Handbook

PARISH VISION STATEMENT
The Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus will be a vibrant model of discipleship, defined by our Catholic identity, characterized by our deepening faith and demonstrated through liturgy, hospitality, prayer and action.

PARISH MISSION STATEMENT
United by Baptism, our parish family gathers together for worship and support. Empowered by the spirit of God’s Love, we will preach, teach and live the Good News of Jesus Christ.

PARISH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM MISSION STATEMENT
With, in and through Jesus, we teach the Good News of Jesus Christ that our students may grow to have a clear sense for all that is true, good and beautiful in the human experience and desire to continue their faith formation in high school and beyond.

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
The philosophy of religious education underlying the activities of the Religious Education Office of the Cathedral of St. Raymond is based on two key principles:

  1. Religious education is a continuing process that strives to develop in each Christian
      a mature and enlightened faith.

  1. Religious education has a fourfold mission:
    1. Teach the message of Jesus.
    2. Build community.
    3. Celebrate faith in community.
    4. Be of service to others.

We believe that the strongest foundation for this growth comes through the daily-lived example and teachings of the family members. We see our program as a partner and supporter of the parents in carrying out their tasks as family religious educators

Our catechists seek to meet the children where they are, to draw them gradually, according to their own development, into a deeper understanding and experience of their own faith. We try to help our students become “doers of God’s Word not hearers only” (James 1:22) by weaving the religion lessons around ordinary life experiences, which will help them recognize when Jesus is living with, in and through them.

GOALS AND LIVED FAITH
Our goals are provided by the Diocesan Faith Formation Curriculum and based on the Four Pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

      THE CREED - Students will know and understand the basic teaching of the Catholic Church. They will: 

  • Recognize that the Creed reveals the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church.
  • Understand the life of Jesus as revealed through Sacred Scripture.
  • Apply the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church to their own life, calling upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, the communion of saints and the Church as living mentors.

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LITURGY AND SACRAMENTS - Students will know and appreciate the importance of the liturgy and of the Sacraments in the life of Catholics. They will:

  • Participate in the liturgical life of the Church (the many feasts, seasons, practices and prayers) to praise, thank, adore, bless and learn the mind and heart of Jesus.
  • Believe deeply that the Sacraments have the power to transform their life.
  • Receive Jesus in the Eucharist every Sunday and Holy Day to “become who you receive and receive who you are” – St. Augustine.

LIFE IN CHRIST - Students will understand and appreciate that though baptism Jesus wants to live with, in and through them every day.

  • Desire to be known as a person who lives the Beatitudes and the Ten Commandments.
  • Defend and apply the Catholic Social Justice teaching appropriately in everyday life through a life of service.
  • Accept and recognize the presence of God’s Grace in everyday life.
  • Take up their prophetic role as witnesses to the gospel in the parish, community of Joliet, the universal Catholic Church and their kingly role as stewards of the world.

PRAYER – Recognize and engage in personal and communal Catholic forms of prayer, of scripture study and of other experiences that deepen one’s spiritual life.

  • Accept the call to and desire a personal relationship with God.
  • Experience and appreciate a variety of prayer types and of traditions.
  • Understand how to read Scripture and to integrate Scripture into personal prayer.
  • Appreciate the importance of and participate in communal Scripture study and faith sharing as a basis for lifelong faith formation.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION OFFICE AND STAFF

The RE office is located in St. Raymond School, across from the school administration offices. It is normally staffed on Monday afternoons in preparation for RE classes.

Christine Pershey, Director of Faith Formation and Danielle Schumacher, Registration and Parish Records both have their office in the rectory. The rectory is normally open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM during the school year. Please call the rectory at 815-722-6653, before stopping in to ensure that we are available to meet with you.

RE  VOLUNTEER MINISTERS

Our Catechists are volunteer ministers who give generously of their time and talent. Most are not teachers by profession; however all possess a love for Jesus and the Church and desire to help our students grow to know, love and serve Jesus.

All Catechists are required to:

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Have completed all Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist).
  • Be examples of living faith.
  • Attend regular catechetical meetings and at least 6 hours of documented ongoing formation.
  • Conform to all diocesan requirements, which include undergoing background screening and attending a Virtus Protecting God’s Children™ adult awareness session.

