Religious Education


The Parish is the Eucharistic Community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families; it is a privileged place for the Catechesis of children and parents (Catechism of the Catholic Church #2223).

View our Youtube channel here with playlists of videos for faith-building and for parents

Dr . James Gregory
Director of Religious Education
570.784.0801 Ext. 4

Dr. Gregory’s Biography

Dr. Gregory’s Introduction

BASIC TRAINING IN EVANGELIZATION COMING IN APRIL!

Visits: 460

Catholic Youth Education Program (CYE)

Our Mission: “Our future together in Faith is to teach our children to know, love, and serve God and his people in the Catholic tradition.”

Our Philosophy: The Religious Education Program at St. Columba Church in full agreement with Catholic Church Teaching promotes PARENTS as the primary educators of THEIR children. Our programs are designed to SUPPORT Parents in preparing their children to come to full maturity in the Christian life. Parents who decide to homeschool their children, will be supported by our Religious Education Office and welcome to attend the Family Education day.

Curriculum: CYE students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 use USCCB-approved curricula. Our formal Sunday School program is a hybrid that uses traditional classes along with Family Faith education. The Parish School holds formal religious education classes for each grade. Synergistically with these classes our teachers integrate the Catholic faith into each of their traditional classes emphasizing the important interaction of Faith and Reason ( Fide et Ratio encyclical of Pope St John Paul II).

Attention Homeschoolers: You must still register your children with the Director of Religious Education, according to Diocesan regulations. All Religious Education textbooks used in the Diocese of Harrisburg must be found to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and listed on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Office for the Catechism.  The Office of Religious Education is responsible by Diocesan regulation for tracking all catechetical education and is here to support you.  Please contact us if you intend to home school. We can provide you with approved curricula list from the USCCB and assist you with the Diocesan guidelines for Sacramental Preparation.

Youth Programs: We offer several programs for our youth outside of the CYE & School. We have an active Youth group (Faith, Fun, Food and Friendship) for 5th – 9th grades that meets monthly during the summer. We offer the weeklong Vacation Bible School (VBS) each year in July for the younger children.

Dr . James Gregory
Director of Religious Education
570.784.0801 Ext. 4

DRE@saintcolumbachurch.org

Dr. Gregory’s Biography

Dr. Gregory’s Introduction

OUR CYE PARENTS’ PORTAL IS HERE:

The registration Fee for CYE is $30 each for the first 2 children and $15 each for additional Children. Once CYE begins, children should meet their teachers and classes in the gymnasium. If your child is entering 1st grade or 7th grade, be sure that you register since the Diocese of Harrisburg requires a two-year preparation program to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. 

CYE: 2023-2024 School Year – What to do first

Click on the Download button for each document.

Our newly revised (on 9/5/23) schedule is here:

All students must have an emergency medical authorization each year, but the initial CYE registration only needs to be completed once. Returning students need only fill out the Emergency Medical Authorization Form.


Once CYE begins, children should meet their teachers and classes in the cafeteria. If your child is entering 1st grade or 7th grade, be sure that you register since the Diocese of Harrisburg requires a two-year preparation program to receive the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation. Confirmation and First Communion are both held in the spring.

Please let us know if you have attended the religious education program in a different parish. To participate in CYO, your child must participate in CYE. Coaches will periodically check to see if this requirement is being met.

WANT TO HELP?

CYE CATECHISTS NEEDED: CYE exists to assist parents to educate their children into their Catholic faith. For CYE to do this, we need your assistance to teach and support the CYE Program. We welcome interest in filling this ministry as either a weekly or substitute teacher. What is needed is a love of children, your faith and a desire to share your love of Christ. We will work with you to help you grow in the knowledge needed to serve in youth ministry. Please contact Jim Gregory DRE@saintcolumbachurch.org or (570) 784-0801 x4 for additional information.

ST. COLUMBA JUNIOR CATECHIST PROGRAM: Are you a High School Student who likes to work with children? Do you like to teach or have thought of being a teacher? Do you love your Catholic Faith? If this describes you, then you might be perfect for our Junior Catechist Position. Starting this September, you can join our CYE program and help our Teachers with the Sunday morning CYE classes. If you are interested, please email me and cc: your parent/guardian.

Visits: 589

Home Study

CYE HOMESCHOOLERS: All Religious Education textbooks used in the Diocese of Harrisburg must be found to be in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church and listed on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Office for the Catechism. 

The Office of Religious Education is responsible by Diocesan regulation for tracking all catechetical education and is here to support you.  Please contact us if you intend to home school. We can provide you with approved curricula list from the USCCB and assist you with the Diocesan guidelines for Sacramental Preparation.

