Religious Education & Youth Ministry

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To register for the St. Thomas Aquinas: The Catholic Center at Purdue Religious Education Program, please come to the Front Office from 9:00AM – 5:00PM on Mondays – Fridays, or come to the Front Office during Religious Education Sundays at any time between 8:30 – 11:30AM.

Religious Education & Youth Ministry Calendar

Religious Education

The religious education courses at St. Thomas Aquinas: The Catholic Center at Purdue are courses instructed by a blend of qualified resident parishioner and student parishioner catechists that have completed the Diocesan required Protocol Training and well as continual catechetical FIRE formation. All of the classes meet on Sunday mornings in two separate sessions.

Session 1 (9:00am – 10:00am)

Pre-School (3 year olds by August 1)
Pre-Kindergarten (4 year olds by August 1)
1 st Grade (Sacramental Preparation Year)

Session 2 (10:30am – 11:00am)

2nd Grade (Sacramental Year)
3rd Grade
4th Grade
5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade (Sacramental Preparation Year)
9th Grade (Sacramental Year)
Hi-Definition Religious Education (Post-Confirmation High School Courses)

Sacramental Preparation

The Policy of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana states, “Students preparing for a Sacrament must have attended a Catholic School or Parish Religious Education Program the preceding year.”

Sacramental Preparation Year (1st Grade)

As aforementioned, the 1st Grade Sacramental Preparation Year is required for all students who are not enrolled in the local Catholic schools. This is necessary so that the foundational formation of the students is established before entering into the Sacramental Year of First Reconciliation & First Holy Communion in 2nd Grade.

Sacramental Year: First Reconciliation & First Holy Communion (2nd Grade)

Students will receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion during their 2nd Grade year. Students will attend the First Reconciliation Retreat in November and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to the start of Advent. Students will attend the First Holy Communion retreat in March and will receive First Holy Communion during the Easter season.

Sacramental Preparation Year (8th Grade)

As aforementioned, the 8th Grade Sacramental Preparation Year is required for all students who are not enrolled in the local Catholic schools. This year of preparation is necessary so as to instill an evangelical heart in order for the students to more readily receive the truths presented during the Sacramental Year of Confirmation in the 9th Grade.

Sacramental Year: Confirmation (9th Grade)

The Confirmation Class meets from 10:30AM – 11:30AM on Sunday mornings. 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.

Youth Ministry

Sign-Up for the Antioch Retreat

Middle School (6th – 8th Grade)

The Middle School Youth Ministry provides an opportunity for the youth to grow in fellowship, community, and faith at weekly meetings. Service opportunities and retreats are often utilized to form stronger relationships with one another, and, ultimately, with God.

High School (9th – 12th Grade)

The High School Youth Ministry provides an opportunity for the youth to form a deeper relationship with God through community and fellowship. There will be opportunities to serve others with service projects, as well as opportunities to become more engaged in our Catholic Faith through discussions and various activities concerning the pillars of the Faith. Additionally, severalfellowship events will occur to further deepen our bonds – such as a cookout at Happy Hallow, a trip to Exploration Acres, and several other off-campus events.

Both ministries meet weekly on Thursday nights: Middle School is from 6:30PM – 7:30PM; High School is from 7:30PM – 9:00PM.

This Year’s Team (2017 – 2018)

Director of Religious Education & Youth Ministry: John Strong
Assistant Director of Religious Education & Youth Ministry: Judy Pfledderer
Coordinator of Youth Ministry: Caitlyn Bennett
Coordinator of Religious Education: Jessica Devine
Elementary School Intern: Bess Fary
Middle School Intern: Julia Kuhn
Confirmation Intern: Hannah Rugenstein
Special Education Intern: Allie Barnes


For Helping Children and Their Families

Catholic Printables
Angie Kauffman, a resident parishioner at St. Thomas Aquinas, has graciously allowed us to provide a link to a website that she owns and operates that provides many awesome printable Catholic resources. Please feel free to check out some of her great work.

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.

Main Events 2017-18

  • First STYMi Night of the Year
    September 7 – Happy Hollow Park
  • First Day of Religious Education plus Parent Meeting
    September 10 – Parent Meeting in Newman Hall
  • Adoration Sunday
    October 29 – During RE classes
  • First Reconciliation
    November 18 – 9-11am
  • Diocesan Youth Mass
    November 26 – 7pm
  • Final RE Class for Fall 2017
    December 3
  • First RE Class for Spring 2018
    January 14
  • Adoration Sunday
    February 11 – During RE classes
  • Confirmation Mass
    April 22 – At 11am Mass
  • Last RE Class for Spring 2018
    April 22
  • First Holy Communion Mass
    May 6 – At 11am Mass
  • Vacation Bible Camp
    June 4-8