CHRISTIAN FORMATION COMMITTEE
The Christian Formation Committee oversees the ongoing and lifelong Religious Education needs and responsibilities of the Parish. The Committee also allows for an unlimited number of members; interested parishioners who keep abreast of the Committee's activities and participate when they are available. The Committee meets at least eight times per year as a part of our Parish Leadership Nights. Contacts are listed below. Please contact any of them if you desire more information about the Committee. If you have any comments or suggestions concerning the Religious Education Program call our parish office.
Ms. Maureen Duggan-Cassidy, Coordinator of Religious Education (CRE)
REMINDERS and NEWS OF NOTE
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION (Grades K-10)
Religious Education Classes (Grades K-10)
Class begins promptly at 9:40am each Sunday and ends at 10:50am. There is sufficient time to get to St. Elizabeth for the 11:15 mass. Parents are asked not to request that their child leave class early. And, remember, the family is the first classroom for faith -- encourage your children to talk about what they learned in class at home. Help them to make daily faith connections.
Creating a Safe Environment "For the Sake of God's Children"
Our parish follows the guidelines of the diocesan program For the Sake of God's Children in creating safe environments for learning and gathering. As a faith-filled people, we value and honor every individual as created in the image and likeness of God. In the works and ministries of this parish, we are committed to provide a safe environment for children, young people, and their families. Honesty, trust, and mutual respect frame an environment where healthy and responsible relationships prevail, boundaries are clear, and behavioral standards are mutually embraced. We are committed to providing for the safety and protection of God's children through a selfless sharing of our gifts and talents. For details about the program ,visit the Diocese of Wilmington website at www.cdow.org.
All catechists, moderators, youth ministers, and anyone in constant, re-occuring contact with you have cleared a background check and have signed a volunteer covenant regarding appropriate behavior and expression when working with children and youth. We thank them for their participation and adherance to necessary guidelines.
This year, we will have four adult Religious Ed moderators in the Great Room to monitor activity, support the catechists, and be available to parents.
A parish Safe Environment Auditor will be in place to periodically review our practices and paperwork.
Lateness, Absences, Inclement Weather
It is paramount that all students attend their scheduled classes with punctuality and with the least number of absences. If parents know ahead of time that their child will be absent from religious formation, they should notify the Catechist allowing enough time for remedial work to be prepared ahead of time. Parents are asked to work with their child's Catechist to help the student complete his or her assigned work and keep it current. Prolonged absences need to be addressed personally. Please inform us of any difficulties you may have, such as injuries, two-home accommodations, or other special situations.
In case of inclement weather: Please check the parish website or call 410-634-2253 for information. Extra Sundays may have to be allocated during the catechetical year to make up for classes missed due to inclement weather.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION
Baptism, First Reconciliation/Eucharist, and Confirmation are vital to the mission of the Church. To aid their parents in preparing their children for these steps on their faith journey, the parish exercises its responsibility by providing preparation classes and processes for children and adults. Families must be registered in the parish and participating in its life.
If you need to request a baptismal or other sacramental certificate, please print the Sacramental Certificate Request Form and mail it to Lori Parks in the Parish Office (P.O. Box 459, Ridgely MD 21660). Or, you may e-mail (LParks@beparish.com) or fax (410-634-1997) the form.
Arrangements must be made at least one month in advance. Parents must attend one preparation class and are encouraged to attend them prior to the birth of their child. Classes are scheduled with couples individually. Please contact the Pastor or Lori Parks in the Parish Office to inquire at 410-634-2253.
FIRST RECONCILIATION and FIRST EUCHARIST
These programs are designed to assist parents with preparing their children to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time. Children must have reached the age of reason (7) to make their First Reconciliation and Eucharist and have attended at least two years of successful Religious formation prior to enrollment. Four sessions for First Reconciliation are to begin in October, 2015 and four sessions for First Eucharist will begin in March, 2015. The sessions will bring parent up-to-date on the sacraments and will assist them in teaching their children at home. Textbooks and family guides are provided to the students and parents. First Reconciliation is celebrated during the season of Advent. First Eucharist will be celebrated in May. Families whose children attend Catholic schools, or whom are home-schooled, must also register at the parish for their children to receive these sacraments. Please call the parish office to register.
Confirmation is celebrated in our parish every year. Enrollment for the preparation of the Sacrament of Confirmation is open to all students, 10th grade and beyond, who have actively taken part in the Religious formation sessions for at least two successful years prior to the year receiving Sacramental preparation. This year, the Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated on May 7, 2015. St. Benedict/St. Elizabeth Parish's Confirmation preparation program is designed to help our young people come to a deeper understanding of how the Holy Spirit works in their lives and in the life of our Church. It also addresses how they can interact with that spirit to lead a life that will draw them into a closer relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ. Families whose children attend Catholic schools or whom are home-schooled in the subject of Religion, must also register at the parish for the students to receive this sacrament.
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION
R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)
R.C.I.A. stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and is based on the beautiful and ancient rites of the early Church. This process is for adults who have not been baptized Catholic or who have not been baptized at all and who wish to become members of the Catholic faith and to discover what it means to be an adult Catholic Christian. It is a process of prayer, celebration, becoming a member of a community, constant learning, and active ministry. R.C.I.A. is a pattern and model for the growth of the Church. A team of laypeople shares the Catholic faith in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Catholic Church, or need to complete your initiation, we welcome your inquiry! Please contact Ms. Maureen Duggan-Cassidy (410-634-2253, x. 4).
ADULT BIBLE STUDY
On a weekly basis, there are two opportunities for parishioners to participate in an Adult Bible Study group: Tuesday evenings at 7pm or Thursday mornings at 9:30am. These meetings take place in the Adult Education classroom. Using various resources, the group looks at faith and life through the lense of sacred scripture.
Facilitator: Mrs. Linda Ruskin 410-770-4669
This year we are proud to continue our "Super Sundays" on the first Sunday of every month, September - April (with a few possible exceptions). The Church has a commitment to spiritually nourish families and to be a constant resource for them in order to grow. Come and enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast prepared by the Knights of Columbus and join in conversation with fellow parishioners. Students will have time to eat breakfast with their families before participating in a condensed Religious Education class from 10:10-10:50a.m.