Children's Faith Formation, Age 0 through Grade 8



Our Goal:  The primary aim of all catechesis is to promote a deeper faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, as well as a deeper love for him and commitment to follow him. Further, the Catholic Church teaches that parents are the first and most important educators in the faith. All Children's Faith Formation programs at St. Athanasius Parish are developed with these facts in mind, aiming to support but not replace the work of parents in passing on the faith, and to assist in the formation of a loving relationship with Jesus and his Church. Further, all programs strive for full compliance with current documents and policies on catechesis and religious education issued by the Church Magisterium, the US Council of Catholic Bishops, and the Diocese of Pittsburgh.


Faith Formation 2018-2019

Register now for faith formation classes! 

Registration ends September 10, 2018. Classes begin September 17, 2018. 


On September 10, Meet the Family Day.  Young people and their parents are invited to the classrooms to meet the catechists.  Following an explanation of the year’s plans by the catechist, the family is invited to the Church Hall for some ice-cream.


Registration Form:  PDF / Word



Welcome New Families!

All new parish families with children from age 0 to 18 (including families with children in Catholic school, Parish Faith Formation programs, or homeschooling families) are asked to register with the Faith Formation Office after they register with the Parish Office, so that they will receive regular updates in regard to educational, sacramental, and recreational programs available at the parish. All parents are strongly encouraged to volunteer at least now and then with Children's Programs. Parents who are willing to help out are asked to click here for details on the Volunteer Clearance process required in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.


Forms and Calendars:

It is necessary to register children each year in the summer for the Weekly Children's Faith Formation program or the Family Program option. Registration for Vacation Bible School and Power Week place in the Spring. Forms are e-mailed when it is time to register and are available in the Church vestibule.  Click below for links to our Children's Faith Formation forms:

Children's Faith Formation Program Options

Infant and Pre-school Programs

The parish offers Pre-School Faith Formation in our Weekly Program on Monday evenings (see below for details on the Weekly Program).  We also offer the Little Angels program during the school year, which provides Wednesday morning music, exercise, stories, and hands-on learning activities for children ages 0-4 attending together with a caregiver or parent. Watch the bulletin for start and end dates.  And finally the parish automatically sends periodic Parent Letters with Faith Formation ideas for parents of children from birth through age 2 who were Baptized at St. A's.  If you are not receiving this letters, but wish to receive them please call the Faith Formation office.


Weekly On-site Children's Faith Formation, Preschool - Grade 8

Children in Preschool through Grade 8 are served by this program which meets on Monday evenings from 6:30 - 8:00 PM in the Community Center. Children meet in small classes and are led by volunteer catechists, using diocesan-approved texts, and methods adapted for multiple learning styles.  All catechists are certified or in the process of becoming certified by the Diocese.  In addition, students receive formation for a variety of prayer styles, along with experiences of serving the parish and people in need. St. A's places an emphasis of parent involvement inf Faith Formation. Special Children's Masses, Family Prayer Services, Family Reconciliation Services, and Grade Level Events are included on selected Monday evenings. These family-friendly events aim to provide a simple and enjoyable way for parents to be more involved in their child's faith formation and teach by example.


POWER WEEK Summer Middle School Faith Formation

This popular program meets one week in July, 9 AM to 3 PM daily and covers most of a student's Faith Formation requirement for the year. In addition, families sign a contract agreeing to weekly Mass attendance and participation in three "Community Builder" events during the following school year. Community Builder events must include attendance at one Catholic Vision of Love class on a Monday evening during the year, as well as attendance at two more events.  For a list of approved Community Builder events, click here.  Power Week students enjoy an exciting summer camp atmosphere, with speakers, crafts, games, music, lunch, top catechists and more. Space is limited. Also program may be cancelled if we are unable to find sufficient volunteers. 


Family Program Faith Formation for Children


Family Program offers parents the option to work with our texts to provide Faith Formation teaching at home, according to any schedule that suits the needs of their family. Participants must also attend several enjoyable family gatherings which provide opportunities for formation in liturgical participation, service to the poor, and community life. The program includes a requirement to turn in completed chapter reviews in order to receive credit for the year. Click here for more details on Family Program procedures and events.

Catholic Vision of Love Program - CVOL:  The Diocese of Pittsburgh requires that all students in grades K through 8 receive the Catholic Vision of Love program, which teaches about personal safety. In Grades 5 - 8 the CVOL program also teaches about God's beautiful plan for chaste human love and sexuality. A parent meeting is held in the Fall to inform parents of students in grades 5 - 8 about the content and plans for the program. The CVOL program is taught during Weekly Children's Faith Formation Sessions by catechists who have been trained and certified for this topic. Parents who wish to opt out of the program are asked to go over the CVOL materials at home with their children. For grades 5 - 8 students are also asked to complete and return a review test to the Faith Formation office in order to receive credit. In grades 5 - 8 completion of CVOL is required in order to receive credit for the year. The student pages and review tests appear below. Students are to review the pages online, together with a parent, and then complete and return the Review Test to the Faith Formation Office:

Grade K-1 Student Packet-rev 2011.
Grade 2-3 Student Packet-rev 2011.
Grade 4 Student Packet-rev 2011.
Grade 5 Student Packet-rev 2011. Grade 5 Review Test
Grade 6 Student Packet-rev 2011. Grade 6 Review Test
Grade 7 Student Packet-rev 2011. Grade 7 Review Test
Grade 8 Student Packet-rev 2011. Grade 8 Review Test
CVOL Parent Meeting Powerpoint Presentation
CVOL Parent Meeting Make-up Options Form



Sacramental Preparation and RCIA for Children

The Faith Formation office coordinates Sacramental Preparation programs for children for the sacraments of Eucharist, Confirmation and Reconciliation. For children and teens who wish to become Catholic, a version of RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), adapted for children, is also available. Click on this link for details on Sacramental Preparation.

Events and Activities


Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School is offered one week each summer for children ages 4 through 4th grade and provides an enjoyable approach to Sacred Scripture, through music, storytelling, crafts, games, and more. Many older children and teens enjoy participating as mentors, along with volunteer adult leaders.

VBS 2013 Photo Gallery






Liturgy of the Word for Children


Liturgy of the Word for Children is offered every Sundayat the 9:30 AM Sunday Mass. Adult leaders lead the children downstairs to the Parish Hall for a child-friendly presentation of the Gospel, plus interactive activities. Parents normally remain in Church, but parents or older siblings may accompany children who need their reassurance.





Social/Recreational/Service Events for Families and Elementary School Children

The parish has a goal to offer enjoyable social, recreational, and service events as an important part of "formation for community life" which is one of the essential tasks of catechesis (Faith Formation). In the past, children enjoyed Pumpkin Bingo and the Building Big Hearts Extravaganza. Adult volunteers are needed to help build this program.


Middle School Ministry Events

Several exciting social events are offered each year through our Middle School Ministry. These events are designed to help Middle School students get to know each other better and enjoy each other's company in a wholesome, enjoyable environment. In the past students have enjoyed events like the Christmas Bunco Party, Living Stations, and the All-Night Passport Party.


Parent Advisory Committee

The parish offers a Parent Advisory Committee to help envision and plan future developments and improvements in Children's Faith Formation. Interested parents should call the Faith Formation Office.


Faith Formation

Upcoming Events:

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