FOR BIBLE OR CATECHISM READING IN A YEAR

(READING ONLY, NOT LISTENING):

Daily Bible Reading and or/the Catechism of the Catholic Church–

a New Years Resolution

St. Jerome, who translated the Bible into Latin – the Vulgate, stated, “Not to know the Bible is not to know Jesus Christ.” What an opportunity this New Year brings to know Jesus Christ and God’s Word better by reading the Bible from cover to cover. All it takes is reading 15 minutes daily – by doing so, you will have read the entire Bible in one year. A Bible Reading Guide is available by clicking on the Download button below.
If you read the paragraphs listed each day you will: (1) read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in one year; (2) read from all four parts of the Catechism almost every week; (3) be well versed in the teachings of the Church; and (4) be drawn even closer to God and His Church. Most days we stop reading at a natural break point. So now the 2,557 paragraphs in the Catechism just don’t seem so intimidating when we take it one day at a time! Won’t you join me?
Also, for those who want to study the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church at the same time, Read the Bible and the Catechism in a Year, by CH Resources, will be available in the back of the Church on white flyers.
What an opportunity this New Year brings to know Jesus Christ and God’s Word better by reading the Bible from cover to cover.

Here is a 52-week Catechism reading plan:

YOUCAT/ Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Youth Catechism, which is written in language suitable for young people, deals with the entire Catholic faith as it was presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC of 1997).

For more information about the Catechism of the Catholic Church


PODCASTS:

Join us for The Catechism in a Year (with Fr. Mike Schmitz)!

With this podcast, Catholics will:

  • Read the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church in 365 days
  • Understand the essentials of the Catholic Faith and why they matter
  • See how Church teaching is rooted in Sacred Scripture
  • Absorb over 2,000 years of Sacred Tradition
  • Encounter God’s plan of sheer goodness
  • Transform their relationship with the Church that Christ founded.

If you have ever wanted to understand what it means to be Catholic and allow those truths to shape your life—this podcast is for you! Here is the link!

  • If you’ve struggled to read the Bible, this VERY POPULAR podcast is for you.
  • Ascension’s Bible in a Year Podcast, hosted by Fr. Mike Schmitz and featuring Jeff Cavins, guides Catholics through the Bible in 365 daily episodes starting January 1st, 2021.
  • Each 20-25 minute episode includes:
  • Two to three scripture readings
  • A reflection from Fr. Mike Schmitz
  • A guided prayer to help you hear God’s voice in his Word
  • Unlike any other Bible podcast, Ascension’s Bible in a Year Podcast for Catholics follows a reading plan inspired by the Great Adventure Bible Timeline® learning system, a groundbreaking approach to understanding Salvation History developed by renowned Catholic Bible teacher Jeff Cavins.
  • Tune in and live your daily life through the lens of God’s word!
  • Follow along without an app! Here is the link to the podcast.


Visits: 988

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which adults become members of the Catholic Church. The process includes prayer and reflection, the study of the Catholic faith and way of life, and special rites and rituals along the way.

For more about Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, check out the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website.

Baptized individuals are in full communion with the Catholic Church when they are joined with Christ in the visible structure of the Church through the profession of faith, the reception of the sacraments, and respect and obedience toward those in authority in the Church (CIC, c. 205)

-Visible Church (attend Mass and participate in the actions of the Church on earth)

– Profess the Creed ( approved by the Magisterium)

– Receive the Sacraments (Believe in the Seven Sacraments of the Church as from Christ)

– Obedience of Faith to the Dogmas of Faith and by Religious submission of intellect and will to the teachings of the Church.

What to do first

Search your Heart and Pray for guidance. If you discern you want to learn more. We seek to lead all people to deepen or develop a relationship with Christ through the fullness of the Catholic Faith. We will walk with you on your journey with gentleness and love allowing God to speak to you. You may join us to learn, and let your faith and reason guide you. Faith Formation sessions are individualized to your faith journey and schedules. If your prayer leads you to want to learn more Contact Jim Gregory with your questions and interest or fill out the Inquirer form below.

Jim Gregory
Director of Adult Education
570.784.0801 Ext. 4

DRE@saintcolumbachurch.org


Visits: 427

Expanding My Faith: Weekly Column

Send questions to: DRE@saintcolumbachurch.org and place “Q’s Pews” in the subject line. All questions are answered and kept confidential. If your question is used in the column, it will remain anonymous. James Gregory, DRE

“Fide quaerens Intellectum”

“Always be prepared to make a defense … for the hope that is in you … with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:15)

“Q’s from the Pews”

Eucharistic Revival – The Eucharist & a Meal:  Why begin with a meal? We must understand what sacred meals meant in the ancient world to grasp why Jesus chose a sacred meal (Passover) to institute God’s most precious gift of Himself. Meals had two meanings. Of course, they represented the animal need for nourishment. Yet they also represented long hours of work, from the acts of growing and preparing the food to its presentation at the table. Even the act of eating was seen as sacred. No one would just eat with strangers. There was an implicit fellowship that accompanied a meal. When one was invited to eat with someone they became one of their family, not just for the meal, but forever! This table-fellowship was central to treaties and covenants. Kings would seal treaties with a meal. God’s first command to Adam, “go and eat from every tree but that of the tree of knowledge,” is in the form of a covenant. Abram is blessed by Melchizedek with “bread and wine,” uniting people who were feuding into one nation. The Gospel of Luke lists 10 specific instances of this table-fellowship in the life of Jesus. Each recounts a significant revelation of a truth which is done in association with a meal. Given the ancient view of a meal, each of these is a family-building covenant. The Eucharist is a sacred meal at a level beyond that of the ancient world. The ancient host/king would give his finest and most expensive food and drink, blessing his guests with what only his relatives had. In the Eucharistic sacred meal, our host, God, gives us as food His very self. This sacred meal foreshadowed dimly in the Old Testament covenant meals is The Sacred Meal. God makes a covenant with us through Jesus to make us family!

