Director of Religious Education
770-432-8579 Ext. 112
Click HERE to e-mail
Registration for the 2012-2013 school year is now OPEN. Registration forms can be found in the Commons Area in Church or outside of the Religious Education Office. The Religious Education Office is open Monday – Friday from 10:00am – 5:00pm. Please contact the Religious Education Office at 770-432-5296 if you have any questions.
The mission of the Parish School of Religion (PSR) is to provide programs that enable the family to journey in faith by coming to a deeper understanding of the message of Christ, by experiencing a Christian Community and by guiding them to worship, to pray, and to serve others.
The Parish School of Religion is designed for students in Kindergarten through the 8th grade who attend public schools. Classes are held on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Students learn basic techniques and traditions of the Catholic faith.
Archdiocese of Atlanta Sacramental Guidelines
Baptism: Baptism is the initiating sacrament for all other sacraments. Children, 6 years of age and older, who have not been baptized must be prepared for this sacrament. A child who is baptized a Christian in a non-Catholic church and wishes to partake in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church is asked to make a Profession of Faith to the Roman Catholic Church. This may be done before or during preparation for First Penance. (Proof of Baptism must be provided).
First Reconciliation: A child must be in second grade or above and enrolled in the Parish School of Religious Education program for at least one year prior to beginning preparation for this sacrament. (A copy of baptismal certificate must be presented to the Education Office if baptized at any church other than St. Thomas the Apostle.)
First Eucharist: A child must be in second grade or above and be enrolled in the Parish School of Religious Education program for at least one year prior to beginning preparation for this sacrament. Sufficient time must lapse between the reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Eucharist, so that the child can distinguish between the two celebrations. (If it has not previously been done in this parish, a copy of the Baptismal certificate and verification of First Penance must be presented to the Education Office.)
Confirmation: Candidate for this sacrament must have been in attendance in a catechetical program for at least two years PRIOR to enrollment in the Confirmation Program OR in attendance at a Catholic High School BEFORE enrollment in the Confirmation Program. (At St. Thomas the Apostle, students will participate in Grades 8 and 9 PSR/Lifeteen or Catholic school to begin immediate Confirmation preparation in Grade 10) Copies of Baptismal certificate, First Eucharist certificate and verification of First Penance must be presented to the Education Office if not previously submitted.
Become a Catechist
Our PSR program is run entirely by volunteers. The Archdiocese of Atlanta requires that anyone who is in contact with children as a volunteer must complete a Safe Environment program.
For more information on Safe Environment, CLICK HERE.
Catechist… What’s in the name?
“I don’t know when, or where, or how it happened, but I used to be a religious teacher and now I am a catechist,” reflected a woman who had been teaching religion in a Catholic school for more than fifteen years.
What is a catechist?
Interesting enough catechist is not a new term. It has its roots in the very early church. It comes from a Greek word meaning, to teach, to inform. In the time of St. Augustine the word took on the meaning to respond, to echo, to sing out.
“Catechesis” is the process of helping people acquire and deepen Christian faith and identity. This happens through initiation rites, instruction, and formation of conscience. Catechesis includes the message presented and captured by the heart. It has been chosen as the word that best describes the process that includes instruction…but also goes beyond that to commitment, action and involvement. It is a word used almost exclusively by the Catholic community.
Parents, teachers, principals in Catholic schools, directors of religious education, deacons, priests, and bishops are catechists. All of these catechists have their own role and unique responsibilities in helping people acquire and deepen Christian faith.
A catechist is committed to four things:
- To proclaim the mysteries of faith
- To foster community
- To encourage worship and prayer
- To motivate service to others
If you were simply teaching the facts of Christian Doctrine, you probably could rest comfortably with the expression PSR teacher. If you teach religion, very much in the manner one conscientiously teaches math, or reading, you would probably find the term religion teacher adequate. But if you reflect not only on what you do but who you are in that religion class, you might find that you are a catechist. The question is not WHAT a catechist is, but WHO is a catechist…and the answer might be, “I am a catechist.”
We are always looking for people interested in Handing–on-the-Faith at all levels of our program from the young children to the adults… if you are interested in being a Catechist please call the Faith Formation Office at 770-432-5296.
Our program follows the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies
Effective – Affordable – Complete – Timesaving – Fosters Weekly Mass Attendance
The program offers the finest in up-to-the-minute catechetical reflections, exercises, and activities based on the words of Jesus Christ and on his Gospels as celebrated weekly at Sunday Mass. At the same time, the program is filled with the basic teachings of the Catholic faith.
In addition to the rich catechetical experiences found in the weekly lessons, each child receives
“What the Church Believes and Teaches” – a handbook, or catechism, that helps teachers and parents review and reinforce the basic teaching that need to be mastered at each level.
The weekly lessons and handbooks are in five age-appropriate editions:
- Seeds – Plant the SEEDS of the faith in the fertile soil of young hearts. — 3’s & 4’s year olds
- Promise – Announce God’s Promise of salvation and eternal life. — Kindergarten & Gr. 1
- Good News – Proclaim the Good News (for children) of God’s love to all your students. — Gr. 2 & 3
- Venture – Invite all the participate in the great Ad-Venture that is our Catholic Faith – Gr. 4 & 5
- Visions – Leading students to great Visions of living for God and for others. — Gr. 6, 7, & 8
- Life Teen – This program includes two educational, one issue and one social event per month. The program uses a curriculum developed by the National Life Teen movement — Gr. 9, 10, 11 & 12
Vacation Bible School (VBS)
To be held on June 8-12, 2015.
Our theme will be EVEREST: Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power
Join us for Story Time, Thursdays, 10:00-11:00A.M. during the school year.
We meet in the Education Building, Room 6.
Children ages 1-5 listen to a story, make a craft based on the book we read, and enjoy a snack.
New faces are always welcome.