GIFT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here you will find some answers to the questions who, what, why, when, where, and how, in regards to the GIFT process. If you do not find what you are looking for, or have a specific situational question, please contact us directly: Gayle - Director of Children's Faith Formation or Vita - Coordinator of Youth Ministries.
Who is GIFT for?
- GIFT is for children ages 3-18 and their families.
- GIFT is for all children and families in the parish community (including children in public or private schools, Catholic schools, and home-schooled). Our community is enriched when all families in our parish come together.
- GIFT family gatherings are intended for families with children in grades 1-8.
- GIFT Children's Small Group Series are for children in grades 1-8. Parents of children in grades 1-8 are also encouraged to join a C2C (Connection to Christ) small group during these seasons; sign up opportunities will be offered for GIFT parent groups as well as parish wide groups.
What does GIFT stand for?
Growing In Faith Together
What is GIFT?
GIFT is our Saint Brigid Parish process of Children's and Teen's Faith Formation. The idea of Growing In Faith Together touches on our need to keep developing our relationship with Jesus and each other at every stage of our lives.
What if my family cannot make a session?
- If you cannot attend a GIFT monthly session, please let us know so we can set aside your take home packet and set up a time for you to get it. We want you to know that you are a valuable part of our community, your presence will be missed, but you don't have to miss out on any of the fun!
- If you are preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation and cannot attend a Saturday retreat, there is a make-up option. Please go to the Confirmation page or contact Vita for details.
- If you have to miss a small group session, please let us know so we can inform your child's small group facilitator. Small groups are about building community and a sense of comfort around faith sharing- the more often you attend the more fruitful the experience will be for everyone involved.
What is the difference between the Sunday and Tuesday GIFT family sessions?
Nothing. Apart from the day of the week and time of day, the content of Sunday and Tuesday family sessions will be identical. This gives your family the flexibility to choose whichever session fits best with your schedule month to month.
What if my child is preparing for a sacrament?
Preparation for First Communion, Reconciliation, and Confirmation are part of the GIFT process. A few additional parent meetings, retreats, and gatherings may be scheduled to better serve the families with children preparing for these sacraments. Preparing to receive these sacraments typically takes 2 years - First Communion preparation typically happens in grades 1 and 2 (Reconciliation is also built into these years). Confirmation preparation typically begins when a teen enters high school, as our Diocesan requirement is that a Confirmation Candidate must be at least 15 years old when they receive the sacrament.
We understand that life isn't ever predictable, and often times your family's sacramental preparation times don't exactly fall into a consistent timeline. So we are glad to work with you and incorporate sacramental preparation into grades/years beyond those listed above.
What if my family is not registered at Saint Brigid Parish?
It is not required to be a registered parishioner to participate in GIFT. However, we encourage you and your family to register with the parish so we can keep you in the loop of our greater parish family too! Registering with the parish simply means you are taking ownership of your role in our family. You can check out the membership page or contact Maryanne for more information.
What if I haven't completed my sacraments?
We're so glad you're here to grow with us! If you haven't completed your sacraments and would like to explore the Catholic faith further and consider preparing for Baptism, First Communion, and/or Confirmation let us know. We'll set up a time to meet and find the best plan for you.
There is no requirement for you to have received all your sacraments of initiation to participate in GIFT. However, if as you invest in GIFT and feel called to explore the Sacraments further, we would be happy to help you on your faith journey and find the best plan for you to receive your sacraments.
What if I'm not Catholic?
Thank you for sharing your faith with us and putting in the effort to teach your children about the Catholic faith. You are welcome here! We are all on a journey to encounter, love, and serve Jesus, one another, and the world. Your life experience and desire to contribute to our community will enrich our experience.
What are the fees to participate in GIFT?
GIFT registration fees are $100 per child, per year, with a maximum of $300 per family per year.
What does my GIFT registration fee cover?
The registration fees cover meals at each of the GIFT family sessions and Confirmation retreats, plus all supplies and take home materials. For GIFT Family Sessions, this fee also includes the cost of meals for parents/guardians.
What if my family cannot afford the GIFT registration fee?
We want you to know that you are welcome, regardless of your financial contribution to the GIFT process. There are payment plans and financial aid options. Payment plans can be made directly through the online giving payment platform. Please contact us directly with requests for financial aid.
Why this process?