Many adults and minors are Volunteer Ministers who assist catechists and staff as catechetical aides, door/hallway guards (must be an adult), prayer listeners, office assistants, room parents, Christmas pageant assistants, Confirmation Retreat assistants, First Holy Communion Jesus Day assistants and other special needs. Please sign up to help us. Your participation will help us become a stronger RE community and teach your child an important aspect of living faith.

All adult volunteers are required to:

  • Be examples of living faith.
  • Conform to all diocesan requirements, which include undergoing background screening, attending a Virtus Protecting God’s Children™ adult awareness session and having a copy of such documents on file with the Protecting God’s Children Site Administrator.

POLICIES

ARRIVAL, DISMISSAL AND EARLY DISMISSAL

Arrival:

CGS – Grade 3 (with NO older student)

  • Park and ENTER through DOOR 26.
  • Release child to the duty catechist for his or her grade (who escorts children to their assigned classrooms).

CGS – Grade 3 (with older student)

  • Parent has option to use the valet line. All students ENTER DOOR 1 together. Older student releases CGS – Grade 3 sibling to duty catechist then reports to classroom.
  • Parent has option to park and escort CSG – Grade 3 student to DOOR 26.

Grades 4-8

  • ENTER DOOR 1 and report to classroom.
  • Parent has option to park and walk student to DOOR 1 or use the valet line and Drop off at Door 1.      

Dismissal:

Parents, Students must remain in the building if you are running late. Park and meet them at DOOR 1.

All CGS  - 5:45 Dismissal

  • Park and pick up student at DOOR 26 using the provided placard.

Grades 1 – 3 (with NO older student)

  • Park and pick up student at DOOR 26 using the provided placard.

Grades 4-8 (with Grade 1 – 3 student)

  • Parent has option to allow a Grade 4 – 8 student to escort Grade 1 – 3 student to the car. The Grade 4 – 8 student EXITS through DOOR 1 then meets the Grade 1 – 3 student at DOOR 26 using the provided placard.

Grades 4-8

  • Exit Door 1 promptly.
  • Parents may wait in the parking lot or use the valet line.

LATE ARRIVAL:

All students enter at DOOR 1 and report to the office. Parents must park and escort Grade 1 – 3 students.

EARLY DISMISSAL: (Kindly request sparingly)

Parent / guardian reports to the office at DOOR 1 (with placard for a CGS – Grade 3 student). RE staff will escort student to the door.  Notification must be provided to RE staff if student is being released to other than parent / guardian. Placard must be used for CGS – Grade 3 student.

ATTENDANCE

  1. Children are expected to attend each and every class (except due to illness or other emergency).  We strongly discourage regular early dismissal or late arrival.  Inconsistent attendance will put the child’s grade-level completion in doubt.
  2. A parent or guardian must call the Religious Formation Office at 815-722-6653 before 2:30 PM to report the absence of a child.
  3. More than three absences each semester may necessitate holding the student back if he/she does not know the material that he/she is required to learn.
  4. More than three absences each semester in 2nd or 8th grade will necessitate the postponing of the reception of a sacrament, especially if the student does not know the material that he/she is required to learn.         
CLASS TIME AND PARENT VISITS

Religious education classes are held on Monday from 4:30 –6:00 PM. Parent visits are welcome. Please arrange the date with your child’s catechist.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Please turn to Appendix A to know and understand our Code of Conduct in a “kid-friendly” format. These six areas flow from the Christian Moral Life. Most catechists have rules for classroom behavior.

COMMUNICATION

We try to keep our families well informed by the following means:

  • RE Calendar. (Please keep in a handy place. Also available at www.straymond.net/RE).
  • Emails.
  • Sunday Bulletin.
  • Mail as Last Resort to Minimize Costs.

We are here to serve the faith formation needs of our students. Please call the RE staff at 815-722-6653 if you have any questions, suggestions or to volunteer in our rewarding ministry.

CONTINUITY

It is expected that students will faithfully attend each grade level (1-8) as part of their religious formation. Grades 1 and 2 are required to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist and grades 7 and 8 are required for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

DISCIPLINE

The time children have for formal catechesis is precious. We expect all students to help their Catechist create a classroom environment that supports prayer, learning and faith sharing experiences. Therefore, we request that parent(s)/guardian(s) make their child/children aware that good moral conduct and courteous behavior is expected toward their Catechist and fellow students. Please refer to Appendix B, Code of Conduct. The steps listed below will be followed to ensure that we are Christ for others. Some cases may require that a parent attend class with his/her child or withdraw from the program.

