Middle and High School Programs
Contact the Youth Office
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS FAITH FORMATION?
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN MS/HS FAITH FORMATION?
We offer three years of middle school sessions and two years of high school sessions. Our high school students are typically in grade 9 and 10, but we often have older students as well.
Students who attend Catholic schools are invited but not required to attend, but preparation for receiving a Sacrament, like Confirmation, always occurs within the parish and not the school.
In order to register to prepare for Confirmation, students must have completed a year of faith formation (either through a parish or in a Catholic school) in at least the year prior to the year on preparation.
All middle and high school students are encouraged to participate in St. Bernadette’s Youth Ministry, which is a less formal set of events and programs designed to support our young people in developing their leadership skills, growing in community, serving our world, and having fun along the way!
WHERE & WHEN IS MS/HS FAITH FORMATION HELD?
A complete schedule is distributed at the Parent & Student Kickoff Meeting held in September and is also available here.
WHAT DO THE STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT?
High school students (ordinarily 9th and 10th graders) attend two mini-course sessions each year, each consisting of eight (or 6) classes. The basic curriculum uses The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth (St. Mary’s Press) and covers the areas of:
Completion of Year I (or the equivalent at another parish or a Catholic school) is a prerequisite for enrollment in Confirmation preparation. Year II is designed to complement and support Confirmation preparation but is a separate program from the preparation process.
Additionally, we incorporate the Archdiocesan program Created to Love which is designed to teach young people about the dignity of human life, Catholic morality, healthy relationships, positive decision-making and the sacramentality of marriage.
DO THE STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN ANY SPECIAL EVENTS?
High school students are encouraged to participate in ongoing youth ministry events, particularly the 30 Hour Famine, the Baltimore Youth & Young Adult Pilgrimage, and Baltimore-Appalachia Workcamp.
Middle school students are encouraged to participate in ongoing youth ministry events throughout the calendar year, including the summer service camp called Summer Madness.
WHAT ABOUT SERVICE AND JUSTICE?
Middle and High School students contribute food to the Winter Shelter and assist with the preparation of our Hall for the Winter Shelter program. During Lent, students contribute to the Habitat for Humanity collection. Specific information about each of these projects as well as individual class service initiatives are provided to students and their parents throughout the year.
WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS A LEARNING DIFFERENCE OR A DISABILITY?
Many of our students have learning differences, and our catechists are given training in how to redirect and support students based on their individual needs. The more information we have on how your child learns best, the better we can support them in their faith journey.
We try to form students with disabilities alongside their non-disabled peers whenever possible, and have successfully done so with students who have a wide variety of disabilities:
The basic rule is: Talk to us! We truly believe that the Church needs ALL of God’s people, and that ALL of God’s people deserve to be formed in faith. Visit the National Catholic Partnership on Disability for more resources!
WHAT IF WE’VE FALLEN BEHIND?
WHAT IF WE’VE “MISSED” A SACRAMENT OR TWO?
We have prepared young people in middle school, high school, and beyond (including adults!) for Baptism, First Reconciliation, First Eucharist, and Confirmation. It is never too late! Please contact Youth Office (for grades 6-12) or the Coordinator of Religious Education (for age 3 to grade 5) to determine the best path of preparation for your child(ren)—or perhaps for yourself!
WHAT IF MY CHILD HAS ALREADY BEEN CONFIRMED, AND/OR HAS FINISHED BOTH HS-1 AND HS-2?
Those were Confirmed at an earlier age but are about to enter at least the 10th grade are also invited to participate in the Confirmation preparation process (including the retreat) alongside their peers. The experience of the Confirmation preparation process in the teen years is unique and a great experience of growing in faith, regardless of when one receives the sacrament of Confirmation. The difference is that such participants will not be “re-Confirmed” at the Confirmation liturgy, though they are encouraged to participate in it along with their peers.
If your child has already completed both years of high school faith formation, we would love to have him or her as an aide or catechist in the Faith Formation program! And they are always welcome to participate in our Youth Ministry, too!
HOW CAN I HELP?