Faith Formation

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Matthew 28:19-20

As a Catholic community, we are obligated to provide our children with opportunities for on-going training and enrichment in the Catholic tradition. This formation is a lifetime journey that continues to enrich, nourish and guide us in our Catholic Christian heritage from childhood through adulthood.

Kindergarten to 8th grade

Our Sunday Program is scripture-based using the Loyola Press Finding God. With a catechist in each classroom, children will listen to stories from the Bible especially adapted for the student's grade. They will talk about the message; and discuss how it applies to their everyday lives and our Catholic traditions, according to our diocesan standards for religious faith formation. Visit the DSJ website or download a copy to learn more about those standards.

Enrollment Form

To enroll your child please download and complete one form per child and submit along with the appropriate registration fee. You can return the completed form and pay your fee at our parish office (333 W. El Camino Real, Suite 310, Sunnyvale) or contact Erika Underwood at (650) 691-1525 or eunderwood@dsj.org

Payments can also be made online. Online Giving

Our program runs from September through May. During the summer months, diocesan activities are offered.

The Sacraments

“Parents are the primary educators in the faith...It is...a Christian education more witnessed to than taught, more occasional than systematic, more ongoing and daily than structured into periods.” [GDC 255]

We understand and acknowledge that becoming Catholic isn't just a one-time event that happens at a person's Baptism. It is a lifetime of learning how to live in a way that reflects the message of Christ, the Scriptures, teaching and traditions of the Catholic Church.

The way we learn how to do this is through prayer: with other Catholics in a parish community, with our families at home, and by ourselves through daily practices of faith. We are always trying to grow deeper in our Catholic faith.

If your child has missed some or all grades, there is a place for your child to begin sacramental preparation.

Sacrament preparation is a TWO YEAR process. Students in sacrament preparation must also be enrolled in the weekly faith formation program. Students must be enrolled in a faith formation program one year before receiving any Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, or Confirmation.

Essential for the preparation of Any of the Sacraments is regular worship in Sunday Mass, participation in religious education, and a commitment on the part of the parents to continue their children's religious education after they have received their sacraments.

Rite of Christian Initiation Adapted For Children (RCIA4c)

The children who are not baptized and are older than age seven would definitely be fully initiated according to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (see nos. 252, 253, 304, 305, National Statute 18). Their formation should also follow the general pattern of the catechumenate, which means they should participate in the RCIA as adapted for children.

First Reconciliation and First Eucharist (First Communion)

First Reconciliation (also called Confession or Penance) this sacrament strives to achieve an inner peace, a sense of growth, a stronger community, and a balance to life. First Eucharist (also called First Communion) means that person has received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. (Com/union to come in union with one another). Both sacraments normally take place in the second grade for children baptized in the Catholic Faith.

Important: We must have a copy of your child's Baptismal Certificate in order for your child to receive any sacraments.

Older children (in grades 3 or higher) or children who are not currently enrolled in religious education classes are prepared with instruction appropriate to the needs of the child with the involvement of the parents.

The older children sacramental preparation classes are held on Sundays 9:00am to 9:30am before the regular Faith Formation classes. Also held at Saint Joseph School a few blocks from the church.

Confirmation

Confirmation is a sacramental celebration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a deepening of baptismal gifts. Like Baptism and Eucharist, it is a Sacrament of Initiation for Catholics and a Sacrament of faith in God's fidelity to us. It is a sacrament for confirming and strengthening the recipient in the Christian faith.

Students typically receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the 8th grade.

Important: We must have a copy of your child's Baptismal Certificate in order for your child to receive any sacraments.

If you are interested in having your child(ren) prepare for any of these Sacraments, please complete one sacramental form per child and submit along with the faith formation registration form and the appropriate registration and Sacramental fees. You may return the form and fee to our parish rectory (office) or on Sundays a few minutes before our class.

Volunteer in our Faith Formation Program

Several volunteer opportunities are available, including:

Catechists: Lead instructional sessions one day a week. They are responsible for constructing lesson plans and activities for each session, using the textbook series Loyola Press Finding God as well as the Sunday lectionary or other materials. Catechists also are responsible for attending faith formation planning meetings, usually once every two months.

Co-Catechists: Work along with a Catechist in classroom instruction. Along with the primary Catechist, the Co-Catechist will help in instruction, lesson planning, and activities. This is a great way to begin volunteering if you are unsure about what it takes to be a catechist!

Catechist Substitute: Some on call Sundays, some with a weeks notice working with the catechist lesson for the day. They will lead sessions or help plan activities, depending on the lesson plan.

L.I.T. (Leaders in Training): Are high school age (9-12th grade) work along with Catechists and Co-Catechists to help supervise during lessons, activities, and prayer services.

Office Aide: Work along with DRE to sort, file, colate packets, make phone calls and lots of other clerical work during school open during school hours M-F 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

If you are interested in volunteering contact eunderwood@dsj.org for a volunteer packet. All volunteers within Saint Joseph Parish must comply with our diocese policies and guidelines.

Donations and Supplies

We sincerely appreciate any amount of donation you can give!

Mail in a check, payable to Saint Joseph Parish- Mountain View or Donate thru Online Giving click Faith Formation to donate to the English Faith Formation and click Formación de la Fe to donate to the Hispanic Faith Formation. 

In memo write English Faith Formation.
Send check to 582 Hope Street, Mountain View, CA 94041.
Consider making a donation to cover one student annual fee.

Drop off school and/or office supplies

In the Faith Formation on Sunday mornings during class time or leave the supplies with the SJMV school secretary during school hours M-F 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Please indicate that supplies are for the English Faith Formation program.

School supply list: Hand sanitizers, pencils, pens, and glue sticks, crayola, rubber bands, large Dry Eraser Markers for teachers to use on white board, DEM eraser, DEM spray, see catechist for other classroom supplies during the year.

Office supply list: reams of paper white, light green, light purple, light red, light yellow, orange, any other colors, 3 ring binders with clear protective cover all sizes form 1 inch to 5inches, 3 hold punch, post-it sticky notes, portable large Dry Eraser Board, see Director for other supplies during the year.

If you have any questions contact Faith Formation Coordinator K-8th, Erika Underwood, office (650) 691-1525, eunderwood@dsj.org