Andrea Williamson
Coordinator of
Children’s Ministry
(616) 935-8746
Email Andrea

St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish Elementary Faith Formation bases its religious formation on the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The CGS is an approach to religious formation of children that is rooted in an understanding and appreciation of the child’s relationship with God through their engagement with Scripture and Liturgy. This experience is one where we contemplate our Good Shepherd’s great love for us and in response, we strive to know, love and serve Him. Outside of the environment of the atrium where other resources and curriculum are used, we infuse the experience and presentations of the CGS by a certified leader on a regular basis. Each time we gather, our mission is to encounter Christ, grow in faith, and witness as joyful missionary disciples.

Sacramental Parent Meeting

For parents of 2nd through 4th grade preparing for the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist
Note: This is a required meeting
Preparation for: First Communion and First Reconciliation
Coordinator: Andrea Williamson along with Tony Allen and Father Dan
Date: Sunday, September 24, 2023
Time: 2:00-4:00 PM
 Beginning in Church with Prayer

Reconciliation Formation

Purpose: Formation and Church visit with Father Dan and catechists
Preparation For: First Reconciliation
Date: Saturday, November 11, 2023
Time: 9:00-10:30 AM
Location: Begins and ends in Family Center

First Holy Communion Masses

Weekend of May 3-4, 2024

Catechist Meeting Choices 2023

For: Catechists of elementary faith formation
Date Choices:
Sept. 6 or Sept. 7: 6:15-7:30 PM
Or Sept. 14: 5:45-6:45 PM
Location: Room 148

First Reconciliation

For children in 2nd-4th grades celebrating the sacrament of reconciliation for the first time with their families
Date Choices: Sat., Dec 2, 2023 at 10:00 AM
Or  Thurs., Dec 7, 2023 at 6:30 PM
Location: Church

A Living Rosary 2023-24: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

When: Sundays at 5:00 P.M.
Who: All are Welcome! Children are encouraged to lead prayers too!  
What: A Living Rosary prayed together as a community, where people represent the beads, and each person leads a prayer as we proceed from bead to bead.
Care: Chairs are available.
Thank You: We look forward to spending this time with you as a praying community.  

October 1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Dedication to the Rosary
Where: West lot by the Belltower
Notes: We will pray for Haiti & Special Intentions.
Prayer: The Glorious Mysteries. 

January 14, 21, 28: Living Rosary for Life
 In the Church Narthex by the Blessed Mother.
Notes: We will pray with the intentions of “Respect Life.”
Prayer: The Glorious Mysteries. 

May 5, 12, 19: Month of Honoring Our Mother Mary
Where: West lot by the Belltower.
 We will pray for worldly & personal intentions.
Prayer: The Glorious Mysteries. 

Family Catechesis (CIC) 2023-2024

Family catechesis is an experience that welcomes families into the mysteries of the faith through monthly sessions. Any family that wishes this type of catechesis and fellowship with other families is welcome to join. Family sessions take place after the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Lunch & fellowship are part of this faith experience.

Family Faith Afternoons

Sundays, Monthly at 12:15-2:00 PM
Oct. 8, Nov. 12, Dec. 10, Jan. 14, Feb. 11, March 10, April 14
Family Center

First Communion Retreat

Parent/Child Retreat: A very important and fruitful morning of formation with Father Dan and catechists where groups rotate together visiting stations and sharing fellowship
Preparation For: First Holy Communion
Date: March 2, 2024
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Begins in Church

Vacation Bible School 2024

Theme: Babylon
Date: June 2024
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Elementary Faith Formation Grades K-4

Sacramental Preparation Grades 2-4

Second grade is typically the year children prepare for and celebrate the sacraments of first reconciliation and First Holy Eucharist. However, children in grades 2-4 who are in need of these sacraments may prepare together. If your child is older than fourth grade and seeking sacramental preparation, they may prepare with their family through our family catechesis sessions.

Family Catechesis (CIC)

Family catechesis is an experience that welcomes families into the mysteries of the faith through monthly sessions. Any family that wishes this type of catechesis and fellowship with other families is welcome to join. Family sessions take place after the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Lunch & fellowship are part of this faith experience.

Children’s Christmas Choir

Grades 1-8
Note: Being able to read is an important element of singing-please discern if your child is ready.
Preparation for: Christmas Eve Children’s Mass
Director: Alex Navas, Director of Music and Liturgy
Coordinator: Andrea Williamson
Rehearsals: Wednesday from 5:50-6:25 p.m. October-December

Children’s Christmas Pageant

Ages 3-9 (older children to narrate or help)
Note: Young preschoolers will need a parent to stay for rehearsal
Preparation for: Christmas Children’s Pageant
Pageant Date: December 15 or 16
Rehearsals: Five scheduled 45-minute rehearsals between the 2nd week in November & the pageant date
Location: Room 142

Vacation Bible School

VBS is a popular themed summer spiritual adventure for children who have just finished kindergarten through grade 6.  A week of VBS includes FUN, stewardship, music, games, snacks, crafts, skits, and Bible lessons! There is always a connection between God and the theme, leading children to know, love and serve the Lord in a special way! VBS typically runs the third week in June.  

Registration Notice: Elementary faith formation at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish is committed to serve families in the parish with quality and fruitful formation. Each formation session has a participant limit.

If space is available after children from the parish have registered, it is possible that families from other parishes can participate in our programs. Please note that we offer a wide variety of options to accommodate the hectic schedules of the families we serve, and there might be a waiting list for a particular day and time unless you register early.

Please contact Andrea for session availability.

Completed registration forms with payment may be:

  • dropped off at the parish office 
  • placed in the drop box in the narthex by the chapel  
  • mailed to St. Patrick – St. Anthony Parish, attn: Andrea Williamson, 920 Fulton Street, Grand Haven, MI 49417 
  • scan/email registration form to with payment made online, mailed or delivered.

Leaders of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Certification

Leaders of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd are certified. Each adult course involves 90-120 in session hours consisting of prayer, all presentations as given to the children, background discussion on selected theological and pedagogical themes of the children, practicum for writing album pages, giving presentations, and making materials for the environment. Additional hours observing children in an atrium or Montessori classroom are important for well-rounded catechist formation.

Lead Catechists in General

Lead catechists of elementary faith formation are in good standing with the Catholic Church, live a life of prayer and devotion to God and are certified or in the process of obtaining catechetical certification as prescribed by the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Each catechist must obtain at least a basic level of certification prior to leading. Additionally, all catechists must obtain a VIRTUS, Protecting God’s Children certification prior to volunteering with children in any capacity. All catechists must comply with and sign the Standards of Ministerial Behavior in Dealing with Children and Young People.

Support Catechists and Volunteers

Our support catechists work closely with the lead catechist to support and guide the process of elementary faith formation. There are varying responsibilities depending on the area of interest.

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