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FAMILIES OF ST. JEROME PARISH ATTENDING ST. JOHN NEUMANN SCHOOL

In humble service to God, we are committed to providing the highest standard of Catholic faith formation and academic excellence for the children God has entrusted to us.

- From the Mission Statement of St. John Neumann Catholic School

The Parish of St. Jerome provides the opportunity for a Catholic elementary education at St. John Neumann School, the tri-parish (Mother of Perpetual Help in Maryville; St. Cecilia in Glen Carbon; and St. Jerome in Troy) Catholic School located in Maryville, Illinois. The school offers two tuition rates: a parish rate and a non-parish rate.

To qualify for the parish rate the following criteria must apply at the time of registration (January or February):

If circumstances arise during the year which makes any of these expectations impossible, please contact the Pastor at once, so that the school can be notified. Those who do not meet the above listed qualifications fully, and have not made other arrangements with the Pastor of St. Jerome Church, will be charged the non-parish tuition rate.

* Active, when referring to participation in the life of the parish, is defined as follows:

SACRAMENTAL PREPARATION FOR FAMILIES ATTENDING ST. JOHN NEUMANN SCHOOL

The Rationale for the Policy:

The universal law of the Church, the Code of Canon Law, clearly states that "parents above others are obliged to form their children in the faith and practice of the Christian life by word and example." (#774.2) The law goes on to explain the role of the pastor who is "bound to provide for the catechetical formation of adults, young people and children. The pastor is to promote and foster the role of parents in the family catechesis." (#776) "The pastor is to make particular provision that children are properly prepared for the first reception of the sacraments of Penance, and the Most Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confirmation by means of a catechetical formation given over an appropriate period of time" (#777.2)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "Preparation for Confirmation should aim at leading the Christian toward a more intimate union with Christ and a more lively familiarity with the Holy Spirit - his actions, his gifts, and his biddings - in order to be more capable of assuming the apostolic responsibilities of Christian life. To this end catechesis for Confirmation should strive to awaken a sense of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, the universal Church as well as the parish community. The latter bears special responsibility for the preparation of confirmands." (1309) The National Directory for Catechesis says, "Dioceses and parishes should present catechesis for the Sacrament of Confirmation that " Ensures that parents and sponsors are involved in the catechetical preparation of the children for Confirmation." (36.A.2)

This national document again reaffirms the role of parents in the preparation of children for reception of Eucharist. "Parents also have the right and duty to be involved in preparing their children for First Communion. The catechesis offered should help parents grow in their own understanding and appreciation of Eucharist and enable them to catechize their children more effectively." (36.A.3a)

The same point is made when addressing the catechesis for the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. "Since the family is intimately involved with the formation of a child's moral conscience and ordinarily integrates the child into the wider ecclesial communities, parents should be involved in the preparation of their children for this sacrament so that they can affirm and reinforce frequent participation in the sacraments. They orient the child toward God and encourage continual growth in the understanding of God's mercy and love." (36.B.2)

The Church has never wavered in its insistence on the primary role of parents in the education and religious formation of their children. Catholic schools and religious education programs do assist in this responsibility but can never substitute for the word and example of parents.

The Policy:

Preparation for sacraments for children attending St. John Neumann School is to take place by the parents. The parish of one’s membership will provide opportunities for parents to enhance their own experience of faith, as well as provide tools for the education and formation of their children. The religious curriculum of St. John Neumann will supplement this family catechesis, but will not substitute for it.

St. Jerome Parish will provide parents with necessary information regarding parent meetings, as well as celebrations prior to the reception of the sacraments.

Please contact the parish for details. The actual celebration of the sacraments of First Penance, Confirmation, and First Eucharist are to take place in the parish where one worships every Sunday. St. John Neumann may provide an additional worship service and/or reception to honor those who have celebrated the sacraments at their home parish.

Special Circumstances:

St. Jerome children who attend St. John Neumann who have never been baptized and wish to be will be expected to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at the parish.

St. Jerome children who enroll in St. John Neumann after the first grade who have been baptized, but have had no formal religious formation, and wish to celebrate the sacraments of Penance, Confirmation or First Eucharist will be expected to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at the parish.

Catholic children who attend St. John Neumann School but do not belong to one of the three sponsoring parishes should inquire at their respective parish as to the procedure to follow for sacramental preparation. These parents may be asked to participate in one of the preparation processes at St. Cecilia, Mother of Perpetual Help or St. Jerome. The pastor of one’s respective parish will offer guidance in this matter.