"Generations of Faith" is the primary model of faith formation for our partner parishes. Sessions take place monthly, beginning in October, with pre-registration occurring in August and September. The program is designed so that age-specific instruction occurs simultaneously for families with elementary-age children, adolescents, and adults. Each session begins with a shared meal, an opening prayer, and a multi-generational activity. Then, the three parallel learning groups move into in-depth learning sessions. All ages return to the gathering area for sharing of what they have learned or created. The sessions end with a closing prayer service and review of the take-home kit. All parishioners are encouraged to participate in this ongoing process of intergenerational learning, offered the first Sunday of each month from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at St. Helen's Hall in Fairchance. For a copy of the Generations of Faith brochure, please click here.
Both the family and the parish have important roles in preparing children for First Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. The Church prepares and welcomes children to First Reconciliation and First Communion when they reach the age of discretion, 7 years old. Intergenerational workshops for children and their parents are held in preparation for the reception of these Sacraments. Before receiving First Eucharist, the Church requires that children receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Penance). First reception of this sacrament takes place during the Advent season at a parish reconciliation service.
Catechesis for confirmation and first Eucharist emphasizes the theology of Christian initiation, which links baptism, confirmation and Eucharist as one process incorporating one into a lifelong journey of conversion in faith. The primary focus in preparing children for these sacraments of initiation is spiritual formation. The normative age for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Diocese of Greensburg is about the age of 13 (Grade 8) by the 2017-2018 catechetical year.