The Whaling City Catholic community is a collaborative partnership which includes the following parishes in the city of New Bedford MA: St. Francis of Assisi Church located at 117 Mill St., St. Lawrence Martyr Church located at 565 County St., and Holy Name of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church located at 121 Mt. Pleasant St. Together we serve the families of all three parishes. We are excited to announce our Faith Formation program will now be held at Holy Name Parish Center.
We believe that children begin their spiritual journeys at a very early age, and we act in partnership with parents and our worship community to create an engaging, nurturing environment for Catholic Christian formation.
Our Catholic Church believes that parents are the primary educators of their children. Home is where children first experience the love of God and continue to experience how God unconditionally loves and forgives them. The domestic church (family) is crucial to bringing the Spirit of God alive. We have only a few hours with the children for faith formation. Parents have every single day with their children to form their faith. Our goal is to assist and aid parents in that endeavor. It is the responsibility of the parent to participate with their child weekly in the Eucharistic celebration called the Mass and to model to their child good solid Catholic morals and values in their family life.
The Faith Formation program serves children in Grades K-9, including preparation and reception of the Sacraments of Eucharist, Penance and Confirmation. These sacraments require two-year attendance in the program. It is critical for continual attendance throughout the faith formation years. The understanding and practice of faith is nurtured and built upon as each child matures.
The parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents. CCC2226
Faith Formation is more than the handing on of religious instruction. Its goal is growth in faith, which implies both formation and transformation, leading one to live out the Gospel as part of a believing community. Religious education is a lifelong process. Everyone, including the teacher is always a learner. Faith Formation is an expression of the mission entrusted by Jesus to the Church. Through Faith Formation, the church seeks to prepare its members, old and young, to proclaim the Good News and to translate this proclamation into action.
Our Faith Formation Program has numerous committed catechists who generously donate their time, talents and love to the children of our parish. Without them, our programs would cease to exist. Catechist formation is offered on a parish, and diocesan level. The need to develop skills and techniques for effective teaching is emphasized, while keeping in mind sound gospel values and the need to model Christ's love to the children. In addition, all Catechists have been CORI’d following the guidelines set forth by the Office of Safe Environment of the Diocese of Fall River.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Our collaborative welcomes new members into the Catholic Church through a process of education, faith sharing, and rituals known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
This process includes several stages marked by prayer, study, and discussion. Included in the process are several Rites which take place within the context of the Mass. The U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) describes the RCIA as a process in which participants “undergo…conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments… The RCIA process follows the ancient practice of the Church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism.”
The RCIA process can be adapted to meet the specific needs of children and youth who come into the Church.
Youth Ministry: Youth (Confirmation 2 – Grade 9 and older) come together to build faith and community through a variety of activities. Should you have need of any further information about our Faith Formation and /or Whaling City Catholic Community please feel free to contact us.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations. . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Mt. 28:19-20