Family Formation at Sacred Heart Parish

illustrated drawings of a man who could be Jesus with his arms raised up in front of a family of two adults and three children. The words "family formation" are below.

Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Family Formation 2017-2018

September 1, 2017

“Dear Parents/Guardians,

“Thank you for your ongoing dedication to your children’s spiritual health! I am so heartened to know that you will join us this year as we work together to give our children the best possible Catholic Formation. What we are teaching them now is a Way of life, a Way that will carry them through good times and bad, a Way that will lead them to Heaven.

“We have planned a Family Formation Orientation/Kick-off Session for Sunday, September 17th, 2017 from 1:00-2:30pm at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Troy. This session is primarily for parents to become acquainted with Family Formation before we begin full sessions in October, however the whole family can come; activities will be provided for the children during the parent meeting. We will also have a session with parents of the children receiving their Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion and distribute the home lesson book for Reconciliation.

“The cost for Family Formation at Sacred Heart of Jesus is as follows:
Family Formation (k-6)          $80.00/family
Little Lambs (pre-K)               $75.00/family
Reconciliation workbook      $16.00/child
First Communion wkbk        $16.00/child

“Cash or Checks made out to Sacred Heart of Jesus Church are accepted. Installment payments are accepted. Please note that no child or family will be denied an education if unable to pay the fees.

“For any questions regarding these sessions or any aspect of the program, please contact me at 744-6272 or e-mail .

Sincerely in Christ, Theresa McAvinney DRE”


See here Fr. Naples ‘introductory letter for the 2017-2018 Family Formation Year, and the calendars for the joint Family Formation Program with Trinity Parish in Barton, VT.

Download: 2017 Pastor Letter to parents for FF, SHJ and MHTP Calendars FamForm1718

Families with students also in encountering Jesus, a combined calendar is available under our Religious Education website menu.


August 10, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Grace and peace of Christ be with you.  The catechesis of your whole family, including your children and you, is on my heart as one of the most important things that should be happening in our parish. After years of work and thought, planning and prayer, we decided to implement the Family Formation program in the fall of 2016. This program has a new vision with new vitality.

It does, however, call for a paradigm shift and I want to consider again the appropriateness of this approach.  At the root of this approach is a fuller understanding of the Church’s call for parents to be the primary educators of their children in Faith and the parish’s role to support families in this mission, coupled with the Church’s insistence that catechesis is also necessary for adults in all times and places.  National trends in catechesis are guiding parishes toward this understanding.  Parishes that have implemented Family Formation are reporting a stronger Faith knowledge and practice in their communities. Families must be on a journey of faith together, with parents gowning earnestly in their knowledge while they teach their children the basic fundamentals of the faith.

When your children were baptized, you promised to raise and nurture your children in the Faith.  This is not an easy task, and we want to support and assist you.  The following is taken from the General Directory of Catechesis, Articles 255 and 227:

“Parents are the primary educators in the faith. It is for this reason that the Christian community must give very special attention to parents. By means of personal contact, meetings, courses and also adult catechesis directed towards parents, the Christian community must help them assume their responsibility-which is particularly delicate today-of educating their children in the faith.”

Family Formation replaces former elementary grade Religious Education programs.  At the monthly sessions, children gather with a teacher by grade while parents receive catechesis based on the monthly theme and guidance on the home lessons.  Wherever each member of the family is in their faith formation, the whole family is growing together. This program’s unique format will draw your family together through the enthusiastic faith of your children.  Its creativity and simple concepts make learning fun, as each lesson is written at an elementary level but with adult level instruction to guide and enhance your teaching.  Parents do not have to be experts in the Faith, just willing to devote about an hour a week to quality family time in sharing the Faith.

Understanding the busy schedules of today’s families, the weekly lessons at home can be adapted to your own family schedule.  The lessons will provide the backbone for your children’s spiritual formation in these formative years.  This comprehensive program not only engages young children, it draws families together, and equips parents to do a first rate job in teaching the Catholic Faith to their children, while allowing them to grow personally as well.

The Family Formation and Little Lambs program is for families with children aged three through sixth grade. It follows a three-year liturgical cycle, is faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, is driven by Sacred Scripture, and references the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  It covers all tenets of our Catholic Faith.

To register, or to ask any questions regarding the monthly sessions or the program, please contact Theresa McAvinney DRE/Director of Family Formation at

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Timothy Naples, Pastor