St. Pat’s uses a program called "Be My Disciple", a Bible-based program. Our program is for children of Pre-kindergarten age (4 yrs) to Level 6 (11 or 12 yrs). There are no set ages for the Sacraments. However, for practical purposes, each level corresponds to a school grade level (ages 6 - 12).
The Diocese has recommended that children must attend a minimum of 4 years.
Fees and Registration
The registration is ongoing until the parish picnic, which is on first Sunday of September. For Fee information, contact the program coordinatior. Children in the program are already pre-registered for the next year.
*We need a photocopy of the child's baptism certificate, not the birth certificate. We need proof that the child has made the first sacrament of initiation before they can make the rest.
Classes are every Sunday, from mid-September until mid-May. There are no classes on major holiday weekends (Thanksgiving, Easter). We close down for 4 weeks at Christmas, for two weeks during spring break (first and second weekend of spring break). There are approximately 25 classes in a session.
Children in pre-K, K, and Level 1 meet at 9am for one hour. The reason that these groups meet at 9am is that children who are not yet preparing for their First Communion are not required to attend Mass (We also don't have enough space for everyone to meet at 10am). Parents are encouraged to attend Mass while their kids are in class.
All other levels meet at 10am for one hour. This can change according to the availability of the catechists. The children are expected to attend all the classes. However, we understand that circumstances can arise that make this impossible (if a child is in a shared custody situation and the other parent is not willing to bring the child, for example). As long as the parent who is asking for the classes advises us, we can work things out (e.g. the parent covers the material when the child cannot attend). We are very flexible, but needless to say the children must be there to experience the journey.
We work very hard to accommodate children of all ages, children who have special needs, children with learning disabilities, children with behavioural difficulties, etc. However, we need the parents' support in every way to help us to make this a meaningful journey for their children.
Attendance is taken every week. If your child cannot attend: as long as the parent phones or emails the catechist to let them know that their child cannot attend that Sunday and covers the work covered in class, there is no problem. Three unexcused absences are allowed (means the parent didn't contact the catechist before or after the absence). Once more than 3 classes have been missed, without contact, Anne Coulter, the parish coordinator, will be contacting the parents.
Children in Level 2 and up are expected to attend Mass regularly.
Level 4 is a year of practical faith. No fees, no classes, but you give back to the church by helping out at the Family Mass. You can be in the choir, be an altar server, minister of the word, bring up the gifts, take up collection, and/or greet the people at the door.
Preparing for the Sacraments
At St. Pat's, children must attend two (2) years of classes in order to make a sacrament.
- In order to make First Communion, your child must have attended Levels 2 & 3
- In order to make Confirmation, your child must have attended Levels 5 & 6
We say “Level” because you do not have to be a specific age for any Sacrament (However, the Sacrament of First Communion is not celebrated before 7 years of age).
Your children are important to us, here at St. Pat's. We look forward to meeting them and you. Our goal is to make this journey of faith one that your child will enjoy and one where he/she will grow in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ. Thank you for entrusting St. Pat's with this very important task.