What is Faith Formation
School is such an important part of a young person’s life. Through Catholic School, students not only learn about reading, writing and arithmetic. They learn about values, morals, friendships and decision-making. At Father Hay, this process is fostered by what we call “faith formation.”
Faith Formation is more than the handing on of religious instruction. Its goal is growth in faith, which implies both formation and transformation, leading one to live out the Gospel as part of a believing community. Religious education is a lifelong process. Everyone, including the teacher and catechist, is always a learner. Faith Formation is an expression of the mission entrusted by Jesus to the Church. Through Faith Formation, the church seeks to prepare its members, old and young, to proclaim the Good News and to translate this proclamation into action.
Student formation is about helping to shape the elements of character- be they spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, or physical, according to Catholic values. This is accomplished through direct and repetitive interaction with a student by establishing standards, modeling acceptable behavior, and holding students accountable to these.
When Pope John Paul II spoke to Catholic educators in New Orleans, during his 1983 visit to the United States, he admonished the Catholic school and said, “Parents are the primary educators of their children. This responsibility can never be abdicated nor shall the Catholic school, no matter the circumstances, assume that responsibility.”
Our goal is to work in partnership with parents. When you bring your children to Father James B Hay, we take them into our family and they become one of ours. As such we will love, honor, correct, and sometimes get after them, not unlike you would. Through all of this we acknowledge the words of Pope John Paul II and wish to include you in the formation of your children.
Collaboration of Parents
It is through the collaboration of parents and their involvement in the life of the school that formation happens. Parents may involve themselves in the school by assisting in its various clubs and organizations and through their involvement in the various parent groups. Parents are also expected to attend educational opportunities developed for the purpose of assisting them with the formation of their children. This parental collaboration will assist in protecting the parental climate of the school, support the school’s various policies, and to cultivate great friendships.
Aiding parents in their role as the primary educators of their own children, we plan to host a series of presentations throughout the school year on topics particularly relevant to parents such as the importance of teaching children respect, responsibility, generosity and friendship. These presentations are given by professionals in the education and parenting fields.
“Do not presuppose the faith but propose it…Faith is not maintained automatically. It is not ‘finished business’ that we can simply take for granted. The life of faith has to be constantly renewed. And since faith is an act that comprehends all the dimensions of our existence, it also requires constantly renewed reflection and witness.”
Pope Benedict XVI in “Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism”