Corpus Christi Blog

Childrens Faith Formation

08-28-2022Weekly ReflectionDr. Lenny Kelley, Director of Faith Formation

The Church has three essential functions: worship God, evangelize, and serve the poor (Bishop Robert Barron, 2020). These three essential functions are what the staff of a Catholic parish focuses on when setting up ministries. Children’s Faith Formation (CFF) first focuses on evangelization.

Evangelization is four parts — pre-evangelization, catechesis, social outreach, and mystagogy. We incorporate all the aspects of evangelization in our CFF program. For example, pre-evangelization is the process of removing all the obstacles so the child can develop a loving relationship with the Lord. Learning the children’s names and making sure they feel safe on our campus is the first step. The catechists, who bring positive energy to CFF every week, are essential.

Another vital aspect of pre-evangelization is ensuring the programming is fun and engaging so the children enjoy attending church and CFF. Corpus Christi Catholic Church catechists are super creative in how they support and love the children.

We use Our Sunday Visitor program, Alive in Christ, for the 1st-5th grade catechesis program. We also serve our children’s needs with Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS). CGS is for kindergarteners and first graders at this time, but we hope to extend CGS to second graders soon.

Vacation Bible School (VBS) is our program to keep the kids engaged in the summer, have a ton of fun with their friends, and learn about our Lord Jesus, thus widening their hearts to receive the love of the Lord. VBS is an excellent example of evangelization. Every year, we have pre-evangelization activities where the kids get to know each other. They have a blast using some of their energy, which makes it easier for them to concentrate in class (removing the obstacles). We have sessions where the children learn daily lessons (catechesis). Each year, volunteers take the sixth graders to serve the community (social outreach). Of course, we also have a week of great prayer together.

During CFF, we teach the children the importance of social outreach – helping those less fortunate than ourselves. This past year, the children had an opportunity to donate their old clothes, toys, money, and food during the season of Lent. We used this past Lenten season to drive home the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. The generosity of the Corpus Christi children was truly amazing.

The final aspect of evangelization is mystagogy, or lifelong prayer and learning. We teach the children how to pray individually to develop a deep, personal, and loving relationship with our God. We also teach the children how to pray using the beautiful communal devotionals steeped within the long traditions of our faith. We pray the Stations of the Cross during Lent and crown Our Blessed Mother Mary, while singing prayers and placing flowers at her feet, during the May crowning.

Many times, if you walk around the classrooms during Faith Formation classes, you can hear the children praying a decade or two of the rosary. It is such a beautiful thing to witness, especially during these times when our society doesn’t place importance on prayer. Jesus and our Blessed Mother certainly must be smiling at the sweetness of our youth, praying with the true devotion gifted to children.

The dedication of our catechists is inspirational. Each year, the quality of people who step up and volunteer to serve our children is amazing. We have many volunteers who no longer have children in the program. Some of our volunteers have served for more than 20 and 30 years. These wonderful people bring positivity to our CFF program, along with a ton of experience.

We also prepare the children of our parish to receive the sacraments. Through CFF, our children learn about Baptism, Reconciliation, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. Every spring, during the Easter season, our children receive sacraments. Last year, 58 children received at least one sacrament. Bishop Nevares came to Corpus Christi and celebrated a wonderful Mass for our children. Happily, the children knew the answers to every question he asked.

Our Atrium serves the kindergarteners and the first graders as a way to learn through play. CGS is a Montessori form of learning where the children are offered a carefully planned and stimulating environment for creative learning. We open the Atrium to pre-K children when we have space.

CFF is a fantastic gift to our parish. It takes a minimum of 38 catechists to make it happen. Without people volunteering their time and talent, our CFF program wouldn’t be nearly as excellent as it is now.


Bishop Robert Barron. (2020, February 6). Bishop Barron on the Three Essential Elements of the Church [Video]. YouTube.