Religious Education & Youth Ministry
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To register for St. Thomas Aquinas’ Religious Education Program, please go to the Front Office on Religious Education Sundays at any time between 8:30 – 11:30AM.
Religious Education (3 yr olds – 9th grade)
These classes are taught in the basement of St. Toms. These classes are instructed by qualified catechists that have gone through the Diocese mandated Child Safety Conduct training. Classes meet on Sunday mornings in two seperate sessions.
Session 1: 3 yr olds – 1st Grade (Meet 9:00am – 10:00am)
Session 2: 2nd Grade – 9th Grade (Meet 10:30am – 11:30am)
For Helping Children and Their Families
Liturgical Year: Lent
Bookmark this link for a full selection of Lenten articles, activities, prayers, and videos.
Stations of the Cross
Experience this common Lenten devotion with increased understanding this year. Use our popular Stations of the Cross for Children, available in English and in Spanish, or read helpful articles by Gary Jansen and James Campbell.
7 Ways to Practice Lent—Free eBook
Explore seven ways to practice Lent, with background on each tradition, an accompanying prayer, and activities for you to share the riches of Lenten practices with those you serve.
Lenten Actions Cards
Encourage families to take practical steps toward practicing the traditional Lenten pillars of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Print out our Lenten Actions Cards, and give sets to the families you serve.
Explaining Ash Wednesday to Children
Help children understand the tradition of receiving ashes at the start of Lent.
For Your Personal Spiritual Growth
Living Lent Daily
Come to know Jesus as a friend, and experience God’s unbelievable love and generosity toward us. Living Lent Daily is a daily e-mail series designed to help you grow in friendship with God. Each day’s message includes a brief reflection by William A. Barry, SJ.
Arts & Faith: Lent
Enter into a visual prayer experience this Lent using video commentary about works of art inspired by the Sunday Scriptures. Includes classroom activity ideas.
Recommended Resources for Your Classroom
The Stations of the Cross Booklet
Help children walk through the popular Lenten devotion with this visual resource. Available in 10-packs for the classroom, the booklet’s simple but sturdy pages introduce young children to the Stations of the Cross.
A Book of Lenten Prayers
Pray with this comprehensive collection of vibrant, moving prayers that can be prayed individually or in groups during Lent.
Loyola Kids Book of Bible Stories
Written by popular Catholic children’s author Amy Welborn, this beautifully illustrated collection of engaging Bible stories is arranged in a uniquely Catholic way—based on the liturgical year. That makes it easy to pick out the Lenten stories for classroom reading.
Hi-Definition Religious Education
Hi-Definition Religious Education (HDRE) is a faith-filled course that illustrates the vibrancy of the Catholic tradition, while providing more content for those who want to delve deeper into our Catholic Faith. Using the Midwest Theological Forum’s new Didache Series, the students will cover topics ranging from Faith and Revelation to Church History. Each year, an entire topic will be taught. Since there are 8 topics, an entire rotation will take eight years to complete. With only 25 seats available, only the first 25 students who register will be able to take the class. Be sure to sign-up before all of the seats are filled!
The courses are as follows:
- Faith and Revelation: Knowing God through Sacred Scripture (2017 -2018)
- The Blessed Trinity: And Our Christian Vocation (2018 – 2019)
- The Mystery of Redemption: And Christian Discipleship (2019 – 2020)
- The Church: Sacrament of Salvation (2020 – 2021)
- The Sacraments: Source of Our Life in Christ (2021 – 2022)
- Our Moral Life in Christ (2022 -2023)
- Understanding the Scriptures (2023 – 2024)
- The History of the Church (2024 – 2025)
The Policy of the Lafayette Deanery states:
“Students preparing for a Sacrament must have attended a Catholic School or Parish Religious Education Program the preceding year.”
Reconciliation and First Communion (2nd Grade)
Students are prepared for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion during the 2nd Grade year. Students attend the First Reconciliation retreat in November and receive the Sacrament prior to the start of Advent. Students attend the First Communion retreat in March/April and receive First Communion during the Easter season (April/May).
Confirmation (9th Grade and Above)
The confirmation class meets 10:30 am to 11:30 am on Sunday mornings, and prepares the students for the Sacrament of Confirmation. A major focus is Christ’s love and the beauty of the Catholic Church. Parents and Sponsors are encouraged to be active participants in the Confirmation preparation program.
Middle School (Grades 6-8)
The middle school youth ministry provides an opportunity for youth in grades 6 – 8 to grow in fellowship, community, and faith at weekly meetings. Service opportunities and retreats are also utilized to form stronger relationships with God and each other.
High School (Grades 9-12):
The high school youth ministry provides an opportunity for youth in grades 9 – 12 to form a deeper relationship with God through community and fellowship. There will be opportunities to serve others with service projects, as well as become more engaged in our Catholic Faith through discussions and various activities concerning the pillars of our Faith. Fellowship events will also occur to further deepen our bonds of fellowship, such as a trip to Exploration Acres and a cookout at Happy Hollow.
Both youth ministries meet weekly on Thursday nights, middle school at 6:30-7:30PM, and high school at 7:30-9:00PM.
This Year’s Interns
Coordinator of Youth Ministry: Tiffany Hunsinger
Coordinator of Religious Education: Jessica Devine
Elementary School Intern: Bess Fary
Middle School Intern: Julia Kuhn
Confirmation Intern: Hannah Rugenstein