Family Faith Formation

Family Faith Formation Program and Schedule

Our Family Faith Formation program was developed to meet the needs of both students and parents. The format of our program is both unique and creative in that it unites the family in both prayer and education, teaches the family about our Catholic faith, fosters a deeper relationship with Christ and each other, and promotes spiritual growth individually, and as a family. The family program format is an innovative approach to religious education that was initially implemented at Immaculate Heart in the fall of 2012. This program has been used in Minnesota and across the U.S. for more than twenty years. 

The schedule for Wednesday evening classes begins with a family supper in the social hall from 5:15 to 6:00. Class begins 6:15 following the bell at 6:05. Class ends at 7:00 pm when students and parents go into church for Adoration of the Most Holy Eucharist until 7:30 when they are released.  

Students in grades 3—12 participate in the large group family class with their parents. This format provides an opportunity for the parent and student to hear the same message, thereby promoting discussion outside of class.

Students in grades Pre-K, Kindergarten, First and Second/Sacramental Preparation (First Reconciliation and First Holy Eucharist) participate in traditional classroom education and are taught by qualified catechists. These students benefit from the traditional format of small classes and education specific to their age and grade. “Catechesis based on different age groups is an essential task of the Christian community” (General Directory for Catechesis #171). 

 Getting Started with Family Faith Formation

New families are welcome throughout the year! Please contact Marilyn Lessard in the parish office (218-692-3731) at any time for information about our program.  

To register for our Family Faith Formation and print calendars, click on the following links:

  • Family Faith Formation calendar, click here.
  • Wednesday-only Family Faith Formation calendar, click here.
  • To register please complete and return the registration form to Immaculate Heart Church, click here.

  To read about our Sacramental Preparation programs, click on the following links:

  • Sacrament of First Reconciliation and First Communion, click here.
  • Sacrament of Confirmation, click here. 

The curriculum for our program is based on Sacred Scripture, is faithful to teachings of the Magisterium and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Four Pillars of the Catholic Church are the foundation for our education. This list shows the pillars and year they were taught:       

  • 2013-14: Pillar I – Creed
  • 2014-15: Pillar II -- Sacrament
  • 2015-16: Pillar III – Morality 
  • 2016-17: Pillar IV – Prayer
  • 2017-18: Pillar – Creed

You can read more about our program in the following paragraphs.

  • Our program meets the criteria for catechesis and aligns with the very definition of “catechesis”: “. . . 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” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no 5). 
  • Our program supports parents who expressed a strong desire to learn more about the Catholic faith and Christian doctrine. Our program also prepares “parents as theprimary educators for their children” (General Directory for Catechesis, # 255).  We strongly believe that a program cannot be truly successful unless parents are involved.  Pope John Paul II wrote: “Parents are the first and most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents.”  Including parents in our program also affirms that “education in the faith” is never-ending and continues throughout our lives.
  • Our program supports students by providing lessons that: a) meet curriculum guidelines for Catholic education, b) are interactive and dynamic, c) support different learning styles (visual, auditory, verbal, physical, logical, social) and c) include discussion in both large and small groups. When organizing small groups, it is important to consider factors such as age, grade, topic, and developmental needs of the students. Because catechesis (education in the faith) in small groups is “person-to-person,” it is important to consider these factors. In their various forms these {small} groups provide genuine support to people in living their faith in daily life” – Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us (USCCB) #105. 

Safe Environment

The safety of our students is important whether they are at church, at home, or in public. The safety training program mandated by the Diocese of Duluth is “Circle of Grace,” a comprehensive Catholic Safe Environment Training Program developed by the Archdiocese of Omaha.  All grades participate in this program. The “Circle of Grace” program contributes to the protection of our students and affirms that they are loved and valued children of God. 

An important aspect of this program is that it helps our students identify when they are uncomfortable with a situation and teaches them how and when to seek help from a trusted adult (also identified through classroom activities).