Next week: Eucharistic Revival – The Eucharist as Sacrifice: The New Exodus

“Catholic Challenge for February”
Offer one hour each week to reading the Holy Scriptures. The Gospel of Matthew is a good place to start.

“Inside Catholic Baseball”

The Didache is one of the most ancient catechisms from about 140AD. It taught how very sacred the Eucharistic meal was, declaring: “let no one eat or drink who has not been baptized in the name of the Lord.”

Visits: 315

Theology/Faith Formation

THEOLOGICAL STUDIES: At its core Christianity is “an encounter with a Person” Jesus Christ. (Pope Francis). These sessions are designed for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the fundamentals of the Catholic Church and Faith. These include traditional Bible studies, videos and movies.  If you would like to attend, register via the website. If you have any questions, please contact James Gregory, DRE@saintcolumbachurch.org

THEOLOGY SERIES LEADERS: The office of Religious Education is always looking faithful Catholics who would like to share their faith and knowledge with others. If you have the knowledge, desire and feel you are called to this ministry please contact me. We welcome your involvement. There are many ways you can help: Lead a study, become a facilitator, or help with organization and set-up.

Contact Jim via email at DRE@saintcolumbachurch.org or call (570) 784-0801 x4

Signup for Formed.org (Free)

Jim Gregory, Director of Religious Education, DRE@saintcolumbachurch.org (570) 784-0801

A Bullet point summary of the last Bible study The Biblical Walk through the Mass are available to everyone.  There are other Faith Education videos ranging between 4 and 15min in length  also updated periodically.

Our Youtube channel is regularly updated with videos to inspire and educate you on your journey of faith! Here is a link to the Catholic Faith Journey videos playlist.

Women’s Faith Sharing is returning for Lent!

Come and join our group of women meeting in fellowship supporting and encouraging each other in our Catholic faith journeys. Women of all ages and life experiences are welcome.  This fellowship enriches us all as we learn and grow together. This Lent we will participate in a six-week retreat called “Lenten Longings” by focusing on the Sunday readings through reflection, discussion and prayer. We will meet on February 14, 21, 28 and March 6, 13, and 20 from 10:00-11:30 am in the Parish Center. We are looking forward to reuniting with previous members and welcoming new members. Please come join us this Lent for further information and to register visit the Theology/Faith Studies page on the Religious Education website or questions please contact Gina Rydzewski at 570-245-0687. 

UPCOMING CLASSES:

1. THEOLOGY STUDY COMING AFTER MASS DURING LENT, 2024 , BEGINNING FEBRUARY 17/18

Consider taking a deep dive study into The Source and Summit of our Faith: the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist this Lent. We will be studying the book by Bishop Barron This Is My Body , supplemented with a Video Series by Dr. Brant Pitre on the Jewish Roots of The Eucharist.  Sessions will be held immediately following the Saturday evening and each of the Sunday morning Masses, in the cafeteria, and will last approximately 1 hour. Books are/will be available for Free at the back of the Church. Perhaps, make this your Lenten fast observance. Give an hour each week to learn about God’s gift of Himself. THERE IS NO OFFICIAL SIGN-UP FOR THIS CLASS, JUST SHOW UP AND BRING YOUR BOOK!

Source and Summit of our Faith : the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life.” (CCC 1324, LG11) The belief in transubstantiation is foundational for the Catholic Faith.  However, relativism and scholasticism have trivialized this amazing gift of God Himself to us.  This belief is not just blind faith as some would have you believe, nor is the Eucharist just a symbol. It is where Heaven meets Earth. (Jn 6:51) We invite you to journey this Lent into the heart of the supernatural mystery of the Eucharist. During 5 weeks this Lent we will study the book This Is My Body by Bishop Robert Barron. Each week we will cover a different topic from both a spiritual and historical perspective. Understanding the Eucharist as it was presented by Christ Himself will leave no doubt that what we receive during Holy Communion is truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Living Christ!

Schedule:

Saturdays 6pm-7pm / Sundays 9:15am – 10:15am & 11:45am – 12:45pm

 Week I   February 17/18 This Is My Body pgs. 1-26 The meaning of Table Fellowship

  Week II February 24/25 This Is My Body pgs. 26-35 Mass as Table Fellowship

  Week III March 2/3 This Is My Body pgs. 36-51 Meaning of sacrifice in the OT

  Week IV March 9/10 This Is My Body pgs. 52-68   Eucharist as sacrifice/anamnesis

  Week V March 16/17 This Is My Body pgs. 69-109 OT symbolism & John Chapter 6

Visits: 639

St. Columba Catholic Church