A Christian Community in the Roman Catholic Tradition

St. Ann Roman Catholic Church

Faith Formation and Education

Contents St. Ann's is deeply committed to the continuous spiritual formation and education of the parish faithful.  We are informed of the truths of Christ and the Church's teaching through many forms of instruction: This instruction accompanies the reception of the sacraments, teaching we receive during the Mass in the Liturgy of the Word, formal classroom instruction in our CCD classes, scripture study with application to our daily living, and adult and youth groups that gather in small communities to connect every day life experiences with the Church's story.

Baptismal Preparation Class: Contact: Church Secretary, 375-2110. (Appointment only)

Baptisms: Contact: Church Secretary, 375-2110. (Appointment only)

CCD Program: The CCD Program (children in grades K through 5th) and Edge (grades 6th through 8th) and Lifeteen (teens in grades 9th through 12th) reach out to those who are not enrolled in St. Ann's school.  Each week approximately 25 volunteers work to develop and teach a course of study, based on a curriculum outlined by the Diocese of Fresno.  CCD classes are taught on Tuesday evenings, September through May, at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m..  Volunteer teachers, who support this program, are trained through workshops provided at the Religious Education Congress held in Anaheim, CA each year.  Contact: Lilian Ramirez, 375-2110 X 313.

Confirmation: Student entering grades 11 & 12 are eligible to become candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  These students will enter a joint class in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Each student and a parent must attend a confirmation information night.  All students must complete all other requirements and attend a Confirmation retreat.  The guidelines for the reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation, as specified by the Diocese of Fresno, are listed below.  Only those students who meet the following guidelines will be allowed to enter the Confirmation program.

    • Candidates for the Sacrament of Confirmation must be at least 16 years old.
    • Candidates must be at least a High School Junior.
    • Candidates must complete two consecutive years of Catechesis which should integrate elements of Scripture Study, Morality, Justice Issues, Faith and Identity, Liturgy and Community Service.
Contact: Jessica Fine, 375-2110 X 305.

Marriage Encounter: The mission of worldwide Marriage Encounter is to enrich the Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders in order to renew the Church and through it, to change the world.  The Marriage Encounter Weekend is available in Roman Catholics and other faith expressions including Jewish, Methodist, Greek Orthodox and many others.  The weekend is open to all faiths and to both married couples and religious.  Contact: Gordon & Carol Wilcher, 446-2060.

Marriage Preparation: Contact: Fr. Denis Ssekannyo, 375-2110.

Missions: Parish Missions are usually scheduled during the liturgical season of Lent and in the fall of each year.  In the past we had Grayson Warren Brown, an internationally known dynamic speaker, liturgical composer, author and recording artist, give a very successful weekend mission at St. Ann's.  Watch the bulletin announcements for future missions.  Contact: Parish Office, 375-2110.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA): Those who join the Catholic Church as adults are welcomed into the Church through a process referred to as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA.  RCIA is a program of personal conversion, faith development and celebration, consisting of three phases (described below).  It is aimed at three groups of adults: baptized but uncatechized Catholics; those who are not currently Christian (i.e., not baptized); and those Christians (baptized or not) who come from other denominations seeking the fullness of Christ's teaching.  RCIA is also open to Catholics who wish to learn more about their faith, to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation, or who seek support as they return to the practice of their faith.

The first phase is called the "Inquiry" phase, wherein the nature of faith and the basics of Christian belief, doctrine and worship are examined and explained.  At the end of the Inquiry phase, participants are given the opportunity to make a commitment to developing a deeper relationship with Christ and His Church.  The Inquiry phase typically lasts from October through December, culminating in the "Rite of Acceptance," usually around Christmas time.  Those not ready or not wishing at that time to make such a commitment may continue the program of instruction without an intent to be received into the Church, or may retire from the program completely without explanation or justification.

Those who move into the second phase (Called the "Catechumenate" phase) spend their time in deeper faith exploration and the study of specifically Catholic doctrines and teachings, especially the Sacraments, which communicate the life of God to His people most directly.  In addition to weekly RCIA sessions, Catechumens are encouraged to participate in the regular Sunday Bible study program at St. Ann's.  Upon completion of the Catechumenate, candidates are brought into full communion with the Church through the sacraments of Baptism (if not previously baptized), Confirmation, and the Eucharist at Easter.  The Catechumenate phase typically lasts from January until Easter.

After candidates are received into the Church, they receive instruction in the deeper aspects of the prayer and devotional life of the Church.  This occurs in the third and final phase of the RCIA program, the period of "Mystagogy" ("sampling of the mysteries of faith").  During this period, classic Christian forms of prayer and meditation are discussed and explained in light of their relation to the Gospel message, and their ability to deepen the spiritual life.  Examples of topics covered are the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, Novenas, Divine Mercy, Eucharistic Adoration, and other forms of prayer and devotion.  This period usually lasts about six weeks.  Anyone who is interested in RCIA should contact Fr. Denis Ssekannyo, 375-2110. 

Retreats: Weekend spiritual retreats are offered for singles and couples at the St. Anthony's Retreat House in Three Rivers.  These retreats are conducted in beautiful surroundings, perfect setting for a quiet and inspirational time and a chance to renew your acquaintance with the Lord.  Contact: Parish Office, 375-2110.

Scripture Study for Adults: Two different permanent Bible studies are available to the Catholic Community St. Ann's.  Watch the Bulletin for additional bible studies scheduled during the year.

SUNDAY BIBLE STUDY - Sunday, 9:15 - 1015 AM, in the Parish Center, St. Vincent DePaul room from September to May.  You are invited to share in a bible study program for adults (16 and older).  After study and meditation on each of the Sunday's liturgical scripture reading, we share our understanding of these scriptures and their application to our daily living and shared faith.  Participate at your own pace; reading aloud and discussion are not mandatory.  Please join us. Contact, Bill Walters, 375-2110.
THURSDAY BIBLE STUDY - Thursday, 10:00 -11:00 AM, during school year in multi-purpose room of the Parish Center.  All adults are invited to join this joyful informal study group.  Contact: Church Office, 375-2110.