GIFT (Generations in Faith Together)
Research is nearly unanimous on this point: parents matter most in shaping the religious lives of their children. Dean, Almost Christian
The GIFT Program: Generations in Faith Together
For families, but not limited to just families, GIFT gatherings are our intergenerational approach to Faith Formation. Gatherings are held the first week of the month on Sunday from 11:30 – 1:30 pm. In order to accommodate families diverse schedules, the topic presented is repeated on Wednesday evening from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Families sign up to attend either the Sunday or Wednesday track, but can switch at any time.
At each gathering, there is a meal, opening prayer and introduction of the topic. Families participate in the activities and discussion, sometimes in a large group setting, sometimes in break-out groups by family or age range. Topics are presented in such a way as to coach parents in the practice of catechizing their own children. GIFT is intended to complement liturgical events and other parish activities.
Our GIFT Curriculum is going to be based on a series called, ChristLife. This is a three-year evangelization series; part one is called Discovering Christ. The objective of Discovering Christ finds its expression in the second goal of the U.S. Bishops’ evangelization plan, Go and Make Disciples: “To invite every person in the United States to come to know Jesus in the fullness of our Catholic Faith” (53). Discovering Christ intends to ambitiously meet this goal by equipping Catholic individuals and parishes with a simple set of tools to invite others to hear and embrace the Gospel.
Supplemental meetings are held for all ages as follows:
- NEW THIS YEAR Christ Life small faith sharing groups for adults
- Adult Faith Formation Opportunities
- High School Youth Ministry
- Middle School Youth Ministry
- FISH: Friends in Service to Him
GIFT is meant to compliment liturgical events and other parish activities.
To read more about our programs and for a complete calendar of all the meeting times and events, view the Registration InformationFaith Formation Registration Information
Registration for all programs (with the exception of Confirmation) is integrated. Subscribe to register and receive regular updates http://mailchi.mp/a4dbeaf2bca0/register-for-gift-youth-ministry-fish-first-communion-etc
For Parents – Strong Catholic Family Sessions
September 6, 13, 20 & 27 @ 7:00 pm
During the month of September we are offering parent-only workshops, called Strong Catholic Families, as an orientation to our philosophy regarding faith formation. Parents are encouraged to attend the session to learn more about our parish mission to build and support Strong Catholic Families. Sessions are designed to give parents support in raising their children in the Catholic faith.
Sessions will be held on Wednesdays, Sept 6, 13, 20 and 27th from 7-8:30 pm in the Upper Room of Fr. Lacey Hall. More information about topics to be discussed will follow. Please mark your calendar.
Our volunteer catechists are trained in the parish and encouraged to attend workshops for their own enrichment.
Our Summer Catechist Formation day will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at St. Denis Church, 2250 Avy Avenue, Menlo Park. Click on the link to download the flyer for more information Flyer, Summer 2017 Catechist Formation
Each year, we act in accordance with Archdiocesan mandates for background checks of all catechists and helpers who have regular contact with children. They are required to complete a course called “Recognize, Report and Prevent Child Abuse” before they can begin their ministry. The course can be found at www.shieldthevulnerable.org
In an effort to help parents keep their children safe, the Archdiocese of San Francisco offers the following programs for children (and their parents) to complete.
For Preschool – 3rd Graders: St. Matthias Parish and Preschool will be partnering to provide a Safety Faire for parents to attend with their children. Parents will listen to a presentation by parishioner and expert and be given a packet of material with talking points to complete at home with their sons/daughters. It will be offered on Thursday, October 22nd from 7-8:30 pm.
For 4-12th Graders: There are on-line courses available for each grade level. These courses can be assessed at www.shieldthevulnerable.org. It is mandatory that the appropriate course be completed BEFORE Dec 31st. Please send a copy of the completion certificate to the parish office, ATTN: Sabrina Harper.
We are mandated by the U.S. Bishops to offer these courses and required to complete “Compliance Reports” at the end of each year. To help us reach our goal of 100% compliance, please complete the course by Dec 31st.
Additional Program Info
Teaching children our Catholic Prayers and Practices are one of the ways we pass on our faith. Here is a list of Prayers & Practices for Kindergarten – High School.