Having children and young adults fill our church is a blessing. As Fr. Lito says “The sound of a baby’s cry in the church is the sound of life and hope, for they are the future of the church.” We embrace the families of young children and we support them through religious education. We believe the single most important gift a parent can give to each child is the gift of faith. It is the only gift that will serve them throughout their entire lifetime and it is something they, as parents, can pass onto their children. Being a parent is an awesome responsibility and our Religious Education program is designed to help parents in their efforts to fulfill that responsibility. We want to partner with you to give your children a solid foundation based on loving our Lord Jesus.
Religious Education Grades Pre-K - 7
Religious Education at St. Raphael Church, grades Pre-K - 7 on Sundays, in person and/or virtually from 11:15 am - 12:00 pm is open to all children who register. Experienced Catechists who have been certified in the Archdiocesan program, “Protecting God’s Children”, teach classes with the help of aides (who can be adult as well as young adults who have been Confirmed). All children are encouraged to attend. Aides are available to provide a one-on-one experience for children who would benefit from this partnering.
Our Sunday session begins with group learning sessions which explore Catholicism, through participation in discussions which talk about elements of our Faith. Lessons include the Rosary, prayer, the stories of our Saints and Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments. The children also learn from active participation in games, Bible plays, community service and our yearly Nativity Pageant. Parents and family are encouraged to come to the learning sessions and plays as well as to stay for a cup of coffee and socialize with each other during the class times. More formal classes follow the learning sessions and are designed to teach the children about the life of Jesus, his relationship to God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The concepts are also reinforced through Bible stories, crafts, worksheets, games, video and other creative channels.
Religious Education Grade 8 (Confirmation Preparation)
Religious Education instruction for teens in the 8 Graders who are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, takes place on Tuesday evenings beginning in March from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Confirmation takes place in the Fall, usually in October, when they become 9th graders and complete the Confirmation retreat. The teens are taught by a partnering of adult teachers and older teenagers who serve as mentors. We find the students benefit from a connection to the older teens. They are invited to join the youth ministry in 9th grade and they are encouraged to continue to become active members of the church, involved in parish life and community service.
STRJYM Youth Group Ministry Grades 9 - 12
Sister Parishes St. Raphael's in Livingston and St. Joseph in West Orange, NJ have joined together to provide our teens a safe and fun environment to grow in their faith and learn what it means to be part of a larger family and discover new ways to give back to their communities.
Through out the year, our Youth Ministry STRJYM will work together with other ministries in both our Parishes through Community reach out programs to help those less unfortunate to know the love of God.