The sixth to eighth-grade years are a time of great change for teens. They may be questioning their faith and hopefully wanting to dig deeper. To support them in their faith walk, we have a Faith Formation program for our sixth to eighth-grade students that meets Sundays from 3:45 to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays from 4:45 to 6 p.m., with a 5 p.m. Mass.
Vicki Arndt is the Director of Faith Formation: Middle School. Teens are typically confirmed in eighth grade. She also oversees students receiving sacraments at a different age than the usual track.
“Our program is here to help children grow spiritually and as a member of our faith community,” Vicki says.
The focus is for students to form a lifelong relationship with Christ. Faith Formation helps them learn beliefs, virtues, and morals, which will hopefully set them on the right path. The current curriculum used is the Faith and Life series from Ignatius Press for the sixth and seventh grades. For eighth grade, we use Chosen from Ascension.
“It helps students to revere and adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,” Vicki says.
Vicki has led the middle school program since 2020 and has worked at St. Francis of Assisi since 2003. She enjoys seeing the youth grow throughout their time with her and the catechists.
“I love to see how they try to do their best in following the teachings and grow spiritually,” she says.
Seeing the students receive the Sacrament of Confirmation has also been a blessing for Vicki.
“They are shining and glowing when they receive the sacrament,” she says. “I pray that after our program, they have the courage to give a good testimony of their faith.”
The entire three years is really preparation for Confirmation, says Vicki. Confirmation is when we receive the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“At Confirmation, we complete the grace we receive in Baptism,” Vicki says. “We also receive the courage to live and defend our faith. Jesus wants us to have a personal relationship with Him and share His love with others.”
Vicki welcomes more catechists to get involved with the program. Catechists receive just as much as the students.
“Catechists form a relationship with the students,” Vicki says. “They get time with them to teach the faith. They play an important role in the faith lives of these students.”
After completing Confirmation, the youth move on to ninth to 12th-grade Faith Formation.
“We are called to a lifelong journey of discipleship,” Vicki says. “We share in the life of the Church, Blessed Trinity, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. We want to lead students to a more intimate union and relationship with our savior, Jesus Christ.”
Vicki encourages all families to participate in Mass. Parents are the primary teachers of the faith, and their role is essential in the student’s faith lives.
“If the parents don’t practice what is taught, it’s hard for children and youth to keep on track and for their faith to keep growing,” Vicki says.
Middle School Faith Formation begins on Aug. 20. For more information, to serve or to get your youth involved, contact Vicki Arndt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-215-4523.