Children & Youth

St. Teresa of Avila has a Faith Formation program for school-aged children who are in grades one through eight.  A member of the Pastoral Staff serves as the program coordinator and the catechists are volunteers from among the parishioners.  The Archdiocese of San Francisco provides for ongoing training of catechists leading to certification as a Basic Catechist and/or Master Catechist according to the norms establish by the national council of bishops.  

Meetings are held twice a month, September through May, at 9:15 a.m. in the parish hall.  The timing is designed to allow the students and their parents to join the community for the 10:00 a.m. Mass.  A schedule of class dates are sent to the parents after the calendar of local schools is known.  Effort is made to avoid sessions on three-day weekends because many families are away.

Registration forms are mailed to parents of students who have been enrolled and copies are always available in the vestibule of the church.  The usual time for registration is early summer so that teaching materials may be ordered in time for the beginning sessions.  There is a fee intended to cover the costs of books, etc. but all children are welcome, no matter the family ability to cover the cost.  It is more important to the community of St. Teresa that every child have the opportunities to learn about being a disciple and to participate in the life of the parish community.

Children in grades one through six use the text:  faith first, Legacy Edition for parishes published by RCL Benziger.

All children in our Faith Formation are expected to participate in the online safety program offered by the Archdiocese through LAWROOM.  Parents receive information about this program each year.  It is part of the effort of the American bishops to protect our children and prevent them from being vulnerable to sexual abuse.  The material on sexual abuse is imbedded in general safety information.  At periodic intervals, parents are required to attend an informational meeting on these same materials.

Students who are in the seventh and eighth grades will participate in a two-year program for the preparation to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.  The Archdiocese of San Francisco asks that young people be at least in eighth grade when receiving this sacrament.  Older student are welcome to participate or to be part of the parish RCIA program for the completion of the sacraments of initiation.

Students in the Confirmation Preparation Program use “Spirit” magazine by Good Ground Press during their first year and the “Giver of Life” program by the same company in the second year

We also offer a program designed for younger children, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Basically, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd is religious education grounded in the Montessori method.  Cavaletti’s collaborator, Gianna Gobbi, was a Montessori educator, a trainer of catechists who initially worked with Maria Montessori in 1951.  As a team, Cavalletti and Gobbi developed an approach to religious education that focuses on the spiritual development of children through the age of twelve.  Insights from their experience can be found in two seminal books, each titled The Religious Potential of the Child.  The first book focuses on children ages three to six; the second on children ages six to twelve.


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