Our disciplinary procedures are as follows:

1st Offense:  Catechist privately speaks to the student.

2nd Offense:  Catechist contacts the DRE and parent.

3rd Offense:  DRE, catechist, parent and student meet.

Offenses Considered as Serious Breaches: Assult, Battery, Bullying, Derogatory Language, Electronic Devices, Disrespect, Fighting, Fireworks, Forgery, Gum, Harassment, Insubordination, Leaving School Building or Grounds Without Permission, Substance Abuse, Theft, Tobacco, Threats and/or Acts of Violence, Vandalism, Weapons.

HOME ASSIGNMENTS – HOME FAITH SHARING

Please think of homework as time to share treasured family stories and help your child/children grow to know how God guides, rescues and loves them and how they grow to trust, build character, become strong and most importantly, how they can begin living in heaven here on earth. You are a living member of the greatest story ever told. You hand on faith with each story you share and each prayer prayed together. Your child meets God through you and the seed of faith given at Baptism grows deeper. Your discussions at home will give your child/children something very meaningful to share during class discussion and when they are shared again in class, the Holy Spirit again pours out grace.

It is very natural that you may need to update your understanding; we will help you and so will the materials sent home each week. Please ensure that you check the folder each week as some chapters will be skipped. Ensure that you know how each Catechist communicates homework assignments. 

MAKE UP WORK

When a student misses a class the student and the student’s parents share the responsibility of contacting the Catechist to see what work needs to be completed.

MASTERY OF PRAYERS

As your child’s first and most important teacher, you must ensure that the assigned prayers are learned and prayed in your home to ensure that they “stick.” At the beginning of the year the students are given a prayer card listing the prayers and concepts taught all eight years. By 8th grade students should have mastered the whole card.

PROGRESS REPORTS

Progress reports are issued mid-year and at the end of the RE program year using the Diocese of Joliet evaluation forms. A copy of the grade report will be saved in each child’s permanent file at the RE Office.

RECEPTION OF SACRAMENTS

We need to look at the story of Philip and the Ethiopian court official in Acts 8, to understand why the Church has guidelines concerning reception of Sacraments. The Ethiopian had come to Jerusalem to participate in temple worship and was studying Sacred Scripture on his own. His faith was alive and active; he was seeking to know the mind and heart of God. The Holy Spirit led Philip, an apostle, to give the Ethiopian formal instruction and then to Baptize him.

This story teaches us that receiving the Sacraments comes after the time necessary for each student to develop a living faith and understanding of the Sacraments before they are received. The combination of formal classroom instruction, participation in Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, family faith sharing and individual study and prayer gives your child time to be conformed to the mind and heart of Jesus so that he or she is ready to receive the Sacraments in their normal progression. Your child’s catechist will know in what area, if any, you need to focus additional conversation and learning at home. Take a moment to talk with the catechist after class to learn about these issues.

Students normally receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion in 2nd grade. Our expectations are always age appropriate. Second graders know right from wrong. Though they do not have serious sin, they can understand the need for doing better. They believe in God, can easily talk with God and become very excited about receiving Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist. A second grader can easily begin a conversation with their parents about God’s love.

The Sacrament of Confirmation completes Baptism and it gives the child the opportunity to stand firm in his or her faith, “Yes, I believe and want to live my life as a Christian.” Being ready to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation is very visible. A student makes a point of participating in Sunday and Holy Day Mass, studying Sacred Scripture and learning the teachings of the Church. We normally confirm students in eighth grade.

The best pastoral plan will be developed for students who come to us having either missed a year of formation or who have no previous RE. There is always shortcomings to these plans; they require extra effort at home to develop faithful living. We will devise a plan that involves home study with the child’s primary Catechist; his/her parent(s) or guardian(s), and the student will be assessed prior to be assigned to a classroom.

  • For 2nd grade students who did not complete 1st grade RE: they will enrolled in 1st grade RE. After completing the first two RE grade levels and the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist, they will be given the opportunity to step up to their academic grade level.  
  • If a student whose day school academic year is 3rd through 5th grade did not make his/her first Reconciliation and Communion, he/she will be required to complete one full year before beginning sacramental preparation. 
  • Students who are not baptized will attend RE either in their academic grade level or sixth grade RE, whichever is lower. The Sacraments of Initiation will be conferred at the following Easter Vigil. Parents are expected to enroll students in all subsequent RE grade levels after the Sacraments of Initiation are conferred. Students must participate in the RCIA sessions as prescribed by the RCIA Team.

