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Religious Education


Dear Parents and Guardians, For those of you who are new to St. Ben’s welcome, and for those of you returning to our Religious Education program welcome back. I’d like to say a few things about our program, and first of all that it really isn’t a program. It is a process by which your children become educated in the faith while growing in spirituality. The process of this growth begins with you and your family at home. The home is where you first foster a faith foundation on which you can build and grow as a family. You are leading your children to Christ in many ways. You set an example, you attend Mass together, you do some charitable works that derive from that prayerful and spiritual foundation and you care for your children like nobody else possibly can. Our faith community cares deeply as well. We care for their religious education, we care about helping you to lead them to Christ, and we also care about their safety. We have a dedicated team of catechists serving in the education ministry who generously volunteer their time and talent to foster that faith. We strive to create a faith filled community where the children can grow and learn throughout their formative years. That is also why we see it as an eight year process so that growth can continue and they can flourish. This family handbook lays out some guidelines and expectations for our program. We strive to ensure that all of the children and young adults are provided with the best possible experience. Things such as lack of attendance, tardiness, behavioral issues, and other things can lessen the experience for your child or others. However, all situations are dealt with on a case by case basis, so this is certainly not a rule book. Think of them as guidelines for our educational process. It is very exciting to welcome all of the children back. I know it will be a great year, they will learn a lot, and have some fun while they are at it. Sincerely, Daniel J. Hughes Director of Catechesis



Our ministry is a comprehensive religious education process for children who attend public schools. It is our mission to educate our children in the ways of our faith, so that not only do they learn the doctrine, but they learn to live it in their everyday lives, always in relationship with Jesus Christ. The source and summit of our lives as Catholic is our worship together every Sunday. Therefore, our Religious Education class is made up of class time as well as mass together as a family. Our schedule for Religious Education is as follows – both are necessary to our program: CLASS TIME: Sunday, 8:45-10:15am or Wednesday, 6:30-8:00pm MASS SCHEDULE: Saturday, 5pm Sunday, 7:30am, 9:00am 10:30am 12:00 pm and 6:30pm CLASS LOCATION: ST. BENEDICT PREPATORY SCHOOL 3900 N. Leavitt Chicago, IL 60618 773/539.0066


All children must be registered before they are allowed in class. The registration form contains important information regarding your child’s health and well-being. Registration begins in June for the following year. Registration forms may be picked up at the St. Benedict rectory or downloaded from

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION REGISTRATION the website Full tuition payment is expected at the time of registration, however if arrangements need to be made for a payment plan, please see the Director. Students must be registered and pay the fee each year for classes.


The tuition that is required from each family goes towards the cost of the program. Tuition is paid each year. It helps to cover the cost of books and other materials, catechist training and formation, use of building space and family meetings or activities. If you are not a registered parishioner at St. Benedict there is an additional $500 fee per family. You may register online on our website. Tuition rates for the 2017-2018 year are as follows: Annual One child $225 Two children $325 Three or more children $425 Registration Fee For each child $25 Book Fee For each child $25 Sacramental Fees First Communion $100 Confirmation $125



The word “Catechist” comes from a Greek word meaning, “To echo the teaching.” Our catechists echo the teaching of Jesus through their words, actions and example. They have dedicated themselves to developing their own relationship with Jesus through prayer and service. They give freely of their time and talent to be with your children and help them in their faith journey. We are truly grateful for their commitment to our children and our parishes.


We use the Be My Disciples series from RCL Benzinger Press. We invite you to go to the RCL Benzinger website at to see more about the program. We also use Benzinger’s Family Life program as instructed by the Archdiocese of Chicago. For more information on that program visit We will be using Dynamic Catholic’s Decision Point program for Confirmation preparation. The Catechist guides have all the support a catechist needs to serve the faith formation needs of the children. Catechists have access to additional materials for teaching, such as videos and books, through our church and school. Throughout the program, we stress the importance of attending Mass every Sunday, a commitment to regular prayer as a family, service to others, and active participation in the life of the Church.



