As members of St. Joseph Catholic Church, we believe catechesis is a collaborative effort between the family and the parish community. Our program strengthens parent efforts in teaching the Catholic faith; it does not replace it. Individuals with special needs and their families are welcome and encouraged to participate.
As our program year is now underway, please contact Michele Dougherty at to enroll.
Our Approach
Due to the church remodel and the the unavailability of Corrigan Hall for classroom space during portions of this school year, we took the opportunity to re-envision our faith formation ministry to further build up families and our parish community to be missionary disciples, as encouraged and challenged by Archbishop Lori and Pope Francis.  To that end, we have moved away from weekly children’s sessions in a classroom to a family faith formation model, a combination of at-home weekly faith discussions and a monthly community gathering with optional additional activities throughout the year.  Our model is still lectionary-based using the Pflaum Gospel Weeklies.  We also still offer the RCL Benziger Family Life lessons as directed by the archdiocese.  For more information about our new Family Faith Formation ministry, please CLICK HERE.
Family Session Dates
October 13th
November 17th
December 15th
January 12th
February 9th
March 8th
April 19th
May 3rd
Sessions are from 1-3 PM and are held at the School of the Incarnation
2601 Symphony Lane, Gambrills
Our Theme this Year

This year’s Family Faith Formation theme We Belong derived from the USCCB Catechetical Sunday theme “Stay with Us.”  The Gospel reading for Catechetical Sunday (Luke 15:1-32) includes three parables about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a prodigal son.  All three relate to something or someone being returned to their rightful place, where they belong.  Belonging means an affinity for a place or situation.  It is in our belonging that we reside in right relationship with God.  The parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us that God, our families, and the Church are always there for us: We Belong.   Each month we gather we will focus on the many ways We Belong: community (parish), family (domestic church), creation, the universal church, as a group of disciples, to God (specifically the triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), humanity/each other (service), and in prayer as we move through the Church’s liturgical year.

March Family Session
For our March family session we focused on We Belong in Prayer.  During Lent, we fast and pray to transform our lives. When we open our hearts to God’s call, we are transformed by divine grace.  During the children’s sessions, they discussed The Transfiguration of Jesus.  The dazzling image of Jesus on the mountaintop gave the disciples a glimpse of the promised glory that awaits all those who share in the life of Christ.  The children learned about God’s command to listen to his son, Jesus. They also learned to spend time in prayer (ways to pray) to grow closer and stay connected to God.  Sr. Angela Case, SSJ.  was our guest speaker for the parent session. Sister spoke on the importance of prayer and how to carve out time in our busy lives for prayer.  Parents discussed ways parents to foster moments of prayer with their families.  Our afternoon will concluded with unique opportunities for the children to practice different ways to pray with their families.
A Prayer for Lent
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the gift of this season.
May these weeks leading up to the tragedy of Good Friday and the glory of Easter Sunday remind us of who you are, how you love us, and who you have created us to be as your followers.
May we walk through this season intentionally, removing distractions that take our gaze away from your glory.  
May we quiet the noise that pulls us from adoration of you and puts our attention on lesser things.
May we simplify where we have been stressed,
may we surrender what has been burdensome,
may we repent of what has been sinful.
Lord Jesus,
Draw us closer to your heart, that we might know you better and understand you more completely.
We pray that we would not only give things up for Lent, but that we would give you glory through Lent.
May our actions reflect our hearts, and may we worship you through all that we say and do throughout the weeks to come.  Amen.
March Music Playlist
When We Pray – Tauren Wells
February Family Session
Our  February family session harked back to our earlier theme of We Belong to God.   We recognize the whole of belonging also to our families, communities, and world.  We are the the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and we must shine that light unto others. We are called to be a force for good in our families and in our communities. We Belong to God and we are created to love. Being created in the likeness and image of God, we recognize the dignity in all people and treat ourselves and others with respect.  Beginning this month, families begin the Family Life lessons (recognizing God’s Gifts of Family, Self, Life, Love, and Community) to help understand this call and what are safe, loving actions.
The children’s age=appropriate classroom discussions were drawn from the child safety aspects of the Family Life curriculum by RCL Benziger.  We feel it is important to include this particular aspect as a classroom topic outside just the family discussion at home.  The topics by grade are available below.  Please note, catechists may not have been able to discuss 100% of the lesson during the time allotted.  As the child safety lessons are integrated in each chapter of the Family Life curriculum, parents will further reinforce the safety messages as they discuss the textbook topics with their child.
Parents can find additional resources, articles, and videos at:
Password: Zg7jNKZ48
PIN: 21113 
When you enter the site, go to Products, and then click on your grade.  
In the parent session, the adults discussed the remaining Family Life portions at home as well as how to help their child make moral decisions. Our family activity included discussing the Great Commandment of Jesus and the Ten Commandments as well as practicing conflict resolution.