SUNDAY WORSHIP

We expect the students enrolled in our RE program to attend Mass every Saturday evening or Sunday and Holy Day.

STUDENT EXPECTATIONS                                                         

  1. Enter and exit school and classrooms in an orderly fashion. 
  2. Wait quietly in the hall until your teacher arrives. If the teacher is not present when the bell rings, two students walk to the RE office to notify the Director of Faith Formation.
  3. Cell phones and all technology devices are to be turned off and set on the teacher’s desk upon entering the classroom unless the catechist has an activity that includes the devices.
  4. Students are to take assigned seats upon entrance to the classroom. 
  5. Boys are expected to remove hats upon entering the building. Coats and hats are not to be worn during class time.
  6. Students are to bring their textbooks, folders, pencils and completed home assignments to class each week.
  7. Appropriate attire is to be worn.
  8. Follow the RE Code of Conduct.

TARDINESS

Classes begin at 4:30 PM.  Please make every effort to have your child is in his/her room before the class bell rings.  Late arrivals are disruptive to the class.

TRANSFER STUDENTS

Parents of students who transfer into the St. Raymond RE program must request that their previous parish send a letter stating the RE grade levels completed for each child. This is to be included with registration materials along with an official Baptismal certificate for each child.

GENERAL INFORMATION

CHILD ABUSE
Child abuse is a serious concern.  Consistent with diocesan policy, parish catechetical staff has a moral and legal duty to comply with the law to ensure the welfare of a child.

FIRE SAFETY
The classroom teacher will conduct fire drills.  In case of a real emergency and building is not useable, children will be taken to the University of St. Francis gym and await your arrival.

NATURAL DISASTERS
In the event a natural disaster (tornado) occurs, Catechists will be warned (if possible) of the approaching danger.  Catechists and adult volunteers will lead students to the center of the building away from windows.  In the event of a natural disaster your child will be kept in the school if possible until your arrival.  We will follow the instructions of emergency personnel.

WEATHER EMERGENCY

  • Registered families will recieve an email through Flocknote.
  • WGN, WBBM, WJOL, and Fox 32 will announce the cancellation of classes due to bad weather, etc.
  • You may also visit www.straymond.net for updated information regarding cancellation of classes.

IF WEATHER FORCES THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO DISMISS EARLY OR CANCEL, WE WILL NOT HOLD CLASSES THAT DAY. If a meeting has to be cancelled because of bad weather parents will be notified by phone.
 

CURRICULUM

The Goal of Faith Formation is to make the promises of Baptism real and visible in your child’s/children’s lives.

God Doing God’s Part

Me Doing My Part

I will give you a new IDENTITY.

I will be a committed CHRISTIAN.

I will ENLIGHTEN your mind and heart.

I will be a DISCIPLE of Jesus.

I will give you my POWER (Prophet).

I will be your WITNESS. (Prophet).

I will give you POSTERITY  (Priest).

I will share in your MINISTRY (Priest).

I will lead you to VICTORY  (King).

I will share in your LEADERSHIP  (King).

 

Our curriculum is based on the four goals established by the Diocese of Joliet. They provide the following reflection questions that can be used at home or by the catechists in the classroom.

 

Faith Formation Assessment

Reflection Questions
 

Answer questions using different types of writing or illustrate understanding using drama, art, music, technology, etc. 

Goal 1:  Know and understand the basic teachings of the Catholic Church.

Standard A:  Recognize that the Creed reveals the fundamental teachings of the Catholic Church.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ How do you know what Catholics believe?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ What Catholic beliefs from the Creed are most important to you? Why?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How do you live Catholic faith in your life?

Standard B:  Understand the life of Jesus as revealed through Sacred Scripture.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ What is your favorite story about Jesus? Why?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ What story about Jesus is most exciting to you? Why?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How does the Bible help you to understand who Jesus is?

Standard C:  Know and apply the teachings of the Catholic Church as they are reflected in the life of the Virgin Mary, in the communion of saints and in the Church.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ How is Mary like your mother?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ Who is your favorite saint? Tell why?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How are Mary, the saints and other holy people real to you?