Students are expected to come to class prepared. Each child will be given a folder and book at the start of the year. These, along with a pen or pencil, should come to class with your child each week. Students are NOT to bring anything to class that does not pertain to what is being discussed in class, for example, electronic equipment, cell phones, ipads, toys, food, etc. The Director has the right to confiscate anything brought to class that is not permitted. Students who need to bring a cell phone should turn the phone OFF once they enter the building. If a parent needs to get ahold of their child during class, please call the office (773/539.0066) or Mr. Hughes directly (773/597.7268).



Children are expected to be in class and on time every week. Your child is allowed three (3) absences for the year. This includes excused and unexcused ones. If your child will not be in class, please call, text or email and let us know,, 773/509.3830. A note will be sent home with a child who has missed a class. We expect that the work that has been missed will be made up by the following week. Parents must sign the missed class sheet and return it to class. If children are in a sacramental preparation program, we ask that there be NO absences.


We ask that children be dropped off for class no more than 10 minutes early. If there is a reason to drop off or pick up your children early, we ask that you notify the Director. Catechists and the Director arrive early to get prepared for class, but we do not have the facilities to take care of children prior to the start of class. Please pick up your children promptly at the end of class. If your child is going home with someone other than a parent, you must provide a written note at the start of class alerting the catechist and the Director. If your child is permitted to walk home alone, we must have a note from a parent stating this. These guidelines are in place for the children’s safety first and foremost. We appreciate your cooperation. Dismissal on Sunday takes place in the Church at 10:15 so you are able to attend Mass with your child afterwards.



We take sacramental preparation very seriously and expect children to attend all sessions leading up to the reception of the sacrament. It is also expected that students attend mass every Sunday with their families. Families will receive a copy of sacramental schedules at the start of the year. PARENT MEETINGS During Sacramental years the parents and (for Confirmation) the children are expected to attend a few Parent Meetings. These are very important opportunities for you to grow in your faith and will help you better guide your child as they journey to their Sacraments. These are also opportunities for you to ask practical questions as well as receive important information about upcoming things such as practices, seating arrangements, and photographs. Please let the Director know if a parent cannot attend as a makeup session will be arranged shortly after. BAPTISM A copy of each child’s baptismal certificate must be on file with us. If your child was baptized at St. Benedict, please let us know and we can look up the information. If your child has not yet been baptized, please contact the Director to make arrangements. RECONCILIATION Generally, Reconciliation is received in second grade, around the age of 7 or 8. Reconciliation occurs before First Communion. Older students who have had one full year of formal religious education will participate in a separate sacrament. Separate books are used to prepare children for this sacrament.


FIRST EUCHARIST/FIRST COMMUNION Generally, First Eucharist is received in second grade. Students must have one full year of formal religious education classes before beginning preparation for First Communion. Older students who have had one full year of classes will also be prepared for this sacrament. If the child has attended class through another church or program, parents must provide us with a transfer of record form. Please see the Director for the form. CONFIRMATION Students will be confirmed in eighth grade. Preparation for Confirmation will begin in seventh grade, and is a 2-year, consecutive program. All class work and projects must be completed prior to the reception of Confirmation. Students who begin the program later than 7th grade are still expected to complete the 2 year program.

SACRAMENT DATES All Sacraments are celebrated in English.

FIRST RECONCILIATION: Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 9:15am or Monday, February 24, 2020 at 6:00pm FIRST COMMUNION: Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 10:00am, Noon or Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 10:00am, Noon CONFIRMATION: Thursday, March 26, 2020, 7:00pm


If classes are cancelled due to weather or any other problem, we will send an email. Please be sure we have a current email for you. Anyone who does not provide an email will receive a phone call.


If your child has a medication that he/she must take during class (including asthma pumps), please talk to the Director about filling out a form to approve the medication. No medication whatsoever will be administered to children during class time without a parent’s written permission.


