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The Faith Formation Program at Immaculate Heart of Mary touches parishioners of all ages, but specifically addresses the spiritual education needs of two groups: children of primary-school age (four-year-olds through students in fifth grade) and adults who are responding to God's call to full membership in the Roman Catholic Church.
Middle- and high-school age children, as well as college students, will find their needs met with the Youth Ministry program. Please visit the Youth Ministry site at our main website (www.ihmchurch.org).
Faith Formation classes for children begin after Labor Day and close in mid-May.
Parents may choose to enroll their children in either the Wednesday afternoon or Sunday afternoon program. Wednesday classes, held at the IHM Parish Life and Education Center at the corner of Skeet Club Rd. and Johnson St. (click here for a map), begin at 4:30 p.m. Dismissal is at 6 p.m. Sunday classes start at 4:15 p.m. and dismiss at 5:45 p.m.
The Faith Formation Commission usually meets on the second Monday of the month from 7-9 p.m., in meeting room 1. For changes, check the building use schedule.
Director and Coordinator
The children of our parish are prepared for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist each year. We emphasize that parents are the primary teachers of their children and that it is through the parents that the Faith is handed on. Parents meet in the fall and the spring of each year with the Director of Faith Formation or the co-coordinators as part of the sacramental program. Children must attend the Faith Formation program for two entire terms (typically, first and second grade) in order to receive First Eucharist. Children preparing for First Eucharist also attend a one-day retreat each spring.
Reaching Out to Others in Need
Children and their families are encouraged to be mindful of the materially poor. Each year during Advent and/or Lent, children in the Faith Formation program are encouraged to participate in fun and creative fund-raising efforts.
IHM has numerous committed catechists who generously donate their time, talents and love to the children of our parish. Without them, our programs would cease to exist. Catechist formation is offered on a parish, regional and diocesan level. The need to develop skills and techniques for effective teaching is emphasized, while keeping in mind sound gospel values and the need to model Christ's love to the children. The Regional Office of Faith Formation of the Charlotte Diocese offers ongoing training opportunities to provide the basics in Skills and Theory, Scripture, Sacraments, Catholic Identity and Morality.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School is offered each June shortly after school is dismissed for the summer. Our program is intended for children from age 4 through rising fifth graders. Each year offers a different and fun-filled program where children take part in rotations of story time, music, games and crafts. VBS also offers a wonderful opportunity for older youth and adults of the parish to volunteer their time and talents as catechists and team leaders. A minimal fee is charged for children attending Vacation Bible School.
Adult Formation is offered in various ways: the Parish Lenten Renewal, Scripture Study, Wednesday Morning Bible Study, sponsorship in R.C.I.A. and speaker programs.
For more information, please contact the Faith Formation office at 336-884-5352.