Religious Education Program

The goal of religious education is always to proclaim the message of Jesus and invite all—no matter their age—to discipleship. We are always called to deepen our faith in Jesus Christ. Faith Formation is continuous throughout grade school for children, and should be ongoing lifelong for adults.

We offer two religious education programs for children:

      A Monthly Whole Community Catechesis program

      A Summer Session Plus 4 Events program

See the buttons at left for the registration forms. All families who wish to attend Religious Education Program must be registered parishioners. If you are new to the Church of the Sacred Heart, please stop by or contact the Parish Center Main Office to register for the parish.

Monthly Whole Community Catechesis Program:Children and their families meet once a month to share a snack, pray, and learn together. Growing in Faith Together (GIFT) is a more natural way to foster faith formation in the context of parish life. The program runs 12 months out of the year, beginning each year in September. Families must attend 10 out of 12 sessions. This is not a drop-off program and children must be accompanied by at least one adult. During the program, family members do meet in age level groups to further learning in age appropriate ways. Learning the same topic during a session fosters sharing and strengthens family life.

Summer Session Plus 4 Events Program: Did you child attend the Summer Session in July 2018? Religious Education isn’t over yet! Please attend 4 events during the course of year to help continue the learning begun in a concentrated way in July. Here is the list of approved events.

All About Angels (New!), Saturday, Sept. 29, 9-10 am, School cafeteria. Online registration. Celebrate the Feast of the Archangels by learning all about angels

All Soul’s Candlelight Service , Sunday, Nov. 4, 4 pm, Holy Redeemer Cemetery, Online registration. Remember loved ones who have died at our cemetery mausoleum and pray the Rosary together.

All Saints Spectacular (New!), Tuesday, Nov. 6, 6-7 pm or 7:30-8:30 pm, School cafeteria, Online registration. While we remember saints during their feast days throughout the year, each year we have a special feast day for all the saints in heaven, both known and unknown. Learn about the official Church process for becoming a saint and take a closer look at the lives of some of these holy people.

Advent Workshop, Monday, Nov. 19, 6-7 pm or 7:30-8:30 pm, School cafeteria, Online registration. Prepare for Christmas by understanding the special season of Advent.

Old-Fashioned Christmas Carol Sing-a-long (New!), Saturday, Dec. 15, 7 pm, church. Enjoy singing? Miss the good old days when people gathered to sing beloved Christmas carols? Well, the good old days are back! Join us to sing Christmas carols together in the church and enjoy this time honored tradition. This event is open to the parish and the community.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 6-7 pm or 7:30-8:30 pm, School cafeteria, Online registration. One of the most popular appearances of Mary, celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe’s feast by learning about this miraculous apparition.

Epiphany Brunch, Sunday, January 6, 10:30 am (after 9 am Mass), School cafeteria, Online registration. Enjoy a continental breakfast and learn about the Three Kings.

Family Bible Night, Thursday, January 24, 6-7 pm or 7:30-8:30 pm, School cafeteria, Online registration. Deepen your knowledge of the Bible and the life and times of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Lent Workshop, Thursday, February 28, 6-7 pm or 7:30-8:30 pm, School cafeteria, Online registration. Get ready for this penitential season and learn ways to keep the season holy.

Stations of the Cross, Friday, March 8, 7 pm, church

Stations of the Cross, Friday, March 15, 7 pm, church

Stations of the Cross, Friday, March 22, 7 pm, church

Stations of the Cross, Friday, March 29, 7 pm, church

Stations of the Cross, Friday, April 5, 7 pm, church

Stations of the Cross, Friday, April 12, 7 pm, church

Online registration: a link is emailed to you 1 week before the event at approximately 7 pm. Please use the link to register for the event.

Church event: Because the church is large, no online registration is necessary. Just sign in at the parking lot door when you arrive.

Sacrament Programs
First Reconciliation and First Eucharist: Preparation for these sacraments takes 2 years and begins when a child enters Grade 1. First Reconciliation and First Eucharist are celebrated during Grade 2.

Confirmation: Children must continue Religious Education from Grades 3 thru Grade 8 if they wish to celebrate Confirmation at the end of Grade 8. This sacrament is celebrated in the Spring of the student’s eighth grade and requires the completion of religious education, a Confirmation journal, attendance at a mandatory retreat and 20 hours of service in a Christian setting. Following Confirmation, all are encouraged to participate in the social, spiritual and ministerial life of the parish community.

Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA)
To become a Catholic, three sacraments are celebrated: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. Adults who wish to become Catholic as well as teens and adults who never received all three sacraments participate in RCIA to become fully initiated in the Church. This enables them not only to participate fully in the life of the Church but also to help others in their spiritual formation either as a godparent or a Confirmation sponsor. A period of preparation is required before any or all of these sacraments can be celebrated. During this four-step process teens and adults learn about Scripture, the Tradition of the Church, participate and learn about the liturgy and other rituals of the Church, and participate in life of the parish community. This is an open-ended process and not defined by a specific length of time.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why should enroll your child in religious education every year? To become a fully initiated Catholic, a person must celebrate three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.

If a person has not celebrated all three sacraments, he or she
      • cannot be a godparent,
      • cannot be a Confirmation sponsor, or, possibly,
      • be permitted to marry in a Catholic parish. (According to Church law 1065 §1: “Catholics who have not yet received the sacrament of confirmation are to receive it before they are admitted to marriage if it can be done without grave inconvenience.” This implies that a pastor may decide to delay the Sacrament of Matrimony until the Sacrament of Confirmation is celebrated.)

Why can’t these three sacraments be done all at once?If someone is going to be Catholic for the rest of their lives, there’s no reason to rush. Spiritual formation should be done properly, allowing the person time to learn, reflect, and live their faith. A thirteen-year-old can understand much more and live their faith more completely than a seven-year-old. Just as it is ridiculous to stop a child’s general education at the age of seven, similarly, we all need education in the faith throughout our lives, gradually growing in holiness, devotion and commitment to Jesus.

Scheduling Note:

If either South Plainfield School District or the parish school building (Holy Savior Academy) is closed, Religious Education classes are cancelled. Cancellations are announced on radio station 101.5 FM and by email.

For Additional Information Contact

Louise Timko

Director of Religious Education

(908) 756-0633  Ext 143    

Louise Timko