Children will receive progress reports twice a year from the catechists. The reports will not contain a letter grade, but will indicate your children’s progress in the class. There will be a space for the parents to correspond with the Catechist and the Director. Parents will sign the Progress Report and return it to class. Please see the Director if there are any questions.


You should notify the Director and/or the Catechist if you child has any special needs that we should be aware of.


We ask that you please go over these guidelines with your child and be sure that he/she understands what is expected. Catechists will also take time to review this with the children. This is what is expected of all children in our religious education program: 1. The Director, Catechists, other adult helpers and fellow students will be treated with respect at all times. 2. Students will arrive on time and prepared with materials and homework each week. 3. Foul language of any kind will not be permitted. 4. Emergency drills will be done in silence and while walking. 5. Walking in the building is expected at all times. 6. Nothing comes to class that is not directly related to what is being discussed. DISCIPLINE POLICY We have a very limited amount of time with your children, and so we have a strict discipline policy in order to ensure that the time spent with the children is productive and positive. We strive to teach the children to be responsible for their actions, and we are always watching out for the well-being and safety of all of our students. Please notify us at the beginning of the year of any special needs or previous discipline problems so we can inform the Catechist and make accommodations if needed. In the case that a student does not abide by the rules listed above: 1. For a first time infraction of the rules, the catechist will take the child aside and talk to him or her. 2. At the second infraction, the child will be sent to the Director or the person acting in his behalf. The child will be sent back to the class with instructions to apologize to the catechist and the class. 3. At a third infraction, the child will be sent to the Director, and will make a call home to the parents. The child will be expected to be picked up by a parent and will not complete that day of class.

4. Should it happen that parents are asked to pick up a child more than once, that child will not be permitted to complete the year of class, even if it is a sacramental year for that student. The student may reenter the program the following year pending the permission of the Director and the completion of a behavioral contract by the student. PARENT RESPONSIBILITIES 1. The following are our expectations for parents who have children in our religious education program: 2. Parents will attend Sunday mass every weekend with their children. 3. Parents will take time each week to discuss with their children what was learned and discussed in class and make sure that any homework assignments or other papers are returned to class the following week. 4. Families will take time each day to pray together and to practice the prayers that the children need to learn. 5. Families should be active, contributing members of the parish community. EXPECTATIONS FOR EFFECTIVE CATECHESIS Parents/Guardians will: ™ • Witness and teach the faith to their children as primary educators. • Maintain their homes as “domestic” churches wherein relationship with God is evident and participation in parish life is promoted. • Esteem their children seeing in each the face of Christ. • Witness their own relationship with God in their love for their children as the outcome of God’s love. • Be actively involved in the life of the Church through participation in Sunday liturgies, the sacramental life of the Church, the community life of the parish and stewardship. • Help their children to respond to the vocation God calls them to in the life of the Church and society. • Be socially aware promoting the dignity of human life and nonviolence in the home and in the culture. • Educate their children in the sanctity of human life and sexuality.

• Collaborate with catechists and teachers by promoting and assessing the development of faith in their children. • Prepare their children for their participation in the sacraments. • Attend to their own spiritual lives through reflection, prayer and reading of scriptures. Source: aspx?fileticket=rDymqQlXbuI%3d&tabid=4894&mid=8573 (Archdiocese of Chicago website)

PARENT VOLUNTEERS We are always happy to have parents assist with our program. Please contact the Director to offer your help.

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PASTOR Rev. Steve Kanonik 773/588.6484

DIRECTOR OF CATECHESIS Mr. Daniel Hughes 773/509.3830

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Nancy Uczen 773/588.6484 Ext.1271

ST. BENEDICT PARISH 2215 W. Irving Park Road Chicago, IL 60618 773.588.6484

Profile for St. Benedict Parish and Preparatory School

St. Benedict Parish Religious Education Family Handbook  

St. Benedict Parish Religious Education Family Handbook