Faith Formation

Dear St. Thomas Aquinas’s Families,
 

As of today, we have filled the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program, thank you! We have a few spots available for kids ages in 4th-6th grade on Wednesdays. Please call the Faith Formation office if you are interested in registering. We have decided to close our Family Forming Disciples Tuesday class and only offer the Sunday class as it is the most popular. I want to clarify that the Family Forming Disciples Program in not a virtual program but rather a program where families attend one community gathering each month that will focus on Scripture, one at-home family explorations a month that will focus on Scripture and Catholic teaching, and participation in your Small Family Community gathering (can be virtual). Click here for a letter from our Pastor, Monsignor Daniel Stack.

In addition, we are launching our Youth Disciple (Disciple) in person program for 7th – 9th graders. The Wednesday YDisciple program is full, however Tuesday at 7pm has limited space available.

All classes will begin the first week of September (after Labor Day) with some orientations before that. We strongly encourage parents to register and pay online as space is limited and will be first come first serve. If you prefer to pay with check or cash, you will need to download forms and either mail or drop off at front office. If you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to assist you, please do not hesitate to contact us at 770-475-4508-Mon-Thurs from 10 am to 4pm.

Sincerely in Christ,

STA Faith Formation Office

 



 

Family Forming Disciples (FFD)

Families Forming Disciples is a family-focused, thematic-activity approach where groups of families meet with catechists and guides to encounter the Lord together and to encourage each other to live as the Domestic Church.

This will include monthly in-person gatherings and inviting dynamic speakers sharing life changing content.  FFD will serve as the primary faith formation program for children of all ages, but specifically directed toward families with children 4 to 12 years old. It will be available in English and in Spanish. This program provides the required two-year foundational preparation for those children who wish to receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Communion at the end of the 2nd grade or later.

Families will register as a family unit, but registration fees will be based on the number of children ages 4 to 12 years old, or grades Pre-K-6th grade. Families will be placed in pods of three families that will meet monthly. Groups of families with children of similar ages will meet with catechists in person and online to learn and help in advancing family evangelization and faith formation. These Small Family communities are driven by the age of the children so that families can grow together in their faith and season of life.

Monthly Lesson Structure Family Forming Disciples consists of nine lesson plans, covering 9 months. Three sessions a month.

  • Week one- Family Gathering in Church (75 mins)-All families meet in the Church for a 30-minute session from a dynamic expert, sessions will be recorded. Families will then breakout into their pods or Small Family Communities and engage in facilitated dialogue (45 min). Sundays at 12:30 pm
  • Week two-Families at home activity- Families will be provided with a FAMILY AT-HOME MISSION ACTIVITY to be completed prior to the Week three meeting. Activities are designed to be engaging and age appropriate to the family’s needs.
  • Week three- Family Virtual Gathering (45 mins)-Families will meet virtually (Zoom) with their Small Family Communities at a time that works best for the group.

 

STA Youth Disciple (YDisciple)

Open to all youth in 7th-9th grade. This program will foster a strong Catholic identity for 7th-9th graders and provide a Christ-centered community to support their growth in faith and fellowship and foster their relationship with Jesus. This two-year program enables our youth to explore the sacrament of Confirmation.  It will serve as the foundation years for Confirmation preparation. After completion, teens will transition to STA TEEN Ministry.

YDisciple Program will be offered on Tuesdays at 7 PM. Early drop off and late pick up will be available on days where the Family Forming Disciples program has zoom sessions. You may register your child for YDisciple using the FFD registration link.

Important Documents:


Faith Formation Fee Schedule 2021-2022

Registration Fees

Register early and save! You can pay fees via credit or debit card, cash, or check. Or you can pay a minimum $50.00 registration deposit per child ($150 maximum deposit per family) at the time of registration and complete your remaining balance by 8/31/21. Do not delay your registration due to financial circumstances.  Contact the Faith Formation Office at [email protected] or 770-475-4508 to make payment arrangements. We encourage online registration and payment!


Overview

Family Centered Programs- The Church, in her wisdom, acknowledges the family as the domestic church, and recognizes that “parents should, by their word and example, be the first preachers of the faith to their children.” (See Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chapter 2, no. 11.)1 Our parishes and schools exist to support parents in fulfilling this duty, not to replace them.  The beauty of the family catechesis model is that it supports parents in their central role in the religious formation of their children with the community of the whole church: clergy, catechists, and other families. In that spirit, at St. Thomas Aquinas we continue to offer family faith formation programs to assist parents in this important role. 

Click here for a letter from our Pastor, Monsignor Daniel Stack.

We also understand that most young Catholics are disengaged. Engaging them is therefore the first step. Until they are engaged and fall in love with Christ it does not matter how much catechesis we offer them; they simply will not absorb it and make it their own. Therefore, we will offer Youth Centered Programs for teens. These programs are built on the idea of meeting young people where they are and leading them to where God is calling them to be.

  • Family Forming Disciples - Like other local parishes, we are customizing  the nationally utilized  Atlanta Archdiocesan family program, Families Forming Disciples (FFD). This will include monthly in-person gatherings, inviting dynamic speakers sharing life changing content.  FFD will serve as the primary faith formation program for children of all ages, but specifically directed toward families with children 4 to 12 years old. It will be available in English and in Spanish. Groups of families with children of similar ages will meet with catechists online and in person to encounter the Lord together and encourage one another in community.

Youth Centered Programs- Parents are concerned how many adolescent and young adults are disengaged in our Catholic faith tradition. At St. Thomas Aquinas we desire to engage them at the most essential level, capturing their hearts as they continue to fall in love with Christ on their own terms. This is done through community and solid based Youth Centered Programs for teens. These programs goal is to meet young people where they are as they seek to understand the world and their place in it, all in relationship with God and each other.

  • STA YDisciple- Open to all youth in 7th-9th grade. This program will foster a strong Catholic identity for 7th-9th graders and provide a Christ-centered community to support their growth in faith and fellowship to foster their relationship with Jesus. This two-year program enables our youth to  explore the sacrament of Confirmation.  It will serve as foundation years for Confirmation preparation. After completion, teens will transition to STA TEEN Ministry. YDisciple Program will be offered on Tuesdays at 7 PM and Wednesday at 7:30 PM. Early drop off and late pick up will be available on days where the Family Forming Disciples program has zoom sessions. If this is the only child, you are registering you can click here and chose one child for YDisciple. If your family is registering for FFD program already you can add your 7th-9th grader on that registration link. Or if you are registering in Good Shepherd then you can use that link.
  • STA Teen Ministry- Open to all teens in 9th grade and above. Our Teen ministry will offer relational and spiritual youth ministry programs for our high schoolers.  It will foster an active faith-based community where teens can engage in social, spiritual, and service opportunities to deepen their relationship with Christ and each other.