Being Disciples and Making Disciples of Children and Young Adults

Children’s Formation

1st-5th Grade

Religious Education is our Children’s Faith Formation for students in 1st-5th grades and prepares students for a relationship with Christ. Each year builds upon the last as children learn to walk with Jesus.

What To Expect

Religious Education meets Tuesday afternoons. We offer two sessions: 4:30 pm-5:45 pm & 6:30 pm-7:45 pm. Classes begin in September and end in April. The Sacrament of First Holy Communion is received in May of your child’s second year attending Religious Education (typically in 2nd grade). We welcome students at any grade level to receive the Sacraments. We offer unique opportunities for families to grow in faith including Family Faith Nights and age-appropriate service opportunities.

Saint James welcomes all learners and seeks to offer access to our faith to everyone. Open Doors provides faith formation for individuals and families with special needs. This includes adaptive programming and inclusion to prepare children in need of accommodations for the Sacraments.

Contact Bethany Larson or Theresa Storto to learn more and get connected.

Bethany Larson
Coordinator of Religious Education

Theresa Storto
Administrative Assistant
Evangelization and Formation
Direct  224-345-7213


6th-8th Grade

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


What to Expect

EDGE meets every Sunday during the school year.

EDGE Session
Parish Center | 3:00-4:30 PM
Youth will gather together in person each Sunday 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. EDGE kicks off Sunday, September 11th at 3PM.

The cost for the year is $210.

Encounter Nights
All youth (and their families) are encouraged to attend the parish-wide Encounter Night. This night, once a month consists of Adoration, an opportunity to go to Confession and a talk to help aid in prayer for the night. Dinner will also be provided to continue to foster community at St. James.

Makeup Work For Current EDGE Youth:

If your child is unable to make it to an EDGE night, that session needs to be made up as it is part of the Archdiocese of Chicago expectations for Confirmation Preparation.

To Get Started:
Read through how to work through the makeup assignments with our workbook, Chosen: Confirmation Preparation by Ascension Press. Click here to see guide

Makeup Work By Grade:
Click on the day you missed to take you to the makeup work.

6th Grade
Lesson 1- 9/25

Lesson 2- 10/16

7th Grade

Lesson 9- 9/25

Lesson 10- 10/16

8th Grade

Lesson 17- 9/25

Lesson 18- 10/16

Deadlines for Makeup Work:

Missed Work Deadlines

9/25- October 25th
10/16- November 27th
11/13- December 18th

Contact Us

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.

For additional questions regarding EDGE, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Courtney or Corey.

Courtney Bernhardt
Coordinator of Middle School Youth Ministry

Corey May
Coordinator of Middle School Youth Ministry

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 HERE!

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

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.


Kathryn Coughlin:

Vacation Bible School
Save the date for VBS at St. James
June 12 - 16, 2023
2023 Vacation Bible School Theme: STELLAR- Shine Jesus’ Light
Last Year’s VBS Photos

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