February Music Playlist
Bring Forth the Kingdom – Marty Haugen
Salt & Light – Lauren Daigle, Trevor Thomson
January Family Session
For our January family session we focused on We Belong to God. Our liturgical calendar concludes the Christmas season with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (MT 3:13-17). Jesus fully embraced his humanity when he asked John to baptize him. When we are baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we are joined into the mystery of Christ. We die to our old life and begin a new life that will be lived in the Spirit. In Baptism, we become children of God, members of the Church, and followers of Jesus.  . During the children’s session, they explored Jesus’ baptism (how Jesus’ baptism reveals his divine family—the Holy Trinity) and how they became children of God at their own baptism (connecting Jesus’ baptism with our own through the Sacrament.)  In the parent session, the adults discussed our call to be Christ to the world, to be counter-cultural, living in a way that reflects an authentic faith in God and Christ that translates into loving, virtuous action. For the family activity, parents discussed their child’s baptism with them and the children decorated holy water fonts for their bedrooms to have a constant reminder of their baptism as they start each day,  

January Music Playlist
We Belong To You – Trevor Thomson
New Creation – Jackie Francois
Gather at the Water – Sarah Hart

Belong To You – Iron Bell Music
I Baptize You – John Angotti
December Family Session
For our fourth family session we focused on We Belong to a Community of Disciples. Advent is almost over; Christmas is almost here.  In the Gospel reading for the 3rd Sunday of Advent, Jesus affirms he is the Messiah by describing the things he has done: the blind can see, the lame walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the poor have the Good News preached to them.  Jesus’ description of himself calls his followers to be people who heal and give life to those around us. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to rejoice and spread joy to others.  The Catechism defines a disciple this way: “The disciple of Christ must not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it.” (CCC 1816)  In their classroom session, the children discussed what it means to be a disciple and how God created us each with gifts and a purpose in mind.  At the parent session, Sr. Sally Russell, SSJ spoke on the practice of discernment and helping your child discern their gifts and their calling/vocation.  Lastly, for our family activity, we packed 275 backpacks for Giving Back-Linda’s Legacy with winter gear for the homeless.

December Music Playlist
Tam Tinh Hein Dang/A Gift of Love – Onah Song Lam Guide My Feet – African American Spiritual If You Love Me – Tony Alonso
I Have Decided – Elevation Worship
Nobody – Casting Crows
Prophet – Abraham Gross
November Family Session
For our third family session we focused on We Belong to the Communion of Saints. As our liturgical year winds down, the Gospels during this time produce images of the end of the world,  In their session, the children explored some the fears they might have and how we can put our trust in Jesus.  The saints are wonderful examples of those who kept the faith and trusted in Jesus when life was hard.  In the parent session, the adults discussed the Church’s teachings on Heaven and purgatory.   For the family activity, we learned more about the saints by exploring their biographies and discussing ways their family can live to show God’s love as the Saints did.  We spent the final portion of our afternoon together recognizing the “saints in training” in our own families and how we give thanks for them. Families decorated placemats for their Thanksgiving tables (or any mealtime) as a simple way to remember each other and give thanks to the members of our family.
November Music Playlist
Litany of Saints – John Becker
Your Heart – Chris Tomlin
Sound of the Saints – Audio Adrenaline
Home – Chris Tomlin
October Family Session
For our second family session we focused on We Belong to Humanity. In their session, the children reflected on the Gospel story of how Jesus met and healed ten lepers and how Jesus looked beyond the differences between himself and these sick and foreign lepers and showed them compassion. By Jesus’ example, we realize that we have a responsibility to love and care for each other.  Parents reviewed the Works of Mercy and listened to a panel of young adults who spoke of the influence service had on their faith development and has helped them see their role in the mission of the church in spreading God’s love to others.   For the family activity, we made greetings for the families visiting the Catholic Charities respite center in McAllen, TX and discussed ways to help others.
October Music Playlist
I Send You Out – John Angotti
We Are Marching/Siyahamba – South African
Thrive – Casting Crowns
Healed in Christ – Sarah Hart
Everything is Beautiful – Ray Stevens
September Family Session
For our first session we focused on We Belong to Family. The children reflected on the parable of the Prodigal Son during the children’s session while the parents heard ideas on how they can foster the faith in their homes.  Together the families created a family herald and mission statement.  See below for more for September.
September Music Playlist
Gathered As One – Paul Tate
Many and One – Steve Angrisano & Sarah Hart
What a Beautiful Name – Hillsong United
This I Believe (The Creed) – Hillsong United
He Knows My Name – Francesca Battistelli
Welcome Home – The Prodigal Son – Living Scriptures

Tim’s Family Prayer
God made us a family.  We need one another.
We love one another.  We forgive one another.
We work together.  We play together.  We worship together.
Together we use God’s Word. Together we grow in Christ.
Together we love all people.  Together we serve our God.
Together we hope for Heaven. 
These are our hopes and ideals.
Help us to obtain them O God, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord.