WELCOME!

Through faith formation, family and youth ministry events, our primary goal for our Faith and Family programs is to provide parents with the support to raise your children in the Catholic faith and build a family life which is built upon and completely intertwined with that faith. We want to offer you the opportunity to discover the joy of a friendship with Jesus, and to learn how to grow that friendship through the gift of our Catholic faith.

You can explore more of our programs below, or reach out to any of your Faith and Family Program staff!  If you are interested in serving as a volunteer in our programs, please visit our Volunteer Information page to learn more! 

It is an honor and a privilege to serve and support your family!  

Sacramental Preparation: Baptism, First Eucharist, Confirmation

The sacraments of initiation (baptism, Holy Eucharist and confirmation) are gifts to us, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church.  It is our privilege to support parents as they prepare their children for these grace-filled gifts. Adults who are seeking the sacraments of initiation for themselves or inquiring about marriage, please contact Rachel Willoughby

BAPTISM: If the child to be baptized is under the age of five, please complete this FORM and you will be contacted.  If your child is entering kindergarten or older, or has been baptized but not in the Catholic Church, please contact Diane Kiradjieff to learn more.


FIRST HOLY EUCHARIST and RECONCILIATION: In the Diocese of Charlotte, at least one full year of formal religious education (Catholic school or Faith Formation) is necessary prior to receiving the sacrament of first reconciliation, and at least two full consecutive years of formal religious education are necessary prior to receiving the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Children may receive the sacrament of first Eucharist in the spring of second grade or older.

  • My child is entering first grade in September 2022: If your child is in Catholic school, this phase of the preparation will take place in school.  If you child is in public or private (not Catholic) school, you will register your child for Faith Formation in our YEAR 1 program, where they discover God’s might love for them while learning about our Church Family, what Catholics believe, and how we worship, live and pray.
  • My child is entering second grade in September 2022 and is in public or private (not Catholic) school: If your child completed our Year 1 program or another Catholic first grade program through a parish or Catholic school, you will register them in our YEAR 2 program, where they will prepare for the sacraments and encounter Jesus’ tremendous love for each of them. If your child did not complete a Catholic first grade program in 2020-2021, you will register them for our YEAR 1 program.
  • My child is entering second grade in September 2022 and is in Catholic school: If your child completed first grade in Catholic school or a Catholic Faith Formation program, you will register them for our parish FIRST EUCHARIST (CATHOLIC SCHOOL) program.  If your child did not attend Catholic school or did not complete a Catholic first grade program in 2020-2021, you will register them for our FAITH FORMATION YEAR 2 program.
  • My child is entering third grade or older in September 2022 (up to age 18): Your child will be a candidate for one of our FIRST EUCHARIST programs designed for either elementary, middle or high school youth.

Registration will open on July 12.  For more specific information or questions regarding the sacramental process, please contact Lori Mathews


CONFIRMATION: In the Diocese of Charlotte, there are two phases of preparing for the sacrament of confirmation.  We understand that every youth’s faith journey is as unique as they are. Therefore, our Confirmation program combines flexible catechesis with countless parish life opportunities that inspire the youth to enter an active life of faith as a confirmed Catholic. The confirmation process takes place in two parts. The first is designed to strengthen the youth’s Catholic foundation and knowledge before they enter into the second part, which specifically prepares them for the sacrament.

During both parts of process, regardless of what school a youth is attending, he or she is expected to be a part of parish life and youth ministry to prepare them for their life as a confirmed Catholic disciple.  Opportunities can be found on our YOUTH MINISTRY or BE THE CHURCH webpage.

INVITED: Part One of the Confirmation Process

If a youth is in Catholic school, the first part of the process takes place within the school.  If a youth is in public or private (not Catholic) school, the first part of the process takes place within Faith Formation in our new INVITED program.

INVITED is six faith content courses offered in seven-week trimesters during the program year.  Beginning in 2023, the courses will be offered as a summer option as well.

IGNITE: Part Two of the Confirmation Process

Once a youth is in eighth grade or older, and he or she has completed the INVITED program or at least one year of Catholic school prior to eighth grade, the second part of the process may begin – the IGNITE program.  

Regardless of what school a youth is attending, this part of the process must be completed in the parish.  IGNITE is offered as a seven-week course that may be taken during the fall, winter or spring.  Included in the course is a day retreat for the parent and teen to participate in together, along with the sponsor if he or she is available.

Teens in 10th grade or older preparing for the sacrament will be a part of our Rite of Christian Initiation for Teens (RCIT) program.

For more information, please visit our Faith Formation webpage.  If you have specific questions, please contact Amy Bojarski.

Little Catholics: Preschool and Kindergarten

One of St. Matthew’s sweetest and most loved programs is our Preschool-Kindergarten program which immerses children in their Catholic faith through an interactive curriculum which introduces them to the essential faith concepts and God’s mighty love! Children are placed in small groups of six to eight, and shepherded by two teen leaders.  The leaders guide the children through four lesson rotations that are lead by adults, bringing the Scripture and Liturgy alive through music, games, crafts and stories.

Our Little Catholics program is offered in Ballantyne during the 9 and 10:45 am Mass.  Children must be 3, 4 or 5 by August 31, 2022 to enroll, and must be fully toilet trained. Registration will open on July 12, 2022.

Questions? Contact our Catholic Littles Coordinator, Becky Lennard for more information!

Catholic Kids: Elementary Years

The Catholic Kids elementary years focus on the time preparing for and following the reception of first sacraments while supporting parents in forming young disciples!  Each grade has a particular focus, but overall the goals of our elementary programs are to encourage curiosity and discovery about our Catholic faith!

CLICK FOR OUR SUNDAY CATHOLIC KIDS CONNECTION!

Questions?  Contact our Catholic Kids Elementary Coordinator, Michelle Lyberg.  Registration will open on July 12, 2022.

For information specific to preparing for First Eucharist, please see the “Sacramental Preparation” dropdown above.  Questions regarding sacraments may be directed to Lori Mathews.

For information on our Children’s Mass or Children’s Liturgy of the Word, please visit our Faith and Family page.

For family service, formation and events, see our Family Discipleship dropdown above.

 

 

 

Catholic Youth: Middle School Years

Our middle school programs are designed to provide families with flexible options when scheduling their child’s formation, and even more importantly, provide our Catholic Youth with the chance to form friendships with their peers and the opportunity to discover the joy and strength in a relationship with Christ.

Middle School Youth Ministry: Previously used as a formation program, this year we launch EDGE in its true form as a youth ministry program. Middle school youth come together to explore their faith in a relaxed, fun format. Offered twice monthly on Sunday afternoons from 3:30 to 5 pm.  For more information on EDGE and our summer offerings, please visit our Youth Ministry page!  Have specific questions?  Contact Avery Utz, our Middle School Youth Minister!


Middle School Formation:

We understand that every youth’s faith journey is as unique as they are. Therefore, our Confirmation program combines flexible catechesis with countless parish life opportunities that inspire the youth to enter an active life of faith as a confirmed Catholic. The confirmation process takes place in two parts. The first is designed to strengthen the youth’s Catholic foundation and knowledge before they enter into the second part, which specifically prepares them for the sacrament.

During both parts of process, regardless of what school a youth is attending, he or she is expected to be a part of parish life and youth ministry to prepare them for their life as a confirmed Catholic disciple.  Opportunities can be found on our YOUTH MINISTRY or BE THE CHURCH webpage.

6th to 8th Grade  – INVITED

If a youth is in Catholic school, the first part of the process takes place within the school.  If a youth is in public or private (not Catholic) school, the first part of the process takes place within Faith Formation in our new INVITED program.

INVITED is six faith content courses offered in seven-week trimesters during the program year.  Beginning in 2023, the courses will be offered as a summer option as well.

8th Grade or older – IGNITE

Once a youth is in eighth grade or older, and he or she has completed the INVITED program or at least one year of Catholic school prior to eighth grade, the second part of the process may begin – the IGNITE program.  

Regardless of what school a youth is attending, this part of the process must be completed in the parish.  IGNITE is offered as a seven-week course that may be taken during the fall, winter or spring.  Included in the course is a day retreat for the parent and teen to participate in together, along with the sponsor if he or she is available.

Teens in 10th grade or older preparing for the sacrament will be a part of our Rite of Christian Initiation for Teens (RCIT) program.

For more information, please visit our Faith Formation webpage.  If you have specific questions, please contact Amy Bojarski.

Looking for volunteer opportunities?  Visit our BE THE CHURCH page!

For family service, formation and events, see our Family Discipleship dropdown above. 

 

Catholic Teens: High School

RCIT (Rite of Christian Initiation – Teens): This program is for teens coming into the Church who have not yet received all the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation) or those in tenth to twelfth grade who have not been enrolled in Faith Formation for an extended period of time seeking only the sacrament of Confirmation. Through a relaxed, small group setting, teens discover the teachings of the Catholic Church and what it means to live your life as a Catholic Christian in today’s world. If you are interested in registering for this program for 2022-2023, please contact Amy Bojarski.

Our youth group program is committed to providing our teens with the best possible opportunities for personal and spiritual growth through catechesis (religious education), fellowship, service, outreach, and leadership.

CLICK FOR INFORMATION ON ALL HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND OPPORTUNITIES!

Looking for volunteer opportunities?  Visit our BE THE CHURCH page!

Family Connections: Home, Church, Community

Our Family Connections program exists to support parents in fostering the faith at home and in all aspects of family life. Events are offered through the program year, and designed to offer families opportunities to serve, come together in community or just explore aspects of our faith in unique, tangible ways!

Family Connections Coordinator, Cat Sforza

Looking for volunteer opportunities?  Visit our BE THE CHURCH page!

Catholic Friends: Special Needs Programming

SPRED (SPecial Religious EDucation) is a program of religious development specifically designed to meet the spiritual needs of persons of all ages with developmental disabilities and intellectual challenges. Through their participation in the SPRED Community of faith, our Special Friends are incorporated into the liturgical and sacramental life of the parish of St. Matthew. SPRED serves persons with special needs age six through adulthood.


It is our hope to resume our SPRED program in the fall 2022.  Families who would like a loved one participate, please reach out to Carol Herrmann or Jan Clemens to let us know your interest!  In addition, we will need volunteers to help us begin this joyful ministry again!  A training will be held at St. Matthew for those interested in serving as catechists.  Please reach out to Carol Herrmann to let her know you would be willing to help as a catechist or catechist helper.
For details on volunteering or training, please visit our SPRED page!

Faith Formation and Youth Ministry News