Religious Education

Teach me, Lord, your way that I may walk in your truth, single-heartedly and revering your name.  (Ps. 86:11)

The Religious Education of Catholics is a life-long process that involves families and individuals learning, praying, and sharing their faith experience with each other.  In our lives as Catholics, we celebrate important events which are milestones in our religious growth. 

Many of these events are sacramental, such as Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Marriage, Anointing of the Sick and Ordination to the priesthood.  These sacraments are landmarks on our journey of faith.  For a Catholic Christian, the main source of nourishment is the Sunday Eucharist, where we are fed at the table of the Lord with the Word and Sacrament. 

Saint Raphael’s program of faith formation is family-based and lectionary-based.  It finds its source in our communal celebration of the Eucharist each Sunday as we pray together, hear God’s word, reflect on its meaning in our lives, and as we are fed with the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To register your child(ren) for the program, please contact Therese Dame, Director of Religious Education, at 647-2283 or  youth@saint-raphael-parish.com. 

Rel Ed Reg 201617 can be filled out at home and returned to the Religious Education office.

Elementary Education, Grades K-5

At least one parent or guardian must attend the Sunday 9:30 am Mass with child(ren). Before Mass begins, the students gather downstairs in the Parish Hall where they celebrate the Liturgy of the Word with age-appropriate translations.  They receive religious instruction with their age group as well as materials to do at home with their families, rejoining the congregation at the Offertory in order to celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Children are also given the opportunity to learn about Adoration of the Eucharist through our parish program, meeting four times each year.  From 9:30-11 am on designated Saturday mornings, the children learn about Adoration, sing songs, and spend time in prayer.  The instructional time is followed by a craft and snack.

Youth Ministry (Grades 6-12)

Students enrolled in the Youth Ministry program are expected to attend Mass with their families and to attend a weekly session with their peers.
Grades 6-12 meet on Monday evenings from 6:30-8 pm.

Weekly sessions are designed to help adolescents explore what it means to be a Christian and a Catholic: how do we become people of faith who are involved in the life and ministry of a Christian community?  A variety of activities help them as they mature in faith:  Catechesis – a study of Scripture and Catholic Tradition centered around the Sunday readings, with a special emphasis on using their faith experience to help deal with life’s issues and challenges; Community building – recreation and social events within the context of a faith community; and Stewardship – using time and talents for the good of the parish and local community.

All parents of school-aged children are encouraged to attend a 3-week session each fall. 

Adults

Saint Raphael Parish provides Bible studies, Pastor’s classes and speakers on special topics of interest in theology and faith development, as well as book discussions, and films throughout the year so that adults in the parish can learn and be challenged to grow in their faith.  These opportunities are usually scheduled on Tuesdays at 7 pm, depending on the time of year. 

Information about ongoing programs can be found in the weekly Parish Bulletin as well as under News & Events.

Retreat Programs

One of the most helpful ways that we can mature as individual members of a faith community is to take time to “go apart” from the world and reflect on God’s love for us and what it can mean in our lives. 

Junior High School students are given a day-long retreat each year.

High School students are invited to attend a yearly weekend retreat sponsored by the parish and led by the Religious Education Staff, Youth Ministry Staff, adult parishioners and peer leaders.

Parents  are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Diocese of Manchester and St. Raphael Parish.  These events are posted on the diocesan website, www.catholicnh.org.  Opportunities include the Cursillo movement, Engaged Encounters, Marriage Encounters, and a Family Retreat weekend.

Adults – Saint Raphael Parish offers a Men’s Evening of Reflection in the fall, as well as retreats for women once or twice a year.  Information about retreats will be posted in the parish bulletin and website.