While exploring different approaches to faith formation, we discovered a variety of studies suggesting the effectiveness of learning from family and that many parishes and even dioceses throughout the country are implementing family faith formation models. Here are some links to explore those studies and communities.
Why are we embracing this change?
GIFT has come from a lot of prayer and the movement of the Holy Spirit. We believe that by cooperating with the Holy Spirit and the movement of the parish to build community and grow in discipleship through small groups, we can better serve our children and families.
The development of GIFT has been a long time coming. We believe that the process of learning from each other and growing in community together will help our parish families grow in discipleship in their day to day lives. We want to walk and work with you on your faith journey today.
When will GIFT meet?
There will be various opportunities for participation in GIFT depending on the age and sacramental needs of the members of your family. Click on the calendars below for a printable calendar for Grades 1-8 and High School.
|Grades 1-8||High School|
- GIFT family sessions will meet monthly on EITHER Sunday 12 - 2 pm OR Tuesday 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
- GIFT children's small groups will meet for 6 consecutive weeks in the Fall (10/13 - 11/19) and during Lent (2/23 - 3/31) on EITHER Sunday 12:30-2 pm OR Tuesday 6-7:30 pm for the entirety of each season.
- Child care will be available during the monthly GIFT Family Sessions. Child care is for families with children ages 3-5 and Kindergarten, who are participating with their children in grades 1-8.
- GIFT Confirmation Preparation Retreats will take place on Saturdays throughout the year, from 10 am - 5:30 pm, closing with our Saturday Vigil Mass.
- High School Youth Group is also a part of GIFT. High School Youth Group meets on Tuesdays between 6-8:15 pm on weeks when family sessions are not gathering.
- Sunday School for children ages 3-5 and Kindergarten will meet during the 9 am Mass.
Where will GIFT happen? Here at St. B's.
See the campus map for all room locations.
|GIFT Group||Room Location|
|Family Session||Begin in Parish Hall with a meal, and you will be directed to various rooms throughout each session|
|Confirmation Retreats||Begin in Parish Hall and end in the church for 5:30 pm Mass|
|High School Youth Group||Lounge. Sometimes Youth Group has off campus events and activities- make sure you register (no fees for Youth Group) so we can keep you up to date with our calendar and activities.|
|Sunday School||Ocean Room|
How will GIFT family sessions work?
GIFT Family Sessions will gather monthly on Sundays or Tuesdays throughout the academic year. Every monthly family session will begin with a family meal. Once you register your family for GIFT, you will receive a monthly email with an RSVP request, so you can let us know which session and how many members of your family will attend that month.
How will Confirmation Preparation within GIFT work?
Confirmation Preparation for teens will take place through quarterly retreats at the parish on Saturdays throughout the academic year - see the "when" section to view the calendar. Confirmation Preparation will also have teens participating in a Lenten small group series with sacrament-specific content.
How will GIFT work for younger children (Kindergarten and younger)?
For our children ages 3 through kindergarten, there will be a childcare option during the GIFT Family sessions after the meal. Younger children are also welcome to stay with their parents. On Sunday mornings, children ages 3 (and potty-trained) through kindergarten are welcome to attend Sunday School during the 9 am Mass. See the Kids page for more info.
How is GIFT different than our previous models of Faith Formation?
GIFT is a more well rounded and approachable model of faith formation. Previous models typically centered around weekly, classroom style, grade specific meetings. Now, GIFT will focus on community, faith sharing, and hands-on learning, in monthly sessions for grades 1-8 and their families. The schedule is the greatest difference from our previous models. We realize that our lives seem to get busier and schedules more demanding year by year, so GIFT family sessions will be limited to monthly sessions on Sunday or Tuesday. Small groups are another notable change from our previous models of faith formation. The movement of the parish as a whole is to lead people towards personal growth within the support of small groups. We want our children and families to experience the blessings that small groups have given to our parish community!
How can I contribute to GIFT?
There are many ways to contribute to GIFT!
- Pray for the GIFT process, the families participating, and the leadership team.
- As a family, invest in this experience - the more you put in, the more you'll get out of it.
- Support GIFT as a greeter, meal prep, content preparation, take home bag packing, set up, clean up, promotion, leader, facilitator, and more. Let us know where you feel called to contribute and we'll help connect you.
- Lastly, if you would like to contribute financially, we have a tax deductible donation option set up here.