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Position Coordinator
Name Laura Schwarz
E-mail lschwarz@

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Family Formation

Coming to Sacred Heart in Colby: Family Formation!  This program will take the place of CCD for all Kindergarten through Sixth grade students.  Seventh through Twelfth grade will meet on Wednesday nights as we have done in the past, however, Kindergarten through Sixth grade students AND their parents will meet one Sunday a month.  Please mark the following dates on your calendars: Sept. 9, Oct. 7, Nov. 4, Dec. 2, Jan. 6, Feb. 3, Mar. 3, Apr. 7 and May 5.  Parents will meet in the church basement, children in the school on these dates.  Daycare will be provided for children younger than Kindergarten.  These classes will be from 7:00 - 8:00

CCD is changing!

In 2008 26 Sacred Heart 2nd graders received the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion.  In 2014 21 of those then 8th graders were Confirmed.  By the time this group of students were seniors in High School (2018) only 9 of them came to the senior sending forth Mass and only about ½ of those 9 regularly came to Wednesday night CCD classes.  I am NOT meaning to pick on this group of students – that was actually a high turn out compared to many years.  My point though is that while families in our parish see the importance of having their children receive the Sacraments our current system of Religious Education is not keeping youth or families involved long term. 

As soon as I start talking Religious Education many people tune out – maybe you send your children to Sacred Heart School so you figure you are already doing all you need to, maybe your children are already grown so you think CCD doesn’t apply to you anymore.  Please, what I am going to talk about today is for everyone, those who have kids at Sacred Heart School, the Public School, those who Home School, those who don’t have children and those whose children are already grown. 

 The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) was first started in 1562 in Rome for the purpose of providing religious education. Today CCD classes are the religious education classes taught to school age children to learn the basic doctrines of their faith.  Perhaps the biggest problem with this system is that we have forgotten that PARENTS, not CCD teachers or Catholic schools, are the primary educators of the Catholic faith.  Neither CCD, not Catholic schools can replace parents in passing on the Catholic faith to the next generation.  We can continue doing what we have always done and hold CCD classes, for 1 hour once a week, for those children who do not attend Catholic school.  However, continuing to do what we have always done will continue to get us the same or perhaps even worsening results.  It is harder and harder to keep our children Catholic after they are confirmed, after they graduate from High School, and after they leave home.  How many of you have grown children who have left the faith?  How many of you know anyone who has all of their grown children still actively living the Catholic faith?  We cannot keep doing what we have always done. 

 I have been talking with out Education Commission and some of the parents of our youth and next year we are going to implement a change in the way we do Religious Education for our Kindergarten – Sixth grade students.  There is a program called Family Formation that has been in place for the past 30 years in some parishes across the country.  This program stresses that PARENTS, not other teachers, are the primary educators of their children.  Classes meet once a month – parents attend their own class while their children are attending grade level classes taught by someone other than parents.   Parents learn the same lessons their children are learning the first of the month and then are given the rest of the lessons for the month to do at home with their children at any time.  For example, all parents and children would come to Family Formation night on the first Sunday of the month for 1 hour.  Parents would meet in the gym, while their children met in age specific classes.  The rest of the weeks of September parents would teach their own children, at home, the remaining lessons (which would be provided to them).  The first Sunday of October all parents and children would come again.  There are 9 Family Formation nights so classes meet once a month September through May.  This program is currently only set up for Kindergarten through sixth grade which means seventh through twelfth grade would continue to meet each Wednesday night as we have done in the past. 

I want to stress this is NOT just for those who do not send their children to Sacred Heart Catholic School.  Whether you send your children to Sacred Heart, the public school or whether you home school we would like you to enroll in this program.  If you DO NOT have children in these age groups I am in need of your help to teach either the children or adult classes that will meet once a month.  I have had many faithful parishioners whose children are already grown who have taught for many years.  I will need even more parishioners like this.  Please be in prayer about whether you could help with this!  Please be in prayer for our families! 

Sacred Heart Catholic Church + 585 N. French Ave, Colby, KS 67701 + 785.462.2179 +

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