September 6, 2019
In this Issue

Program summary
First Day information
Classroom information (where to go and who is teaching)
Sacrament Preparation news
Safety Information
Other programs for children
Opportunities for parents
Parish News
Classes start Sunday September 8

Welcome to a new year of Children's Faith Formation!  We use the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies, a liturgically-based program that is tied to each Sunday's gospel (although the first few weeks we use their "early start" materials).  This program helps you in your important role as your child's first educator. Each week students receive a handout to take home that you can discuss together.  Visit their website here to learn more, and revisit throughout the year for timely resources in English or Spanish. 

Attending Mass together should be a priority in your household if you want your child to get the most out of their time in Faith Formation.  We encourage families to attend the 9:30 Mass, but other opportunities at St. Joseph include Saturdays at 5pm, and Sundays at 7:30am, 11:30am (your child would have to leave class early to attend) and 7pm.  

Please contact me (Anne Marie Fourré, Director of Faith Formation) if you have any questions or concerns.  I can be reached at 510-995-9409 or
 Sunday through Thursday each week.    
First Day Information

Plan to attend the 9:30 Mass this Sunday to start the year off with a blessing for all our Faith Formation students.  Class begins at 10:45 in St. Joseph Elementary School.  Sign your child into their classroom (see "Safety Information" below for details) and then you are invited to remain for a short Opening Ceremony, a general assembly with all students gathered together.  Students will then return to their classrooms for the remainder of their hour, with class ending at 11:45.  You will sign your child out of their classroom at that time.

Families who will be celebrating First Reconciliation and First Eucharist this year will remain in the Learning Center after the Opening Ceremony for an orientation session on the new Sacrament Preparation program.   (See Sacrament Preparation item below.)
Where is My Classroom?
The combined PreK/Kindergarten class is held in the Elementary School kindergarten room, located in Marianist Hall entered through the parking lot closest to Encinal.  However, on the first day everyone will start in the main building.  Bring your child to the Learning Center (open area on the first floor) to sign in with catechist Thanh Chang.  After the brief Opening Ceremony, the PK/K students will be led to the kindergarten room, which is where you will sign your child out when class ends at 11:45.  In the future, bring your child directly to the kindergarten room.  PreK/K uses Pflaum's Promise series.
First Grade
First grade meets in  Room 1 on the first floor, and is led by catechist  Marie Nitifan Quan.   Pflaum's Promise program is used.   
Second Grade
Returning second graders and older children in their second year of preparing for sacraments have a different schedule and program.  See "Sacrament Preparation" below.
Second graders who are starting Faith Formation for the first time (did not attend first grade here or elsewhere) can join either First or Third Grade; contact me to discuss your preference.  
Third Grade
Third grade meets in Room 5 (upstairs on right) and is led by catechists Ernie and Noriko Mahr.  Pflaum's Good News curriculum is used.
Fourth Grade
Fourth Grade will be in Room 6 (upstairs on right), using Pflaum's Ventures .  Class is led by co-catechists Ka Kay Achacoso and Jocelyn Banaria.  
Fifth Grade
Fifth Grade meets in Room 7 (upstairs on left).  Co-catechists are Frank and Margo Diaz and Tom Chargualaf.  Pflaum's Ventures is used.
Junior High
6th, 7th and 8th graders meet in Room 8 (upstairs).  Co-catechists are Natalie Ackerman and Olivia Rebanal.   Pflaum's   Visions  version is used.   Parents are requested to sign their student in every week, and to assist in the classroom periodically.  (You  may fill out a release form allowing your child to sign themselves out each week.)
Sacrament Preparation

For returning second graders  and older students in their second year of preparation, we are offering a new, whole-family program through Growing Up Catholic.   Join us this Sunday at 10:45 in the Elementary School Learning Center for the Opening Ceremony, and stay for a short orientation session to explain the new program while your child attends a break-out led by catechist Janice Craig and helpers.   
The Sacrament Preparation program will begin on Sunday November 3, during the same time (10:45 to 11:45) but meeting in Notre Dame Hall, the high school cafeteria, with their parents or guardians as their teachers.   
The complete schedule is available here, and starts with 5pm Mass and potluck dinner on Saturday October 26 to which the whole family is invited.  
Days  with blanks under "Sessions & Events" means your child has no class that day .  However, you are welcome to take a set of Pflaum's Good News to use at home, if desired.
Safety Information

Due to the large number of students and the busy parking lot, parents must sign their children into their classrooms before class each morning and sign them out at the end of class.  Junior high students may sign themselves out if the parent has signed a release. 
No food or beverages are allowed in the school building (Learning Center or classrooms), so please have your child finish any snacks before entering. 
More information here.
Other Programs for Children

Children's Choir for grades 1 to 8.  Practice on Thursdays 4 to 5 in Basilica, to sing at monthly Family Mass.   Information here.
CIA Christ in Action Performing Arts Ministry. Practice on Tuesdays 4 to 5 in Basilica, to celebrate the Gospel with music, movement and drama and to participate in monthly Family Mass.  Information here.
Scouting.  St. Joseph sponsors a Cub Pack for boys and girls, 6 to 10-1/2.  Stay tuned for recruiting news.
CYO Cross Country (fall) and Track & Field (spring) through St. Joseph Elementary School sports program, open to CFF students who attended Faith Formation last year.  Info here.
Opportunities for Adults

Holy Chaos Mini-retreat for parents, Sept 29 in San Ramon.  Info here.
RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) to prepare for baptism or to become Catholic, or for adult Catholics to prepare for Reconciliation and Eucharist.  Info here.
Confirmation classes for adult Catholics on Thursday nights.  Info here.
Moms' Bible Study on Tuesday mornings.  Children welcome.  Info here.
Young Families Group for families with young children.  Info here.
Young Adult Group for those 20 to 39.  Info here.
Parish News
View upcoming events on our website here, or better yet, sign up for the weekly Basilica E-News here.

If you do not wish to receive Faith Formation emails, please email me and I will remove you from this distribution list.  
Anne Marie Fourre, Director of Faith Formation
510-995-9409 |