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As parents and guardians, you are the primary educators of your children and are their best teachers. Your children learn the most from the example you set when you pray together and actively participate in Mass and the Sacraments as a family. IHM’s Youth Faith Foundation (YFF) program is dedicated to supplementing the faith formation they are receiving at home. Our catechists strive to help your children grow in faith and develop a stronger relationship with God, but we need your help.

Parents and guardians will need to volunteer 2 times during the year as a classroom aid. Each catechist will have a sign-up list for your convenience. If you would like to become a catechist aide for the year or are interested in becoming a catechist, please contact me.

This year we are requesting that parents and guardians assist with prayer testing at various times during the year. There are prayers the students are expected to have memorized, and a form that will need to be returned to the teachers periodically.

Our class sessions will be held each Sunday from 9:10am to 10:20am in the Parish Life Center classrooms. Students are expected to attend each session. We ask that your child be absent no more than 3 times. If the maximum of unexcused absences (3) is reached, your child will not be able to progress to the next formation year or receive the next sacrament. We are aware that when extenuating circumstances occur, this may be difficult. Please contact me as soon as possible if applicable.

If your child received a sacrament at another parish and is receiving the Sacrament of First Communion, we will need a copy of their Baptismal Certificate. If your child received a Sacrament at another parish and is receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, we will need a copy of their Baptismal Certificate and First Communion Certificate. NOTE: DEADLINE to turn these copies in to me is December 3rd, 2017.

The IHM App and e-mail will be used communicate important updates, reminders, or class cancelations due to inclement weather.

Thank you for your love and dedication as parents and guardians to the Catholic faith formation of your children. May this year be a time of grace and growth for us all. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call or email me.

Yours in Christ,

Monica Weigle

YFF Director, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church

Class Sessions:

Our goal is to enable families to attend Mass together; to learn, share, and grow in their faith as a family. All sessions will be held from 9:10am to 10:20am in the Parish Life Center classrooms.

Classroom Policies:

Food is allowed in the cafeteria but not the classrooms. We need to respect other’s property and leave the classrooms in the same manner found at the start of class. Although exceptions can be made if a student must use the restroom during class, we encourage doing so before or after class instead of during a lesson.

Class Attendance:

Attendance will be taken beginning with orientation. All absences will be recorded. Students who have more than three (3) unexcused absences will not progress to the next formation year/receive the sacrament. However, if a family situation arises preventing your child from attending classes, please get in touch with the YFF Director.

Mass Attendance:

Actively participating in Mass is an extremely important part of our Catholic Faith. We are called to this banquet of thanksgiving to be nourished with the bread of life and by the word of God. If you are out of town, please use www.masstimes.org to help you find Mass times at local Catholic churches during your travels.

Class Parents:

All parents and guardians are asked to attend two (2) classes per semester with each of their children. This is to aid the teacher in managing the students and will help provide insight on what the students are learning. Please sign in with the teacher. Parents are asked to stay the entire class and not move from one classroom to another. Completion of Catholic Mutual Group (CMG) training is a requirement prior to volunteering in classrooms. https://littlerock.cmgconnect.org/. If you have previously completed training via VIRTUS, your re-certification has not changed. Training is available online. Click on the “Parish Volunteer” heading on the CMG website for more information.

Prayers and Teachings:

Prayer is a form of communication, a way of talking to God or to the saints. There are a number of recommended prayers and teaching which should be known by all Catholics. This list has been broken down into a manageable number of prayers or teachings to be learned at each grade of youth faith formation. Copies of prayers are included with this packet and parents are asked to assist in periodic testing.

Textbooks:

Faith & Life textbooks will be used throughout the academic year. All textbooks lost or returned damaged will be assessed at $20 fee per book to the family. This fee will be required in order for the student to complete the academic year and progress to the next level.

Sacramental Prep:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as the Diocese of Little Rock has established regulations which every Catholic Church must adhere to. Sacrament preparation must be done in community, that is in the Parish, and will be accomplished by requiring all students in the given sacrament year to attend retreats and/or events such as service projects, Holy Hours, or Diocesan events.

Secondly, a year of faith formation must be taught to the students before the student can enter a sacrament preparation program. This is met either through a year of PRE/YFF or a year at a Catholic school prior to the year the child is to receive the sacrament.

Inclement Weather:

Weather can sometimes be unpredictable. If a situation should arise where we need to cancel YFF class due to inclement weather, we will communicate this via the IHM App and e-mail by 7:15am on Sunday morning. For those who prefer communication by telephone, please inform your teacher or the YFF Director.

Important Dates:

Calendar of important dates and holidays is available for the fiscal school year.

Communication:

If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach the YFF Director, Monica Weigle, at (501)580-6777, or by email at monica.weigle@sbcglobal.net.

Please verify your email address to receive important reminders or if you not provided one, please do so.