St. Joseph Faith Formation Center

Your family is invited to partner with St Joseph Parish family as we support one another on this faith journey to live as Jesus’ disciples.

Our Mission

The aim of religious education is to promote communion with Jesus Christ. At St. Joseph Parish, we seek to nurture a faith that is living, conscious, and active in the light of instruction. Our goal is to offer formation to help your family live in a way that is faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the tradition of the Catholic Church. Our work involves catechetics (instruction in the faith), opportunities for service, sacramental preparation, and appreciation for public prayer and worship, fellowship, and spiritual renewal.

The New Faith Formation Program and What inspired us to a Paradigm Shift

In addressing the many challenges that the pandemic caused, it immediately became evident that the parish Faith Formation program needed to be redesigned.  At first, we believed that this was a temporary approach. We made a shift from weekly on-site faith formation classes for children to an at home program taught by a parent, a grandparent or another significant person in the child’s life. We began receiving messages that the method of instruction was not only manageable but created quality time for the family.  We were also repeatedly told that the adult was also learning about their Catholic faith and more important was the fact that the faith and spirituality of the entire family was growing and spilling over into their everyday life, thus forming an entire family of disciples.
The Church has always taught, and we wholeheartedly believe that parents are the primary educators having the greatest influence on the religious, moral, and spiritual impact on their child. Acknowledgment of this, along with much prayer and discussion, we realized that we needed to make a permanent paradigm shift to an intergenerational, family catechetical program. Now, entire families participate, from first graders to adults, in learning their faith.

Pflaum Gospel Weeklies Program

We now use a great Catholic curriculum, Pflaum Gospel Weeklies, a liturgical catechetical program with the Sunday Gospel as the foundation of the program and is in conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Pflaum Gospel Weeklies is presented in four age-appropriate levels for children in grades 1 through 8. The content of each lesson begins with the Sunday Gospel and addresses contemporary and cultural scenarios through the teachings of Catholic Social Teaching and the Works of Mercy.

How Our Program Works

Each week the family is emailed a catechist recorded video assisting parents as they teach the child the lesson at home at a convenient time for the family. The lessons call the child and family to grow as missionary disciples in communion with Jesus Christ.

  • Additionally, families attend large group monthly sessions at the parish beginning with a prayer experience in the church, followed by the family moving to another location with a small group to discuss what they’ve learned and how the family can actively apply it to their everyday life.
  • Families also attend Family Masses assisting them in understanding the importance of the Mass and participation in the sacramental life of the church.

Sacramental Preparation

Sacrament preparation is a parish based program.  Children who are attending either a Catholic school OR the St Joseph Parish Faith Formation Program are eligible to enroll in this process of preparation.

Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist

Preparation begins no earlier than the second year of regular grade level religious education classes.

Children with Special Needs

It is our commitment to make our programs inclusive and accessible to children with special needs and disabilities. Parents are the most knowledgeable about their own children.  Please inform us of any special circumstances your child or family may have so that we can make arrangements that meet their needs.

Sacrament of Confirmation

Students entering Grade 7 are eligible to enroll in the 2-year Confirmation Program. Students participate in final preparation activities and celebrate Confirmation in the spring of Grade 8.
Grades 8-12 students who have not attended the program and would like to celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation are welcome to enroll in the program and receive instruction/formation with other high school students.

Become a Catechist

We have a continuous need for catechists (religion teachers) for our program to be sustained and grow.  We invite and encourage parents, grandparents, and parishioners to consider joining our ministry. It is only with your help and participation that we can accomplish the task of passing on our faith to the families. Catechists are responsible for planning and carrying out the designated curriculum. We invite you to prayerfully consider joining this ministry.


What our catechists say…
  • “What I thought would be a giving thing, a few hours a week of my time, turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.”
  • “We plant seeds of faith in the children with God’s grace.  Our efforts and our prayers will bear fruit at some stage in their life. We don’t always see immediate results but quite often a word, a story or even a picture triggers the children’s hearts so they want to know more about the love that God has for us.”
  • “I guess that being a catechist is like being one of God’s instruments in bringing souls to know and love Him. The rewards of teaching far outweigh the effort!”

Faith Formation registration for 2021-2022 is closed.

La inscripción para la Formación en la Fe para 2021-2022 está cerrada.

Mrs. Maryanne Trezza
Faith Formation Director
45 Church Street, Ronkonkoma, NY 11779