“Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people, and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life.(CCC#5) This catechetical process involves communicating the beliefs, values and practices that form Catholic Christians. It is the work of passing on, from one generation to the next, the faith that has been handed down to us and the way of life this faith calls us to embrace.
The General Directory for Catechesis states that adult catechesis must be considered the chief form of catechesis and that all other forms should be oriented to it (GDC, #59). Adult faith formation, by which people consciously grow in the life of Christ through experience, reflection, prayer, and study, must be "the central task in [this] catechetical enterprise," becoming "the axis around which revolves the catechesis of childhood and adolescence as well as that of old age."
Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us
A Pastoral Plan for Adult Faith Formation in the United States (OHWB) # 5
Ordinary Men in Ordinary Time
Saturday mornings 7:00 – 8:15AM
during Ordinary Time before Advent and Lent
This gathering offers a practical opportunity for men of faith to grapple with issues faced in the ordinariness of their lives at home and at work. The group meets to pray, socialize, discuss their faith and seek God‘s help. For details call or email Jay Wilson (360) 652-9770 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday Morning Bible Study
In the beginning….
Beginning on October 2 and continuing for six weeks on Tuesday mornings after Mass from 9:10- 10:10AM, this study of Genesis 1-11 provides a six week exploration of primeval history. Participants will discover new insights about God‘s creative work by taking a closer look at the creation stories, the narrative of Adam and Eve with the fall, the increase of sin and evil in the world through the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, the judgment of the flood survived by Noah and his family, and the construction of the Tower of Babel. $8 for study guide. Register by Sept. 18 to reserve your book.
The journey continues….
Feb. 5 – Mar. 19 9:10 – 10:10AM This Lenten study of Genesis 12 -23 provides a prayerful opportunity to examine how Abraham‘s encounter with God models our own response to God‘s call in the unique circumstances of our life. Participants will explore the meaning of God‘s covenant and promises fulfilled in the Paschal Mystery of Christ. $8 for study guide. Register by Jan. 22 to reserve your book
Spiritual direction provides a ministry of spiritual companionship for those who want a greater awareness of God in the midst of their daily experiences and relationships. To find out more about spiritual direction or to set up an appointment call the Faith Formation Office.
Our parish desires to reach out to Catholic adults who feel alienated and/or wish to return to active participation in the Church. Those who have been away from their Catholic Faith for any reason and who want information about what it means to be a Catholic today are encouraged to call the Faith Formation Office. A personalized series of sessions will provide an opportunity to re-consider your relationship with the Catholic Church in an open and non-judgmental environment.
The annual Women‘s Retreat is hosted by the Women‘s Group and is held in the fall. The Men‘s Retreat is sponsored by the Ordinary Men‘s Group and generally occurs in early spring. Dates and details about upcoming in-parish retreats will be announced in the bulletin.
Comprehensive youth ministry has been reaffirmed and solidly established as a framework for effective adolescent faith formation in the 1998 U.S. Bishop's document Renewing the Vision. This document recognizes the primacy of relationships, names the parish faith community as the responsible agent, and calls for a proper integration and balance among eight essential components of adolescent faith formation; advocacy, catechesis, community life, evangelization, justice and service, leadership development, pastoral care, and prayer and worship.
Youth Ministry at Immaculate Conception intends to companion teens through a process of life formation as they journey toward adulthood. Through stewardship, fellowship, catechesis, prayer and worship our youth are enabled to embrace their Catholic identity. Rooted in the values and vision of the Gospel, with the support of community and through the deepening of relationships, ICON YM seeks to awaken the awareness of the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of our Youth.
We strive to offer a variety of opportunities to meet the diversity of parish youth-their needs, experiences, and interests. This approach is integrative, working in collaboration with existing ministries and structures within the parish community, local and universal Church.
Our parish Youth Group is open to all teens in Middle School and Senior High. The Youth Group meets regularly on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30PM, September-April. The weekly program includes catechetical sessions, group activities, and time for prayer.
Service Saturday generally occurs on the second Saturday of the month and is a day for teens to put their faith into practice. Teens gather at the parish, carpool to a local worksite and then help others for about two hours
Please note: All Youth Ministry members must have a medical release form on file with the Youth Ministry Office in order to participate in events. This ensures that in case of emergency proper steps are taken to care for our Youth. Each year the form will be updated to assure that the necessary information remains current.
At Immaculate Conception Parish the children‘s catechetical program supports parents as the primary educators in faith for their children. Parental involvement is fundamental in providing a quality religious education experience for our children.
Children enrolled in PreK-Grade 6 use the FaithFirst series published by RCL as a basic component for catechetical instruction. This scripture enhanced curriculum is faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, conforms to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and complies with the global standards and text recommendations of the Faith Formation Department of the Archdiocese of Seattle. The student text features a scope and sequence employing the spiral ‘approach‘ that reinforces the tenets of our faith by presenting the major themes of the Catechism: Creed, Liturgy and Sacraments, Moral Life and Prayer each year in every grade level. More information regarding the FaithFirst program is available at www.faithfirst.com. This interactive website offers a wonderful family resource for both parents and children.
Please note: Students must be brought to the classroom and picked up after each class by a parent, older sibling or designated adult. The catechist will not release the child until the designated person is present to pick him/her up. In the event that a parent is significantly delayed the child will wait in the Parish Office.
Children‘s Liturgy of the Word is offered for children 4yrs old through 4th Grade during the 9:00AM Mass. Through this specialized Liturgy of the Word children are introduced to important aspects of God‘s message in a way that is meaningful and appropriate to their age. During Mass, after the opening prayer, the children are called forth for a blessing and then sent to the Library with a trained minister for their own liturgical experience based on the Sunday readings. They return to the assembly during the preparation of the gifts.
