Children & Family

Fostering the Domestic Church

​St. James is dedicated to providing to the Catholic education of children and youth by coming alongside and supporting parents in fulfilling their proper duties of fostering growth of Christian life in the family. Although the home is the first school of Christian life, the place where a person learns tenderness, forgiveness, respect, self denial, and prayer, the parish is the Eucharistic community and the heart of the liturgical life of Christian families, a privileged place for the catechesis of children and parents. St. James focuses on equipping families through a family centric model of catechesis.

About the program

Third Sunday of the Month | 11:45 AM – 1:45 PM | Ages 4-13

Saint James fosters growth in children as disciples of Christ by creating the environment for healthy friendships with other children combined with dynamic activities and teaching. Parents and children ages four to thirteen gather on the third Sunday of each month for food, fellowship and formation September through May, 11:45 AM to 1:45 PM. Each session begins with lunch so that everyone can relax and connect before the children split into older and younger groups for age appropriate lessons designed to help the children further their understanding and ability to share the faith while growing ever closer to the Lord and to his Church. For questions please contact Christine.Coots@gmail.com or 904-982-9664.

Cost

There is no upfront required fee or payment for a child or family to participate in the program. Costs are covered by the normal giving and generosity of the families of Saint James who value ongoing religious formation for all ages. We do ask that any registered families give notification about any foreseen absences so that so that we are not purchasing unneeded food.  Families are welcome and encouraged to assist with bringing deserts and other food items, but this is not required.

Registration and commitment

Registration consists of completing a few information items and committing to being part of the program for the upcoming year and assuring your child’s ongoing attendance (unforeseen changes of plans of course are understandable).

Register

Need to be Catholic? 

Saint James accepts children from all walks of life and beliefs and is dedicated to serving the community by partnering with parents who want to raise their children with high moral standards. Neither the child nor the family are required to be Catholic.  

 Ages

The program is currently designed for children kindergarten through eighth grade (ages 4-13). Parents are welcome and encouraged to be at and assist with the sessions. 

Safety

A safe environment is provided for all parishioners, from the youngest to the oldest. Mandatory training and detailed background checks are required for all volunteers who work with children. Parents are provided with materials to use in discussing safe environment issues with their children. Learn more about the Safe Environment Policy in detail or register for training.

If you have a reasonable suspicion of abuse, neglect, or maltreatment report it immediately to the Department of Health and Human Services 1-800-96ABUSE. If the alleged abuse involved Ordinariate personnel, (priests, deacons, employees, teachers or volunteers), after contacting the authorities, please contact the Ordinariate Safe Environment Coordinator, Lynn Schmidt: 907-317-6257, SafeEnvironment@ordinariate.net

More information 

Please contact our director of Children’s Ministry, Christine.Coots@gmail.com or 904-982-9664

Sacraments of Initiation for Children

Ongoing formation, either in the home, parish, or school is required before receiving sacraments and afterwards.

Rather than mechanistically assigning reception of a Sacrament to a particular age or grade, Ordinariate parishes and parochial communities guided by canon law, involve parents and catechists through concrete markers to help discern, with their child, the time to begin preparation for the reception of a Sacrament. You can read more about the signs of a child’s readiness in Bishop Lopes’ Pastoral Letter on the Holy Spirit beginning in Part IV, The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation. 

Assessing for readiness

Preparation for confession, confirmation, and or communion can begin when the parents and the pastor have determined readiness of the child and he or she:

  • has reached at least the age of reason (7-11)
  • is receiving ongoing instruction in the faith either at St. James, home, or school
  • is able to renew baptismal promises
  • is regularly attending Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation and the other precepts of the Church
  • has requested Confession, Confirmation, or First Communion

Please contact Father Mayer to schedule an assessment meeting with the child so that he can confirm the child’s readiness to begin sacramental preparation.

Why confirmation before first communion? 

According to the Church confirmation is to be received at the age of reason. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the “Latin custom has indicated ‘the age of discretion’ as the reference point for receiving Confirmation” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1307). [1]  Also, First Communion is ideally received after being Confirmed rather than before: “The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord’s own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1322).

 Sacramental workshops

In addition to ongoing formation, attendance of these workshops is required for those children who are completing their sacraments of initiation. The First Communion Workshop is not required for those who have already completed this sacrament. The Reconciliation Workshop is required even if the child has already received this sacrament. 

  • Reconciliation: Sunday, January 22, 2023, 12-2 PM
  • Confirmation: Sunday, March 26, 2023, 12-2 PM
  • First Communion: Sunday, April 30, 2023, 12-2 PM

 Confirmation and first communion Mass date

Vigil of Pentecost: Saturday, May 27, 2023, 5:30 PM (this date is tentative – awaiting response back from Bishop’s office)

Learn more
Please see Confirmation and First Communion over at the Sacraments menu

[1] Though many diocese delay confirmation until 8th grade, 14 confirm at the age of reason: Saginaw, Michigan (1995); Great Falls-Billings, Montana (1996); Portland, Maine (1997); Spokane, Washington (1998); Fargo, North Dakota (2002); Gaylord, Michigan (2003); Tyler, Texas (2005); Phoenix, Arizona (2005); Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter (2012); Honolulu, Hawaii (2015); Denver, Colorado (2015); Manchester, New Hampshire (2017); Springfield, Illinois (2017); and Gallup, New Mexico (2019).