Generations of Faith FAQs
What is Generations of Faith ?
Generations of Faith is the name we give to our faith formation experience. Here in the northern part of New Jersey, the Catholic faith has been practiced faithfully by many generations since 1765. Generations of Faith is an approach that helps the parish to become a community of lifelong learners. It embraces all ages and promotes faith growth at home through participation in the Sunday Eucharist and the parish faith learning experiences.
Can households register for Generations of Faith ?
Registration for 2018-2019 began in May. Download the form here: Household Registration Form
If you would like to register online, please go to the first post and click on the link that is found there.
Do children learn the basics about the Catholic faith ? Is there a focus for the sessions ?
At the gatherings the basics of the Catholic faith are taught. This is done by using a variety of medium. But learning the basics of the Catholic faith depends on whether the family is committed to engaging and practicing their faith beyond attendance at the sessions. Resources and quality Catholic materials are provided to assist families in doing this. Our focus for 2018 – 2019 is the Basics of the Catholic Faith including the practice of reading the Bible.
Is it expected that parents come to the gatherings with their children ?
Learning about our faith is not just for children. It’s for all of us and it’s a life-long endeavor. Research shows that families are more effective and stronger when they have the support and encouragement of those around them.
The whole family needs to actively participate in the practice of our Catholic faith throughout their lives, and then children will come to understand faith not as a childhood affair, but a life-long learning process.
Do children attend Generations of Faith after they have received Holy Communion?
Yes ! Absolutely ! Learning about our faith is a life-long adventure. At Generations of Faith children continue to learn about the Catholic faith and how it affects their day-to-day lives.
Generation of Faith Forms
Sacrament Preparation FAQs
What is Holy Communion?
Also known as the Eucharist, Holy Communion is the “source and summit” (CCC # 1324) of the Catholic faith because it is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The bread and wine at the Mass become the holiest of holies through the priest’s words by the power of the Holy Spirit. The moment when the Bread and Wine become Jesus Christ is called transubstantiation (CCC # 1376).
What can parents do to prepare their children for First Holy Communion?
“God is always first and makes the first move. God is encountered walking, along the path.” Pope Francis
Parents set their children on the path at birth. The family home is the place where religious faith and spiritual awareness of children is first nurtured. Family life is holy; it is sacred. As children experience God moments which occur daily and in the relationships of family life, their friendship with God deepens. The parish community supports their growth in faith and helps them respond to Jesus’ invitation to follow him.
What can parents do to support their children ?
- Pray with them. Talk with them about your “God Moments.”
- Tell them bible stories. Answer their questions.
- Make Mass a family event. Point out something each week for your children to look for at church. Before Mass decide as a family what you will pray for during the Intercessory Prayer. Continue to pray for this intention during the coming week.
- Celebrate children’s Baptismal Anniversaries. Have a family treat while enjoying memories and pictures of the special day.
- Enjoy living a beautiful Catholic life EVERY DAY !
The first step in preparing children and youth to receive Holy Communion and Confirmation is regular attendance at Mass on Sunday.
When can children receive First Holy Communion ?
Children may receive Holy Communion when they have a desire to receive Jesus, are learning about the Catholic faith and are going to mass regularly and faithfully.
At St. Joseph Church we follow the sacramental guidelines of the Diocese of Paterson. When children reach the age of reason, around 7 years of age, and when they have completed one full year of religious education, they may enroll in the preparation process for the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. This process we call A Child’s Path to Holy Communion. It begins in the Fall with preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Penance, followed by preparation for the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Click here to see the sacramental policy of our parish: Parish Sacramental Policy
Youth Ministry FAQs
Who can be a part of Youth Ministry?
The ministry is open to all high school teens — those preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation and those who have already received their Confirmation.
How will I be informed of the events?
Our calendar will be posted for the upcoming year in August. From time to time additional special events or service opportunities may be available. Please check for periodic updates to the calendar.
How will I be contacted?
We use Flocknote to send texts and e-mails re: sacramental preparation, special events and youth ministry. It is important that you list an active email address on the registration form. However, if at any time you would like to speak with our Youth Ministry team, please contact the parish office.
What should I be doing if I want to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation?
- Be faithful to attending Sunday Eucharist (mass).
- Attend the required number of faith formation sessions.
- Perform 10 hours of community service and 10 hours of service at St. Joseph Church over the course of 2 years. Teens are expected each year to prepare a reflection on the service they have done that year. The reflection can be in written form or the form of a collage. The guidelines for this service activity can be found under ‘How Can I Serve’ and ‘Assignments’.
- Help with at least one session of bingo at Milford Manor each year.
- Help at the St. Joseph Cares Food Pantry at least one time each year.
- Participate in two retreats during the first year of youth ministry.
- Attend an overnight, Antioch retreat. (Teens must be in at least 10th grade).
