Children

Being Disciples and Making Disciples of Children and Young Adults

Children’s Formation

1st-5th Grade

The Seven Sacraments are essential to the life and identity of the Catholic Church. We invite your children into a deeper, life-long relationship with Jesus through the power of the Sacraments.

Children’s Formation is in charge of preparing students between 1st and 5th grade for First Reconciliation and First Communion. Contact Kevin Byrnes to learn more and get connected.

Kevin Byrnes
Coordinator of Children’s Formation
224.345.7217
kbyrnes@stjamesah.org

Confirmation

6th-8th Grade

EDGE is our middle school youth ministry and confirmation preparation program. Over three years, children will be discipled by mentors and get equipped to become lifelong Catholics living out their faith as missionary disciples.

What to Expect

EDGE meets every Sunday. Each Sunday will include one of the following sessions.

Chosen Lesson
One Sunday a month, youth will complete the lesson assigned for the month at home from their Confirmation Book, Chosen. The same book is used for all three years of Confirmation preparation.

EDGE Session
Parish Center | 3:00-4:30 PM
Two Sundays a month, youth will gather together in person in the Parish Center to learn about their faith through engaging talks to help prepare them for Confirmation. The youth are assigned to a small group they remain with for the entire year. In these groups, youth are challenged to dive deeper into their Catholic faith and encouraged to grow as young disciples.

XLT Adoration Night
Church | 6:00-8:00 PM
Once a month, all EDGE (Grades 6-8) and LifeTeen (Grades 9-12) students are invited to come together for a night of Adoration. Before Adoration, youth will gather for a brief talk to prepare them to enter into prayer and praise and worship. Each XLT night will provide an opportunity for Confession.

How can I register my child for Confirmation?

1. Register for Confirmation

Parishioners can register their children for Confirmation through Realm, our parish database. If you are new or haven’t registered as a parishioner, please register to the parish first. Once your information is added into Realm, you can register for Confirmation. The cost is $210.

The program we use for Confirmation is called EDGE and kicks off around the same time that school starts every year. Registration typically opens in August and is when most families register.

We understand life is an adventure and you might be reading this after EDGE has started. If this is the case, please reach out to Courtney Bernhardt (one of our Youth Ministers in charge of EDGE) and she will gladly work with you and your child so they can be adequately prepared to be Confirmed.

Courtney Bernhardt
Coordinator of Middle School Youth Ministry
224.345.7208
cbernhardt@stjamesah.org

2. Attend Confirmation

EDGE meets every Sunday. Each Sunday will include one of the following sessions (see details in What to Expect).

– Chosen Lesson
– EDGE Session | Parish Center | 3:00-4:30 PM
– XLT Adoration Night | Church | 6:00-8:00 PM

3. Receive the Sacrament of Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation is received in May of your child’s 8th grade year. Please refer to our event calendar for specific dates.

Courtney Bernhardt
Coordinator of Middle School Youth Ministry
224.345.7208
cbernhardt@stjamesah.org

Corey May
Coordinator of Middle School Youth Ministry
224.345.7208
cmay@stjamesah.org

Life Teen

9th-12th Grade

Life Teen helps high school students become disciples through friendship, serving others, and in building their relationship with Jesus through prayer and the sacraments during weekly Life Nights. Teens will also have the opportunity to come together for service projects, social nights, and summer mission trips.

When does Life Teen meet?

Sunday night after 5 p.m. Mass
The Laramie Room (Church Basement)

What to Expect

Each Life Night will follow this typical format:

GATHER: Join for ice breakers, Jimmy Fallon-type games, and dinner.

PROCLAIM: 8-10 minute talk given by an adult relating some aspect of the faith to the teens and their lives.

BREAK: 40-50 minute small group time to digest and apply the theme of the night to their lives. Teens will have the opportunity to go deeper into the gospel message, dive into scripture with their group, and freely ask questions. These groups stay together for the entire year, allowing the students to grow together in Christ centered friendships.

SEND: After Break, the teens will come back together and do a form of prayer to close out the night (Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Praise and Worship, Intercessory Prayer etc.) The hope is at the end of a year, teens will have been introduced to at least 20 different ways to pray and will connect with one of these ways to pray to personalize their relationship with Jesus.

How can I register for Life Teen?

1. Register for Life Teen

Parishioners can register their children for Life Teen through Realm, our parish database. If you are new or haven’t registered as a parishioner, please register to the parish first. Once your information is added into Realm, you can register for Life Teen.

2. Attend Life Teen

Life Teen meets on Sunday night after 5 p.m. Mass in The Laramie Room (Church Basement).

3. Grow in the Faith

Your teen will build friendships and grow in faith alongside their peers.

For more information on Life Teen please reach out to Christina Hudson and follow @stjameslt on Instagram to stay connected.

Christina Hudson
Director of Youth Ministry
224.345.7214
chudson@stjamesah.org

Mission Trips

Catholic Heart Workcamp: St. Croix
June 11- 18

Get ready for another summer of service! Join St. James (and other parishes across the United States) as we partner with Catholic Heart Workcamp to serve the people of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. We will spend the day fixing local churches, rebuilding a hurricane shelter, and visiting with the residents of the community.

Departure will be from Chicago O’Hare on June 11th and we will return as a group on June 18th. If you are interested in going but would need to make other flight arrangements, please let us know as soon as possible.

For any questions about our away mission trip this summer, feel free to reach out to Christina Hudson, Director of Youth Ministry (chudson@stjamesah.org | 224.345.7214).

Use the form below to register for Catholic Heart Workcamp: St. Croix!

Open Doors Ministry

Open Doors provides faith formation for individuals and families with special needs. This includes adaptive programming to prepare children with special needs for the Sacraments.

Registration for Open Doors is held each spring for the upcoming school year, and classes run September through May. To participate or volunteer, please contact Karon Jarosz.

Karen Jarosz
odm@stjamesah.org

Parent Volunteering

We love to have parents involved in the formation of their children’s faith. To get connected with volunteer opportunities in our children’s ministries, please contact Theresa Storto.

Theresa Storto
tstorto@stjamesah.org
224.345.7213

Totus Tuus

St. James is glad to be hosting Totus Tuus again this summer for grades 1st through 12th. Check back for more information in early summer, but please save the dates: July 24th-29th!