Standard D:  Understand the origin and the Tradition of the Catholic Church and its mission to spread the Gospel Message.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ How is the Church like a family?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ What is the Good News of Jesus and how do you share it?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ In what ways do you feel the Church and its Tradition help you to live out your baptismal call?

Goal 2:  Know and appreciate the importance of the liturgy and of the sacraments in the life of Catholics.

Standard A:  Recognize and participate in the Catholic Church's liturgical life as a means to encounter Christ in its feasts, its seasons, its symbols, its practices, and its prayers.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ What do you like best about going to Mass?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ How does understanding what you should do at mass help you feel better about going to Mass?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How are Church’s liturgical seasons and celebrations part of your life?

Standard B:  Comprehend that sacraments are an outward sign of God's Love having the power to transform our lives.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ Why does your baptism show how much God loves you?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ How do you feel God is close to you when you celebrate Eucharist and/or Reconciliation.
  • Grades 6-8 ~ When has celebrating a sacrament been meaningful to you? Why?

Standard C:  Appreciate the Eucharist and understand that it is central to our lives and to the life of the Catholic Church.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ How do you give thanks at Mass?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ How does Jesus become part of your life when you receive Eucharist?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How do you experience the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist?

Goal 3:  Understand and appreciate that through baptism we are called to life in Christ.

Standard A:  Understand the importance of the Beatitudes and of the Commandments as a means to the development of a well-formed conscience. 

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ How does God want you to treat others?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ How do the Beatitudes and Ten Commandments help you to know how to behave?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ When have you chosen to do something differently because you understood the Beatitudes or Commandments? Why?

Standard B:  Know and understand the principles of Catholic Social Justice Teaching and experience how to apply them appropriately through a life of service.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ Why does God live everyone?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ How do you love and serve other people?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How has knowing that God loves everyone regardless of race, economic status, gender, or disability made a difference in what you do for others?

Standard C:  Accept and recognize the presence of God’s Grace in everyday life. 

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ What are some of God’s gifts to you?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ How has knowing God is there in your life helped you?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How are you aware of God’s presence in your life?

Standard D:  Know that we are witnesses to the Gospel as responsible members of the local and of the universal Catholic Church, stewards of the world and evangelizers for Christ. 

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ How do you take care of God’s world?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ How do you share God’s gifts with others?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ In what ways do you commit to a life of stewardship and evangelization?

Goal 4:  Recognize and engage in personal and communal Catholic forms of prayer, of Scripture study and of other experiences that deepen one's spiritual life.

Standard A:  Understand and accept the call to enter into a personal relationship with God.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ How do you talk to God? And when?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ How and when do you pray to God?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How and when has prayer made a difference in your life?

Standard B:  Experience the importance of prayer and appreciate a variety of prayer types and of traditions.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ What are different ways you can pray to God?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ What is your favorite way to pray? Why?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ What forms of prayer have made you feel closest to God?

Standard C:  Understand how to read Scripture and to integrate Scripture into personal prayer.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ What do you like about the Bible?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ When do you read the Bible?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ How has reading the Bible made a difference in your life?

Standard D:  Experience communal Scripture Study and sharing as a basis for lifelong faith formation.

  • Grades Prek-2 ~ Do you like to talk about Bible stories?
  • Grades 3-5 ~ What do you hear when you talk to others about what the Bible says?
  • Grades 6-8 ~ When and how has talking about or studying the Bible with others helped you?

BE JESUS!

Caring

  • Saying nice things and sharing compliments with others
  • Being considerate, kind and respectful in all your actions
  • Lending a helping hand to those around you
  • Being the person others can count on

Choices

  • Making every decision carefully
  • Thinking everything through responsibly
  • Exercising your freedom to choose
  • Deciding what is right and doing it

Effort

  • Achieving goals through commitment and hard work
  • Giving your best in everything you choose to do
  • Trying without giving up or giving in
  • Making the most of every opportunity

Honesty

  • Being truthful to others
  • Being truthful to yourself
  • Doing what’s right regardless of who’s around
  • Being someone others can trust

Respect

  • Treating others the way you want to be treated
  • Showing kindness and consideration
  • Liking yourself enough to be yourself
  • Accepting others for who they are

Responsibility

  • Being in control of your own behavior
  • Being trusted with important jobs
  • Having your work finished on time
  • Doing your part when working together

 

 

 

 

 

 
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