The Catholic parishes in Waterloo are dedicated to the religious formation of children and youth. We recognize the many challenges which families face these days and are committed to providing a variety of opportunities for faith formation which meet the various needs and circumstances of our families and youth.
The parishes support the Cedar Valley Catholic Schools, which includes Blessed Sacrament School, Sacred Heart School, St. Edward School, Blessed Maria Assunta Pallota Middle School and Columbus High School. Cedar Valley Catholic Schools provide a quality educational opportunity which addresses the academic, personal and spiritual needs of all students. Bus transportation and tuition assistance are available to families who need them.
Religious Formation of Children
The Catholic parishes in Waterloo provide a full-range of comprehensive and systematic religious education opportunities for children and youth who do not attend a Catholic school. These include regularly scheduled religious education instruction for children in grades K-8 on Wednesday evenings during the school year or and during the summer; the Liturgy of the Word with young children during Sunday Mass; intergenerational family faith formation opportunities; preparation for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Communion and Confirmation, and opportunities for parents who want to home-school their children in faith formation.
Religious Formation of Youth
The parishes provide regularly scheduled faith formation opportunities for youth in grades 6-12 through Waterloo Catholic Youth Ministry (WCYM) and Cooperative Opportunities for Religious Education (CORE). These opportunities for the religious formation of youth address a full range of personal, spiritual, social and catechetical needs which shape the faith of youth at this important stage in their personal and spiritual development.
Preparation for First Confession and First Communion
Children customarily celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion for the first time around the age of 7, which usually means when they are enrolled in second grade. Children should be baptized and be enrolled for the equivalent of one year prior to preparation in a Catholic school, parish religious education program, or approved home-school program. Immediate preparation for First Confession and First Communion takes place in the home, under the guidance of the child's parents.
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