Our Faith Formation (CCD) Program:
At the Co-Cathedral Parish of St. Joseph, we are proud to offer Catholic educational programs in both English and Spanish in order to meet your needs. In English, we offer religious education for children ages 3-16 through our CCD Program, and the RCIA educational program for adults converting to Catholicism or seeking to complete their Sacraments of Initiation. En espanol, ofrecemos un estudio bblico cada martes, a las 7pm. Below, you will find information about each.
We offer faith formation classes to children between the ages of 3-16. The formal name for this program is Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, or CCD. Classes begin Sunday, September 17, and continue each week until May. The class takes place from 10:30-11:45 am, after which participants sit together at the noon mass. If you haven’t already registered, please download the new participant form (Faith Formation Registration Form), fill it out, and bring it to class on the first day your child attends. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Jessica Figueroa at the rectory office at (718) 638-1071 or by email.
Children’s Faith Formation
• Saint Joseph: Sunday| 10:30 PM – 11:45 AM – Undercroft
• St. Teresa of Avila: Sunday | 9:10 AM – 10:40 AM – School
Our RCIA Program:
Have you ever heard the initials RCIA or noticed them in our weekly bulletin? They stand for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the Roman Catholic Church’s official collection of rites for initiating adults and for receiving baptized candidates into the Church.
At mass each week, we hear readings from both the Old and New Testaments. Some are from the letters St. Paul wrote to the communities he visited to bring the message of Christ to everyone he met. After leaving those communities, St. Paul often wrote them to clarify something that had not been understood well enough. The faith communities he founded were growing, and adults were being baptized into a new faith in Jesus Christ. Soon whole families wanted to be baptized, and, so, the baptism of infants became a part of the process of becoming a Christian. In those days, there were no classes or gatherings to explain the new faith to those who wanted to join. Instead, people walked the journey of faith with other faith-filled people. Newcomers were known as Catechumens, and the process by which they would become members of the faith community was called the Catechumenate.
For several hundred years, this process was how individuals and sometimes whole families became worshipping members of the new faith community. Centuries later, formal instruction before being received into the faith became the popular way of formation, and this instruction came to be known as Convert Classes. Sometimes, these would be large groups of people; at other times, it might have been just one person. But these kinds of lessons were what prepared individuals to be received into the Church.
After the Second Vatican Council, the Church decided to return to a process much closer to the one followed in its earliest days, and it re-introduced the Catechumenate. In 1974, the Vaticans Congregation for Divine Worship issued a document titled, The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Over the next 9 years, minor changes were made, and, on September 12, 1983, the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy approved the final version for use here in the U.S. Its still in use today.
The RCIA is not a program. It is a process. Its a process of formation in prayer, of receiving and discussing information about the Churchs teachings, and of transformation. All of it comes from a growing awareness of a need for a personal conversion toward Jesus Christ. And, all of it is done in the context of a faith community a parish, such as ours here at St. Joseph. Its no longer a process where a person comes to a parish alone for one-on-one sessions. Instead, interested and inquiring people come to a parish to be greeted by a community of believers members of the parish who are willing to share their time and their faith to help receive them into full communion with the Church that they, themselves, are part of.
The people who join the RCIA process are often at different stages in their faith journeys some Catechumens have never been baptized and want to be baptized in the Roman Catholic Church; some Catechumens have been baptized in another faith tradition, but want to be received into the Roman Catholic Church; and some Candidates have been baptized as Catholics but they never received Confirmation or the Eucharist. RCIA is the process for each of them.
Please call us if you are interested in learning more about becoming Catholic, or about receiving sacraments you have not yet received, or about the RCIA process. Here at St. Joseph, we will begin our RCIA in the fall. If anyone you know is interested, or if you are interested, please email contact Deacon Manuel Quintana know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Saint Joseph: Sundays/ Domingos 1:30 PM – White Room