Our faith formation is a family and community-oriented experience for all, particularly our children, to grow in one's love for God as directed by Pope Francis. In other words, no matter how hard one tries, one can never completely grasp the mystery of God through study. Like math and science, religion can be learned in the classroom. The Catholic faith, however, also penetrates the human soul and heart. This means it needs to be lived out and experienced in one's family and faith community. Faith formation is first received by a child, therefore, at home, within the context of family life. St. Therese Chinese Catholic School (STCCS) seeks to build on the virtues and morals you have already established with your child.
There are six components to our Faith Formation program:
Each aspect of Faith Formation at STCCS is specifically designed to meet the needs of a diverse and plural community. In other words, it does not matter if your family has no faith tradition or one that is not specifically Catholic. We love you and want you to feel welcome as your child continues or is just beginning a very unique journey of friendship with Jesus Christ. If you have any specific questions about faith formation, feel free to reach out to Fr. Li, Ms. Oi, or our Director of Religious Education.
We are looking forward to journeying with you in unity, to serving with you in joy, and to growing with you in the love of our Lord and neighbors in peace!
This Greek word refers to what is commonly understood as "Religion Class." STCCS will be conducting different catechetical sessions for both students (Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade) and their families.
Students receive ½ hour of catechesis (religion class) every day by a certified catechist (religion teacher). Just like any other subject at STCCS, the academic expectations for religion class are very high. Students are offered ways to incorporate what they learn inside the classroom through school- and parish-sponsored outside activities such as retreats, special masses, and community service opportunities.
Therefore, we highly encourage you and your child to participate in parish-based activities as often as possible. Classroom assignments are often related directly to what children learn outside of their class, in the community, and when doing acts of justice. Junior high students who volunteer at the Chinatown Summer Fair and St. Barbara Carnival, for instance, will receive extra credit in religion when they write or share their reflections about their experience volunteering with their classmates. Feel free to consult the welcome letter from the child's catechist on how such projects are integrated into your child's religion grade.
Parents are called to be the "first and best teachers" in the ways of their child's faith. Therefore, you are invited to attend four parent formation sessions that are usually held after family masses in October, November, January, and February (dates TBA). Topics in the past have included: Bullying, Catholic Modesty, Why Go to Mass, Catholic Sacraments, and Peer Pressure. While Faith Formation sessions are not required for all parents (only parents who have a child preparing for a sacrament are required to attend), every parent and all families are invited to join. A highly qualified, dynamic group of speakers will offer practical tips as well as theological insights during these interactive sessions.
Liturgy and Student Participation
The Eucharist is the "source and summit" of our Christian life. Listed below are the mass offerings for our school community during the academic year:
All students, regardless of their religious affiliation, are expected to participate in family and school masses.
Retreats and Pilgrimages
Retreats are graced moments organized by a spiritual leader in order to more deeply connect with God through prayer and devotion. Pilgrimages, on the other hand, are spiritual journeys to a religious site. STCCS is pleased to offer the following retreats and pilgrimages this academic year:
In an effort to form the whole child, STCCS students in 1st through 8th grade are required to complete a number of community service hours each year. When students share unique gifts in the community, not only are their individual lives enriched, but also the entire community is uplifted. Students who complete many hours of community service are often the same students who receive the best high school recommendation letters from their teachers.
We pride ourselves at STCCS because of the many and varied community service opportunities we offer for our students to grow into becoming good Christians and citizens. Students can, for instance, choose from a wide variety of opportunities: spiritual, community-based, educational, janitorial and even culinary. Whether they are handing out food at the St. James food pantry, altar serving, giving a concert at the local library, making scarves for seniors, preparing Christmas cards for senior citizens, or cleaning the church, STCCS students consistently put the school's best face forward in Chinatown and Bridgeport.
Please note that hours students spend on personal development pursuits in sports and other cultural organizations such as karate, violin, piano, or dance will qualify for activity hours. As a school, we recognize and honor the impact which outside school activities have on the personal development of our children.
Visit our Service and Activity Hours page for more information.
Sacraments provide grace during the long journey of life. The Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church adheres to this belief: God's most intimate way of sharing divine love with humans transpires through the seven sacraments. For those of you who acknowledge this institutional idea as true, we invite you to consider the first and most important one, baptism. We joyfully anticipate that several STCCS students and their families will be baptized during the Easter Vigil. If you have any questions about this process, feel free to reach out to Fr. Francis or our Director of Religious Education. We would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss the sacramental life.
Baptized STCCS students receive excellent preparation for First Reconciliation (2nd grade), First Communion (3rd grade) and Confirmation (7th and 8th grades). More details on those specific preparation programs will be shared as time gets closer to the Sacrament.
Our young people need to feel that they belong to our Church and community. We will share our meeting dates as they become available.