The Church teaches that parents are to be the first and primary educators of the Faith to their children. It is at the Rite of Baptism children first experience God in the arms of their parents, and parents take a vow at their child’s baptism, agreeing to teach and bring their child up in the faith of the church.
The Church of St. Mary at Clinton Heights honors the right and privilege of parents to be involved in the Faith Formation of their child, and we are pleased to be a part of your family’s faith journey. The Pastoral Associate for Evangelization and Catechesis along with the Catechists and Volunteers understand it is a privilege to teach and share the beliefs of our Catholic faith and we are here to support you on your journey with your children.
- The Elementary Faith Formation, welcomes all youth enrolled in Kindergarten – 5 th Grade.
- We gather Sunday mornings, September thru May from 9:45am -10:45am.
- The Elementary Faith Formation use resources from Loyola Press, Finding God, which fosters a lifelong relationship with God by engaging children in the full and authentic teachings of the Catholic Church.
- The curriculum has been approved through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the General Directory for Catechesis, and the National Directory for Catechesis COMMUNICATION
- Communication with parents and guardians form the parish is via USPS letters and postcards along with email.
- Please update our office if you change your email address. Also, please check that your email server is not blocking email addresses ending in “stmaryny.org”.
- Any questions, comments or concerns are welcome and may be directed to the PAEC via phone518-449- 2232 x12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Each spring, all current registered youth receive a pre-printed registration form to be updated and returned to the PAEC.
- New families and participants may download a blank registration form from the parish website www.stmaryny.org or contact the PAEC.
- Registration fees are as follows $45.00 per child, $60.00 for two children with a cap of $75.00 per family.
- No family or participant will be turned away if this fee is a hard ship.
POLICIES & PROCEDURES
- There are only 26 scheduled sessions from September through May, and during each session, the catechist covers important content to give participants an in-depth look at the Catholic faith
- If you know in advance your child will be absent from one of the scheduled session, please let your child’s catechist know, and they will individually address materials that will be covered during the missed session.
- If your child is sick or an unforeseen circumstance should arise, please contact the PAEC via email or phone.
- After an absence, parents should discuss with the catechist what their child missed and make up any material covered at home.
- If your child is absent and we have not heard from you, we will follow up with a phone call to the home to make sure everyone is well.
ARRIVAL / DISMISSAL
- Participants are dropped off in the parish hall by a parent or authorized adult. The youth wait in the parish hall until their group is dismissed with their catechist to begin their session together.
- At the end of each session, all elementary participants must be signed out by a parent or authorized adult. These sign out sheets are located in the parish hall, and consider this sign out policy essential to your child’s safety.
- If your child arrives late for their session, they will check in with the ‘gate-keeper’ who will update the attendance register and then bring them to their session.
- If you need to pick up your child early, please check in with the ‘gate-keeper’, and they will bring your child to you, then simply sign them out with the time you left.
- For their safety, children should never be playing on the parish grounds or running in the hall unsupervised prior to or following their session.
- Parents and friends are always welcome to visit their child’s session to observe or help the catechist with a lesson. You must check in with the ‘gate-keeper’ to receive a visitor’s Badge prior to joining the session.
- Below are some general guidelines for good behavior during faith formation classes:
- Respect for one another, adults and youth alike.
- Disruptive behavior of participants is not acceptable. The following process occurs when a behavior issue arises:
- A verbal warning will be given to the participant by the catechist or volunteer.
- If the behavior continues, the participant will be asked to visit with the PAEC to discuss the behavior, and the parent will be notified of the behavior issue.
- If he/she continues the disruptive behavior, the parent will be asked to pick up the student and meet with the PAEC, Catechist and other parties involved to discuss the concerns. The parent may be asked to attend sessions with their child until the behavior issue is resolved.
- A participant who continues to disrupt the session may be asked to attend alternative formation programs offered at the parish
- The Church of St. Mary at Clinton Heights along with the Diocese of Albany is committed to compliance with the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People. Article 12 of the Charter mandates that, “each diocese establish and maintain a Safe Environment Program for children and youth.” In light of this, the VIRTUS Safe Environment Program for Children was adopted by the Diocese of Albany in September, 2003.
- In compliance with the Charter, the Church of St. Mary at Clinton Heights Faith Formation Programs present the Safe Environment program, a sexual abuse prevention program, for all of our participants (Elementary – High School) during one session on an annual basis. Each child will attend an age-appropriate session lasting 10-15 minutes. This program is provided to us by the Diocese of Albany and is a part of our ongoing effort to help create and maintain a safe environment for all children.
- In addition all of our volunteers must attend a Virtus training session, and complete and application, background check, and sign a code of conduct. All forms and additional information can be viewed by contacting the PAEC.