- Attend 5 special events during the first two years of youth ministry. (‘Special Events’ should not be confused with ‘Service’ or ‘Fun/Social Activities’)
What is Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation and what are it’s objectives?
- To have an understanding of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Roman Catholic tradition
- To know the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Catholic
- To be aware of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit and to appreciate and use them in our daily life
- To know what happens during the Rite of Confirmation
- To understand the effects of receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation
- To understand the role of the sponsor
What are Faith Formation Sessions?
The community of St. Joseph Church has made a firm commitment to use its resources to nurture the faith development of all its members. Our beautiful Catholic faith has been handed down from one generation to the next since 1765 and so we call our intergenerational gatherings Generations of Faith. It is the way we do faith formation at St. Joseph Church.
- Each teen must register for Generations of Faith with their family each year.
- In the first year of youth ministry, teens attend Alpha. Alpha takes place on select Sunday evenings throughout the school year. Please see current ‘Year 1 At A Glance’ form for the schedule.
- In the second year of youth ministry, teens attend Decision Point. Parents attend several Decision Point sessions with their teen. Decision Point takes place on select Sunday evenings throughout the school year. Please see current ‘Year 2 At A Glance’ form for the schedule.
How Can I Serve?
St. Joseph Youth Ministry Service
Performing the Corporal Works of Mercy
“Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’ And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
The Corporal Works of Mercy illustrate the ways to show charity toward others. They include the kind acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs; feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, bury the dead, give alms to the poor.
The intention of St. Joseph Youth Ministry service is that you will perform the Corporal Works of Mercy by helping people in need. People who are poor, homeless, sick, dying, mentally or physically challenged, or in need of education, supervision. Each teen is expected to serve at least one time each year (total of 2x) in the Food Pantry and one time each year (2x) Volunteering to help with Bingo at Milford Manor. In addition, 5 hours of community service and 5 hours of parish service is required over the course of the 2 years. We have included some suggestions for service activities. We ask that reflect on the service you perform by writing an essay or creating a collage.
To obtain a detailed description of the service requirement please click St Joseph Youth Ministry Christian Service Reflection
What are Special Events?
To foster living as a disciple of Christ in our world today, teens are asked to attend special events. These events are designed to encourage attendance at parish and diocesan events that teens may not otherwise attend.
Special events include, but are not limited to, additional learning, prayer and worship and justice and service opportunities. For a complete list of special events offered, please search ‘Special Events’ in the search bar in the upper left corner of the screen.
What About Prayer and Worship ?
- Faithful attendance at Sunday Eucharist (mass) is expected. There is a youth mass each month at 12 noon in the church.
- Retreats – The retreats offered are a unique experience of prayer, reflection, community building, sacraments, games, activities, personal growth and fun!
- Prayer – Prayer nourishes our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Christians give service by taking time each day to pray for the intentions of others. People to pray for:
|· armed service persons
|· parents & family members
|· Pope Benedict XVI
|· Bishop Arthur
|· young people facing difficulties
|· people who work with the homeless
|· our pastor, Fr. Aleks Bialas
|· our parish family
|· world leaders
Those who wish to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation must participate in two retreats during the first year of youth ministry. In addition, teens must attend an overnight, Antioch retreat. (Teens must be in at least 10th grade).
How can I be a good steward?
Many groups depend on our support so they can reach out to others. Consider giving the cost of a movie or your earnings from an evening of childcare or part-time job.Please think about contributing to one of these groups.
- The Rice Bowl collection during Lent
- Walks-for-Causes (CROP Walk etc.).
- St. Joseph’s Food Pantry can always use food items and paper products. Check the bulletin for specific needs. Buy and donate some of them.
Activities are planned throughout the year. They are listed in the Weekend Bulletin as they are offered.
As parents, what are our responsibilities?
- Faithful attendance at Sunday Eucharist with your teen. Make the effort to attend Youth Mass each month
- Discussing with your teen the material presented at each session
- Making sure that your teen is current with all assignments
- Providing transportationto all meetings and youth ministry activities
- Being a faith- filled role model to your teen, and all other young people in our parish community
- Attending any parent meetings and offering help whenever possible
- Praying for your teen and all of youth in our parish
What about Behavior Standards? `
Who is there to help us?
Youth Ministry Forms
Welcome to Youth Ministry!
For all families who have a teen entering Youth Ministry please read this letter…
Continuing the Journey (for teens moving into Year 2)
For all families who have teens moving into Year 2 of Youth Ministry please read this letter…
At – A – Glance
Please print this form out and keep a record of each event you attend. Please remember to hand this in by the due date on the top of the form. Keep a copy for your records!
For teens in Year 1 for the 2019-2020 school year:
For teens in Year 2 for the 2019-2020 school year:
Year 1 form for the 2018-2019 school year: