Lifelong Faith Formation is the paradigm for ministering to the adults. Based on the input of adults, various modes of faith formation are used at St. Walter Parish: Scripture studies, Church teaching learning sessions, Advent and Lenten initiatives, spiritual series, small groups, prayer exercises, field trips, online learning, webinar, and other models.
According to Canon Law, parents are the primary persons responsible to pass the Catholic faith on to their children. Hence, teams of married couples facilitate a discussion with families seeking to baptize their children, integrating their lived experience as Catholic parents. In addition to a presentation on the Rite of Baptism, parents will discuss ways of instilling the Faith beyond the day of Baptism. Contact the Parish Office to register for this session.
Commonly referred to as VBS, Bible Camp is a week long day camp for children Preschool 4 through Grade 4. Those children who “age out” can return as junior leaders and enjoy a week of great energy, activities, dance, and praise, all for the glory of God. Camp normally occurs the week after the Independence Day holiday.
Children's Liturgy of the Word
In this ministry, God’s Word is opened for the little children from Pre-school through Second Grade during Sunday Liturgy. These children leave the church proper during the Liturgy of the Word and the Sunday readings are presented to them on their level. Helping them to understand God’s Word makes Jesus’ words, “Let the little children come to me” very relevant for
Rite of Christian Initiation for Children
According to Canon Law, children who have reached the age of reason (8 years old) can speak on their own behalf when seeking the sacraments. Hence, unbaptized children over the age of eight are considered candidates for the RCIA, children’s experience. A conversation between the parents, the child and the Director of Faith Formation will lead to an appropriate manner in which to prepare the child for the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
When a person ponders the possibility of becoming a Catholic, or an adult is seeking to celebrate Confirmation, we, the community of St. Walter Parish welcome him or her to begin the process from the moment of inquiry. Whereas some churches base the process on a school calendar, we use a continuous process. Your journey begins when you inquire, and proceeds according to your faith development and needs. The director will set up an interview with the person so as to appreciate the uniqueness of the inquiry.
CFF (Children’s Faith Formation)
Children’s Faith Formation (CFF) provides a partnership with parents in creating a foundation of the spiritual faith journey of the child. We assist the parent by actively engaging the children in a safe learning environment, deepening awareness of God in the home, school, community, and parish. Weekly classes are held from September through April, Preschool Four through Grade Six.
In helping your children reach the abundant life, we seek our task as helping you, the parents. We never forget that you are the primary educators of your children. It is in the loving environment of your family that your children learn to love God. We extend our love and provide formal instruction.
National Catechetical Directory
Confirmation preparation for public school students is a two year process, normally beginning in Grade Seven. Candidates are assigned to a group of peers, facilitated by two adult catechists and remain as a group for the two year process. Sponsors are invited to become an integral part of the experience.
FCC (Family Centered Catechesis)
Parents who wish to personally instruct their child in religious formation, Grades One through Six, may register for this family based option in place of the traditional classroom model. Families are provided with materials and support to instruct their child(ren) with weekly lessons at home, with an emphasis on integrating Faith with everyday experiences. The group meets as a whole 4 – 5 times between October and April for spiritual enrichment and support. Contact Children’s Faith Formation for more information.
Small Christian Communities
Small Christian Communities are organized and reorganized periodically to assist our parishioners on their journey toward a deeper spirituality and a greater understanding and appreciation of their faith.
A Small Christian Community is a group of active Catholic parish members who meet regularly around the Word of God, reflect on it, share their lives of faith and study church related topics. Our parish often suggests faith-sharing materials intended to assist these groups with their study.
Our parish is a “Community of Many Small Communities”.
All youth of our parish are considered part of Youth Ministry from their Confirmation Day. Youth Ministry gives teens an opportunity to experience together their growing and changing faith in a safe place. Each month different events are offered that will be either social, service or spiritual. It is a place for teens to question their faith and a place to listen and to watch the journey of their peers.
- Monthly – SWYM teens lead two events held on campus called Teen Nite and Coffee House
- Once a year – teen leaders host an overnight Discovery retreat on campus
- Service opportunities are offered throughout the year - some locally, some in the Chicagoland area as well as week long mission trips to either Nazareth Farm or Catholic Heart Work Camp
- Youth conferences that we consider: Youth Leadership Conference, Steubenville Teen Conference, Notre Dame Vision and every other year National Catholic Youth Conference
- Teens train to facilitate small groups and prepare skits for our three Confirmation Retreats
SWYM teens witness their faith at many of these events by sharing God’s activity in their life, in their family and in each other. SWYM is a way and a place for teens to see how to live their life the way that Jesus modeled for us all.
Advent Tea Committee
The Women’s Advent Tea allows one to set aside a time to relax and refocus during a normally stress-filled time and to put Christ back in the center of our Christmas preparations and celebrations. The Women’s Advent Tea provides an evening of Faith, Fun, Music and Friendship. It is usually held on the first Friday of Advent. The Tea is a lovely spiritual evening complete with prayer, tea sandwiches, tea, desserts and a guest speaker who shares an Advent message. Registrations begin in late October each year. Look for the details in the weekly bulletin or call the Parish Center for more details