Andrea Williamson
Coordinator of
Children’s Ministry
(616) 842-0001 ext. 133
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 Sabina Streng, Tony Allen and Fr. Chuck
Date: Sunday, September 12, 2021
Location: Family Center Main Hall and Church Time: 2:00-4:00 PM

Reconciliation Formation

Purpose: Formation and Church visit with Father Chuck and catechists
Preparation For: First Reconciliation
Date: Saturday, November 20, 2021
Time: 9:00 A.M.-10:30 AM
Location: Begins and ends in family center

First Holy Communion Masses

Weekend of April 30 & May 1, 2022

Catechist Meeting Choices 2021

For: Catechists of elementary faith formation
Date Choices: Sept 8th or 9th: 6:15-7:30 PM Or Sept 16th: 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: Thurs Dec 2, 2021 @ 6:30 PM OR Sat Dec 4, 2021 @ 10:00 AM

Christmas Pageant Rehearsal Dates

Wednesdays 4:45 – 5:30 PM
November 3, 10, 17
December 1, 8, 15

Family Catechesis (CIC) 2021-2022

Sundays Monthly 10:15-11:45 AM
Location: Room 226
Coordinator: Andrea Williamson
Sept 19, Oct 10, Nov 14, Dec 12
Jan 9, Feb 13, March 13, April 10

First Communion Retreat

Parent/Child Retreat: A very important and fruitful morning of formation with Father Chuck and catechists where groups rotate together visiting stations and sharing fellowship
Preparation For: First Holy Communion
Date: Saturday, February 26, 2022
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Begins in Church

Vacation Bible School 2022

Theme: Rocky Railway
Date: June 13-16, 2022
Time: 9:30 am – 12:00 PM

Elementary Faith Formation Grades K-4

Children’s Liturgy of the Word

CLW is a liturgy experience for children during the Sunday Masses in which the Sunday scriptures proclaimed allow for participation and peaceful response by the children.

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.  

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 on Sunday mornings from 10:15-11:45 am.

Children’s Christmas Choir

Grades 1-6
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
Rehearsals: Wednesday from 5:45-6:20 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: Saturday just prior to Christmas @ 10:00 A.M.
Rehearsals: Five scheduled 45-minute rehearsals between the 2nd week in November – the pageant date

Please contact Andrea for class availability.

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.