faith formation, we meet on a bi-monthly basis at our Grade level catechist meetings where we pray together, review lesson plans, share ideas and discuss the opportunities for various Community Service projects for different classes. We also work with each grade level to host our monthly Family Masses which are celebrated at a Sunday 9:00 AM parish Mass. We encourage full participation in our weekly Masses and different community and social events here at St. A’s!

The Religious Ed coordinators are always actively recruiting potential catechists and assistants to enhance and share the Christian message to all! Please call Nancy or Jen at any time with questions, concerns or the offer to help in any capacity!

Contact: Jo-Ann Rossi 781-944-0330

Middle School Religious Education

St. Athanasius Middle School Religious Education Program consists of about 30 volunteer teachers and a Director of Faith Formation, the enrollment of approximately 402 students. The series use is Saint Mary’s Press Breakthrough Bible sixth grade theme “People of the Old Testament”,   seventh grade’s theme is “Getting to Know Jesus” and the eight grade’s theme is “People of the New Testament”. This series helps middle school students connect their day to day life with their spiritual life. Each student has their own bible that they will use as their personal book for the three years of middle school. The lessons and worksheet are all part of the teacher’s manual. The bibles the children receive are great resource because not only do they now have their own bible but there is index where youth can look up topics, the bibles have a live it, pray it, and study it information written to the Bible that will help explain many of the scripture reading. There are also mock interviews with people of the bible to help the youth learn about the different people.

Classes meet on Monday night at the Parish. The sixth grade class meet 6:00pm to 7:00pm. The seventh and eighth grades meet from 7:20pm to 8:20pm. Each student is expected to participate in a service project during the year, with their class. There is one special mass for the Middle School students.

The philosophy which motivates the Middle School Religious Education program is on that believes we are assisting parents to teach their children what it means to live the life of a Roman Catholic, through Eucharist, word, service and instruction. Showing each student by example how we are called to live a life following Jesus’ example.

Contact: Jo-Ann Rossi 781-944-0330

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