Welcome to Faith Formation!

Jesus with children

St. John's Department of Faith Formation, 2028 Sandridge Road, Alden, NY 14004    
Phone: (716) 937-3448     Email: stjohnsspirit2@gmail.com

Delphine Leaderstorf- Catechetical Leader                          email: stjohnsspirit2@gmail.com
Debbie Pirog - Elementary Sacramental Coordinator          email: mjp542004@yahoo.com
Lynn Fox - Individual Education Coordinator                       email: fox_stjohns@yahoo.com

Faith Formation Office hours:

September - midMay      Mondays 9:30am - 3:30pm, 7pm -9pm          Thursdays 9:30am-3:30pm         Saturdays 8am - 11am
midMay - June                Mondays 9:30am - 3:30pm                             Thursdays 9:30am - 3:30pm
July - August                   Mondays 9 am - noon                                     Thursdays 9 am - noon

Please view our Policy Booklet with class dates for 2016-2017 school year and special event dates on last pages.
Note changes to 2016-2017 schedule:  Monday, Lifeteen (9th, 10th)    No Class Jan 2, 2017
                                                                  Sunday, Edge (6th,7th,8th), Feb 5    (not Monday, Feb 6)
                                                                  Sunday, Edge (6th,7th,8th), March 12 will be at St. John's (not off campus)
                                                                  Sunday, Edge (6th,7th,8th), April 2 will be at St. John's (not off campus)


St. John's Parish believes Religious Education is a continuing journey of faith.  It is one that begins in the home and is reinforced by weekly classes.  We strive to teach the students the basic principles of the Catholic faith, giving meaning to the rituals and symbols of Catholicism and helping them grow in their prayer life. It is our desire to work in conjunction with their families. These classes need to be combined with their family’s daily commitment to practicing the faith (regular mass attendance, commitment to God, service to others and good example).

Formal Faith Formation classes are available for Grades PreK4 - Grade 11.  PreK4 and Kindergarten are not required grade levels, however Grade 1 through 11 are required and students are expected to attend classes at every grade level. 

Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation takes place in 2nd Grade.  Preparation for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion takes place in 3rd Grade, and preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation is a 3 year program and takes place in 9th, 10th, and 11th grade.  Older children who have not received the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist will be catechized to on an individual basis. Please notify the Office of Faith Formation if your child is in Grade 3 or above and has not received these Sacraments, so that necessary arrangements can be made.

Pre-K4 through Grade 5 classes are held on Saturday mornings from 9:00 am to 10:30 am

Grades 6, 7, 8 (Edge Program) are held on Sunday mornings from 9:15 am to 10:45 am.  (NEW DAY)

Grades 9 and 10 classes (Life Teen Program) are held on Monday nights from 7 pm to 8:30 pm  (NEW TIME)

Grade 11 classes (Confirmation) are invited to participate in our Confirmation Preparation program where they meet in small and large group sessions, typically on Sunday or Monday evenings. Class location and date will be requested through a form filled out by REGISTERED families at the parent/student/teacher meeting.

Cell phone use:  We understand that there are certain situations where the students need to use a cell phone.  A classroom setting is not one of them.  Please make it clear to your child that the use of a cell phone for calls, texting, or photography is not allowed.  If you child is sick and need to get in touch with you, that can be done in the Religious Education Office.  The use of these devices is very distracting in class, not only for the user, but also for the rest of the class as well.  If a student uses the cell phone in class, it will be collected by the teacher and after class, it will be returned when a parent comes to the office to retrieve it.

Home study for Grades 1-5:  A book and study guide are given to parents of students.  Instructions are given to cover certain chapters by January and May when a mid-term or final test is taken by the student.  The test is comprised of questions from the study guide.  Specific prayers are expected to be known by appropriate grade levels.  The prayers will asked to be recited after the tests.  A final grade will be determined from the grades of the mid-term and final tests.   

Home study for Grades 6 through 8 is based on a trimester.  A packet is given to the parent to read and discuss with a student providing short answers to the discussion questions in the packet and then return on specific dates on the instruction sheet.  No tests are required.

Home study for Grades 9 and 10 is based on a semester.  A packet is given to the parent to read and discuss with a student providing short answers to the discussion questions in the packet, then return on specific dates on the instruction sheet. No tests required.  Home study is not offered as an option for 11th grade in final preparation for Confirmation.

Individual Education:  For those of you who have not had children enrolled before or who are new to the area, we invite you to contact the Faith Formation Dept. for more information about our program.  We offer individual education for those who may not have been enrolled in classes from an early age, and classes for those students with special needs.

All families who participate in the Faith Formation Program are required to be registered with a parish.  If you are registered with a parish other than St. John's, please inform the Faith Formation Office.
Fees are as follows:  $50/child (St. John's parishioner)  ($100 maximum per family excluding sacramental fees)
                                  $65/child (non-parishioner) (no maximum)
                                  $20 First Reconciliation fee (in addition to registration fee)
                                  $25 First Eucharist fee (in addition to registration fee)
                                  $65 Confirmation fee (NOT in addition to registration fee)
Checks are made payable to St. John's Rel. Ed. Dept.
These fees assist to defray the cost of books, pencils, folders, rosaries, scapulars, bibles, etc supplied to the students, as well as supplies for retreats and special events.

We would LOVE your help in our program. We are always looking for co-teachers to share their faith. All catechists are required to be in good standing with the Catholic Church, living their faith in their daily lives, attending regular catechetical meetings where continuing education takes place, and conforming to all Diocesan requirements.

Your dedication to the faith and to your children's learning about their religion will help them find it important as well.  Let's work, as a family, for the benefit of "our" children!
Please contact the Religious Education Office if you have questions about volunteering or enrolling your child.

Safe Environment Training

We can all be part of the solution--- together we can prevent child abuse.  All clergy, consecrated men and women and employees, are required to take Safe Environment Training.  In addition, all volunteers serving minors, working in food pantries or meal service, providing ministerial service in private homes or other facilities and/or administering service in an after school program must be trained. 

In the Diocese of Buffalo all volunteers over 18 years old must complete a safe environment training foundation class.  The current foundation training program is “Protecting God’s Children for Adults" which is a 3 hour program that provides steps that each one of us can take to prevent child sexual abuse. As a component of the training, all volunteers are required to complete a Volunteer Application and Code of Ethics. 

After taking the Safe Environment foundation course, a renewal training through monthly online training is required.  

Please visit virtus.org to learn more about the Diocese of Buffalo Safe Environment Training, to register for  a training class, or to complete online training.

The Diocese of Buffalo encourages anyone who has been a victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse by any clergy, consecrated life, employee or volunteer of the Roman Catholic Church to contact the police.

Please continue to pray for the end of all abuse and a greater respect of the dignity of the human person.

"Be Bold. Be Catholic." Decision Point