Catholic Faith Formation

Children’s Religious Education

At Old Town Parishes Religious Education (Immaculate Conception and St Joseph and St. Michael’s Parishes) we dedicate ourselves to helping families raise their children in the Catholic faith by promoting life-long learning and growth. Teaching children about the Catholic faith is first and foremost the privilege and responsibility of parents. That is the reason why we strive to include families in our educational initiatives.

Family Mass

ICSJ Parish and St. Michael in Old Town often celebrate Family Masses during the school year.  These Masses are a time to celebrate and support the families in our community.

Sunday Religious Education

We provide Sunday Religious Education classes for children in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. These classes are intended for children not currently attending a Catholic school

Religious Education meets Sunday mornings from 9:15-10:30 a.m. from mid-September to mid-May iat St. Michael's in the Parish Center. We offer small classes of ten or less students which are led by volunteer catechists who are trained and mentored by our Director of Religious Education. While students are in class, we invite parents to remain in the cafeteria for coffee and conversation.

Classes are taught from an approved Religion text, Finding God, Loyola Press, and also include time for prayer and discussion. Every session begins when the entire community – students, teachers, and even parents – gathers together for morning prayer in the cafeteria. Students then go to their classrooms for age appropriate instruction.

2020-2021 Session Information

To register for Religious Education, 1) download the appropriate form, below, to your computer then complete and return per the instructions on the form; then 2) submit the tuition payment (see payment options below).

2020-21 Tuition Information

Standard tuition rates are listed below. Pay online using the links below, or by checks made out to ICSJ Parish. If paying tuition is a difficulty to your family at this time, please email Kim Rak, or call 312-944-0304 ext. 6 for information about tuition assistance.

Standard Tuition Rates
> Pay Standard Tuition Online Here

  • 1 child: $260

  • 2 children: $360

  • 3 or more children: $460

For more information on our Children's Religious Education program, please email Kim Rak or call 312-944-0304 ext 6, Director of Religious Education.

Becoming Catholic

Whether you are just starting to explore the Catholic faith or have been considering becoming Catholic for a while, we are here to walk with you on your journey of faith. Full initiation into the Catholic Church is constituted by participation in the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. The normative process to prepare for the reception of these Sacraments is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) – a process of spiritual and educational formation that has been handed down to us from the early Church.

Who Participates in RCIA?

Unbaptized Adults: The RCIA is primarily intended for unbaptized adults, who, upon hearing the Gospel message and receiving formation in the Christian way of life, choose to become followers of Christ by receiving the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

Adults Baptized as Christians: The RCIA process also serves adults baptized in a Christian denomination or community who are now interested in living out their Christian life in the Catholic Church. Any baptism that has been performed with water and the Trinitarian formula (invoking the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is considered valid; therefore baptism is not repeated. Rather, we welcome these men and women into the full communion of the Catholic Church through their profession of faith and reception of the remaining sacraments of initiation: Confirmation and Eucharist.

Adults Baptized Catholic: From time to time the RCIA includes adults who were baptized in the Catholic faith, but did not grow up practicing this faith or receiving regular formation or additional sacraments. While already a part of the full communion of the Catholic Church due to their Catholic baptism, these men and women are seeking to complete their sacraments of initiation with the celebration of Confirmation and Eucharist.

What Is Involved In RCIA? When Does It Start?

RCIA is comprised of a series of stages of formation (each with a slightly different focus) that are marked by ritual steps transitioning a person from one stage to the next.

Our journey begins every fall with our first stage of formation. During this stage, we meet weekly to reflect on God’s call to us and how Jesus is at work in our lives. There is plenty of time to ask questions and discern if this is the right step for you.  

In November, we celebrate our first ritual which publicly marks our desire to officially enter formation for initiation into the Catholic Church. This ritual moves us into our second stage of formation. We reflect deeply on the Sunday scripture, and examine related Catholic beliefs, teachings, customs and traditions.

At the beginning of Lent, (the 40 days prior to Easter), we celebrate another ritual to recognize our progress of being formed in the faith and signals our readiness to begin final preparations for receiving the sacraments. This third period of formation, which coincides with the season of Lent, is more reflective and prayerful, including many special celebrations and rituals passed down from the early Church.

We celebrate the Sacraments and our full initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Service (after sundown on Holy Saturday—the evening before Easter Sunday)! However, this is not the end, but rather the beginning of your life as a fully initiated disciple! We continue to meet for a fourth stage of formation, gathering a few times during the Easter Season (the 50 days after Easter) to help launch us into the next step of our faith journey and the rest of our lives as Catholic disciples of Christ.

What Is The “Goal” of RCIA?

The RCIA process is all about conversion—about growth and change taking place in our hearts and minds so that we can more fully live in relationship with God and each other. It is about deepening our faith, and exploring what belief in God means for our lives and how it is reflected in our actions. The purpose of this process is not to be able to check off a class requirement or to see how much information you can learn about the Catholic Church, but rather to assist you in becoming a living, breathing, active disciple of Christ!

A Note for Those With Mixed Feelings:

We are all on a journey. Many of us come to this process with different experiences of life and faith. Your thoughts about starting this process might range from “Great! When can I start?” to “Gee, this seems like an awful lot!” Wherever you are on that spectrum, our parish is excited and open to walking with you as you discern how God might be inviting you into a deeper relationship.

If you are unsure this is the right step for you, know that we absolutely welcome folks who are still exploring. RCIA at its best helps people find their way on their spiritual journey. If in that progress you discern this isn’t the right fit for you, or not the right time, that is ok, too!

For more information on our Rite of Christian Initation of Adults, please email Kim Rak or call 312-944-0304 ext 6.

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