Vacation Bible School is a fun-filled week held the first week in August each summer for children in PreK -Grade 5. From 9:00AM to 12:00pm, Monday through Friday, children explore Bible stories and learn about Christian values in an interactive environment that includes music, skits, crafts, games, food and lots of fun! VBS is a big hit with the children of our parish and their friends. Numerous adult volunteers are needed to staff this multifaceted program including teachers, aides, music leaders, arts and craft leaders, and more. Middle school and high school students offer assistance as teen mentors and group guides.
Sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions
The seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are:
Holy Communion (Eucharist)
Confession (Penance or Reconciliation)
Holy Orders (Ordination)
Anointing of the Sick (Extreme Unction or Last Rites)
Infant Baptism: Parents who wish to have their infant/young child baptized are required to contact the Faith Formation Office to make arrangements to attend baptism preparation sessions offered several times throughout the year. The 2-part series provides a theological overview of the sacrament of baptism, describes responsibilities of parents and Godparents*, and gives parents the opportunity to reflect on their own faith journey and dreams for their children. The classes may be attended either before or after the baby is born, but it is necessary to work out schedules with the parish before making family plans for the baptism. Godparents are invited to attend the parent sessions. Baptism is celebrated during the Sunday or Saturday Vigil Masses periodically throughout the year.
Baptized children who have been enrolled in the parish‘s faith formation program for at least one school year prior to the year when immediate sacramental catechesis occurs and who are at least 7 years old may begin preparing for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. Attendance in Kindergarten and/or the Sacraments 1 Religious Education Class fulfills the required proximate catechesis for the reception of the sacraments in Grade 2 or older. Formal catechetical instruction for First Reconciliation begins in September. The sacrament is usually celebrated on a Saturday morning in January.
Preparation for First Communion begins in January. The sacrament is celebrated in May. At Immaculate Conception catechists and parents work together to prepare the children for the sacraments, therefore, attendance at the parent sessions in October and January and retreat day in April is required. In addition to teaching through living their faith, parents use materials provided by the parish to reinforce what happens in the learning group and to help their children develop greater understanding and appreciation of the sacraments. Older baptized children who have had previous religious education but have not received the sacraments of Reconciliation or Eucharist are enrolled in the regular grade-level Faith Formation classes and receive preparation for the sacraments through specialized instruction (a personalized schedule is worked out each year with families to meet the specific need).
Baptized Catholic adults who have been inactive in the practice of their faith and who wish to update their understanding of Catholicism in preparation to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time are encouraged to contact the Faith Formation Office. A variety of adult learning experiences are available to accommodate the needs and schedule of the inquirer.
The Bishop celebrates the Sacrament of Confirmation every other year for our parish usually during the Easter season.
Confirmation for Teens I
n the Archdiocese of Seattle the sacrament is usually conferred during the Junior or Senior year of high school (or if the candidate will be 16yrs old by the date of Confirmation). Preparation to receive this sacrament necessitates both instruction and participation in the life of the parish. Candidates must be enrolled in the Youth Ministry program and attend required catechetical sessions, service projects and retreats, be mentored by a sponsor**, and participate in an interview process. Confirmation sessions usually begin in the fall and extend into the Easter season.
Confirmation for Adults
Our Adult Confirmation Program is a Catholic-update series designed for practicing Catholics who have been baptized, received first Eucharist, were educated in the faith through participation in Sunday liturgy and religious education programs, but never received the sacrament of Confirmation. The Adult Confirmation Program prepares adults to make an informed decision to confirm their faith in the Roman Catholic Church by providing an overview of the essentials of the faith. The program format combines individual study with facilitated group discussion and independent work with a sponsor**. The program extends throughout the Lenten season and meets on Sunday mornings after Mass from 10:15-11:30AM.
Initiation of Adults- RCIA: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process by which previously unbaptized adults are brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through the reception of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist usually celebrated at the Easter Vigil. The RCIA process involves participation in the worship, service, and community life of the parish. The Inquiry group meets on Sunday mornings following the 9:00AM Mass for prayer, discussion, and instruction. The Catechumenate occurs on Sunday morning following the Liturgy of the Word. Periodic rites are celebrated with the parish community to mark successive faith steps toward full initiation at Easter.
RCIA adapted for children/teens: This is an exciting program geared to those above the age of 7 who wish to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. This program is patterned after the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and is adapted for the needs of children and their families. Preparation sessions are designed to meet the specific circumstances of each participant.
RCIA adapted for baptized Christian
RCIA adapted for baptized Christians: This adaptation of the basic RCIA process is geared to those adults who have been baptized in another Christian community/church and who seek to celebrate full communion in the Roman Catholic Church. The actual time frame for the period of formation leading to a profession of faith and reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist depends on each candidate‘s individual need and prior faith experience. Instructional sessions accommodate each individual‘s situation and normally occur after the 9:00AM Mass on Sunday mornings.
*Baptismal Godparents must be 16 years of age or older. At least one sponsor must be Catholic, and have received the sacrament of Confirmation. If the Catholic sponsor does not belong to Immaculate Conception Parish, a letter is needed from his/her parish stating that he/she is an active and practicing Catholic.
**Confirmation Sponsors are ideally the candidate‘s Godparent. A sponsor must be at least 16 years of age and a fully initiated and practicing Catholic. The sponsor must be available to meet frequently with the confirmation candidate during the proximate preparation period.