Community Formation Options
Children and Youth in grades 1-8 are required to participate in Individual Formation (see right) and Community Formation (options below):
Come and See Gatherings (Gr. 1-8)
Family Small Groups (Gr. 1-8)
Navigator Small Groups (Gr. 7-8)
Additional Links on this page:
Individual Formation / Grade-Level Groupings:
Seekers (Grades 1-2)
Explorers (Grades 3-4)
Pathfinders (Grades 5-6)
Navigators (Grades 7-8)
Investigators (Grades 5-teen, who are new to faith formation)
Teen Ministries (Grades 9-12)
Come and See Gatherings
Sign up will happen online (through Sign Up Genius), allowing families to sign up for specific days and times per session, as well as facilitate any changes that need to be made because of the constant change to family schedules. You will not be expected to commit to a certain day and time for a season or entire year!
For each session (unique gathering) we offer, we are currently planning to offer them at these following times and locations:
Monday 4:00pm at the parish hall on the St. Theresa / Billerica center campus
Monday 6:00pm at the parish hall on the St. Theresa / Billerica center campus
Tuesday 4:00pm at the parish hall on the St. Theresa / Billerica center campus
Tuesday 6:00pm at the parish hall on the St. Theresa / Billerica center campus
Family Small Groups
We will be sharing materials to enable your family to pray together once per week – probably 15-20 minutes – then once a month we would ask that your family gather with several other families and a leader to pray together. These gatherings with other families can be held at the group’s scheduled convenience and the group’s location of choice, including online. We will match each family small group (“village”) with a mentor-leader who will join you at the monthly gathering.
We are going to allow your family, other families in the small group, and the minister facilitating your small group to choose the day and time to meet, and it can vary from month to month! We know family schedules constantly change!
Our default with the Family Small Groups will be to match families with similar aged kids, but when we go to form the groups and send you a follow-up form, you will have the opportunity to note families you would like to be matched with, and we plan to honor that. You can even put in the student notes as you register now your preferences for families / other children to match your family with.
Since one adult from each family will be participating in the Family Small Group, our expectation is that the adult is supervising their children at all times during the Family Small Group.
Navigator Small Groups
For youth in grades 7-8.
We will match your teen with other teens (and take requests when possible, please note names in the comments section of the registration form) for a faith sharing group.
Material Pick Up
You may pick up your hard copy materials for children and youth in Grades 1-8 on the Billerica Center campus (behind St. Theresa Church).
Note: there are no materials to pick up for Teen Ministries at this time. The resources we use include weekly content for families, which are sent in the email reminders.
Faith Formation Ministers (Volunteers)
Anyone offering to be a Faith Formation Minister needs to have completed, before you begin your ministry, a CORI background check, completed the Virtus Protecting God’s Children training, and have read and agreed to the updated Code of Conduct for volunteers.
There is a registration discount for a family having one adult offering to be a Faith Formation Minister.
Our mission is to offer excellent Faith Formation ministry (an updated term for religious education or “CCD”), using the tools of today, and to create a community where all can actively lice and grow in their Catholic Christian faith. We look forward to working together with you and your family as we help each other deepen our friendship with God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
We recognize that our Faith Formation ministry is not straightforward – neither are our lives! We understand that most families today need flexibility and adaptability. Our Faith Formation offerings meet these needs and welcome families wherever they are on their journey of faith.
Seekers serves children and their families in school grades 1 and 2. Typically, these children are just starting in faith formation structured experiences.
Karyn Moody is the Coordinator for Seekers.
Explorers serves children and their families in school grades 3 and 4. Typically, these students have received their First Reconciliation and First Eucharist, or are preparing to do so through our supplemental First Sacraments preparation program.
Karyn Moody is the Coordinator for Explorers.
Pathfinders serves youth and their families in school grades 5 and 6. Typically, these young teens are starting to explore on their own, asking good questions and seeking more challenging experiences.
Deb Fergus is the Coordinator for Pathfinders.
Navigators serves youth and their families in school grades 7 and 8. Typically, these young teens are emerging with greater responsibilities and seek meaningful challenges. Navigators is designed to offer engaging, interactive experiences for teens, using a variety of styles that are rich in content while prioritizing personal formation.
Additionally, we implement portions of the Created for Love Archdiocesan Chastity Education program from the Respect Life Education Office.
Deb Fergus is the Coordinator for Navigators.
Teen Ministries and Confirmation
Investigators is for youth in grades 5 and older – young adolescents and adolescents – who are beginning their faith formation experience and have no prior background in faith formation, religious education, or CCD.
We have found that putting youth of these ages directly into their grade-level peer groupings can be overwhelming, confusing, and not the best experiences for those involved. Investigators seeks to provide a means for students new to faith formation to “catch up” to their peers.
Our goal is to strengthen each teen’s relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. We do this by discussing the bible readings from Mass coupled with an overview of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Using a variety of materials, including a bible, video, and discussion, our aim is to provide a basic understanding of the Catholic faith.
Note: there is no scheduled time for Investigators. The session when this group meets will be set as a mutually agreeable time for all involved – students, staff, and volunteers. Most likely, Investigators will meet on a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. Sessions may be weekly or every-other-week.
Note: there is no participant limit for Investigators. The group size will be determined by those who register for Investigators and in which grades they are.
Deb Fergus is the Coordinator for Investigators (Gr. 5-teen) as well as being the Director of Youth Faith Formation. She may use volunteers and additional staff members as needed.
First Sacraments: Reconciliation and Eucharist
For information about these sacraments in 2022, please click here. Below is general information.
Elementary students preparing for the sacraments of First Reconciliation (also called Confession or Penance) and First Eucharist (also called First Communion) will prepare for these sacraments through at-home materials and on-site workshops
Our goal is to provide good opportunities for parents and their children to interact through their child(ren)’s preparation to receive God’s grace in the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
It is preferable that preparation for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist begins as a student enters their second year of Faith Formation. Children whose first year of Faith Formation is Grade 1 (Seekers) will receive their First Reconciliation and Eucharist in Grade 2 (Seekers), but children whose first year of Faith Formation is Grade 2 will often receive their sacraments in Grade 3 (and so forth). To know which faith formation program your child should be registered for, contact Deb Fergus, Senior Coordinator of Youth Faith Formation. We prefer one completed year of religious education before undertaking the additional preparation for these important sacraments, as we have found this additional year provides a more secure foundation to learn and grow in faith.
Separate, additional steps to the other faith formation ministry (Seekers, Explorers, etc.), are done to prepare for First Reconciliation and First Eucharist.
Children preparing to receive sacraments, accompanied by a parent/guardian, are required to attend both a First Reconciliation workshop and a First Eucharist workshop.
Separate and distinct preparation for these sacraments apart from their grade-level curriculum serves the following purposes:
- It allows grade-level formation time to be used for the faith formation curriculum (though the Seekers program will reinforce the home-based sacramental preparation).
- It allows for students not in Grade 2 to better integrate into the sacramental preparation process.
- It allows for students attending a variety of Catholic Schools to prepare for sacraments in their parish.
Faith Formation Requested Offering
We are trying to get away from “fees”, which you may pay for services offered or activities in which a child participates. Your family is making an offering, a contribution, to support the work of the church in sharing the faith. We have specifically removed any fees or additional costs associated with sacraments.
For the 2022-2023 year, the offering for faith formation (religious education, CCD) will be:
1 child = $160
2 children = $260
3 children = $310
If financial assistance is needed, please choose the payment option “other” and make a note in the box as available. Our Finance and Operations Manager Chris Kilburn will be handling all the financial aid requests and payment plan arrangements.